A Sprout of Doubt

What’s with these Russian scientists all of a sudden?

The week before last they were punching through the ice that covers prehistoric Lake Vostok in Antarctica, hoping to find microbes that haven’t felt the sunlight for millions of years. And now, at the opposite pole, they’ve grown plants from seeds said to be 32 thousand years old.

Clearly the Russians are on a not-so-secret mission to restore a world we all thought was long gone. Could this be a remnant of the old Soviet plot to re-animate Lenin?

Microbes first, then the narrow-leafed campion, followed by the Soviet Union itself? We have Comrade Ground Squirrel to thank for this development, so carefully did he tuck his treasured seeds next to the permafrost, chattering way to his Fellow Furry Travelers that this day of glorious resurgence would surely come. Others have harbored similar wild dreams of rising from an icy demise, as we know too well from the oft-told frosty end of slugger Ted Williams.

There is some hope in all this that anything cold and dead may yet return, as we learned from Robert W. Service and Sam McGee. And as I discover over and over when dinnertime arrives and I realize I’ve got nothing in the fridge that’s remotely edible. But in the deep freeze … that’s a different story. If those Russian scientists would take a look behind that huge loaf of garlic bread at the back of my icebox, I think there’s some chicken from 1979. If I smothered it with enchilada sauce, would anyone really notice?

What’s in your freezer?

166 thoughts on “A Sprout of Doubt”

      1. Krista and Occasional Caroline Actually, I’m kidding about promoting my book. It hasn’t been published. Anyone sufficiently interested can contact me and I’ll send them the book, chapter by chapter, via email. It is the story of my parents’ lives, especially the great love between them.

        My email: mnstorytelr(at)comcast.net

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    1. right next to those french cuff shirts i sprinkled and threw in the freezer to keep until i could get to them. i have been meaning to iron them for a very long time.

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    2. My aunt used to have bags of pocket gopher feet in the freezer. My cousins would get money from the county for pocket gopher eradication, and the proof was in the gopher feet.

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      1. Our Township will only accept gopher feet that have our township brand on them. I mean we don’t want to be paying for other townships gophers!
        Freezer is good; whatever you do, don’t keep them in a sealed jar all summer.

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  1. my freezer is getting down there. we must be having hard times because last night it was determined the 10 pack of chicken breasts i bought wasnt needed at present and should be frozen, well i opened the freezer door and all i had to do was pick up 2 little boxes of ice cream and slide those chicken breasts under. no 5 minute rearrangement needed. very uncommon.
    now out in the deep freeze where the stash is kept we have some treasures. last june or july we did my sons graduation party and with the strength of the response of the 450 facebook buddies who would be coming i went to sams and locked in 4 or 5 boxes of hot dogs along with the 4 or 5 boxes of hamburger patties right next to them. this combined with needed buns to accomadate filled the honda completely and the chips 3 bean salad and plastic forks got demoted to the trunk with condiments alongside. as you may have guessed 50 people showed up and the burgers that were left over lasted only a few weeks. it seems everyone loves to snarf a burger but the hotdogs. oh the hot dogs. cant you give hot dogs to a kid in a dorm to nuke with his buddies? no you can’t. can you entice lovely little girls to eat hot dogs with baked beans and ketchup? no you can’t moms polka dot mashed potatoes with hot dogs and cheese can not be counted on for more than a hot dog a month. i still have 4 boxes of 6o hotdogs with ice 1/2″ think encasing them. ted williams may get some company. by the way dale the sam mcgee poem was appreciated.
    the veggie burgers i buy and dont enjoy as anything other than bulk in a pile of rice or potatoes will get eaten eventually the bags of veggies and bricks of frozen lasagna will get thawed and be declared ok at some future date but those hot dogs… oh those hot dogs. they are in there for the duration i am afraid

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      1. I was told by a man at a homeless shelter where I was serving dinner that “you can’t make a good turd on bread and butter.” Bet there are some that would be glad of a turd from your hot dogs.

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    1. Anna, your post suggests to me that the nutritional labels on our food are sadly deficient. When we are considering buying a can of chili, where does it say if this chili makes good turds or not? I had hoped Obama would fix stuff like this.

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      1. There’s actually a new system rolling out, at Coborn’s specifically and hopefully more stores, that gives a NuVal (nutritional value) score to every food. It’s printed right on the price tag on the shelf, usually on upper left (I think). 1 being the lowest, and 100 being the highest nutritional value. So total junk food like candy has a score of 3 and spinach has a score of 97 (estimated, can’t remember actual scores). While it may not take everything into account, it is quite comprehensive as to what it looks at to come up with the score. it’s rather eye-opening and quite useful when you’re shopping. See if your local store has it on their price tags.

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      2. Should be a reply to JniM’s reply – I don’t have an iPhone, but I guess there is an app available (free) that lets you scan the bar code of a grocery product and it gives a nutritional rating, debunks lies on the labeling, and tells you what factors figure into the rating. Sounds pretty cool.

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  2. Until about a month or so ago, I still had a box of Girl Scout cookies from last year. Those got consumed once we found them again. I also have a bunch of watermelon from last summer’s CSA that I couldn’t bring myself to toss out at the time (we were watermelon-ed out having had one or more a week for several weeks) – not sure yet what that watermelon will become. I found a pie recipe that’s a possibility, but I’m thinking there must be a festive cocktail that could be made…maybe I could serve festive fruity drinks with the 3-year-old par-baked pretzels in the basement freezer that Husband felt the need to buy (we don’t eat giant pretzels, so why he felt he should buy them I don’t know).

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    1. Watermelon syrup was the sweetener of choice for the Volga Deutsch (Germans imported to Russia). I’ve got a cookbook that is full of recipes using it. Let me know if you want me to scan some in and send them to you.
      (and biB, I just ran across the copy of the overnight cake recipe I thought I had sent to you-uff da, so lame!)

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  3. Good morning to all. There aren’t too many unusual or highly interesting things in my freezer. It is mostly used to hold frozen vegetables from the garden. There are some odd things that have been kept there.

    Many years ago I think a few snow balls were stored put in the freezer by my kids. Some times there is an strange bag of some kind of food we thought we would like to try which stays in there for a while until we finally decide we aren’t going to use it. For example there was a bag of millet in there for a couple of years before it was discarded. I can never keep myself from freezing too much yellow summer squash which I never manage to use.

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    1. My roommate likes to store a bit of snow in the freezer compartment and pull it out during the really hot weather to remind her that the heat, like the cold, must end. The oddest thing I can think of in the freezer right now (although it’s the things we don’t remember that are usually the oddest!) is a package of lotus seed buns from United Noodle. When I bought them, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever had lotus seeds, but I knew I liked lotus root, so why not try it? Hope they’re not freezer-burned, though the steaming might take care of that anyway.

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  4. My wife does not believe shelf life dates on packages. For frozen foods she cuts the date at least in half to write on the package, then panics if she is within a month of that date and cooks it no matter what. Otherwise she throws it out a day or two before the date she wrote. She thinks every food suddenly instantly magically mysterious eerily goes putrid on the date she wrote so you better throw it out before that date or it will contaminate everything else in the freezer. For refrigerator items all food is perfectly fine until their printed when it suddenly instantly magically mysterious eerily goes putrid on the date and it will contaminate everything else. Getting her to understand about the slow degradation of quality in kept food is a lost cause.So trying to tell her that dates are more about quality than microbes,–well, never mind that one. If you give her any home-made canned foods she makes a decoration out of it or she just throws it out because you are not a huge factory.

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    1. buy a marker you can erase and rewrite the dates on. i have a son who is date phobic. i was leased to have my wife tell me this morning that the youget in the fridge is there even though the dates say january was drop dead date (thats for selling not for eating) . i have chip dips that are old old old and taste fine. salad dressing you dont want to know.

      hey speaking of freezers has anyone got experience with the stainless steel ice cubes? sounds like a wonderful way to chill wine and scotch without watering them down.

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      1. Haven’t tried the stainless steel, but I have some plastic ones. They don’t seem to chill liquids as cold as genuine ice, though.

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    2. Now we are together 24 hours a day most days. And I watch her every move so she doesn’t suddenly shut down on me again or do something which will give her a lot of pain, but that she will do anyway, thus requiring me to be a step ahead of her so she doesn’t do it, such as just now when she announced she was going to clean the bathtub. So I did it. You know it has not been cleaned in a week, a week in which no one used it, but clean is clean is clean. She was raised by a drunken abusive father who everyone called “Sanitary Bill.” The drunker he got, the more cleaning he did.

      Our childhoods were so different that we see the world so differently, it is a fun 47-year study. We know what we can joke about with each other and what we cannot. She just said, “I am going to take a shower, announcement number three and the last.” She says that she is going to take a shower then sees something or thinks of something and gets diverted for awhile, then makes announcement number 2. And so on. She has become the most random human being I know.

      I, on the other hand, am perfect. Now if you want to read about my childhood . . .

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      1. Remember that we are in an apartment so we do not have much of a freezer. It is very crowded to hold not very much, which never gets old.

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  5. Let’s see. Nuts: pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, and almonds. A loaf of St. Agnes’ ciabatta. One large salmon filet, and two smaller packages of marinated salmon steaks. An ice cube tray full of last summer’s pesto, two containers of home made chicken stock, and two quart-size plastic bags with home made spaghetti sauce. Two packages of organic chicken thighs. Shredded coconut, two packages of wontons. Lemongrass, lime leaves, and a plastic bag full of vegetable scraps for making soup. Another plastic bag containing soup bones, and a smoked ham hock. A package of thinly sliced beef for stir fries. Two cans of orange juice, and a couple of boxes of frozen spinach. A bag each of red curry paste, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and some left-over tomato paste. A bag each of bread crumbs, and naan bread. I small container of chocolate ice cream, a bag of pastry shells, and bag of cracked wheat. Last, but not least, a package of ground venison.

    Thanks, Dale, for this reminder and for the poem about Sam McGee.

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    1. Either you and Renee have INCREDIBLE memories or you have highly organized lists maintained on the side of your freezers.

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      1. Lisa, I keep having to shuffle through all that stuff to get to whatever it is I need at the moment, so I’m keenly aware of what’s in that freezer. I just remembered, there’s also one half package of bacon, a small bag scallops, and a bag of tail-on cooked shrimp!

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      2. My husband is quite ocd and keeps a running mental list of what he have. He is constantly figuring out what we are going to make for dinner or lunch days ahead of time, and is very fussy that everything served together has to “go” together in some strange way that only makes sense to him. We cook almost all of our food from scratch. The other day I made a French-Canadian pork pie, and he insisted that we had to have roasted carrots (not boiled or steamed) and maple-bacon baked beans to go along with the pie. He can somehow discern the subtle differences between beers and has fixed ideas about what beer should go with whatever he is cooking. He gets very distresssed if the beer he wants isn’t available, and has been known to search out a variety of liquor stores to find the one he wants. He has also been known to change an entire menu if he can’t find the right beverage or some other essential ingredient. I often have to leave the room and do something else when he is dithering and deciding on a menu. He is a really good cook, though, and a kind, patient, and thoughtful partner and father.

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        1. Renee, it sounds as though your DH has the important stuff covered. Worth putting up with a bit of dinnertime idiosyncracies.
          I both envy and pity those who have specific enough tastebuds to know what “goes together” and what doesn’t. I figure that if I’m happy to have every manner of thing share my plate at a potluck, anything that shares a plate at my home is fine. To paraphrase Duke Ellington, “if it tastes good, it is good”. I realize that, nutritionally, someone could shoot holes in that maxim.
          I’m embarrassed to suggest go-togethers to my foodie sister who might well turn up her nose at the idea.

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      3. Renee, I’m definitely NOT ocd, but to the extent that I’m serving something, say, Asian, as a first course, I like the remainder of the meal to be in that same general area of cuisine (and you have to admit, Asia is a pretty BIG area). As an example, when I thawed one of the containers of chicken stock today, I discovered it was the one with Asian flavors: lemon grass, ginger and cilantro (I should have marked it, but hadn’t). So this evening’s meal will be wonton soup (garnished with green onions, JalapeΓ±o peppers, fresh bean sprouts and Thai basil) followed by spring rolls and a salad with Asian flavors including cucumber, cilantro and fresh bean sprouts, and a Thai peanut dressing. A real foodie would probably have a conniption if presented with that menu, but, bless his soul, as long as it doesn’t contain fish, husband eats almost anything, and I just like Asian foods. Not sophisticated enough to worry about whether it’s authentic or not. I just want a tasty and preferably healthy meal.

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  6. In our basement we have an upright freezer, a small chest freezer, and a fridge with a top freezer. The chest freezer is full of many different kinds of flour and frozen bread. The top freezer if full of nuts and hops. The hops are for his beer-making barber. The upright freezer is full of garden produce, gallons of homemade chicken stock, tomato sauce, bolognese sauce, a couple legs of lamb from a butcher shop in Newell, SD, pork shoulder (husband insists he’s going to make his own sausage one of these days), other assorted roasts and ribs, jars of pesto, and lots and lots of frozen raspberries and strawberries from the garden. The freezer in the upstairs fridge is full of ice cream, yeast, popsickles, frozen veggies we will eat soon, home grown roasted chili peppers, and a couple of bags of dried red and green ground chili. Husband spilled the dried green chili in the freezer and some got on the popsickles, and they have a bite to them now. We also have a couple of containers of mystery curry powder mixes I swore I would always be able to identify which, of course, I can’t identify. We have way too much food.

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      1. Turn your lawn into a garden freezer fills up with magic. Sounds great,
        I be interested in your husbands beer marching ideas even more in the whys and how’s he comes to the pairings . I’d vote for a vice president who could inform the world hat beer goes with what meals. He could likely decide what solution goes with which world crisis too

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    1. My oldest sister is an amazing foodie cook, rather like you. She also has huge amounts of food in storage, both shelf stable and frozen as well (I’m guessing). She has a “friend” who calls her when food “falls off the truck” during shipping. Something shady like that. So this guy calls her and a few select others, and they swoop in for all manner of odd foods that she keeps. I always thought she had a semi-hoarder mentality (you should see her house).

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  7. PJ, your freezer sounds very nice indeed!

    Ha! I just did the winter defrost a week or so ago when it actually got cold and I could just load everything up in boxes and put it on the back steps until the freezer was defrosted, so most of the interesting stuff has gotten used up.

    Having done the “no time no money” diet in my grad school days, I simply cannot “get rid of” anything edible. Like PJ, I have a bucket of chicken bones that accumulates until there is enough to fill the crock pot. I’m feeling mighty cleaver, as tonight, I will be making a jambalaya out of the one lone spicy Tofurkey brat (no matter how many of something like that is in a package, we always seem to have a fraction of a meal left), some leftover cooked chicken, and some frozen chopped red peppers.

    I also have to admit a fondness for soups that can never be reproduced, as they are made by just throwing whatever is in a little package in the freezer that sounds good together into a pot (with broth that comes from rinsing out the last bits of various condiments in the fridge).

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    1. I never get around to making my own soup stock from left over scrapes that I have saved. However, vegetable soup stocks can be made in a fairly short time. You can make vegetable soup stock for a soup you are making from the scapes left over from cleaning the vegetables for that soup.

      In a recipes from Debra Madison, squash soup is made by putting the seeds and other stuff from the center of the squash along with chopped onions into the bottom of the steamer used to cook the squash. When you are done steaming the squash, you strain the seeds and chopped onions out of the liquid in the bottom of the steamer and it becomes the stock for a soup made from the steamed squash.

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      1. I save water that has been used to boil potatoes or cook pasta, instead of pouring it down the drain. The starchy water helps thicken a sauce, soup, or chili, and adds a little subtle flavor.

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    2. I agree, mig, there’s something about soups that is so comforting, and they’re fun to make.

      My freezer really is not all that large. It’s the bottom third of my “huge American” refrigerator, as my sister calls it. I have to really watch what I buy or else the thing is stuffed to the gills, which it is at the moment.

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  8. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Having been raised to be Martha Stewart (without the money) or a farm wife, my basement freezer is full of meat, bread, nuts, sometimes coffee on sale. Also soup and pie crust.

    My brother’s freezer is more interesting. Several of their dogs who died on a weekend have resided there while they waited for the animal crematorium to open on Monday. Really.

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  9. Greetings! Having just moved, my freezer is woefully empty of weird tidbits. PJ, you must have a huge freezer to fit all those wonderful foods. At the moment, my freezer is under control. There was a time long ago, when we had a snake as a pet. In order to complete the ecosystem, we also raised little white mice. Did I mention this was Jim’s idea? When a litter of little mice were born and of sufficient size, Jim had to plan their demise (I couldn’t do it) and store them in ziplock baggies in the freezer. Mealtime for the snake was an adventure. After carefully thawing the meal, we would all gather round the snake’s quarters and watch it grab and swallow the mouse. Fun times at the Jensen house!

    One time, my sister-in-law was over to visit and was looking for something or cleaning out the freezer, when she found the little frozen carcasses of the white mice in baggies. She totally freaked out. It just never occurred to me as being something gross; so it never fazed me; but we had a good laugh about that.

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    1. I’m sure that Our Fair Twixie thinks we should be putting up the mice and birds she brings to us, but alas, we are not that frugal. I’m sure someday, we will be sorry-she will have told us so, but we never listen.

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    2. Our nephew-son in Georgia does that, Joanne, for this python… And come to think of it, Teenaged Joel once had a lizard, and would buy a baggie of crickets or something at the pet store that was kept in the freezer.

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  10. I have a deceased hamster named Harold in my freezer. He’s awaiting burial in my pet cemetery after the ground thaws as this has become a ritual when my grandchildren lose just about any kind of beloved pet over the years. This little cemetery has an albino squirrel, three parakeets, five of my own fur persons, a couple of goldfish, and a few critters I’ve forgotten. There are even small gravestones for some of the dearly-departed. It made sense for me to create a little cemetery because I’m likely the only family member who will never move from his/her property (well, only feet-first!)

    I lost one old cat in the dead of winter a few years ago and, not having the stomach to jam him into my very small, side-by-side freezer, there was no choice but to leave him at the vet’s. Since I’ve always been owned by multiple cats, I came up with a creative solution to mid-winter deaths: I dug a deep hole, put a piece of plywood over it, and bought some bags of top soil to fill in the grave.

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    1. Cb, on two occasions we have thawed the frozen ground with charcoal fires so we could bury a dead dog. It wasn’t that hard to do, only the top few inches of ground were frozen.

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    2. All of our beloved pets have cooperated & passed on during warm months. We have all the usuals buried in our yard (cats, numerous hamsters, guinea pig, fish, and birds). There’s also a special spot for our amazing buddy, Lily… a delightful duck we raised from a duckling who won the heart of our entire little town with her sweet personality & amusing antics. She was the best!

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  11. Morning all. My freezer has a pretty good turnover rate. Couple loaves of St. Agnes bread, a few bags of strawberries from last summer’s picking, raspberry sherbet, coffee, girl scout cookies (all from this year), frozen potato latkes, falafels, the last container of frozen custard from Liberty Custard. Just yesterday I added two packages of Oreos with the spring-colored filling. (I can’t keep away from items that change their colors w/ the seasons.)

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  12. I can, for the first time in 24 years, say I join the ranks of the those with recently defrosted freezers… what a mess of freezer burned mysteries. My freezer contents are boring & respectable now… not one item that would gross anyone out, I’m afraid. Visit either of my daughters and you’re likely to find a frozen placenta in their freezer. While helping my youngest after the birth of her littlest (still unnamed) baby a few weeks back, we decided a batch of stew was in order. I’m glad she takes after me in her organization skills, as telling the difference between venison and placenta can be tricky if not labeled. I would never take that chance of my oldest daughter’s (she takes after her dad).

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  13. WOW what interesting comments today! I was going to confess that eating hot dogs is my secret vice but with the hysterical discussion of their quality-turd-creation abilities, I’m a bit hesitant to do so. Oops, I just did. I haven’t closely studied that characteristic on the rare times I have treated myself.
    People have also stolen my thunder on the deceased pets in the freezer front. We had mouse-reproduction gone crazy years ago and it got a bit cannibalistic because of overcrowding in the cage. So we had naked, partially chewed babies in our freezer, waiting for a proper burial in spring. Also, my son came home from college once and went to the freezer for ice only to be surprised by the staring eye of a departed cockatiel from a plastic bag.

    My freezer has recently been replenished from the 3rd annual Soup Swap I hosted on Sunday. Make and freeze 6 quarts of soup, go to a party (or host, in my case), pick a lottery number and select 6 quarts of other people’s soups to take home. A lot of work up front (caramelizing 15 HUGE onions for 40 minutes each batch for French Onion soup) but a nice haul when it’s over.

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      1. I made Vegeterian Macaroni and Cheese Soup for Ash Wednesday at church. There are a lot of unique soups shared most of which are off-putting to kids, so I invented this recipe to fill a gap. Don’t yet know if it will appeal or not.

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      1. At my swap, you just show up with your soup and the hostess writes it down on a big piece of paper and you draw a number.. For the actual swap, everybody goes around and “sells” their soup – tells stories, reads poems, whatever. Then the person w/ the number 1 chooses a soup. Then #2. When we’ve all gone around once, then we go backward the next round. As a soup is all taken, it gets crossed off the list. I’ve been to many of these and have never encountered two of the same soup on the same night.

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      2. We take our chances. We had a couple of African peanut soups last year but they were quite different. We had a couple of chilis this year (one veggie, one meatie)
        The first couple of years we had 16-18 soups and swappers, this year we were down to 10 1/2 (one person wasn’t up to making 6 quarts so she brought 3 and took 3). I was worried that the smaller selection would be negative but the selection process went faster and people actually seemed happy with fewer choices.
        It’s fun for me because the attendees are from different social circles of mine and I enjoy seeing them together. During the pre-swap socializing part, they tend to clump by circle but there are also a few onesies who manage to be part of one conversation or another. I killed myself making appetizers, sweets, etc, the first couple of years because I thought it necessry to make it appealing. Now that it’s established, I just provided carrots, apples and brownies, coffee and pop.

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        1. I was thinking the same thing. If nothing gels by next January (when National Soup Swap day will happen next), I can add you all to my invite list.

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        1. Tim, here’s the one I made. http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/french_onion_soup/
          I made my own stock, too (from the same site) but I don’t know if it was worth it.
          I also skip the bother of sliding sloppy bowls of soup under the broiler to melt/brown the cheese. I put all the slices of bread on a cookie sheet, top with cheese and broil. Then I put the cheesy breads into the bowls and pour soup on top. It’s going to get soggy anyway.
          Caramelizing the onions really did take about 40 minutes. They get translucent and stay that way for a long time and finally start browning in the last 5-10 minutes (of course, I may not be doing it right)

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  14. Up until last summer I only had a small compartment above my refrigerator. I really needed a place to store food for Rock Bend. I knew I could make several batches of Vegetarian Chili and a dozen loaves of Amish Friendship Bread, as well as oatmeal raisin bars in advance and freeze them but I didn’t have the necessary freezer. I bought an inexpensive one last August and it helped me a lot with food preparation for Rock Bend. I’m really hoping I won’t have to prepare so much food this coming year. I really prepared an amazing amount of food last year.

    Sorry, but I don’t have any weird dead stuff in my freezer. (I guess it depends on what you think is weird.) I have some freezer baggies containing a variety of whole grains: flax seeds, quinoa, barley, and wheat. I have a container full of homemade frozen basil pesto; two loaves of Friendship Bread and one starter; five boxes of spicy black bean burgers; a package of salmon fillets; coffee and more coffee; three or four kinds of nuts; and vegetable soup stock. There might be some pie crust dough in there too. I’m not sure. Oh, and bird suet.

    I’m working on that jalapeno oatmeal recipe, tim. I think I might combine some other grains with it, like quinoa. I’m imagining some fruit that lends itself well to spicy heat too – mangoes? Still thinking on it. Linda, I really like Anna’s Banana Nirvana. No fair. You have a rhyming dictionary. πŸ˜‰

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    1. Rock Bend is not in the Glossary. I’m guessing it might be a music festival, family reunion, cult gathering or conference for REALLY strong people.
      Please ‘splain to this newbie.

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      1. A major music festival in St. Peter in which Krista is deeply involved and to which many babooners have gone. Weekend after Labor Day.

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      2. Rock Bend is all of the things you mentioned, Lisa! It’s a FREE music festival in St. Peter the weekend after Labor Day. It’s in its 22nd year and it is still (this is for you, tim) FREE, FREE, FREE!

        I should clarify that the food I prepare is for backstage musicians and volunteers. The Festival is non-profit and entirely run by volunteers. I’m the stage manager and emcee of Joyce’s North Grove Stage, where Jim’s s-i-l played with his band, Orange Mighty Trio, last year. Our website is not too great but you could check it out: rockbend.org. There are lots of photos as well as links to some of the musicians we had last year. We have a facebook page as well. Go to your facebook account and search for Rock Bend Folk Festival.

        In other Rock Bend news, we got our grant from the State Arts Board this year: $20,000! The show must go on!

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      3. Oh, and one more thing. I’m working on the mailing list database for Rock Bend. We send out one newsletter annually, the second week of August. If anyone would like to be included in our mailing list please send your contact info to: willi6931 at hotmail.com. Thanks!

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      4. Sorry for all of these clarifications, but if you want to be included in the mailing list you’ll have to send me, by e-mail, your physical mailing address. We mail the newsletters out in August – snail mail. Thanks.

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      5. Ah,; we do have to put Rock Bend in the glossary.
        One of the highlights the year I went (2010) was Mike Pengra’s drumming in the band called __________________.

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  15. I probably have some really old, freezer-burned food in there – the other day I found some frozen grated beets that I thought would be a couple years old, and lo and behold they were dated 2008! I am not very good at making sure the stuff in there gets used before the “use by” date, even if you’re generous with the date of home-frozen items.

    And I haven’t defrosted for ages, so there’s a lot of ice buildup in the chest freezer. (That job needs to be done by a taller person than I – therefore, it doesn’t get done.) Other than that – nothing of interest unless you count the leftover birthday cake.

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      1. No – no dead animals. Both the cat and dog are very much alive. I am surprised that tim hasn’t accused me of having a dead body in my freezer…

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    1. Edith, Chocolate beet cake sounds really really good! My mother could have used that ploy to get us to eat more veggies when we were kids.

      Our freezer is a disaster zone — lots of pesto and raspberry jam from our Dowling Garden plot. Then there’s the nitrocellulose film that dates back to 1904 that Husband has squirreled away since he found it at an estate sale in 1993 — frozen because it’s highly flammable. That’s another story. ” Disaster” because we live in a little S Mpls bungalow with the refrigerator in the back stairwell so when we open fridge or freezer, something usually tumbles downstairs to the basement. Really annoying and it freaks the cat out every time. Dog would probably chase the food downstairs and swallow it whole if she weren’t so old and chubby.

      Slightly OT, we once had a memorable meal at a friend’s place outside Ely when they were clearing out their freezer before hunting season — Smoked beaver tail (the best!), barbequed muskrat (without a doubt, even three decades later, the oiliest most disgusting creature we’ve ever eaten), bear stew, grilled venison steaks and moose heart, smoked lake trout, roasted duck. All animal protein and delicious, but we were “stopped up” for days πŸ™‚ Kinda like too many hot dogs, tim.

      All of your soups sound SO good! We cook from scratch, too, and never the same way twice. Everything kinda morphs from one thing to another. Husband and his college roommate (who owns Al’s in Dinkytown) used to cook every day — soup, bread, and the whatever-you-find-in-the-fridge served over brown rice. The Slum Goo school of cooking. What with the food always falling out of the freezer and the “use whatever you see in the fridge” approach to cooking, you might think our freezer contents would rotate in a timely way. Sadly, not.

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        1. Yeah, muskrat is most foul. Beaver tail on the other hand is incredibly tender, like sirloin tip. SO good! It was my favorite of all. But I’m not sure I could make a habit of eating little animals with buck teeth. They’re too cute and clever by far. OT — You can see beaver houses in the river flats off of Cedar Ave as you head south out of town.

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        1. In inventory management, Last In First Out. As opposed to FIFO (guess what that means). For Robin’s freezer contents to turn in a timely manner, she’d have to use FIFO. From experience, I can tell you that that ain’t happening easily.

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  16. OT-I no longer live in the 6th District. After redistricting I live in the 4th. Unfoortunately MB lives in the 4th now tooas does Betty McCollum. I think Marcus must be washing the windows and fluffing the pillows to get ready to move to the real 6th . ALLELUIA!

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    1. Just read about that! Welcome to the 4th district Beth-Ann. Sounds like MB is not going to try and take on Betty. I doubt she would stand a chance.

      Joanne, here is a link to the new map-http://www.mncourts.gov/Documents/0/Public/Court_Information_Office/Redistricting2011Final/Minnesota_Congressional_Districts_Statewide.pdf

      looks like you are out of luck 😦

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  17. After reading the entries today I was tempted to say you people are all crazy! But I won’t. I’ll just think it. πŸ™‚

    Our deep freezer at home isn’t too bad. Only a couple random bags of veggies or rolls and maybe some freeze pops that are ‘out dated’. Lots of meat, bread, bags of sweet corn from last fall, butter, suet for the birds fill up the rest of the space and it’s still edible.

    Now, my MIL’s freezer when we cleaned out their house. Eww. I mean really EWWWWW! There was stuff in there 10 – 15 years old and the bottom foot was a solid block of ice with bags of cranberries and whole chickens mixed in. As it thawed, you just closed your eyes and plucked stuff out.

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    1. Oh-oh. I think my freezer might be on its way to the state of your MIL (I do have a few years left before it gets to that state, but time goes by fast). I better schedule a day of defrosting…I usually do it in the dead of winter when I can just set the food outside but this winter is too un-winterlike to count on it being cold enough to keep stuff frozen.

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  18. Our big upright freezer in the basement is just full of all the things you’d expect from a big garden and the “orchard”… large jars of tomatoe sauces and chunky pear sauce, small jars of pesto, bags of raspberries and cherry tomatoes. And then the bottom two shelves shoudering 20-odd gallons of our apple cider. It comes with us to pretty much every potluck if we remember to thaw it in time. πŸ™‚

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  19. OT – it’s a popular day on the blog, so I want to get the word out. On Sat., March 17 at noon in the Minneapolis Convention Center, two of my boys, Ben (17) and Lucas (14 – w/autism) are getting Black Belts in karate. Actually, Ben will be getting his 2nd degree black belt, and Lucas will be getting his 1st degree black belt. It’s free and open to anybody, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. Please come and watch if you’re able — goes about 2-3 hours, but you’ll see lots of karate, weapons, forms and sparring! Hopefully, my time for black belt will be the next graduation in September. FYI …

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      1. Good idea. No one will be wearing green that day.
        JniM, I have a son on the spectrum, too. You and he must be very proud that he has accomplished this (and during the tricky adolescence years, too. Congratulations to all!

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    1. Today’s special: placenta gopher feet slum goo snowball hamster tofurkey brat moose heart battery stew. Simmer 17 hours, serve warm.

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