Sunday, September 7, 2014

Mushroom Barley Freezer Soup

I hate to admit it (don't we all?) but sometimes, I'm wrong. Just sometimes.

That is, it wasn't so much that I was *wrong*, but that Pinterest was right. (Even a broken clock is right twice a day.)

I desperately needed to do a Pantry Clean. Just like Pinterest told me to do.

What's a pantry clean and how did this happen?

I blame my sister-in-law, who, a few days ago on Facebook, posted a link about the end of the world and the end of resources in the world (sorry, A.I., I didn't really read more than the title.) That led me to my old fascination with the whole Mormon 'stock for a year's worth of food after the Apocolypse' thing, which I find completely morbid, mind-blowing, and fascinating. And that, dear readers, led me to the Eat Out your Pantry thing on Pinterest.

I stitch all the pictures! I good Pinterest Lady!!
Just trying to explain what a Pantry Clean Challenge is makes my soul weary. Even actually writing Pantry Challenge makes me simultaneously want to puke, have 2.5 kids, and go trot out my red and white polka-dotted poodle skirt. So I'll copy paste, and that's ALL I'm going to do.
"A pantry challenge is a focused, but limited, time to “eat from the pantry.” Rather than buying groceries like I normally would, I focus on what we already have. I build my menus around the ingredients I’ve been avoiding using. Sometimes this is something that is cumbersome to prepare or something that I’ve been too lazy to be creative with.... I end up saving money because I’m not buying more; I’m using up what I’ve already purchased."
Cheap. I like that. Ok. Fine. I can use up what I've already purchased.

These are a few of the things I have in my pantry that desperately need using up (just to show you that I have not earned yet earned my polka dots, self-published book, or the 'Best Homeschooling DIYer Mom Trophy):

  • A jar of buckwheat that I'm pretty sure we got as a wedding present six years ago
  • An ever hopeful jar of brown rice
  • Mung beans. Don't even ask.
  • Millet (oh hey, I actually used that once. For a blog post, even.)
  •  Cashews. I don't even *like* cashews.
  • shiitake mushrooms that I sincerely hope aren't the same mushrooms that came back with us from our trip to China 3 years ago. 
...And even more in the freezer.

So I'm gonna do this thing. I'm going to cook through my pantry. (I'm still going to buy things from the store, like fresh fruit and veg and whatnot.) I'm NOT going to make this one of those 'Oh Look At Me While I Cook Through My Pantry Day 11 of 7632!' kind of things.

At least, that's the goal.

I'm also planning to cook consecutively through all of my cookbooks.

(Um, yeah. One day.)

Mushroom Barley Freezer Soup

  • all the barley in your pantry
  • pre-chopped onion that you wisely once chopped and stuck in your freezer 
  • a bunch of celery that has a truly unfortunate amount of freezer burn
  • shiitake mushrooms that may or may not be from China, soaked in warm water
  • all the garlic that got stuck at the bottom of the fancy-shmancy 'garlic-salt' 
  • water

Erstwhile Instructions: 
  1. Soak shiitake mushrooms in water.
  2. Chop all the things.
  3. Heat oil.
  4. Put all the things in a pot, throw a little bit of salt in, clamp lid on and let steam for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add water and cook.
  6.  Good luck.
  7. mushroom barley freezer soup
    How about 'dat. It actually looks edible.

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