Do you know how Rachael Ray is always telling that stupid story about how she has all of these jars of poultry seasoning (or grill seasoning depending on what she's cooking that day) because she always forgets that she already has a jar so she goes out buys another? (If you don't, you have my unmitigated envy, even if the utterance of that story is a key element of the Rachael Ray Drinking Game).
Well, I suddenly find myself relating to it. I don't buy the same spice over and over again (except for my three jars of cumin), but it seems I do buy quite a few things without looking in the cabinet to see what I already have and end up with duplicates and triplicates.
Look what I found while trying to reorganize last night.
What is all of this stuff? Let's see: (Most measurements are approximate)
1 cup couscous
3/4 pound semolina
1 pound bulk polenta (in two separate bags due to buying twice)
1 pound medium grain white rice
1 pound brown basmati rice
1 cup regular long-grain brown rice (is it bad that I decided to just combine them in one jar?)
Scant cup of bulk barley
Scant cup of bulk orzo
1 pound cornmeal (in two bags, purchased twice)
8/10 pound almond meal
3/4 pound matzoh meal
1 cup arborio rice
1 lb carnaroli rice (I didn't combine these)
1/2 bag coconut (not pictured)
I need better cupboard organziation so I can more easily see what I have before I shop! At the very least, I need to make some checks before I shop.
But for the time being, I won't shop. I have a cabinet full of grains. It's time I put them to use. I intend to use up every last bit of this stuff by the end of the year.
I'm coming up with ideas for how to use all of this stuff. The rice and barley will be perfectly good side dishes for weeknight meals. The polenta will be too. The orzo can go into a soup. I can make semolina cakes, and even make some pasta if I have the time. Coconut will be handy for desserts (I have one in mind for next week). Risotto is a great weeknight meal or for a first course in a diner party. I can make lots of cornbread. I have no excuses for not making my own for the cornbread stuffing at Thanksgiving. Not to mention I just saw a great cornbread variation on the blogs. Cornmeal and almond meal make great breading for chicken and fish. The almond meal can also be used in desserts. The Matzoh meal means latkes for the hubby.
This is going to be interesting. You will be seeing a lot of similar ingredients happening in this blog for a while