purging continues — or the mystery-ingredient game!

purging isn’t just for the paper mountains and outdated clothing purchases — i have finally come to realize that the freezer and cupboards must be freed of their contents, too.  well, at least the freezer. so, this weekend, with most of my immediate todos taken care of, i tackled the bag of frozen okra, petite peas, and package of puff pastry that has been taunting me for longer than i care to recall. i hemmed, and hawed, and fretted, and furrowed my brow, and just as i was ready to give up and make the walk to the corner bodega for some grub, inspiration struck (it also helped that my dinner companion was not having any bodega runs — there would be no food if not from the fruits of my mash-up labor!) — nothing new here. i often find that if i stare at isolated ingredients and food items long enough, something will come of it. (it’s the same approach i use in my very rudimentary brand of jewelry making — more appropriately called: stringing beads.)

the result was a crushed tomato-based, okra, mushroom and pea pot pie, complete with puff pastry crust. as a side, i had made a chopped salad that i continued to eat into the next day, made of: jicama, carrots, red bell peppper, and one black plum. flavoring came from the juice of one lime, salt pepper, a bunch of finely chopped cilantro, and a dash of white balsamic vinegar.

if this is what clean-your-refrigerator cooking tastes like, then sign me up! because i do declare: ours was a tasty meal, full of textures and alive with the taste of summer in every bite. and since no summer evening would be complete without watermelon, the super fruit (goji berries be damned), this ‘new addition’ was allowed in. even my beverage made good use of freezer finds: 1/4 bag of frozen strawberries, a few chunks of freshly cut watermelon, and 1/2 cup of the 2.99 chardonnay im still working my way through. put everything in a blender with a bit of sweetener of choice (splenda for me that evening) and voila! frozen berry sangria the color of nailpolish that my cousin would use to paint my toenails when we were kids.

still left: more frozen berries (no problem there!), frozen winter squash, frozen green beans. any and all ideas welcome!

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