The worst part about moving of course, is trying to find anything!
All the best and most organized packing in the world can still result in a lot of things being “misplaced”. That is what is so disruptive about moving and makes you feel so unsafe.
I’ve probably mentioned this before, but they say moving is up there with the top 10 most stressful happenings in life……up there with divorce or deaths!!
And when you are packing, you tend to do crazy things that must seem a good idea at the time and perhaps even logical. But on the unpacking end you often find your self asking “WHAT was I thinking there??”
So this past weekend was the first time the Chef and I have both had the whole weekend off together and been able really get a handle on the new place. Most of the stuff has been unpacked for a bit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is in the right place.
I kid you not, we spent almost four hours arranging and rearranging the living room. We purchased some new furniture that will be arriving in “two to four weeks” so it is even harder when you don’t even really know what things will look like.
We had already had a number of configurations that we had tried for a week or a few days at a time, but nothing felt right. But I think we finally found one we can work with……until the furniture comes and then we have to start all over of course!
But we did manage to finally arrange the pantry.
It’s been hard to cook or eat because we didn’t know where anything was….or if you thought of a dish you might only have half the ingredients, but then only to discover in a different cupboard the other stuff you would need. It’s been chaos!
So after a long day of “arranging” neither of us felt like going out to a store, nor did we really feel like cooking but…….you gotta eat right?
So this is what I came up with.
I present this as only a guideline of what you can do with a bunch of random stuff. Please feel free to substitute or omit as needed.
First I cooked up a pot of green lentils. At first I thought I would make some sort of lentil dish fried up with onions and veg on rice etc.
But then I found a cabbage in the fridge. When I say “found” you know what I mean, a recently purchased one, not one that came with the fridge!
And so I thought I’d really like to use that too.
There were also some nice Portobello mushrooms and some red peppers.
So in a large skillet with a little oil add:
- 1 -2 chopped onion
- 1-2 cups sliced mushroom
- 1 red, green, yellow or combo sliced pepper
Cook those down until nice and soft, feel free to add any herb or spice flavours that inspire you.
When these are cooked, toss them into a flat baking or lasagna style dish and spread them around.
Then add in the cooked lentils and mix them in well.
Meanwhile, in the same skillet, add a little more oil then add finely sliced cabbage. Sliced very thin like you are making coleslaw but don’t stuff the pan too much.
I used a whole small cabbage. But cook it in batches so that it cooks down nicely and it is okay if it gets brown bits on it. Adds flavour!!
As you finish each batch of cabbage, add it to the baking dish and continue to mix it in with the other vegetables.
Once you have done about half the cabbage, sprinkle with a layer of good melting cheese like mozzarella or other cheese you might use in a lasagna or pizza.
Once all the cabbage is added then add a tin of tomato or prepared spaghetti sauce and thoroughly mix through everything. I only had half of a tin on hand, but it really needed a whole one!
Once it is well mixed, layer with another layer of the melting cheese and then a bit of what ever other cheese you might have just as an accent. I used some orange cheddar and some blue cheese.
Then bung it in the oven at 350 for about half hour ( it’s mostly all cooked just need to heat and melt cheese) and then pop it under the broiler for a few minutes till the cheese on top starts to brown a little.
There you have it!
Now I will admit, if I had to do it again, there would be a few things I would do differently. Like make sure I had enough sauce. And I would probably put some extra fried onions on top. Or even better, those old school crispy onions that Grandmothers seem to like to put on green bean casseroles at the holidays!!
It would make a fine Vegetarian supper with a salad and some nice bread. Or actually it would do fine as a side dish.
The point is, you can usually make something out of nothing when you have to! Be creative!
We did end up getting to have some Thanksgiving Turkey dinner after all and it went very well, just missing a couple things…..like the gravy ladle.
It will show up….with the damn blue lampshade I can’t seem to find.