Caretaker Report – Week 14 "Presents & Produce"
March 3, 2011 | 1112 Views
Christmas arrived early. I was a bit apprehensive that Mike might get stuck in Masset but the weather has been surprisingly wonderful for this time of year.
I had no sooner gotten the breakfast dishes done and started on lunch that I heard the plane. Half a dozen boxes had to be unloaded than Mike appeared. Anxiously I waited to hear what the doctor had to say. It was a week ago now that Mike had taken that fall down some steps while we were going out to shut down the genny. We hadn’t noticed the frost, 1 step down and both his feet went out from under him. He fell pretty hard onto his back and actually bounced and hit again. Prognosis from the doctor, nothing broken or cracked but definitely take it easy for a couple of weeks and DO NOT lift anything heavy. That good news was my first Christmas present.
A large mound of boxes had materialized on the dock, “did I order all that?” Well I did plan for this food order to last us till at least mid March possibly till April. That’s 3 ½ months, 113 days or 339 breakfasts, lunches and dinners. The bulk of the canned goods and baking supplies had been shipped in during the summer and the freezers still had a good assortment of butts, rumps, ribs, shoulders, wings and thighs ( breasts were coming in on the plane) so this order was odds and ends, items that make planning numerous meals a little more exciting.
Some spices, nuts, different dry pastas, pickles and jams. Store bought bread which I consider a nice change plus Fat-Free puddings and low calorie yogurts for post holiday season desserts.
Treats such as ice cream, chocolate covered almonds, those delicious little mandarin oranges that seem to only appear during the holiday season, some whipping cream to make a mousse plus my eggnog will all be savoured.
This is my second Christmas present.
When I tell people that I am a caretaker living in the middle of nowhere more often than not the first question is what do I do about food and more specifically dairy and produce. Milk, fresh OJ, butter and cheese can all be frozen, although vacuum sealed cheese lasts for months just in the fridge. Eggs and yogurt last waaaaay longer than what the expiry date says. In fact last week I used the last doz eggs that were purchased in August and I’m still here!
As any cook knows we all adhere to the saying, “if in doubt, throw it out.”
Produce is a challenge. How much is too much? Don’t want to end up feeding the fishes but would be nice to still be eating something fresh and crisp 3 months down the road. In the first month we will munch our way through all the lettuce, spinach, broccoli,peppers, mushrooms,tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers and grapes. We get our fill of salads, relish a ridiculously overloaded bacon & tomato sandwich, barbequed steak smothered in fresh mushrooms, a lot of stir-fry’s. Than they are gone.
Squashes, cabbages, carrots and potatoes last forever, well 4 months anyways, this I know for sure so the quantities seem high, even to me.
100 lbs of potatoes! Mike and I like our spuds. Baked, twice baked, boiled, mashed, whipped,roasted and scalloped. Home fries, french fries, oven fries. Potato salad, potato cakes and potato chowder. Have I missed any?
I try to keep a running list of all I order and all we eat, gives me reference for future orders and also how close I was on the amounts that I guessed at.
A couple of last minute gifts ordered on line all made it to the airport in Masset in time to be put on the “Christmas” plane. Love the internet. That’s all my presents and now it’s time to start thinking about finding that perfect tree to put these gifts under.
Till next week,
Heather & Mike