I mentioned once, when I got so much free milk, that I love getting free food, but too much of it can stress me out, and this was no exception...
The other day they were giving out free past prime produce and nearly expiring rice milk, and because the weather was bad, nearly no one came, so there were huge amounts of food just sitting there, that would get thrown out, so despite having food in my house already (not a very full fridge, but full enough) I took home a cart full of groceries. After clearing off my counter, I unloaded all the groceries, and took this pic.
It was an insane amount of food.
A ton of radishes, a ton of carrots, a ton of clementines, a relatively large amount of red onions, 15 bottles of rice milk, a medium amount of beets, and a bag of sweet potatoes.
Which is awesome. But I didn't have room in my fridge for that.
I decided to put as much rice milk as I could in the freezer, leaving out 5 cartons of it that didn't fit. But that meant that I had no room left in the freezer for anything else.
I tried to come up with as many ideas as possible for so many carrots and oranges and radishes as I could that wouldn't be boring, and that, ideally would be either shelf stable or last a while in the fridge, and then had an insane cooking marathon to get it all done.
I still have a bit more to do, but here's what I made with all that (plus some stuff in my fridge that needed to be used up to make room for what I needed to put in):
5 jars of tomato salsa. Recipe for that coming very soon.
3 jars of sweet and sour pickled carrots, Asian style, with fennel seeds and ginger and hot pepper.
4 jars of sweet and sour spiced pickled beets, with cinnamon, allspice, ginger, and cloves.
1 jar of sweet and sour pickled radishes.
And 6 jars of clementine marmalade.
That is a lot of jars to can, especially since bringing all the water in my water bath canner to a rolling boil takes a while. I used to only be able to can 5 jars at a time in my water bath, but thanks to a relatively new to me second hand canning pot, I was able to water bath all of that in just two batches.
I also made another jar of pickled carrots and pickled radishes for now, that isn't water bathed.
I made picado de rabano, a delicious Guatemalan radish salad, with the radishes and clementines.
I made a huge batch of Vietnamese style carrot and radish pickles with purple onions as well (recipe coming soon).
Beet salad with zaatar spice mix.
Roasted carrots with Cajun spice mix.
Sweet potato fries with sumac pepper spice mix.
Sumac and onion salad (recipe coming soon).
Purple cabbage coleslaw (usually I'd do it sweet and sour, but since I have a guest who isn't a fan of that, I'm making it the way she prefers, just with mayo and lemon and salt).
Morrocan carrot salad (like this one, but with lemon juice instead of lacto-fermented).
I tried this recipe for a carrot based dip which reminds me of Moroccan carrot salad as well, will share the recipe soon.
And I'm not even done yet... I still need to make a greens curry with some of that rice milk and garam masala and some nettles and dock leaves.
I was thinking of doing an orange creamsicle type sorbet, but without any room in the freezer, that's not an option, so I'm probably going to make an orange creamsicle type pudding.
This was insane, a ton of work- I spent more hours in the kitchen than I can count, but I didn't want to let that food go to waste, and nearly everything I made is either shelf stable or will last a while in the fridge, other than what we'll be eating over the next couple of days.
I still have a lot of carrots and radishes and clementines left, so I'm happy to hear of any more suggestions of what you'd do with all that. Ideas?
Done any crazy cooking marathons lately? What did you make?