Cleaning out the closet

There’s been some purging going on.

When you make a decision to move your life to the other side of the world for a while, you start looking around and counting stuff.

We have a normal, two bedroom apartment. But after living here for five years, there’s a lot of stuff.

I swear it breeds during the night. So now it’s crammed in and it’s creeping out from under couches and cupboards. Things are starting to bulge. It’s the household equivalent of a muffin top.

One place that is slightly scary is my pantry. I’ve a dark habit of hoarding carbohydrates; just in case we get snowed in.

There’s also a pretty insane collection of condiments lurking in there.

So we now have a new project.

In the next six weeks we’re going to eat ourselves out of house and home.

It’s time to say goodbye. To the tapenades and the Taptatio. To the pomegranate molasses and the mulberry jam.

And I’m going to start kissing off all my kooky carbohydrates; all the way from the quinoa to the two kilos of chickpea flour.

Saying goodbye starts here.

Arriverderci to the chickpea flour.

There really are two kilos of chickpea flour in our cupboard. I love it for its duckling yellow hue and nutty taste. I love the talcum powder texture and the fact that it’s high in protein.

And I love it in these gooey, crispy, rosemary studded balls of fun. Particularly with a glass of red with some great friends, when the chill of winter is just starting to nudge its way up over the balcony.

First it gets made into a fawn roux with some melted butter.

Warm milk gets added and a gooey bechamel gets made. I punch it up with some salt and lemon rind, some parmesan, and then just because I’m in a cleaning out kind of mood, I add some hummous that’s been tinkering around the fridge. It’s like a chickpea family reunion.

The bechamel goo then gets cooled on some greaseproof paper in the fridge. When it’s the texture of playdough it gets rolled into balls the size of fat cherry tomatoes.

They then get rolled in a mixture of polenta and fresh rosemary, and chilled a little further.

Then we heat some olive oil until a piece of potato is hopping about like an energetic toddler.

Our gooey balls of fun get fried in batches of ten until they’re golden brown. Then to preserve our arteries slightly we drain them on some paper towel.

We eat them with a relish that’s been made with some sad looking cherry tomatoes that have been slow roasted with a shedload of garlic. We also crack open a jar of black olive tapenade and feel virtuous for getting rid of one more jar.

Chickpea flour reduced. Tapenade gone.

There’s also the added benefit of using up some of the polenta that’s been pottering around in the back of the cupboard too. Killing two birds with one stone.

I think I might get good at this. Using up some of our staples, that is.

Actually saying goodbye might be a little harder.

Next week; the soba noodles.

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