Saturday, November 1, 2008

33 cans of tomato paste in the cupboard...

Okay, so I know, it’s been forever since I have posted, and I do apologize! I have begun many a posts, but somehow I never seem to finish them, and they become doomed to sit in Microsoft Word files until one day I meander through my hard drive and delete them.

But, I am sitting here at my kitchen table, about to use two more cans of tomato paste in a very large pot of chili, and since I have been meaning to write to you about my cans of tomato paste since I first opened my kitchen cupboards in August, I figured this was about as good a time as any!

When I first arrived in Norway I was so excited to finally have a kitchen once again. I love cooking and baking (often at midnight, as Kim, my roommate from my undergrad can attest to), but for the last three years I’ve been living in dorms or sharing a house, and I haven’t cooked nearly as much. One of the very first things I did when left alone in my new abode was to check out the kitchen! Large, spacious, lots of cupboard space, and cupboards already stocked with canned goods from both the previous intern and my new congregation.

And at the back of one of the cupboards stood, neatly stacked, two rows, double-high, of cans of tomato paste—33 in total.

Now, I don’t know how often you find yourself using cans of tomato paste, but I doubt I’ve ever eaten 33 cans of tomato paste in one year in my life and my jaw proceeded to drop at the seemingly endless supply of tomato paste spread out before me.

So, I decided to make utilizing all 33 cans of tomato paste one of my goals for my internship year. Now, this goal that I am about to share with you didn’t quite make it into my official ‘Learning Service Agreement’ which is sent to my seminary, but it did made it on my own ‘fun’ list of internship goals. And so, since my official Learning Service Agreement was due into my seminary this last week, and since it’s nearing time for my three-month evaluation, I put forth for you tonight this, my ‘fun’ Internship Goal, and an ongoing evaluation:

Goal: To utilize 33 cans of tomato paste in new and creative ways throughout the coming year, stretching and honing my cooking presence.

Resources & Strategies: 33 cans of tomato paste and some imagination.

End Date & Plan for Evaluation: August 2009. A cupboard empty of tomato paste cans.

2 and one-half month evaluation: After 1 tomato-based curry, 2 batches of homemade pizza sauce, and 1 very large pot of chili

…took 5 down, passed them around, 28 cans of tomato paste in the cupboard!

Not bad, I’m about on track, but I may need to kick it up a notch to meet my goal. If you have any creative ideas about cooking with tomato paste, I’d love your comments or emails!

All in all, doing very well!

Shoeless in the Kitchen