The Art of Cooking by Accident


Anyone who knows me understands that Martha Stewart and I were separated at birth—otherwise she would have killed me.

For instance, I cook by accident. Oh, I’ve put together plenty of grocery lists in my time. In fact, I even have one ready to print—it is cleverly organized by the shelves in the store I shop. Of course, it’s labeled Murrishes 1995.

I basically quit using elaborate lists when I realized that somewhere about my body (I suspect my thighs—those lumps couldn’t possibly all belong to me) I harbor a small demon that lives off scraps of paper. I’ve never once made it to the check out counter still clutching a list.

So I buy mostly by feel.

I feel like ice cream. I feel like doughnuts

Of course, I also feel like eating healthy—


I’m a big believer in produce. 9 servings a day. I buy broccoli by the pickup load. But then, it sits—growing more despairing week by week. Oh, it primps up its head and tries to look perky when I open the frig but somehow the sour cream for chips ends up in my hand instead. Eventually, though, even the freshest vegetable starts looking a little tired.

If only it had started like that! Immediately, I have to cook it. Letting food go to waste is a sin only slightly less unforgivable than genocide.

So, as I said before, I cook by accident. . Potatoes with eyes long enough to peer into my bedroom—vegetable soup tonight (and let that be a lesson to you, you dastardly pale perverts). Broccoli getting limp—chopped vegi pie for dinner. Stale bread—French toast for breakfast (those aren’t moldy spots kids—that’s just penicillin in its youthful phase.)

This morning the carrots were convening a tribunal concerning the total disregard I had for their existence, the potatoes were up to their peeping tom tricks, and the onions were developing a skin disease–so I added a little meat (thank the great god of electricity for freezers) and I threw them together to let them stew in their own juices for awhile.

Really, Martha and I have a lot in common, we’re both female..uh…er…

Uh, I’ll leave it at that.



  • im hungry now…😀

  • Well, I hope what you eat is a little fresher.

  • It must run in the family…LOL! I have to clean the fridge out tomorrow so I won’t come back from Florida to sloppy green stuff in the vegetable drawer.

  • Eat them, don’t throw them out. Wasting food is beyond bad. Just ask Mom and my husband.

  • When I used to do appliance repair, I would frequently be in the homes of elderly people. It always amazed me at the food that they would eat. They had old carefully cared for produce that they bought on-sale some time ago, and they would eat the badly aged almost rotten food first, and buy more food when it was on sale. Then they would carefully put the fresh stuff away and eat it when it was spoiled. I was very distressing to me to see them do that. It would make more sense to eat it while it was fresh rather than hoarding it because they bought it on-sale. They could have eaten fresh food all they time, but for some reason they just couldn’t foresee that something was going to be on sale ALL the time.

    I often though that there should be a food cop that you could turn them into.

  • Anon=Ernie

    Sometimes the blog sites just screw up!!!

  • I Knew it was you 8)

    Your site just ate my comment and as soon as I get over kicking myself for not writing it first in word then copying it to your post, then I’ll try and recreate it.

    I know, I know. You told me to write off line all the time. But I started getting lazy recently.

  • Kym, I’m trying to eat it but there is just waaaay too much. And I’m not elderly enough to keep it in the fridge and eat it all shriveled and wrinkled and sloppy when we get back. And I’m referring to the veggies and fruit in that description, not myself!

  • According to Kevin, somewhere there is a devil rubbing his hands and cackling maniacally over the state of your soul !

  • I prefer to think of it as “spontaneous” rather than accidental. I seldom plan ahead — I mostly keep an enormous list of staples on hand then “create” from what I got ….yep…very spontaneous.

  • Ahh, I do the same. I buy whatever looks good or is on sale then drag it off to my lair where I throw it into the refrigerator until I’m guilt stricken enough to create. Living out where I do, I have a pantry full of staples that I can add stuff to.

    I think I’ll change my word choice though. . . spontaneous cook sounds exciting and energetic whereas accidental cook sounds tentative and trouble prone!

  • Carrot Salad: Grate about six carrots. Chop some candied ginger and toast some walnuts (not the shells) Two tbsp olive oil, The juice of a lemon or two and some dill weed. (not the other kind) Watch those carrots disappear!

  • Mmmmm! Candied ginger and dill weed aren’t something I keep as a staple but I’ll buy some tomorrow and try this out.

  • I do this, too. Of course, I also am single and live alone, so it adds another level to it. I always think, “wow, look at that eggplant.” I buy it, and four days later, I’ve either had eggplant for four days straight, or there’s a very said looking eggplant in the fridge. Trader Joe’s only sells eggplants in two packs. Yet another element. The first one gets eaten right away, while I try to decide what to do with the second, and then try to have enough time and energy to cook it as well. Oh bother.

  • Shoot, I forgot the ginger and dill! Maybe I do need a list 8)

    Peggylu, What is it about food and guilt? Too much, too little, wrong type, wasting it. . . I have endless guilt.

  • I don’t know what’s up with the guilt, but I do know one thing. Lists are for amateurs.

  • Actually, I lean towards –lists are for people who can actually keep them long enough to use them. 🙂

  • I love having chickens! Any produce that begins to look sad can be given to the chickens, who love it all. This gives me peace of mind. And I have planted sprouting potatoes, which they say not to do because they could have “disease” but they’ve worked for us.

    And lists– I always have a number of lists going and generally have one with me when I enter the grocery store. I started using them thinking it would help me to budget better. I never do stick to the list tho, and often the list has meandered off somewhere by the time I get to the checkout. Do you think lists disappear to the same magical place as single socks in the dryer?

  • Chickens are a great idea for us guilty food wasters. I know my dog cleaning up scraps of meat, cleans up my guilty feelings, too. Besides, I love fresh eggs!

    Actually lists and single socks are both lurking on my thighs that is why my pants are tight.

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