Guilty as charged and today was proof of it. Have you ever purchased multiple cans of something only to arrive home and realize that one of the cans is NOT what you planned to buy? I did that awhile back....it was a can of soup and I figure for $1 +/- I will find a use for it. eventually.
Mom was not one to be sidetracked, which I could prove with multiple stories....but that is for another day. If you're making a recipe, find something comparable to use and move on. There's only two times that has not worked out so well in the past 25ish years of marriage: banana pudding made with pineapple and beef broccoli stir-fry made with hamburger. Both were burried deep in the garbage and never resurrected to be cooked again.
Today I'm trying a new recipe. I flat refuse to cook recipes that require more than 10-15 minutes prep time and all recipes must have 6 or less ingredients. I cook to live, not to impress....like my mother. The new recipe met both of my two stringent and highly selective criteria. It called for cream of chicken and fiesta nacho cheese condensed soups. Upon scanning my pantry the chicken soup is non-existant so I substitute cream of onion; bear with me: it matches 2 out of 3 words on the label with "cream" and "soup". Next I dig around to find the cheese soup, the one that I mentioned above purchased not so recently. It's not fiesta nacho, but once again a 2/3 match: "soup" and "cheese" are direct matches on the label. It's close enough.
First can of soup (the cream of chicken which is now cream of onion) was emptied into the mixing mixing bowl. Second step, I open the cheese soup and think, "The color of this soup is odd. Reallllly odddddd." As I start to scoop it out of the can, caution lights start going off that the soup doesn't look right. It's kind of shrunken and dried looking. "Hmmmm, where is the expiration date? Canned stuff never goes..ba...." and before I can finish this sentence I spot the date. If it had been a month or two past, I would have gone ahead and used it. I hate to waste money or food but that little can went straight to the trash. Should I really admit the expiration date? April. 2009. Five years is too long, even for me.
Why does this make me think of my mom? She NEVER wasted food. We still talk about the day we went for a picnic at the lake nearly 20 years ago and she brought ketchup/mustard and mayo packets left-over from fast food places. They never used condiments but brought these extras for us to the picnic. When we attempted to use the mayo, it came out gloppy and beige. The mustard....it was pretty much dried up. At the time I was flabbergasted that my Mom was trying to "poison" her new son-in-law. Now we laugh about it.
How did the new recipe turn out? Only I knew that it was not the original recipe. But my family ate it and there were no complaints. That's about as close to success as I get. No one left the table hungry. Then again, it's not really so much about what we're eating as just being together. And remembering to make the best of every situation. I am my mother's daughter.