The Pantry Project — Jan 27th

Hershey's Syrup, circa 1950s

As Glinda quite rightly pointed out to me last night while we were waiting for the bread to bake (Fair loaf, can’t say I’d do it again.) the month is nearly over.  That means that unless I want to continue on with this project, I don’t have to after next Monday.  The thing is, I’d like to.  It’d have to be a modified project; I really will have to buy some new stuff to replace what I’ve used or tossed (about which, more later) but I’m willing to give it my best shot.  I think what I’ll do is limit my grocery spending; I’ll need to check my expenses for this month to see what I’d need to limit it to.  Anything would be better than my normal spending.

I’m working on getting dishes and food swapped.  There’s a load of dishes in the washer right now, and the counters are covered with packaged food.  In one case I mean covered covered.  The black rice bag was open.  I didn’t realize it.  Yeah.  I’m also tossing out a prodigious amount of food, which chaps my hide.  But I had stuff that had “Use by” dates of 2006!  That’s before I moved here!!  I’m so embarrassed.  I was going to make bread today but I’m thinking it’s not going to happen, which is fine.  I do still have part of that so-so loaf I made yesterday which is a bit of a reminder that I need not to muddle up my work space, and my brain, when I’m trying to bake.

However, before I went to bed last night I made homemade chocolate syrup.  Why? you ask, when there are perfectly good syrups on the market.  Well… thing is, most of them use HFCS, which I try to avoid for a lot of reasons.  (I’m not really up for a debate on this subject either.  Let’s just assume that everyone has the right to use or not use as they choose.)  So I googled on “homemade Hershey’s syrup” and found a recipe that seemed cheap, easy and fast.  It took me a couple minutes prep time, and five minutes to cook.  Then I left it to cool, bottled it and put it in the fridge.  I have to tell you that this is the best damn chocolate syrup I have ever tasted.  The cocoa I used was a raw cacao powder from Navitas, and the flavor is just superb.  Yes, it’s expensive but the two pounds I bought in July of 2008 have lasted me quite a long while.  I still have a cup or two left before I have to buy more, but I won’t hesitate to purchase Navitas products again.  It made a glass of chocolate milk that was heavenly.  I’m going to guesstimate that even with the very pricey cacao powder, my 16 oz (approx.) bottle of syrup cost me less than a dollar.  Caveat: It cooks up thin.  Really thin.  Trust me, if you follow the instructions, you’ll have a nice, thick syrup when it cools.

Tomorrow I’m buying really good vanilla ice cream.  The experience makes me think that giving a shot to homemade Nutella (which can contain palm oil, the thing that makes me not want to buy Girl Scout cookies in spite of wanting to support them.) would be a good idea.  You can control what goes into the things that you snack on and snack more cheaply.  The only thing that could be better is to not snack at all.  And honestly? I’ll stop snacking when I’m dead.

Keep your fingers crossed that I can get my fridge cleaned out over the weekend.




2 thoughts on “The Pantry Project — Jan 27th

    1. Bill, go to and search the grocery department for “rice.” You’ll be there all day. Lundberg is a good resource for rice, and they sell a black Japonica which is very good.

      One thing to be aware of: black rice stains anything you cook with it, just the way black beans do. If you want a nice looking dish, you have to cook it separately.


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