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Five Bucks to Anyone Who Can Identify This

November 22, 2016

It’s the week before Thanksgiving and two days ago I was doing what I do every week before Thanksgiving — cleaning out all the forgotten crap in my fridge, so I can fill it with new crap that I’ll forget about in another 1.5 weeks.


I put it on the nice table runner to dress it up a little.

I came across this beauty of a…well, I’m not sure exactly what it is.  I’m thinking maybe a desiccated apricot…but I’m not sure. So, if you have any ideas, please respond. I think I will soak it, so I can get a better idea of what it was. I tried biting off a tiny piece so I could figure it out, but it’s hard as rock. I got a little tang, so it could be fruit, but I’m not sure. I will pay five bucks to whoever can correctly identify it and save me from possible food poisoning.

Clearly, we are a nation of people who have too much, that we can forget about food. I do my best to eat all the leftovers that my daughter, her highness,  will not touch. With the exception of steak and pulled pork, she usually turns up her nose at leftovers. I understand. It takes a mindset of tenacity and discipline to eat food that’s been in the fridge for a week, (and yes, sometimes longer) but I do it because I was raised by parents who didn’t waste food – ever.

My dad grew up in Italy. He was born in 1915 and was very poor. Dad said when he was about 9 years old, his parents made him take the sheep to graze in the morning, then he had to herd them back in the afternoon. They sent him with a piece of bread and a piece of cheese. That was it, all day.

I think I already told you the story about the time he bludgeoned a chicken to death so they could eat some sort of meat. He feigned ignorance when his mom asked him what happened to the bird, but I think she probably knew. She was probably secretly happy he did it.

Tonight I honored my father’s impoverished past by making bread pudding from the leftover hamburger buns I found in the freezer and made chicken soup from a leftover chicken carcass. I also cooked a hamburger that had been in the freezer for three months – it wasn’t bad. And I may make glazed carrots to take to lunch this week made from the carrots that are starting to root in the fridge. (Don’t worry, I only feed my guests fresh food. I save the life threatening stuff for myself.)

I do it because my parents would haunt me if I didn’t. I still remember my dad opening up a container of something that had gone bad in the refrigerator and saying, “Oh just scrape off the mold, it’s still good. You don’t waste good food.” It’s a miracle he lived to 97.

So, this week, when you’re out shopping, cooking, cleaning and sitting down with your family to a wonderful dinner, take a moment to be thankful for the abundance we enjoy. Let’s hope it stays this way for a long, long time. Happy Thanksgiving!

I will give a complete report on the winner of the AnnualCutthroat Tunno Pumpkin Pie Competition in my next blog. May the best baker win!

  • Reply
    Joni R.
    November 24, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    You always bring so many of my memories to mind. My dad did the same with old food, cutting the mold from cheese and throwing away only the darkest lettuce leaves, because “there is nothing wrong with this, it is just as good”. Depression-era. I recall his stories of his family (4 sons, 1 daughter, and parents) sharing one can of canned peaches for dinner. And being thankful they had that. Or, on a special Sunday, enjoying a roast chicken, with his dad and Uncle James each getting a breast, Uncle Edward and Uncle George each a leg, Aunt Dorothy and my dad each a thigh, and his mom, the back. We often take our excesses for granted. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Reply
    Chas Madonio
    November 23, 2016 at 6:48 am

    It’s a freeze dried pancreas.

  • Reply
    Matilda Novak
    November 22, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    Fran, i love you. i love your words….and the stories you tell so well that i See them as i read. Based on your description (and photo) i thought Apricot. Whatever. Glad it didn’t kill you. You must continue to blog — always. Happy Thanksgiving to you, beloved friend.

  • Reply
    Mary J Tunno
    November 22, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    Everyone guessed what I was thinking. And believe it or not, I baked a pie tonight and I may be entering it into the Tunno “Pie off,” LOL! I’ve never been Better Crocker but hey, it may be good for a laugh. We shall see!

  • Reply
    olga Roach
    November 22, 2016 at 7:06 pm

    It’s a dried peach! May I suggest that you slice it thinly with a pair of scissors and use it as you would sun dried tomatoes. Kidding! Do not eat…but hey! Now that I think about it – thinly sliced dried peaches might be a good alternative … Thank you for sharing a little of your father’s past.

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    It’s a dried up peach!

    From: At Fran’s Table To: Sent: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 3:31 PM Subject: [New post] Five Bucks to Anyone Who Can Identify This #yiv3423649972 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv3423649972 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv3423649972 a.yiv3423649972primaryactionlink:link, #yiv3423649972 a.yiv3423649972primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv3423649972 a.yiv3423649972primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv3423649972 a.yiv3423649972primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv3423649972 | Fran Tunno posted: “It’s the week before Thanksgiving and two days ago I was doing what I do every week before Thanksgiving — cleaning out all the forgotten crap in my fridge, so I can fill it with new crap that I’ll forget about in another 1.5 weeks.I came across this be” | |

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 22, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Oooh, you could be right. The soak off will be tonight. I’ll get back to you!

  • Reply
    Debby Libengood
    November 22, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    Looks like a rusty SOS pad!! I can’t believe you tried to taste it!! I hope you have excellent health insurance!

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 22, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      It was harder on my teeth than my stomach. I only got a tiny little piece. And yes, I do have pretty good health insurance, thank God! And you’re right, it does look like a rusty SOS pad! But I don’t usually eat those, so we can rule that one out. (My dad might have though!)

  • Reply
    Suzette Calleja
    November 22, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Your dad sounds like my mom. She was a little girl growing up on the island of Malta when war broke out. I can still hear her saying oh its just a little bit of mold sometimes on the bread other times on cheese. It won’t kill you just pick it off or just scrape off. This kind of upbringing came in handy when I traveled overseas. I wasn’t so scared of what food looked like.Makes you appreciate things more and makes you tough, also not so picky.

  • Reply
    Suzette CallejaI
    November 22, 2016 at 12:59 pm

    I think it started out as a dried apricot, but now its a shriveled apricot. That’s my best guess.

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 22, 2016 at 5:11 pm

      I agree Suzette, we will do the soak test tonight to see. I’ll let you know! And our parent’s did raise us right, didn’t they??? I know…picky is not even in my vocabulary!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    *Brave* as your dad!
    autocorrect snuck that one in on me!

  • Reply
    November 22, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    Ha, Fran!! You are wonderful! My first guess would have been apricot too. I love leftovers and keep my fridge nice and cold, but I am not sure I could be as brace as your dad 🙂

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      November 22, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Yeah, could be a peach too…I don’t remember what I bought, but clearly it’s been in there a while because it’s mummified. I will soak it tonight so I can figure out what the heck it is and dole out the huge five buck prize to the lucky guesser. If there’s more than one lucky guess, the 5 will go to the first person to respond. xoxoxo Coffee with me soon my dear!

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