Farm Friday: Mmmmm.... Expiration Casserole.

Anne Kimball

Bringing Borya Home

One good thing about having farm critters: you never have the guilt of throwing (almost) perfectly good food in the trash.

Every week when I get home from the grocery store, I spend a few minutes going spelunking in the fridge, pulling things outa there that have seen better days. Lunchmeat past the date but not yet to the point where your face goes all scrunchy? Let Annabelle the farm dog chow down. Rock-hard, stone-cold pizza? That's what we've got goats for. Lettuce turning the color of dried-up boogers on the bathroom wall? Helloooo rabbits.

But the most fun is putting together a dish for the chickens. See, I figure they're the only ones on the farm that actually pull their weight. I feed them, they feed me, but to feed them costs money, to the tune of $16 a bag, at about two bags a month. So I like to supplement their feed with a creative culinary approach.

This week that amounted to about a half dozen yogurts past their date, a box of pasta I cooked up for them that I think we moved here from the kitchen of the old house, the sugary dust from the bottom of the bin of Lucky Charms, and the remains of a casserole of unknown origin. For international flair, I added some Italian bread with the mold torn off, as well as some French toast that had been well-aged. I mixed it all up in a cauldron with a giant wooden spoon while my eye twitched. It was fun.

Even more fun, though, was dumping it into a pan for the chooks. My trash is their gourmet dining and they were scrambling over each other like geeks at a Best Buy sale. Each trying to get the choicest noodle, then running off with it, yogurt splashing, while the others chased after her.

Ohhh, it was a hoot, I tell ya'.

And that's what passes for entertainment for me these days.

That's a true story, people. Sad, but true.

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