I don't consider myself a hoarder. I was able to bring myself to throw away plenty of toys, stuffed animals, cards, pictures and mementos from elementary, high school and college. Even the box full of secret "boy crush" stuff, and if you had one of those boxes, then you know how hard it was (at the time) to part with, since it was an official acknowledgement that there is a romance that will never happen anywhere other than in the imagination.
Most of those things I never regretted letting go, except for some of the photos, and maybe my hair crimper, when I needed one for a 90's-themed New Year's Eve party. And some things I should let go, like the VHS tape of my senior play, which I'll never watch again. Even if I cared to, we don't have a VHS player.
It was much harder to get rid of books and movies I loved, but that I no longer had room to store, and it's next to impossible to let go of clothes. Even if it's something I've never worn, in the vain hope that I will wear it someday. Hopefully before it's completely dated.
In the kitchen, though, my hoarding tendencies are stronger, and my freezer is a veritable warehouse of frozen bits and scraps, leftover cake crumbs, cookie crusts and candied nuts, dabs of buttercream, ziplock bags of homemade stock, pieces of dessert we couldn't finish... I just know that if I keep them, I'll find the perfect use for them before too long, without having to spend money on more ingredients.
I think this tendency to not throw away food comes from the fact that I grew up in a household that didn't see meat on the table too often because it was too expensive. I remember watching my mom trying to figure out how to buy a week's worth of groceries for our family of five with just five dollars. There was a time that a few bags of groceries were mysteriously left on our front porch; someone was watching out for us. We certainly never went to bed hungry - rice and beans are cheap and filling - but there were very few extras.
Some things I'll never throw away, though... The scrapbook I made of Jamie's and my first year together - yep, that's a keeper.
When I baked the Lemon Coconut Cream Cupcakes, I only frosted a few for us to eat since I didn't have anywhere to take the rest, so with the 18 or so unfrosted cupcakes, I pulled off the papers, spun them into crumbs in the food processor and zip-locked them up in the freezer for something else.
That "something else" presented itself when a friend turned 30, and invited a bunch of people over to celebrate. Out came the cake crumbs. Add to that a little cream cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice, and you have the makings of a cake truffle. Rolled into balls, dipped in white chocolate and showered with sprinkles. Birthday cake truffles!
When I asked if I could make her a birthday cake, she requested carrot cake, so I also made a Browned Butter Carrot Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting... but you'll have to wait for that one for another day...
Birthday Cake Truffles
- 4 cups white cake crumbs
- 8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, cut into chunks
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 24 candles
- 6-8 ounces white chocolate or vanilla candy coating
In a food processor, combine the cake, cream cheese, lemon zest and juice. Pulse until it starts to hold together. Using your hands, shape into 24 balls; insert a candle into each, about 2/3 of the way down. Set aside.
Melt the white chocolate according to the instructions on the package. Holding the cake balls by the candle, dip in the white chocolate until coated completely then shake off the excess. Set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining cake and chocolate; after every four, stop and sprinkle with the colored sprinkles before the coating hardens.
Refrigerate until ready to serve. These can also be made in advance and frozen for up to a month in an airtight container.
Yields 24 truffles.
Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen