I hesitate to write this post; the last time I wrote about having six months left in our post, ten days later the Arab Spring happened. And then we were in Virginia for the next three months. I guess life doesn't always turn out the way you think it will.
I remember writing that post and thinking that six months was such a short time, not nearly enough time to make lists and plans and cram all of that fun in that we hadn't done yet. Now I've realized that six months is a pretty long time when you're only living somewhere for two years - it's a quarter of our total time here. It's long enough that I haven't even thought of packing. Well not much anyway.
What I have started doing, however, is looking at my consumables closet and wondering how in the world I ever thought I would need 150 pounds of popcorn for a two-year tour. We grind the popcorn for cornmeal and pop it for movies, but I'm not sure how often I was planning on eating cornmeal muffins and polenta.
We also have 150 pounds of wheat left, twelve cans of Pam spray, thirty cans of chicken stock, four boxes of cornstarch, fifty boxes of whole wheat pasta, seventy pounds of brown sugar, twenty bottles of contact solution, twenty pounds of chocolate, ten pounds of coconut, eight cans of Crisco, twenty-four bottles of Karo syrup, and fifty pounds of sugar. I feel like I'm back in elementary school playing Oregon Trail. All we need is a few boxes of ammunition, an extra wheel or two, and a wagon tongue before we're ready to trek across the plains.
All I can plead is pregnancy brain. I will never go consumables shopping a week before delivering again. I guess those nesting instincts were stronger than I thought.
We can, theoretically, ship any food we want to Tajikistan as long as we have extra weight in our HHE. That is, of course, the catch - if we have extra weight. We packed out of Cairo with 5000 pounds which included some food and water (which magically disappeared between then and here) that we brought along. We brought a swing set, jungle gym, piano, and set of tires (sadly not the kind that work on wagons) from Virginia - another 1000 pounds. And of course we've added to that pile while here - books, a food processor, clothes, books, dishes, and some more books. So all of that adds up to... around 7200 pounds. Before we add in all of that extra food.
We can also sell what we have left, but I'd rather eat it or take it along because I'm cheap. And I'm also not sure anyone is interested in buying fifty-pound bags of popcorn, even if it is only fifty cents a pound.
So we're trying to eat our way through our stores. And thus begins the new method of departure countdown - what can we cook this week that uses up consumables. Because every pound of food eaten is a pound that doesn't have to be shipped, sold, or given away.
Yesterday we made tamales. Three pounds of masa, a pound of lard, and cornhusks. Last week I made granola bars. Brown sugar, coconut, honey, and oatmeal. All from the consumables closet and a warm glow of virtue to go along. On this week's menu: pasta. At least twice. Maybe with coconut milk and corn? This is the time when internet recipe searches become my new best friend.
So six months left. A lot of fun things to do, plans to make, friends to say good bye to, and food to eat. Lots of food.