Tin Can Challenge: The Aftermath

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My daughter, Emily, and her cousin, Sarah, did the tin can challenge the other day. This involves buying ten cans of miscellaneous food, taking the labels off and numbering the cans. Then they each picked numbers and had to eat at least one spoonful of whatever was in that can. They filmed it and my sister, Tricia, and I were amused by the whole thing, but I have to admit that I think the real challenge begins after you open the cans. What do you do with all that food?

Immediately after filming, Sarah ate the rest of the pasta Os, and Emily ate about half of the cherry pie filling. After they were finished, I covered the cans and put them in the fridge. The next morning, the fruit cocktail became a casualty when it fell out as Sarah got out the milk. So much for No No Cake. I decided to pull the rest of the cans out to prevent any more mishaps. I took the pie filling; the sweetened, condensed milk; cream of mushroom soup; black beans; tomatoes and jalapenos; and whole berry cranberry sauce home with me. I left the canned spinach for Tricia, because she said she liked it, and I left the canned peas for her chickens because I loathe them.

When I got home, I made some black bean dip. I melted a tablespoon of my home-rendered lard in a skillet, and added the beans. I let them cook and then mashed them. I added the can of tomatoes and peppers plus a teaspoon of ground cumin and about a cup of shredded cheddar cheese. That and half a bag of pita chips became dinner (Emily was staying with a friend).

The next day, I was planning to make a small cheesecake with some cream cheese and the sweetened, condensed milk and top it with the cherry pie filling, but I discovered that Emily had eaten the cream cheese. I made some pie crust and made mini cherry pies instead. I used a biscuit cutter to make rounds, put a spoonful of pie filling on each round and covered it with another. They were yummy.

The sweetened condensed milk was mixed with a can of milk my mother gave me a while ago and a couple tablespoons of Irish cream coffee flavoring. Now I am ready for upcoming Irish holidays and I don’t have to buy fancy creamer.

For supper, I thawed a chicken breast, cut it into chunks, and sauted it in butter with some onions and garlic. Then I mixed that with some frozen veggies, the can of mushroom soup, and a cup of brown rice. Then I added a quart of home-made chicken stock and popped it in the oven for about an hour. I would have added mushrooms, but I didn’t have any.

I probably should have had some cranberry sauce with my chicken casserole, but I forgot it was in there. I think that I will use it sometime this week to make a sauce for pork chops. It should be yummy mixed with the juice of the last two mandarin oranges that are rolling around in the fruit bowl. All in all, the tin can challenge was fun!

This is the No No Cake I was planning to make.  Shelly Sutter gave me the recipe years ago.

No No Cake

1 1/2 C all purpose flour

1 C sugar

1 t baking soda

1 T vinegar

1 t vanilla

1/3 C oil

1 C some kind of liquid

Mix everything together in a greased, 8 inch cake pan. I double the recipe and use a 13 X 9 pan. Once you have all of the ingredients in the pan, add some kind of fruit. Canned fruit cocktail works well, as does pineapple or peaches. Sometimes I add chopped apples and a bit of cinnamon and cardamom to the batter, and put a streusel topping on it. It is great with frozen blueberries or blackberries, too. For a really decadent treat, add about 1/3 C of cocoa powder, some chocolate chips and some chopped nuts.

Bake the cake at 300 deg. F for about an hour until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out  clean. Let it cool as long as you can before cutting. Shelly told me that this was called No No Cake because there are no eggs in the batter. I just call it delicious!