Spring

Late March kitchen notes

Grocery stores have been hit or miss lately, as people have been stocking up on all sorts of things to prepare for a long time spent at home. Fortunately, we have been able to find enough for our family between sourcing from grocery stores and the farmers in town. With that said, I have been leaning on pantry staples, frozen vegetables, and ingredients that I can use in multiple ways for our meals lately.

Last week we ate roasted baby potatoes with mushy peas and salmon cakes. I love this kind of dinner. We ate on the porch, and even though I used frozen peas and tinned salmon, the meal still felt light and fresh. I think the breeze off of the lake and a good dose of sunshine helped, though.

A day or two later, we ate peas and potatoes again when I cooked them alongside a buttermilk marinated roast chicken. The peas we ate simply — just some butter and salt. The potatoes I mashed in their skins along with a few cloves of garlic.

The next day, I made a chicken soup with the leftovers. I made our own broth from vegetable scraps I had been saving over the course of the month, as well as what was left of the chicken. I added a bit of ditalini pasta as well. I also really love leftover chicken cold the next day, with a little bit of salt sprinkled on top. That’s really comforting to me because it reminds me of childhood, when I would eat it just like that the day after my mom had cooked chicken.

Yesterday, I used the leftover buttermilk to make Irish soda bread. We even had currants in the pantry, which the recipe called for! We ate this alongside a vegetable stew that you could adapt based on whatever you have in your fridge or pantry at the time. We had potatoes, brown mushrooms, carrots, onions, garlic, and cannellini beans. Some flavor boosters were a splash of pinot noir leftover from a bottle in the fridge, and fresh sage. The stew and soda bread were such a comforting meal. The kids loved their bread dotted with Irish butter. Will and I shared a Guinness, the last in the fridge from St. Patrick’s Day.

Piper and Will made a couple of delicious salads for lunch throughout the week, with whatever produce we had on hand. We bulked them out with pantry items like canned chickpeas that we roasted, or canned sliced heart of palm.

I’m also really grateful that we have been able to have eggs; Happy Place Farm in Lakeland delivered to us. The children have been enjoying pancakes (which you could make using leftover buttermilk) and scrambled eggs for breakfast occasionally. Today I scrambled some up with a bit of onion, tomato, and cilantro and we ate them with a bit of avocado and a satsuma orange that we all shared. I love it — so simple.

OK — I’m off for now. I have a batch of dried white beans soaking for dinner tonight, which I’ll cook along with the last of the fresh sage. For lunch I may put together something with quinoa, and maybe make babaganoush. Until then, I’m going to finish up my cup of green tea (Pukka organic — delicious) and enjoy some time with the family.

Hope you all are happy, well, and fed.

W.

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