Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Curry-Out (From My Pantry)

Since I still have lots of jars in the pantry and a half-full freezer from last year's preservation efforts, I've been trying to think of ways to use up food a little more efficiently.

I thought I had it worked out when I offered to host a small task force meeting for our local foods market committee this week. I had planned an Indian feast using nothing but what I had put away for winter along with fresh local dairy products and spices, and I meant to impress.

But then, we decided to postpone the meeting, and I was left with thawing vegetables and a quart jar of already-made makhani sauce. What was I to do?

What else? I called the Renaissance Man.

I served up a simmered mixture of snow peas, green beans, and cauliflower in the makhani sauce (made with canned tomato sauce, fresh garlic, and local milk and sour cream) and ladled it over some cooked spelt berries (from the ever-wonderful Spelt Baker). Then I took some shredded zucchini from the freezer, added the shreds from two potatoes (yes, I still have a couple of good firm potatoes left in storage) as well as an egg from the Lady Bountiful, some local corn flour, some fresh garlic, and a dash of curry powder -- and made fritters that I topped with homemade blueberry-ginger chutney.

And because you just can't have a good Indian meal without a little smackerel of something sweet afterward, I pulled out a pint of local vanilla ice cream and topped scoops with canned peaches, chopped hicans, and a dash of cardamom. Sweet, a little spicy, crunchy -- and sooooo good.

It sometimes amazes me what terrific meals I can pull together from the pantry and the freezer, even after working more and more toward the goal of living off stored foods over the winter each year. I'd love to have more fresh greens and such to complement such meals, of course -- and perhaps once this market gets off the ground, I will.

Still, you can't beat the variety you can find if you've planned your food preservation (and use) well, and I am definitely learning how to make that work for me.

So sorry, folks, you missed your chance for a fantastic and almost totally local Indian meal. Maybe next time!

Or maybe you'd like leftovers?

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At 4/01/2009 8:29 AM, Blogger Jennifer Hugon said...

Dang that sounds and looks fantastic! Such a shame.... :)

At 4/01/2009 8:33 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I know, I know... BUT there is some left if you're REALLY hungry... ;-)


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