Good morning! Tomorrow we are heading up to Maine for eight days, which I tell you for two reasons. 1) I will most likely not be posting here next week (instagram, another story) and 2) Today’s PPP entry is dedicated to my favorite kind of cooking — using up every possible perishable item in the fridge pre-vacation. Before I get to that, though, I wanted to let you know that all the recipes I’ve been chronicling since the beginning of the pandemic and the PPP series (mid-March) have now been organized alphabetically in their own category on the recipe index page. (Thank you, lovely intern Lily!) You can check that out here.
Pantry: Orecchiette with Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Mint
Now, for the pantry diving: Naturally there was pasta involved. All I had by way of produce were two heads of gem lettuce, some of those beautiful little Fairy Tale eggplants from the market and a few shriveling cherry tomato stragglers. I halved and salted the eggplant and let sit for about 15 minutes (to extract their bitterness) and when they were ready, I tossed with tomatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and roasted at 400°F for about 30 minutes. (BTW You know the rule, right? The dirtier the baking sheet, the better the cook?) I added some chopped, olive-oil-dressed potatoes at the last minute because, as always, I had to think about the pasta-hater at the table. (I know! Eighteen years old and I am still dealing with this nonsense!) Halfway through I added roughly cut 1-inch pieces of red onion (also tossed in olive oil) and while it all roasted. I prepared my orecchiette, tossing with a little pasta water, pecorino, and butter at the end to give it that lovely sheen. A few cubes of mozzarella (all I had left!) some hand-torn mint and basil from the garden and…dinner. A damn good one at that, I might add. I also ended up tossing the gem lettuce with a light vinaigrette, and melting the last of a cheddar heel on top of leftover refried beans to serve to the pasta-hater along with the potatoes. I know you don’t believe me, but I promise you, this is fun for me.
Project: Any Fruit Cobbler
Next up: Dessert. This part I had prepped earlier in the day as I was clearing out the fridge. Every single possible piece of fruit went into my baking dish — you probably can’t tell, but in addition to the blueberries and strawberries, there are peaches, plums, and raspberries….
…The beauty of tried-and-true cobbler is that you can throw virtually anything in there and it will be heaven. I urge you to try it even when your produce is not necessarily on its last legs.
I have no “Purpose” today, haha. But wanted to at least leave you with a Thursday cocktail dispatch: These excellent Greenhook Ginsmith’s Gin and Tonic cans. Not perishable exactly, but certainly enjoyable, especially when enjoyed at golden hour beside the neighborhood pool.
Stay safe. Wear a mask! Have a great week.
The goal of the Project, Pantry, Purpose series to keep us sane, distracted, connected, and USEFUL. It began in March 2020. Please continue to comment below with suggestions for recipes, projects (for kids and adults), good deeds, donation ideas, stories, movies, games, puzzles. Or just tell me how you’re doing, what your daily routine is, and especially how DALS can help you or people in your community. You can also email me directly at email@example.com.
I love that those in the US are catching on to the joy of a gin in a tin!! They’re a picnic/ long train journey staple here in the UK, and while they’re nowhere near as good as a freshly made one, they do hit the spot!
Also that pasta looks AMAZING. Have a lovely time in Maine!
Ah, so glad to hear you’ll be making it to our lovely State o’ Maine this week! Hope you have a great time!
Looking forward to IG posts from Maine and will be living vicariously through you, as travel is till severely limited in our state. Thanks for your wonderful blog!
I was obsessed with canned gin and tonics last summer in England. Seems like an eternity ago. *sigh*
Our supper tonight is the orrichette with sausage and broccoli (a DALs favorite!).
Have fun in Maine! Watch out for Great Whites! 🙂
I live in Portland and have read your posts through all of quarantine…. It has been so fun to have something to look forward to! So uhh here are some unsolicited Portland recommendations as a form of gratitude??
Pretty much anything on Washington Ave … The cheese shop, Maine craft distilling, hardshore gin, rootwild kombuchery (which is 21+ unfortunately)
Bahn appetit on Cumberland Ave
Shay’s grillpub – a great casual spot that has been super professional about their approach to covid — call to make a reservation for their outdoor dining
If you’re spending any time in Portland see if you can get patio reservations at Woodford F&B (https://www.woodfordfb.com/menu/). It’s our neighborhood local and they have worked so hard at continuing to be the same warm, friendly neighborhood joint during difficult times, not to mention feeding hospital workers during the early months of the pandemic. Tipo (http://www.tiporestaurant.com) is another favorite neighborhood spot for us and the patio is open. And you cannot go wrong with sandwiches from Local Press (https://localpressme.com) for lunch. Baxter Woods and Evergreen Cemetery are lovely spots to walk off meals from any of the above mentions spots. Safe travels and enjoy!
I used to be quite sniffy about tinned pre-prepared cocktails, but I’ve just got Edinburgh rhubarb gin and tonic for the weekend and am looking forward to it. I would love to have a bottle of gin in the house, but I would get into the habit of having a nightly bracer and that would not do. A tin is finished, consumed and done………..nothing to tempt me on a week day
I love pre-vacation pantry diving! Sounds like a great dinner.
That cobbler will be on the table for us tonight!
And I bought the “on the rocks” cocktail that you recommended for a camping trip and it hit the spot for easy and tasty. I watered it down with a little sparkling water and sipped in the evening.
Thanks for sharing and enjoy your family trip!
We call those clean out the fridge meals – MustGo meals! As in what’s for dinner – MustoGos!
I was in a book club back when The Girl on the Train came out. We start discussing the book and about a half hour into it I say “can we just quit the charade and talk about the elephant in the room! Gin + Tonic in a CAN?!? Why can’t we have this?”
The Veggie Orechiette look SO tasty! *-*
love pre-vacation pantry diving! Sounds like a great dinner.