28 March 2020

Weekend Cooking: Eating Out of the Pantry and Freezer

Beth Fish Reads: Weekend CookingHello, my friends! If you normally read my blog during the week as well as on Saturdays, you'll see I didn't post this week. All is fine here. It's just that I'm in my super-duper busy editing season plus still dealing with settling my mother's estate and selling her house and (of course) trying to follow the news and recommendations for COVID-19. Phew! What a super-ridiculous time we're living in!

Here are some random notes about up-coming Weekend Cooking posts. I know I will soon have another batch of cookbooks from Abrams. I'm not sure when I'll have more cookbooks from Voracious. I'm currently trying to use what's in the house, and we're avoiding the grocery store. Cooking is . . . interesting!

Beth Fish Reads: Weekend CookingLast week's menu included the wonderful beef stew from Michael Ruhlman's Braise cookbook, which I wrote about in early January. The recipe can be found on that post. When I bought the chuck roast for the stew I made in January, Wegman's had a deal on a two-pack, so I froze one roast and used that this week. Because this is social distancing time, I didn't want to "waste" 2 cups of wine on the stew, so I used homemade frozen beef broth instead. I have to say that the stew was just as wonderful this time around, so if you're doling out your wine or just never have wine in the house, don't hesitate to make Ruhlman's Ida's Beef Stew. Our stew did have potatoes in it, but they didn't show up in my photo.

The one thing I totally forgot to buy when I was stocking up for COVID-19 was yeast! ARGH--I'm so incredibly mad at myself. It's nowhere to be found these days. Much more scarce than paper towels, and my favorite brand is on back order for up to a month. I do have enough, I think, but I decided to make a King Arthur Flour rye soda bread for that stew dinner, so I could conserve my yeast stash. The recipe comes from one their cookbooks, and I couldn't find it on their website. If you want me to post the recipe, let me know.

Beth Fish Reads: Weekend CookingWe also had a tuna quinoa chickpea salad from The Spruce Eats. The link will take you to the recipe and the scan is also from their website. This was really good and made one dinner and one lunch for the two of us. We're currently a little squeamish about eating greens that aren't cooked, but we seem to have survived the salad anyway. I'm guessing this would be a great make-ahead lunch salad for when life gets back to some kind of normal.

Other dinners were beans and rice and soup with tortellini and frozen veggies. Tomorrow night's dinner is a surprise for Mr. BFR: we're going to have a snack night! I bought some cheeses, crackers, hard salamis, sardines, and olives. I think we're going to break out the playing cards and play some gin while we snack and sip wine and forget about the troubles of the world -- even if it's just for a couple of hours.

Beth Fish Reads: Weekend CookingFinally, in the necessity is the mother of invention category, I discovered a new quarantcocktail: rye with limoncello. Here the idea was to conserve our fresh lemons and our wine stash. We wanted a drink but didn't want to crack open a wine bottle and didn't want to waste a lemon on a few slices. Thus a cocktail was born. It's really good--or at least it's good in the present climate. I'm happy and Mr. BFR is happy, and that's all that counts!

And I lied when I said "finally" in the last paragraph. The real finally is to alert you some Penguin Random House live events that include a peek into cookbook authors' and chefs' kitchens to learn a new recipe and get a few cooking and kitchen tips. You can find the full schedule of bookish and cooking Instagram and Facebook events by checking out Virtual Events. The current schedule is for March, and you can watch past events. I really liked the video with Melissa Clark.

Here's to another successful week of cooking under these strange circumstances.

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

NOTE: Mr. Linky sometimes is mean and will give you an error message. He's usually wrong and your link went through just fine the first time. Grrrr.


Mae Travels 3/28/20, 6:18 AM  

Everyone is in the same boat these days -- conserving stores of scarce food while trying to find comfort in what one is cooking. Your description captures it.

We are lucky: we have sourdough starter and a jar of yeast, and a neighbor gave us flour when we ran out. Wine was an issue but a local market is now doing curbside pick up of wine as well as produce and a few pantry items that they stock. You order & pay by phone and they put the groceries in the trunk of your car: no contact! So we cooked our pot roast in wine.

Blogging is one of my plague activities, so I posted a lot of links today -- hope that's ok.

And I wish you and all the other linkers good health and good luck staying away from the fray. For anyone who is working I have gratitude, especially health carers.

Be Well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

rhapsodyinbooks 3/28/20, 7:26 AM  

So true about the fury one feels when you get home from the Grocery Shopping Ordeal and find you forgot something! Although, for where I live, it's usually true that they would have been out of it anyway, even if I had remembered!

Karen 3/28/20, 7:43 AM  

I love snack night! When I'm home alone, that is often my dinner of choice.
Stay well!

shelleyrae @ book'd out 3/28/20, 8:21 AM  

It’s been over a month since I’ve been able to get flour. Usually I make a batch of 40 muffins, and 21 scrolls every two weeks for the kids breakfast/ morning tea and lunches but can’t, it’s very frustrating!
Seems like you are making do though!

Stay home, stay well!

Bryan G. Robinson 3/28/20, 8:46 AM  

Glad to hear you and Mr. BFR are doing well...eating and drinking well too. Me and the missus :) are doing well up here not too far away from y'all -- again :). It was nice to have some sun yesterday before what looks like a streak of rainy days coming for us, but I'm hoping it will give me time to focus on reading. Right now I'm listening to Sleepy Hollow, a show on XPN from Philadelphia, very smooth jazz at the moment and it's helping.

Tina 3/28/20, 8:48 AM  

It’s certainly been challenging making meal plans. I’m stretching meals and ingredients because I just won’t go to a grocery store right now. The wine...well I have a few bottles left so we are being mighty picky about when we will open a bottle.
Love the idea of snack night! Wish my husband liked playing cards!

I would like to see that King Arthur recipe if you get chance to post it. Or take a photo and post on Instagram or Twitter 😀

(Diane) bookchickdi 3/28/20, 9:00 AM  

I've been cooking every night so that when my husband comes home he has a good meal. That beef stew looks good, I'm going to try that one. Stay safe!

sherry fundin 3/28/20, 9:08 AM  

great post and i do love some chuckles with my coffee in the morning. glad to see you are putting your creativity to use in these difficult times. every time i see wegmans in your post it brings back memories
sherry @ fundinmental

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea 3/28/20, 9:20 AM  

Yes, it's been challenging preparing variety when I couldn't get any meat and only had a few packages in the freezer. Yesterday was all about comfort food: Broccoli Mac & Cheese and stuffed chicken breast, the night before tomato soup and grilled cheese - yikes to our cholesterol.

Your beef stew looks delicious.

bermudaonion 3/28/20, 9:31 AM  

I just don't understand some of the grocery shortages these days, especially since every grocery store we drive by is packed EVERY single day. We're eating things we wouldn't normally eat but are thankful to have food.

Claudia 3/28/20, 11:07 AM  

I'm with Mae - Blogging is a plague activity! And great minds being what they are, we've been adding to a great Guinness beef stew over a few days, in between other meals. I also made a batch of limoncello with some of the last of our lemons and the high prof brew a friend makes up, in my sous vide. Infusing is a perfect use for sous vide.

Ilse Berg (SnowshineCottage.com) 3/28/20, 11:39 AM  

I took the opportunity of extra time at home to begin a sourdough starter. This time I used the suggestion in Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book to add one granule of yeast, and I'm very pleased with the results. This week we've had sourdough apricot-almond bread, waffles, and pizza while I was feeding the starter (and therefore discarding) daily, but now it is residing in the refrigerator. If you're concerned about running out of yeast, this is a potential solution!

Jackie McGuinness 3/28/20, 12:13 PM  

Totally concur with not wasting wine!! We did a wine run yesterday. I did place an order online a week ago, but have no idea where that is sitting!
John will have some wine available for bottling next week so we should be fine!

Yeast - I ordered some online but it looks a little weird.

We're now settled in the house until at least next week when we will need a fresh fruit and vegetable run.

GypsyPlate 3/28/20, 1:14 PM  

With all the craziness I forgot to stop by last week! Stay safe everyone!

gluten Free A_Z Blog 3/28/20, 1:30 PM  

It is amazing me how frugel I've been and trying not to waste anything that I might need in the future. I am getting worn out cooking, cleaning up my kitchen messes, and washing my hands. Someone said that the virus lives on cans, boxes, and bags from the market. I've been washing anything I can with soap and water and discarding all bags. When I do touch a container or box, I wash my hands- they are so dry at this point, I can't imagine how much more they can take. S0- I'm trying not to buy anything new for at least 2 weeks. Oy .. Stay safe and thanks for hosting.

Les in Oregon 3/29/20, 1:03 AM  

I bought a couple of packages of chuck roast to make stew for our rv road trip, but that was obviously cancelled. I still plan to make stew and the recipe you've shared sound heavenly. I have some herb bread to serve with it and will share that recipe tomorrow. We've run out of yeast, too, although I do have some rapid-rise. I've never used it before, but I'm sure I can find a recipe that calls for it instead of the regular. Who knew yeast and toilet paper would be so scarce!

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 3/29/20, 10:59 AM  

I am fortunate to still offer bread, but only because I grind my own flour! I did notice the grain company I purchase from had a message about meeting orders. I think we have forgotten to keep enough food like in the days of gardens and processing our harvests. Our community has giving baskets set out for those who have already gone through what they have...

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