Monday, May 13, 2013

Recipes for a move

The moving truck is coming in a week, and we’re leaving in twelve days, and I’m trying to clear out the fridge, freezer, and pantry. I’m also trying not to waste food, and to enjoy the last few days of cooking in my current kitchen which, although inferior, is nonetheless much larger than the kitchen in San Francisco. This has meant several things:

  1. Making muffins. I am not particularly creative with frozen fruit, but it is delicious in muffins. Similarly, canned pumpkin. I love it in pies, and soups too, but one of those things takes a lot more doing than muffins, and the other just seems out of season.
  2. Cooking beans. My slowcooker has been working overtime to cook the volumes of dried beans that I don’t want to move with me. Right now, I’ve got navy beans cooked and sitting in the fridge, ready to become baked beans, and dried peas ready to stand in for split split peas cooking now. I didn’t think I’d have anything positive to say about the terrible spell of cold weather we’ve just started, but at least I can make split pea soup!

Here are some recipes for your enjoyment…

Pumpkin Muffins
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything

2 1/2 c flour
1/2 c corn meal (You can use flour for this if you prefer.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 pinch cloves
1 pinch nutmeg
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1/4 c melted butter
1 1/4 c milk
1-2 c pumpkin (I often err on the side of more pumpkin.)

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter/oil muffin tin, or use silicon muffin cups, with which I am now obsessed. Combine all dry ingredients. Beat the egg with the butter and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, including the pumpkin. Combine the ingredients quickly, stirring and folding rather than beating, and stopping as soon as all the dry ingredients are moistened. The batter should still be lumpy. Pour into the muffin tins, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. This is about 20 minutes.

Split Pea Soup
Adapted, but not yet tested, from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything

2 cups green split peas, washed and picked over
6 cups vegetable stock or water
2-3 carrots, cut into 1-inch sections
1 medium onion, minced
1/2 cup rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Croutons of some kind

Combine the peas, rice and stock in a large deep saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, turn the heat to low, cover partially, and cook until the peas are very, very soft. Alternately, put these things in a slow cooker and let them cook unattended for a long time. Either way, add the onion about halfway through the cooking time. Mash the cooked peas with a fork, food mill, or immersion blender, and add stock or water if necessary to get the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with croutons.

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