Our food buying habits have changed drastically over the last two months. We used to go to market almost every day; the local grocery/liquor store being a half mile away. Not anymore. If a recipe calls for something we don’t have on hand, we improvise. This has led to some interesting results.
Catherine and I grow beans for drying, so we have been substituting our “Perigione” beans for red beans, navy beans, etc. I recently made a batch of baked beans with the Perigiones and they tasted great. We started with the basic slow cooker Boston baked bean recipe from the website Simply.com, used our own beans and substituted bacon for the salt pork
We also used Perigione beans recently to make a version of “Red Beans and Rice”. We did have sausage, but no ham hocks so we substituted with leftover ham and a leftover chicken thigh. Here is a link to the base recipe that we used. We know that these substitutions wouldn’t fly in New Orleans, but we are working with our pandemic pantry.
I don’t know about you, but we have been hankering for comfort food in these uncertain times. On a recent Tuesday night, I made a comment to Catherine that I was in the mood for some really good cookies. Wouldn’t you know, the very next day a recipe for Quarantine Cookies appeared in the food pages of the Boston Globe; as if sent from heaven. Globe correspondent,Lisa Zwirn provided an easy to follow game plan with thoughtful substitutions . This is Grandma’s oatmeal cookie.
I made a batch with chocolate chunks and dried cherries. Catherine loved them so much that she made a second batch for her co-workers at the local hospital. She made hers with candied ginger and dried apricots.
The next frontier is finding ways to exercise off all of the excess weight being gained with all of this comfort food. So, what have you been cooking? Have you got any recipes, strategies or good stories related to the special circumstances surrounding the times we are living in? If so please send them along. Let’s all stay in touch.
All the best,
Catherine and Greg Garnache