Eating from the Pantry: July

Our fridge is basically bare, and our pantry (actual photo above) is full of beans but little else.   I am overdue for a trip to the grocery, but I’m going to hold off until August 1.  I’m trying to get our weekly food budget down to about $60, and since I always overspend, I try to play catch up at the end of the month.  And I couldn’t do it without my amazing husband, who has been content to have 99.5% of his meals without meat for the past 3 years, and who eats pb&j for lunch many, many, many days.

But despite the relative paucity of our food supplies, I do have a bag of onions, a tiny eggplant, and a few eggs.  And several pounds of dry beans, a stack of corn tortillas, a sliver or two of sun dried tomato, some pasta, a heap of garlic, and a can of salmon. So really (other than not having any anchovies left– alas!) we are rich in food.  I am starting to dream of the possibilities.  This is what we’ve eaten so far:

July 23

Last night I found some remnants of falafel mix in the pantry, so I made some falafels for John.  I had some salsa verde (the Italian, parsley kind, not the Mexican, tomatillo kind) in the fridge from a few days ago, so I mixed equal parts of that and mayo for a sauce for the falafels.  John ate them with some warm corn tortillas and chopped up cherry tomatoes.  I ate some beans that I cooked yesterday.  (See here for a recipe for fresh falafels, or buy a box of the dry mix, which is pretty cheap and super filling.)

June 24

Today I made some refried beans out of the red beans I cooked up yesterday.  I wanted them to get a night in the fridge to soak up the cooking juices so they would be super flavorful.  (See here for how to cook dry beans.)

I had about 3 cups of bean liquid from cooking the beans, and I heated it up, added a few slices of toasted bread and some olive oil, and simmered it for 20 minutes until the bread had merged perfectly with the bean broth and had become a pot of pure joy: bread soup.  (Tamar Adler gives a beautiful, beautiful, simple, forgiving recipe for bread soup in her book An Everlasting Meal, which I hope all of you own by now.  Her recipe involves sauteeing about a cup of onion or other similar vegetable in half a cup of olive oil, adding some parsley and four cups of cubed, stale bread and four cups of any kind of cooking liquid, meat or bean broths, etc, and the rind of a piece of parmesan… Maybe better winter fare, but in the world of pantry cleaning one does not have the luxury of perfectly seasonable food every single day.)


2 thoughts on “Eating from the Pantry: July”

  1. I find making something totally from the pantry really deeply satisfying. I guess I think I’ve really accomplished something if I can make something out of that craziness in there.

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