Let Your Pantry Improve Leftovers: Recipes for Frittata, Tacos, and Easy Dill Pickles



We had snow the other day here at Lazy Dog Farm. Not much, mind you, just enough to dust the grass and make me thankful I didn’t put any of my plants out in the garden yet. The weather has been up and down all week here - sunny and warm, cold and windy, with a freeze warning or two just to spice things up. We’re still plodding on with our garden preparations: drilling fence posts, digging trenches for the burrowing critter fencing, drawing up plans for our new raised beds and ordering the supplies we need to expand our operation.

We’ve had some crazy changes here in general with the state-mandated lockdown now being extended to mid-May. We’re not traveling like we once did, we’re not dining out and we’re appreciating what we have in this place like never before. We’ve also dealt with job losses and career changes, physical loss of connection with friends and family, and just the stress of uncertainty. It’s been a roller coaster ride since March, but it’s also been the sea change we’ve desperately needed in our lives. Priorities have shifted, ideas about the future and our lives have changed — it’s been wild, but in the best way possible. To a house full of introverts, this time out of time has been a season of joy as much as pain.

Better gluten-free breads. I’ve been trying to use up everything I have as best as possible, which has resulted in some awesome meals and some real culinary disasters. But I’ve also started really learning how to bake using gluten-free flours where before I tended to rely more on mixes and chalk the “lead loafs” of bread up to gluten-free baking and not to my inexperience and bad flour combos. But all that has changed this week and I’ve dedicated some of my free time to learning how to mix flours that work for lighter pastries and breads, as well as learn the techniques to make light, fluffy breads and cakes be born.

New ferments. We’ve also started keeping critters — OK, we started learning how to ferment all manner of things as a fun and useful activity. We are now raising a sourdough mother, dealing with dill pickles in the fridge, and our beer, cider, cheese and root beer making kits are on their way. We decided that some of the things we really enjoy we could be making ourselves now that we have so much time on our hands. It’s been a rewarding science project and we’re also looking forward to all the tasty things we’re slowly bringing to life. Fermentation really is about patience, a sorely needed attribute around here. We’re all very results-driven and want our satisfaction now not later. These little projects are teaching us all the value of slow food and delayed gratification.

Make good use of leftovers. I thought this week I’d share a few of the recipes I’ve made with some of the slow food items and leftovers in the fridge. Most of the veggies and greens in the recipes can use whatever you have in your pantry or fridge. They’re easy, quick and delicious — just the sort of thing to make when you’re tired of cooking, want to be doing anything else, or just want to use up what you have left in the fridge.

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