Archived in 2022

Originally posted on 22 Oct 2005

OK, so the day’s plans (to start the process of making 40gal. of hard cider) fell through (juice not available today). Which means you won’t be eating dinner out as expected. OK, no problem. And it’s a three-weekend paycheck, with this being the third weekend. What’s in the fridge? Oh. Oh dear. That’s not very promising. This could be tricky…

Throw 1.5 cups of brown rice into the rice cooker. Search wine cupboard and find Viognier languishing. Put it in fridge. Reisling would have been better, but beggars…

Take one kabocha squash that’s been decorating the shelf in the corner. Roast for 45 minutes until soft. Take it out of the oven and set it aside until cool. Remove the good stuff from the bad. Sautee some ground cumin, some curry powder and a pinch of cayenne in olive oil until fragrant. Add good squash stuff. Add the homemade veggie stock taking up space in the fridge. Simmer and forget for a while.

Take two bags of frozen spinach, one can of chopped tomatoes, a couple of of wrinkly serrano peppers. Add a few spices and simmer for a while.

Take four cups of black valentine beans, cooked the other day and sitting the fridge waiting for a purpose. Add a little water and a couple of slices of unpeeled fresh ginger (if ginger which has been sitting on the counter for two weeks can be called “fresh”). Simmer for a while. Remove the slices of ginger.

Get out the spiffy Braun hand blender (aka “the motorboat”) and prepare for mayhem. Finely puree the squash soup. Coarsely puree the spinach and stuff. Briefly zap the beans to break a bunch of them up and thicken the whole thing. Soup is done.

Sautee some onions, garlic, spices and add to the spinach. Add a one pound package of paneer, cut into cubes (What? Everyone doesn’t have a package of paneer just taking up space in their fridge? More’s the pity.). Let it all heat up. Voila, palak paneer.

Melt some ghee. Add some spices. Let sizzle. Add to the beans and really let sizzle. Stir to blend. Voila, dal.

A little soup in a little bowl. Garnish with some paprika because it’s pretty. Some rice on a plate, palak paneer on one side of rice, dal on other.

Open Viognier. Pour a glass.

Enjoy dinner.

Gee, doesn’t it suck when there’s nothing to eat in the fridge? Gotta admit, I impressed even myself this time. And the leftovers are going to keep me well-fed for a number of days. But probably not as long as it’ll take me to do all the dishes.