Making something from almost nothing

 corn chowder

Those of us who live in cold climates have days where we just do not want to leave the house because the weather is downright punishing. People in more temperate climes may also feel like staying in for other reasons. Days like this, when the cupboard is nearly bare and the pickings in the refrigerator are slim, that can be taxing on a cook. Not so Nigel Slater, who says he enjoys the challenge of “making something from almost nothing.”

Slater goes even further than just making do when he doesn’t feel like going out, saying “I rather enjoy deliberately not shopping, forcing myself to make the most of what there is. I also like the prospect of using things up, ignoring the fact that a fruit or vegetable is far from perfect, what you could generously describe as salvageable.”

His dinner on a recent evening involved using pantry staples like onion and grains, plus using up some less-than-perfect produce lingering in the drawer. He incorporated leftovers into the dessert as well. I, too, enjoy the challenge of using up odds and ends from the refrigerator and pantry to create a delicious meal. Today’s snow and blustery temperatures made the decision to stay inside an easy one.

Our lunch repast used corn (frozen immediately after harvest last fall), plus the pantry staples of onions and potatoes, to make the tasty and warming corn chowder pictured above. Now I’m looking forward to the next trip to the grocery store when I can fill the larder with new ingredients. It’s a delicious cycle. 

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