Saturday, January 23, 2010

Eating from the Pantry Challenge -- Week Three

To celebrate, I just finished Amarcord, Marcella Hazan's memoir of life in Cezantico (Italy), New York City, Bologna, New York City, Milan, Venice, Venice (Florida)...she began teaching Italitan cooking because she took a Chinese cooking class. After that class was over, her classmates asked her to teach them her "normal" dishes. Thus a career...several books...and an enchanting, very real look at her life, friends and family. If you liked Julia Child's memoir, you'll like this one, too.

For some of Marcella's signature recipes, including Veal Rolls with Pancetta and Parmesan (her husband Victor's favorite dish), try this collection. (I have an insane craving for fried zucchini blossoms, but those will have to wait until summertime.)

Week Three is ending for the January challenge...and other than the 'overage' from Sunday, I haven't spent anything else this week. So far, this experiment has had a few surprising results:
    *The refrigerator is less cluttered! (Makes sense, but I didn't think about it.)
    *So's the freezer!
And the most surprising of all - we've been going out to eat less than ever.
      I have no idea why the latter is happening. But somehow it's connected.

Some other discoveries:
     A pound of fresh spinach leaves goes astonishingly far. So far, we've had two salads, plus a few cooked dishes with green touches. One more salad and side dish's worth is left.
     Cheese helps. Grated, thin-sliced in sandwiches, chunked in soup...yum.
     Leftover pasta dishes and casseroles are surprisingly tasty thinned out with broth, and presented as a soup.
     And this pizza crust recipe from Frugal Upstate is absolutely amazing!

A dozen eggs, a gallon of milk tomorrow night...and that should do the trick.

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