And that is one of the reasons that I think one description of me could be "Queen of the Leftovers." I actually feel, sometimes, like some reincarnated memory of the Great Depression, a memory that comes from a farmer, from the kind of family in which my Grandma was raised in upstate New York. I know that she was poor and the effect was a thriftiness that lasted all her life. Somehow, she passed some of that on to me, especially when it came to home life. I am a re-user of household stuff. Old T-shirts become dust rags, old, but still good fabric becomes patches, old sheets cover my crops in possibly freezing weather, old towels have numerous applications, and the list goes on. I don't make rag rugs, but I really like the idea of them. But I digress, because what I'm really, really good at is food leftovers. Leftovers as meals.
|Wild goose breasts in pork fat|
|Pancetta, shrimp, and fava bean pasta|
Head cheese made it into several different soup dishes including Yellow split pea and Navy Bean soups. I also loved using it for Head cheese hash. To me there is some unexplainable affinity between poached eggs and head cheese, so that became an easy Sunday breakfast.
Sausage, by far, is the easiest leftover. I love the choice of the various kinds of sausage I made last summer during the year of Charcutepalooza. With all those choices calling to me from the deep freeze, I knew we would be eating lots of sausage this past year. From cabbage stuffed with merguez sausage, to mac 'n cheese with garlic sausage, to Italian sausage sandwiches, to pasta sauces filled with a variety of sausage flavors to just plain sausage on the barbecue, all that homemade frozen sausage is wonderful to have in the freezer and it certainly fulfills my junk food obsession for sausage. Plus, aren't I using leftovers....
I make stock out of any leftover bones, fat, and meat. I save herbs from my garden and use them all winter. I do have some fresh herbs in my sunroom, including rosemary, bay, and lemon verbena, all plants that I have to over-winter indoors. I can jams, jellies, chutneys, pickles, butters, sauces, and even dried morels. And it doesn't stop there. After using a nice, fresh vanilla bean in my version of David Lebovitz's poached pear dessert for the Charcutepalooza finale I had to save the vanilla bean.
|Spicy vanilla bean sugar|
|Spicy sugar oatmeal|