Last Supper at Casa Appetite East
On Monday morning, a tag team of movers will descend upon my doorsteps and take over the joint, packing up the contents of every nook and cranny (and yours truly, if I'm not careful).
Among the "critical do's and don'ts" on the company-provided moving checklist is a big fat "don't" for hosting a dinner party on packing day. Sounds reasonable, dontcha think?
Translated: If I'm to engage in my final act of cooking and say farewell to my Arlington kitchen, I need to arrange my culinary swan song this very weekend and not a minute too soon. Ideally, I'd like to use what I've already got on hand and refrain from buying anything, unless something at the farmer's market Saturday morning (see you there, GAFF!) is calling my name.
Besides, my dry pantry is brimming with stuff begging to be used before I begin parsing it out to eager hand-me-down recipients. The photo, above, is a very unglamorous sliver of the many shelves jammed with cans, bottles, bags and boxes of dry goods. There's three (no, four) different kinds of rice, quinoa, instant couscous, red lentils, canned black beans and garbanzos, brown sugar from Costa Rica, hot sauce from all over the place, several kinds of oils, cocoa powder, salt, both flaky and pebble-y, Mister MA's favorite weird pretzel chips - and that doesn't even scratch the surface - or the scary spice den in the freezer. In anticipation of your question, my answer is No: I've chosen not to keep unopened items (well, with the exception of my nutmeg stash from Grenada and the smuggled-in Sichuan peppercorns from my pal JW) and ship them to Seattle. And here's why: I want a fresh start. I love the idea of building a new pantry in a new kitchen in a new city (aka Casa Appetite PacWest).
So here's where you come in: For my last supper in Casa Appetite East, what should I make from the contents of my pantry? Assume I've got all the spices and plenty of fresh local fruit and veg in the fridge. For Saturday night, I'd like a snack/app dish, a main course and at least one side and a dessert. Add your menus to the comments area and the reader who comes up with the longest ingredient list will win a pantry prize (unopened, of course) and a postcard from the road. A prize will also go to the reader with the most creative use of ingredients.
Now, go! Give me the best pantry user-upper menus you've got!
By Kim ODonnel |
July 25, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
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