I have come to be a individual I by no means imagined I would be: a hoarder.
Not of mementos and knickknacks (though, I acknowledge to taller piles of publications around the residence). I necessarily mean in the kitchen area: I maintain on to matters forever.
Blame — or, actually, credit — the pandemic.
Among the the myriad ways the lockdown has enhanced me as a cook dinner is by changing my former feeling of (admittedly fake) protection with doubt. In the early days of the crisis, I lived in concern that I would have to depend on every very last scrap, every single rind, every stem merely to make a food. That experience has, mercifully, eased, but you would rarely know it to look at my fridge, stuffed as it is with containers that are 4/5ths empty and jars that float 1 or probably two lonely olives or pickles.
The variation is, when I search at these odds and ends now, I really don’t see them as pitiable continues to be. I see them as possibilities.
Prior to lockdown, I only ever made use of the leaves from parsley and cilantro, blithely — stupidly — tossing the relaxation. Now look at me: As before long as I get my arms on a bunch, I mince the stems, conserving them to scatter like chives on tacos and enchiladas, sandwiches, risottos and rice dishes, and grilled rooster. I truly feel fairly stupid when I think of all the probabilities for more flavor I skipped out on all those years.
Similarly, anytime my pre-pandemic self finished off the previous pickle, I emptied the jar and tossed it into the recycling bin. Article-pandemic me seems back and thinks: What ignorance what waste. Now, I choose most of the remaining brine, insert cumin seeds, mustard seeds and black peppercorns, and do my own pickling with slicing board scraps of onion, cauliflower, cucumber ends. The remainder of this brine is turned into dressing. With a squirt of ketchup and a dollop of mayo, it would make a great burger sauce, far too. Just lately, I threw in the last of a gnarled tube of tomato paste to the brine, together with olive oil, salt and minced shallots, and employed it as a speedy marinade on rooster.