Save money, prevent food waste, avoid going to town and organize your kitchen: what else are you going to do in a pandemic?
I was asked recently if I like or dislike winter. As I was contemplating my answer, I thought about what I do during the winter and what the next few months will bring. I quickly realized that January is Pantry Challenge month. Excitement filled me as I imagined what food I would find in the back of the pantry or the bottom of the freezer, and the creative, fun and crazy meals we will eat. I know countless images of oversized plates of shepherds' pie is what my husband is hoping for. I’m thinking more about all the small amounts of lentils, beans and grains that didn’t quite get used up and how they will make a delicious soup. January seems like the perfect time to do a pantry challenge. It’s the time of year when I seem to lean towards warming, hearty soups and comforting casseroles.
The pantry challenge was great last year, particularly because other people joined in the challenge. It was fun to watch people post their meals each day on social media. Last year, Jeff Schnare from The Maplegrove Inn (and Albert County Tourism Association's President) was one of those people. I loved seeing the meals he had prepared from food he had put up during the summer and fall.
It’s fun to take on a challenge, but don’t get too serious. Make your own rules. For instance, we still allow ourselves to buy milk and Jeff’s rule is that they can still purchase dairy and salad greens.
It is very exciting to have Michelle Alcorn, President of the Albert County Chamber of Commerce, join in the fun this year. Michelle hosts a weekly virtual Cooking Club from her kitchen. She is joined via YouTube with people from around the world who are learning English through healthy, wholesome cooking. Tune in on Sunday January 9th at 9am when Michelle will share The Pantry Challenge with her Cooking Club and create amazing dishes from what she already has on hand (details follow). It’s bound to be exciting and delicious: don’t miss it!
3 garlic cloves (I like a lot of garlic)
Juice of 1 lemon (or 3 tbsp of bottled juice)
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp Himalayan or other salt
2-4 tbsp olive oil
Wash two beets, cube and roast in the oven at 425F until soft.
Put everything except the oil into the bowl of a food processor. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour oil through the feed tube until you reach the desired consistency.
If you want to see what we’re cooking in our pantry challenge adventure, follow us on Facebook or Instagram at Fundy Farms: local harvest or follow others from around the world with #januarypantrychallenge. To watch Michelle’s Cooking Club Pantry Challenge, go to youtube.com/channel/UC-EEn2gYiZwuS1cvurf6_dw
We also suggest you visit the Eurocentres Atlantic website eurocentres-atlantic canada.com and click on 'Join Our Cooking Club' to get recipes and weekly reminders.