Spring’s Done, Summer Hangs On, Fall Lasts – Mid-Winter Storage Report

January 14, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Rob Gardner

This report, like many a dish begins with a sofritto, the mirepoix, with celery, in this case, celery.  Root.  Remoulade.  See dinner last Friday was meant to include that bistro salad.  But when I opened Saveur Cooks Authentic French, the page was pot au feu, a hell of a tempting photo of savory meats and bright veg.  To eat!  With a rump roast already defrosted, we started switching dinner plans for the days ahead.   Tuesday was pot au feu day in the Bungalow.  This batch of boiled meats had me roaming the house for ingredients.  Which gets me here, updating  on what’s keeping and what got tossed.

Some time in October I found pring-time garlic scapes holding up very well in the vegetable bin.  I promptly forgot about them.  In mucking about the bin yesterday for herbs I re-found them.  Garbage.  No whiff of spring in this cold.  Also in the upstairs fridge, a package of carrots going very soft.  Not good for much but ideal for the stock.

While trashing spring, I thought the one bit of summer lingering in the fridge.  As the red pepper harvest waned, I roasted as many peppers as I could get my hands on.  Some I froze, those do not count for this discussion.  Others I preserved in oil, and those are gone.  The last I preserved in vinegar, and those still go on a salad here or there.  A bit of summer hangs on.

Our sky cellar, the attic, continues to hold food well, requiring just a bit of trim.   I poked and prodded at the roots and tubers, rutabagas and beets and enough celery root to salad 100 bistros, finding it nearly all in order, getting some carrots for the dish.   I did find one moldy sweet potato–in general we’ve had mixed luck with sweet potatoes, loosing about six already to mold–while up there. Of the many apples, a few here or there had gone soft, so I culled those too.  

In our downstairs fridge I found a bag of pears looking a bit spotted but otherwise fully edible.  Twelve pieces of fruit, in the Bungalow, will last about three days.  I had come across these pears while getting leeks for the recipe.  We have several piles of leeks in that fridge.  They look awful, shriveled, black in spots, but you shed these outer layers and you have very usable product.  Some leeks went into the stock, some were later used for the garniture.

My older daughter questions the need for storage reports.  I say, “people love lists.”  She agrees but says the lists they like are things like the 10 hottest haircuts at the Golden Globes.  Perhaps, but Brad and Angelina and the rest live in California where the markets never falter.  Here the land of Thursday high of negative two, we need to make accommodations to maintain our local.   So, here, we examine our stored food.

Mid-winter, this local family is holding out just fine.  I hope you all are too.