It is snowing without stopping. We didn’t shop on Tuesday when we were down to the bare bones of just about nothing, and now it’s Friday, and I have a bag of flour left, some beets, a half inch of parmesan and 2 eggs. And chicken bones–frozen. I have a fear of having no food, and so every time I buy a chicken, just in case we are cut off from the food chain by loss of job or weather, I chop off the wings and throw them in the freezer. My first husband will attest to the fact that it used to be a lot worse. My freezer was a mid western study in panic. I froze 2 inches of milk in pint containers, the ends of bread, the last few spoonfuls of soup, cheese rinds, onion tops, and cookies. In rinsed out plastic bags or pieces of parchment paper I had frozen cream cheese, fresh and canned tomatoes, fresh herbs, cubes of ever so over ripe pineapple and grapes. I think it all got to be too much for him. I had no ability to organize, no desire to decorate, no roots, and I froze everything. That’s not easy.
All I have to say is–thank goodness I haven’t given up freezing entirely. To some what’s left in my larder would appear to leave no option but to order out or starve my family, but that just isn’t true. I can make cannellini soup with sauted beet greens on the side, and bruschetta from my stale bread, spread with a roasted artichoke (back-up canned), and garlic duxelle for lunch, and for dinner, I am going to grate the beets, saute them with toasted fennel seeds, shallot and garlic, and serve them tossed with homemade pasta and parmesan. With the last egg I can make a pumpkin bread for breakfast with frozen cranberries, the last eight dates (chopped to make up for their low number), frozen pecans, and a can of pumpkin left over from Christmas. Ha.
2 1/2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of cloves, mixed. In separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs with 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, 2 cups of canned pumpkin puree, and 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Mix the two together with your hand or a rubber spatula. Fold in 1/2 cup of whole dates that you have chopped, 1/2 cup of whole pecans, broken, and 1 cup of cranberries. You can change these last amounts, based on what you have in your freezer.
Bake in a loaf pan (or 2)–it should come halfway up the sides, at 350 degrees, until a cake tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the size of your loaf pans.