This has been one of those crazy weeks where it feels like no one in our house has really rested for a single minute. Between work, school, church, and other activities, we have gone full speed ahead. Because of this, we’ve eaten out a few times, and we’ve also had several “fend for yourself” evenings. People have been living off of cereal, Nutella on bread, and other things one can fix in a hurry.
Today, as we cleared the dust and surveyed the situation in our fridge, I found some forgotten items that I just couldn’t stand to waste. Frankly, that’s how many of the meals I make get started–just using what I have. I found grapes and strawberries, three peppers, half a bag of spinach leaves, and a couple of small hunks of cheese. The peppers in particular needed to be used RIGHT NOW, so I decided to make a Veggie Pie.
There was a time when I just threw stuff away. I just got annoyed that I waited too long–too late–to make something good of what we bought. It was frustrating to spend money on stuff and waste it. Now, I try to scan the pantry and fridge once a week or so to see what’s there. Usually, a little creativity makes the most of any ingredient I may find.
Today, I chopped up two of the three peppers (one really was a bit too late–sorry, red pepper) and sautéed them with some butter, onion, and spinach leaves.I think they cooked for about 10 minutes on the stove top. Cooking them a bit before they go in the pie keeps them from being too bitey and lets out some of the moisture that could make the pie squishy.
I preheated the oven to 400 degrees and lined the pie crust with a sunny circle of orange and yellow peppers. Then I added the spinach with onion. Next, I added pieces of two kinds of cheese: cheddar and Asiago. All that was left was to make the “stuff” that holds the pie together.
That “stuff” was three eggs, 1/2 cup of milk (you can use 1/2 and 1/2 or whatever you have), and two teaspoons of dried basil. The pie baked for 40 minutes or so on the bottom rack–when you make eggy pies, cooking them on the bottom rack really helps the crust get done.
It was a beautiful, sunny day in Connecticut today, and I was so happy filling the crust with those sunny peppers and the satisfaction of using stuff up. On top of the peppers, I loved “using up” today with things I loved: kids playing outside, sitting in the sun, catching up with someone on the phone, laundry, and pie.
It wasn’t too late for the stuff in my fridge, and for that, I’m grateful. Don’t get me wrong–sometimes, we all miss out on opportunities. There are things we just can’t go back and use, or do, or say.
But it’s not too late for today. Use it up! Make the very most of every tasty moment.