Judith Hausman
January 18, 2016
corn bread mini muffins

Photo by Judith Hausman

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Well, it’s happened again. Even though I made a distinct effort to eat, cook and give away my stockpile of garden goodness, I’m clipping the new spring chard and spinach before the packets I froze are all used up. I have net bags of garlic still “perfuming” my pantry, and if they could, the Mason jars would point at the calendar and say, “Ahem.” Our pepper plants are germinating, apple trees are blooming and, well, it’s just time to consume those delicate berries, even though we won’t gather the 2012 crop here until June.

So I’m brainstorming. Here are 10 items I’m pushing to use up. I’ve made suggestions on how to enjoy them before more fresh young things pop up to replace them, but I’d welcome any others you have, Dear Readers.

Applesauce: muffins, cake or with the breakfast yogurt.
Pesto (basil or other herbs): on baked chicken, in meat loaf, mixed into crushed tomatoes (or your own canned ones) to sauce an easy lasagna
Garlic: cloves slipped under a roast chicken’s skin, whole heads roasted to become a spread mixed with olive oil and salt
Greens: savory pastries of any kind: Greek style, empanadas, and strudel
Berries: shortcakes, on ice cream, with French toast
Diced peppers: chili, veg or con carne, pureed soup with broth and cream
Sauerkraut: always with sausages and sandwiches
Jam: jam tarts or oatmeal jam bar
Pickled vegetables: also with sandwiches (especially cold meat or liverwurst) or as cocktail nibbles
Relishes: on hot dogs, of course, but also in meat loaf, salad dressings, in any sandwich filling that also uses mayo (i.e. tuna fish, egg salad, etc.)

And this is one of the quickest, easiest ways to use up any kind of herb pesto. The little muffins are great served with tomato soup or minestrone. Of course you can make 12 normal muffins too or even an 8×8 pan of corn bread. They’ll both take a little longer to bake, perhaps 20 to 25 minutes.

Recipe: Pesto Corn Bread Mini Muffins

Yield: 24 mini muffins

  • 1 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup milk or buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup pesto
  • Mix together the dry ingredients. Beat together the milk, egg and pesto. If your pesto is on the dry side, you might add another tablespoon of olive oil. Combine the wet and dry mixes. Splash in a bit more milk if it’s much too dry. Oil a mini-muffin pan and fill with generous teaspoonfuls of batter. Bake at 400 Fahrenheit for 12 to 18 min.

    Optional: Add 3/4 cup corn kernels to the batter or 3 tablespoons minced, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes.

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