Here are some things that I try to keep in mind when working with Whatchagot (or what I’ve got lol):
- Keep it simple, at first – especially in these times, wasting food by trying to do too much isn’t a great outcome. So, keep your initial cooking efforts simple. Once you feel you have a knack for this down, go ahead and start to add to your ideas.
- Focus on things that will keep and can be eaten again. Leftovers are great during “normal times”, even better now. Casseroles, rice/beans/pasta dishes, soups, etc. are all good this way.
- Trust yourself, or, learn to do so. Cooking is more art than science (baking is an exception, which is why I don’t bake very often). You know what you like and what your family enjoys. You know what tastes good and what flavors work together-focus on those things, especially when forced to improvise. An example—I made a lasagna the other night. I didn’t have ricotta cheese in the house. But I did have cream cheese—so I used some (not a ton) of that mixed with parmesan instead—turned out pretty well!
- Regarding vegetables and fruits, I think fresh>frozen>canned in terms of flavor. However, during these times, it might be better to use frozen (I’ll give some tips on how best to resurrect them)—they keep much longer. I’m not a fan of canned but, again, might be a good alternative now.
- Continuing with that theme, your freezer is your ally, especially now. Many food items can be frozen that you wouldn’t ordinarily consider (e.g. onions and other vegetables, cheese and cream, etc.). There is plenty of information regarding this on the Web.