Empty Fridge Pizza

Photo by Emily Stephenson

I was very fortunate to escape New York City for the summer, and I’ve been cooking in a minimally furnished house in the woods. It’s wonderful. But there is a downside: finding good-quality food.

The town I’m in has a deli, with little fresh produce, and the nearest grocery store is an international goliath with spotty quality (it’s also 13 miles away). So I’ve gotten into the habit of planning my week around farmers’ markets (generally at least 45 minutes away) and making do with the dry goods I hauled up with me.

It’s forced me to be creative, though there have been some weird meals I’m glad I didn’t have to serve to anyone other than myself. Things had gotten a little desperate before my farmers’ market run today. Thankfully, I was saved from any further experiments by a friend who had me over for dinner, though she also hadn’t gone shopping and was making do with what she had on hand.

She had some frozen pizza dough she let proof while the oven heated up. She had a lemon and two onions, and thinly sliced both to put on the pizza. She has a garden, which yielded up a couple ripe tomatoes and plenty of fresh basil, so we sliced those up too. We didn’t have any cheese, so she whisked some chopped chives from the garden into crème fraiche and generously spread that on the crust as the sauce.

It was delicious, and so adaptable to any bare fridge scenarios: you could use cream, sour cream, or mascarpone for the sauce, and any bits of herbs you have lying around. The lemons and onions were delicious, and something you are likely to have at home. The sliced tomatoes were lovely but it would have still been tasty without them. It got me excited for a few more weeks of very improvised meals.

– Emily Stephenson

Posted in Behind The Scenes

4 Comments

  1. Howard Sinberg said...

    Sounds like a case of “Well, I have to write SOMETHING.”

  2. Claire Scesney Lundahl said...

    I am not a trained cook, however, I have always enjoyed good food, and I learned by growing up in my mother’s household, that food was part of handing stressful and upsetting situations. She always knew how to put a tasty meal on the table.
    So I like this quote from your article: “The town I’m in has a deli, with little fresh produce, and the nearest grocery store is an international goliath with spotty quality (it’s also 13 miles away). So I’ve gotten into the habit of planning my week around farmers’ markets (generally at least 45 minutes away) and making do with the dry goods I hauled up with me.”

    • Claire Scesney Lundahl said...

      My mom was a widow with 4 children. She kept the roof over our heads and she attended to us as best she could. The dinners in our household were always delicious and full of nutrition. She did her shopping in much the same way you describe it in your article. My mom also liked your cook books.

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