Last Sunday, I opened the door to my pantry to give it a good scan before I began planning meals for what I knew was going to be a busy week. One look almost made starving look like a desirable alternative. Almost. Baking supplies were jumbled with dry snacks, bottles of oils and spices were tipping over dangerously and cereals were hiding way too many varieties of dried fruit, including a bag of currants which, although properly sealed, was pushing the limit of what “dried” really means. Some more scavenging revealed a discouraging amount of waste. I decided I would just have to eat and eat until my pantry regained some semblance of organization. Not a bad deal.
It was in the relentless pursuit of an organized pantry that I baked this loaf at 9pm the next day after work. When I was sick last month, I opened a gorilla-sized bottle of unsweetened applesauce that was supposed to be used for a cake I never made in October. I choked down a half-cup serving – I’m not a fan of store-bought applesauce – and away it went in the fridge, set to expire 10 days after opening. I had also found a container of old-fashioned oats whose time would be up in a month. And there was Dorie Greenspan, quietly beckoning me to whip out my whisk and spatula with her Oatmeal Breakfast bread, which is composed primarily of these two ingredients.