Punting For Dinner by Ginger Johnson

Ginger Johnson

Ginger Johnson Photograph: Judy Pavlik

Hmmm….what to eat for dinner?

Whenever I find myself with that question rolling around in my grey matter, I invariably take stock of, well, my kitchen stocks.

  • What’s in the fridge that needs to be eaten?
  • What’s in the larder to support the fresh goods?
  • What looks appetizing?
  • Who am I feeding?

All those, and sometimes a few more, tend to get my cooking juices flowing. Pretty soon, I’ve put a bunch of ingredients on my prep table and counter. That’s when the magic begins.

I call this kind of cooking ‘punting.’ My Fine Husband and I often find these types of meals happily surprising and usually very satisfying. We’re utilizing ingredients we have on hand because we want to eat them. They clean out the fridge and use foodstuffs before they can spoil. Plus I have the opportunity to be very creative.

Unless there’s science involved in the cooking – say, something like muffins – I’m very comfortable cooking this way as well. After a few decades (!) happily cooking in my kitchens over the years, I am confident in knowing what I like and, overall, what works.

Ginger PhotoIt’s the rare occasion where punting doesn’t turn out. Likely I had more “just okay” meals when I started to punt. You get really good at it though if you do it a lot. And I do. Now’s it’s flat out fun so I do it a lot, rarely referencing a recipe proper to make a delicious and attractive meal.

There are certain ingredients and foodstuffs I like to keep on hand all the time, as much as possible. For me, the following are key & core.

Olive oil, kosher salt & peppercorns (to grind in my simple mortar and pestle when needed), plain yogurt, kale & onions, a variety of nuts, pasta & rice, a few pieces of fresh fruit (or frozen, unprocessed), cheese (parmesan or other harder cheese).

I encourage you to try punting. Maybe you already cook this way as well. I’d love to hear some of your successful combinations you’ve serendipitously put together for successful meals past. Be in touch.


Photo: punt made with previously roasted beets, chevre, and other goodies. Quick, nutritious, gorgeous & delicious. 

Ginger JohnsonYou can find Ginger at the links below and also follow her on Twitter.

Entertainer, Flavor Maker, Speaker & Presenter, CEO Ginger Johnson & Women Enjoying Beer TEDxNapaValley  Talk


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