One of my most heartbreaking quizbowl moments was buzzing relatively early on a question on the Grool from It Came from Beneath the Sink! only to be unable to remember the actual name of what came from beneath the sink.
Luckily, dinner did not come from beneath the sink, as appetizing as fresh sponge with Clorox sauce sounds. I did, however, resuscitate frozen and canned ingredients galore into something slightly more edible than bleach soup.
I present to you garbanzos con espinacas (recipe alterations: a tablespoon of red wine along with the balsamic vinegar, lime zest and juice instead of lemon). The only actual fresh foods contained therein are a tomato, a sweet potato, and half a lime. So sue me. Frozen spinach and canned chickpeas and tomato paste and dried spices are way too convenient.
More importantly, my roommate came home last night with leftover papayas from a club workshop (Did you know that a papaya is like a uterus?), saying that the consensus was that I would know what to do with papayas. Six perfectly ripe papayas. I had asked another club member for leftovers, but I'd imagined one, or at most two! This felt like an episode of Chopped, except instead of having four mandatory ingredients and a fully stocked pantry to work with, I had one mandatory ingredient and a very, very unstocked pantry. No butter. No limes. No milk. No coconut milk. No coconut. No lemongrass. No Thai basil. Basically, none of the ingredients that I immediately thought might be fun to use with papaya. I could have waited, yes, but these things were so perfect and so ripe and beckoned so temptingly...
My next thought, after cursing my paltry pantry, was "hmm, banana bread." It often uses melted butter or canola oil, so why not substitute olive oil for the butter and mashed papaya for the bananas? So I did, to surprisingly good reviews! I picked up a couple limes at a green cart today, which means the rest of the papayas will become papaya-lime-ginger sorbet. I've still got some simple syrup kicking around in the fridge from when I made those candied lemon slices; time to use it up in sorbet (spicy papaya lime).
Hannah's Ginger Papaya Muffins
Please note: I'm sure you could improve upon this recipe. Please do. Then tell me about.
Two large, ripe papayas, seeds removed and flesh mashed
Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon (I think a lime or two would work much better)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp dried ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour, of some combination of whole wheat and all-purpose (I really wanted to use some cornmeal, but there was none to be had)
Option: some oatmeal for garnish, plus half a third ripe papaya, cut up for crust and mix-in purposes.
Mix the egg, olive oil, sugar, and vanilla until homogenous. Add the mashed papaya and lemon juice and zest, and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and mix until the batter is smooth. Add some chopped papaya if you want chunks of it in the batter. Pour into muffin cups (or a greased loaf pan, although I have no idea how long that would need to bake), top with a chopped papaya and oatmeal crust, and bake for 30 minutes or until deep brown on top.