Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back in Business

I have found myself in the kitchen a lot more lately.  I've also found myself reading cookbooks again.

Ah, it's good to be back!

I went through quite a dry spell for the last several months in which my family subsisted mostly on yogurt, sourdough bread and quesadillas.  I guess I was tired and uninspired.  Not to mention the difficulties of cooking with a little munchkin crying at my feet (he seems to think that "making supper time" is "cry at mommy time".  Sigh.).  I can now mostly get around this by setting him on the counter to play with sharp knives and glass jars to "help" me or I put him in the highchair right next to me and hand him things to taste and play with.

Also, it just gets boring to keep shuffling the same ol' ingredients around in as many different ways as I can think of.  That's the way it always gets in spring before there is anything in the garden and after I have used up most of the fun stuff from last year's garden.  Especially when I'm limited by not being able to eat wheat.

"Hm, let's see.  What can I make with a pile of sprouting potatoes and onions, some canned tomatoes, and ground venison tonight?"

But now I'm getting to the fun part.  The part where I go out and pick supper in the garden.  I love summer!  I'm still using things stored from last year, but now I have more options!

The above picture turned into some super-yummy soup!

I'm having a love affair with salads.  I really don't have much of a taste for salads in the winter, but come spring I'm craving them!  Fancy --like that yummy asian-inspired salad served over cold rice noodles-- or simple --plain ol' lettuce, carrots and cukes dressed with yogurt and dill-- I can't get enough!

Speaking of dill, I'm having a love affair with that, too.  It grows everywhere like a weed right now, and I find myself pulling it out to make room for other things, but I just have to make something with it.  Dill dressing, dill and tomato soup, dill and chevre dip.... it's marvelous!  And where will all the dill be when it comes time to make pickles?  Dried up and gone to seed, of course.

So I'm cooking again.  This morning I made chocolate creme brulee (can I call it that when I actually leave out the "brulee" part?) with just a hint of cinnamon and cayenne pepper and vanilla.  For a barbecue a few days ago I took a bean salad which involved bacon and basil and was dressed in my Mom's maple vinaigrette

Ah, how I've missed having good food around.  I'm missing the wheat a little, but getting around it.  Except for a great deal of mourning when a lady from church gave us homemade chocolate chip cookies, which is my favoritest ever, and I wanted one sooo bad.  Then I went to make myself some spelt flour chocolate chip cookies and had no eggs!  Drat those lazy chickens! Oh, and on that note, several Amish neighbors of ours have been bringing us cookies and pies, so there's lots of extra wheat-filled sweets in the house.  But we're always out of eggs.  I'm thinking of putting a sign on the door that says "Will take payment for phone usage in EGGS only."

I am still having trouble with the time involved in cooking --where does it all go?-- but at least I'm enjoying it again.  And I have had an awful lot of milk to deal with lately, which often feels like just another thing to get around to, but I'm also getting very used to having ample yogurt, mozzarella, and chevre on hand, so I keep up with it (and the addition of a cream separator to my kitchen equipment has boosted my possibilities enormously!).

My sister was recently horrified to learn that to save time, I frequently cook things in large enough batches to serve it two (or sometimes three!) days in a row.  "Don't you get bored with it?" she gasped.  Well, she's coming to stay with me for a month after the baby's born (yippeee!) so she had better make her peace with this.  Or cook for me.

I'm hoping for the latter, actually.

And my family doesn't care about eating the same thing repeatedly.  They're happy to have food around!

Say, have you ever tried popping popcorn in bacon drippings?  Do.  You won't regret it.


  1. I'm in the same rut. You've given me some inspiration here, though.

    I will NOT share the bacon drippings suggestion with my men. They have popcorn here every night! The oldest (my husband)will be better off without knowing that little bit of information. It sounds divine.

  2. You could be a 5 star chef somewhere. You are a 5 star chef in your little farm house but holy cow woman, you are inspirational. I just want to eat.
    I will lament that we are not neighbors again because I would clean for you so you could FEED me. I am very good at blowing raspberries on baby bellies too. We always need eggs too. The sign is a great idea. When is the new baby coming? about?