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Kitchen Wiz

Right off the bat, let me apologize for the lack of pretty pictures, or — more accurately — any pictures. I meant to take one of the beautiful bowl of chopped veggies waiting to go into tonight’s soup, and then I got to talking on the phone, which caused me to completely forget about snapping a shot before making said soup.

You’re not missing much. Imagine a square quart-sized glass bowl filled with a chopped rainbow of vegetable goodness. Ahhhh. There you go!

Now — back to business. This week, I have been killing it in the kitchen! Now, to put that in perspective, I’ve not yet broken even with those who actually cook all their meals at home and swear off all things processed. Oh my, no. However, by merely putting on my apron and bossing myself around a bit, so far I’ve:

  • caramelized a big batch of onions (because that’s the only way anything onion-y is going to make it into any of my food)
  • baked three loaves of artisan bread
  • cooked up a pot of applesauce*
  • made a half-batch of jambalaya
  • roasted tomatoes and garlic for sauce, thus salvaging the tomatoes that I could almost watch going soft on the counter
  • froze some chocolate covered banana bites for snack
  • baked up a tray of Coconut Granola Bark

Dinner was a pot of creamy any veggie soup [scroll down – it’s the second recipe on the page]. I make this soup about once every two weeks or so, and it really is a little bit magical. It looks absolutely terrible, though, but everyone at my table slurps it down. Tonight’s combo was pretty wild — broccoli, carrot, tomatoes, Swiss chard, black radish, and golden beet — and it still worked. Our youngest member complained about the spice, but that wasn’t until the last bite. (It wasn’t spicy.) This soup is a terrific way to clean out the crisper and any other annoying leftover drips and dabs in the fridge, including any last cups of stock you might have.

Speaking of stock, I loved reading this post, especially the part about the chicken stock hanging over her head. I can relate! A couple of weeks ago, my mom and I were talking and I was telling her that I just couldn’t stand the thought of fooling around making a pot of stock and having to mess with straining it and all that. She agreed, but then she said, “It’s really not that hard.” What just happened? Totally the opposite of agreeing! But she was right, and just hearing her say that made me think, “Oh yeah! It isn’t that hard”, so I put on the pot and — four hours later — froze several quarts of stock.

The hard part is facing how often I’m just unwilling to put in the time, and how easy it is to sit and think for hours on end about how hard “it” is. Yikes.

But that’s not today! Today we dined at home!


*I didn’t have any apple juice in the house, and as a result almost didn’t make the applesauce for the third week in a row. Then, I remembered that we do have running water, and subbed that. Still delicious. The key to kitchen success: Know when not to be a slave to your recipe!



2 responses »

  1. Have you ever tried making stock in a crockpot? I’ve left it on low for up to 24 hours with no ill effect. You kitchen adventures sound amazing! Someday when my kiddos are not quite so clingy, I’ll be back to that sort of thing again.

    • Yes! Sometimes — and this is not something I’m proud of — I just can’t face washing the crockpot afterwards, so I go back to stovetop. Also, once I cooked in overnight, which worked great and made the best stock, but the smell! Oh waking up surrounded by chicken the next morning…too much.

      And older children definitely allow for more of this kind of thing. It does put a pep in my step! 🙂 Thanks for your comment, Sarah!


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