Tuesday, November 1, 2011

2-day cook fest

Phew!  I've pretty much spent 2 straight days in the kitchen!  Sunday was meant to be a kitchen day anyway, as I had lots of projects planned.  First I wanted to try out a "green soup" recipe that was in October's issue of Eating Well magazine.  I don't usually read Eating Well, I prefer Clean Eating magazine because they don't use white flour or sugar and they watch the calories in their recipes too.  But we got the issue of Eating Well in our CSA box this week, and seeing as how I had tot soi, collards, leafy celery and turnip and dandelion greens in my fridge that needed some attention this recipe was well-timed.  You can use any kind of greens you have on hand.  It turned out really yummy, I couldn't think of a better way to turn a huge pile of bitter greens into something I would actually enjoy eating!

I also noticed while cooking that all of our freezers are full of trash.  We have a very complex waste disposal system.  Vegetable scraps get stuffed into a ziploc and thrown into the freezer, and whenever I make a whole chicken I stick the carcass in my crock pot with some of the veggie scraps to make broth.  Fruit and vegetable scraps that would NOT make good broth (like banana peels, eew) get shoved into separate bags and put in the freezer to be saved for my mom's goats.  OTHER food trash that is not good for broth OR goats (like coffee grounds and eggshells) gets composted.  The rest of our stuff gets recycled, and if it doesn't fall into ANY of those categories then it is thrown away.  It's kind of a pain to not just be able to sweep everything into the trash while I'm cleaning up, but our family of 4 usually only produces 1 bag of trash per week, so I think it's worth it. 

Anyway, I hadn't realized how many bags of veggie junk we had in our freezers (5!) so I decided I needed to make some broth, stat.  Once I had that going, I realized we didn't have any pumpkins to carve since Emily's trip to the pumpkin patch the day before had been cancelled.  I set out to find some, going first to Costco (nope), then to Giant (nope), then calling My Organic Market (nope).  Instead of just running around town all day I decided to go to the closest pumpkin patch.  However all they had left in the way of carving pumpkins were pretty big.  They also had the greyish pumpkins that are really good for baking and I wanted to make some pumpkin puree to freeze since it's SO much better than canned, so when all was said and done I ended up with 100 pounds of pumpkin in my wheelbarrow.  
But we carved 4 of them and cooked the seeds, and I already have 1 of the grey kind cooked and pureed and stuffed in my freezer so we're putting them all to good use. I finished the day out by cooking up some lima beans from our CSA box and a whole chicken (I needed to make lots of broth!)

Monday I went about my normal weekday schedule, but soon returned to the kitchen because I was hosting my family for an early dinner before trick or treating.  I ground up some flour and got some dough started rising for bread.  And aparently I have a lot to say about bread, because I just went off on a tangent and typed for about half an hour on the subject.  I will save all of that amazingness for another blog post.

I finished the day by toasting pumpkin seeds, cooking down one of the pumpkins, making 4 pork tenderloins and baking my bread.  We had a lovely dinner, prominently featuring my dad's delicious pumpkin soup and homemade hard apple cider, which was also awesome!  I will definitely be trying to make some of my own in the near future.  And I am proud to say that I haven't touched a single piece of Halloween candy!  It may sound overly dramatic, but if I have even one then all is lost so my goal was not to get started in the first place.  I have been snacking a bit more than usual  (a big banana with peanut butter yesterday, lots of pumpkin seeds and random bowls of leftover soup) but I'm allowing myself to have a bit more healthy food as a kind of "reward" for avoiding the candy.  We'll see how that turns out at my weigh-in tomorrow.

I am also happy that we successfully sneaked all of Charlotte's regular candy out of her pupmkin and replaced it with the dye-free organic lollipops I let them have in the car on occasion.  She is perfectly happy with that!  Emily is old enough now to know better, but she is being agreeable about letting me ration her candy out so Halloween hasn't been TOO hard on anyone's blood sugar so far.

After all that I'm kinda sick of being in the kitchen, but today is going to have to be a kitchen day too...except instead of cooking fun things I'll be cleaning up :-(  That is the unfortunate result of using a kitchen, eventually it'll have to be cleaned!

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