Gosh. I haven’t written about food in ages. I guess I’ve been too busy cooking it? I’ve definitely found my style – it’s hearty, simple, farmer’s market type food. I’m at a loss as to how to organize all my favorite recipes, which is why I used to index them on an online recipe blog I kept, but it will take me WEEKS to update date it.
The past month has been all about meats, sweet potatoes, squash and beans. I’ve got the biggest stockpile of dried beans that you’ve ever seen, I swear. Mayacoba, cannelini, pinto, black, garbanzo, lima, kidney, you name it. And I actually use them. I set them out overnight to soak, then cook with them the next day. I adore cooking with beans & making soup because my goal is for us to eat kale/chard/spinach a few times each week. Right now it’s mostly kale and chard, since that’s what’s at the market. We don’t eat nearly as much bread & pasta as we used to, but we eat spaghetti with an amazing (if I do say so myself) bolognese sauce I make once each week. I use grassfed beef and San Marzano tomatoes (because I didn’t can enough tomatoes this summer to get through winter. Next year.) There’s no way I can go completely gluten-free, especially since I’ve been making my own pasta for awhile. I can’t give that up. Nor can I give up my olive & rosemary focaccia or the occasional honey whole wheat roll (from a local bakery!) with our soups. I have cut back on gluten a lot, though – like when we have brinner (breakfast for dinner, which I’m doing tonight), I replace the flour in my pancake mix with the gluten free mix I whipped up.
I also have a huge stockpile of chicken stock – I make fresh chicken stock to freeze & use in soups once every couple months. Then I use the leftover meat for croquettes, chicken salad, etc. I’ve also got many containers of frozen bones, for making more stock. I use THE WHOLE CHICKEN, it’s actually kind of fun. The past couple weeks, however, I’ve started doing roast chicken for dinner once a week because I get a great deal on small, pastured chickens from the pickup where I get all our grassfed beef, pork, etc.
This week I’ll make beef stock, something I’ve been meaning to do as I’ve been collection soup marrow bones. I plan on roasting them, first (brings out the flavor) then simmering in water with vegetables for a couple hours and then – THEN – I’m going to make a beef noodle soup. I’ve been wanting to do this for ages.
The strangest thing of all is that, for the first time in over a decade, I’m looking forward to summer. I’m looking forward to the cycle of fruits & vegetables and raw salads. And my chickens! We’re getting our chickens (or I’M getting MY chickens, rather) in early spring.