March 11th and little has been cooked

the smoked salmon was enjoyed with my loft tenants  – they came over to pay rent and we ate fresh bread and smoked salmon.  I think I was wanting dryer smoked, however it was delicious and moist and not too smoky.  Fresh bread and butter and salmon?  YUM.

The smoked chicken, however, is another matter.  Oversmoked (small pieces is the issue) and tough (roosters is the issue).  I did take some to work on Monday with a sweet chili sauce and some rice.  Chewing on rubber bands, it was.  disappointing.  I put the remaining chicken into a pressure cooker and cooked them for 30 minutes, we tried them on the 10th (I pulled the meat off the bones) but it wasn’t a real success.  I think I would prefer, in future, to smoke a younger bird whole, then pressure cook it for at least 40 or more minutes to get it tender….  the issue with raising our own heritage roosters is that they have to grow for so long they get really tough..

#1 Son is here right now, and for dinner on the 9th we had macaroni and cheese for #1 daughter, and bunny for #1 son and Mr. P. and a big spicy stirfry.  I have a  plethora of cabbagy things in the fridge so #1 Son chopped and spiced.   Daughter not a fan of spicy, however she did eat some Macaroni and also high-graded the broccoli from the stirfry.   Bit of a challenge to have a spice lover visting and have a bland eater living here, how many options do we create?

Planning our holiday trip – we are going to take up mostly pantry items, just need to co-ordinate so I am packed when I want to leave.   got some lists together.  I would like to make another couple of loaves of bread, it is popular and tasty and easy and – for me – really satisfying to make….  I do have some in the freezers but want to take some fresh, as well..   Making bread is a simple pleasure for me.

Have to feed the current sourdough, I have two batches on the counter with a lot of ‘liquor’ on top,  they should be reduced and then fed.  maybe I will make a sourdough flavoured but yeast fed bread so I get the bread faster and don’t waste the sourdough.  off to research.

 

 

 

Good heavens, it is March 6

ok, so we ate out, errrr  a week ago. And.. well, there has been a lot of sourdough bread baked, today I made a lovely Milk based bread from my beloved Laurel’s kitchen bread book – if I can get sourdough to pop, I certainly can get regular yeast bread to pop.  It was an early start for the bread, rose, shaped, placed in pans.  then I went for a LONNNNNNGGGGGG nap.  Came down to find bread all over the place.  I tore it out of the pans, and reshaped it, and let it rise, and put it into a coolish oven to oven proof as the oven came to heat.  ended up with REALLY PRETTY loaves risen over 2/3 above the edges – soft and lovely bread.  wiped it all over with butter and wrapped in cloth to cool. Awesome bread.
Today was also the smoking day.  yesterday we thawed a couple of roosters and three salmon.  Pablo filleted the salmon and I chopped the birds – I froze the breasts, again, and took out a package of rooster wings.   We brined all of the fillets and rooster bits, this morning they were set out to dry and Pablo smoked them in our smoker.  The salmon is now back in the freezer – smoked and portioned.  the chicken – well, some went into the oven to finish cooking, and some was mixed with chili sauce to cook as wings…

We have eaten rice, and cabbage, and eggs.  a mish-mash.  more to come.

 

 

Feb 27th

Dinner last night at the Community Supported Restaurant?  Beyond awesome.  I never can eat it all so we conspire to put half of the first and maincoursese into a take home, Mr. N. thinks that this is awesome.  Before dinner I went to the grocery to get milk and crackers, got some sales items and few hugs.  Hotdogs for 97 cents for 4….  friends I haven’t seen for a while.   milk and some other basics… classic shopping.    N and M had hotdogs for supper, and were quite content.  Mr. P and I had fish cakes, Duck confit and a Panna cotta for supper – also quite content.  Actually,  I think I raved a bit more than was particularly polite… and MAN IT WAS A GOOD MEAL.   Got home and started the 24 hour sourdough.  At 4 when I was awake I put it into pans.   Placed into a cold oven at 9 this morning and let it oven proof as the oven warmed = with a bit of milk spread on top to give colour.  One loaf is out, the other in the oven.  yum….

there is marmelade on the counter waiting to be labeled and taken downstairs.   Fridge has lots of winter veggies so we will have stirfry tonight.  life is good!

 

 

Feb 26th… how did that happen

Well, it has been a month of folk unwell, leftovers, company, and  a turkey dispatch (sob).  We’ve been through a few nasty bugs which reduced the use of pantry, as well as kept some folk from school and work.  a general overview of things eaten out of the shelves:  Garbanzo beans spiced and toasted in the oven for snacks.  Tomato sauces and Rotel reduced for spaghetti sauce.   Prawns from the freezer with homemade Thai chili sauce (YUMMEEE) and rice.   More rice – brown jasmine – Miz M likes that.  Stirfry veggies in quantites with either rice or noodles.  Mr. P has eaten some lamb and some rabbit from the freezer.  we pressure cooked a chicken and used it in a few mixed meals.  I think I am going to miss baked chicken, though.   Enjoyed some cheeses with various meals.  Were gifted with a super stinky sourdough and have had numerous breads, those are popular!!!.   Marmelade was made with the February oranges… finally, I got it to set.  first try had it runny in the jars, I rewashed the lids, reboiled the marmelade and now it is a beautiful set with that lovely bitter marmelade flavour.  pretty awesome with the sourdough bread, if I do say so myself.

There is sliced cabbage and carrot slaw – no dressing – in the fridge downstairs.  making this ahead of time and not dressing it means it lasts for at least a week, and means we can choose the dressing we prefer.  Cabbage is inexpensive these days.  we have some chinese style cabbage and recipes, I need to find the courage to try Kimchi….  Loft people have made some that is delicious, so it has to be possible….

I have chosen to not purchase pre-made dried cereals for the kids, yet have taught Miz M. how to make oatmeal.  I suspect her sugar intake equals that from the packaged cereals, however I know that our dollar outflow for cereal has dropped by 75%.   She is content to make a bowl of oatmeal with sugar and milk – I know that the ingredients are better and the cost is much lower. Took me a long time to find a ‘junk food’ that she could make for herself.

Today, we have to make more sourdough – that is almost a 24 hour job, so am going to make a double batch and freeze half of it.   try the kimchi and perhaps something else yummy.  we are booked for a dinner out tonight and the kids need something healthy to eat…..

 

 

 

Feb 7th part one

started some bread dough.   Added turmeric as per #1 son.  and some sunflower seed, some pumpkin seed, some oats and onion and herbs and poppy seed.  dig through the pantry and find leftover this and that.  add it.  let it rise.  take a nap.  Form two big loaves and a lot of small buns (rolls, if you are my american friends).  let them rise for MUCH longer than the recipes say..    Wrap the buns/rolls around cheese to make life even better on a holiday monday.   wait wait wait.   reset the timer.  double the projected rising time.  then add another half hour.  not quite ready to cook but feeling good about the wait.  hungry, but good….

 

ANDDD then I read all these totally full of themselves posts about heating ovens and getting things pre heated and I laugh.  sorry … the buns wrapped around cheese are in the oven ( I DID preheat) and the two loaves wait until there is room.  this mamby pamby heat and spray and spray andheat and stand on your head bread cooking – not a fan

 

 

 

 

 

Feb 5th and 6th

The onion soup made a great start for a black (and other) bean chili.  Earlier in the week, I had pressure canned some beans and one jar had cracked – it still was sealed, but the base of the jar was cracked.
I decided to put it in the fridge to wait for a chili night.  There also were some remainder beans that hadn’t fit into the pressure canners, waiting in a fridge downstairs.  I put those beans and some water into one of our smaller pressure cookers and cooked down for 40 minutes or so.  Meanwhile, I pulled up a jar of tomato sauce, and one of rotel, and a jar of our celery, opened the jar of black beans, and chopped up some carrots.  found some chili powder and garlic powder and added a good cup and a half of the caramelized onions.  put it on low once it had boiled, and added the pressure cooked beans once they were done and de-pressurized.   Found 3 cups of frozen corn from last summer – put two cups into the chili and saved the remainder for the cornmeal muffins.

Made my mom’s johnnycake recipe with the usual twists – I prefer to use yogurt or crema to milk, and add chili powder.  The frozen corn was mixed with the dry ingredients and the oil and egg etc was measured.  #2 son was coming home before work on Friday, I didn’t know when I needed to feed him but knew it would be an early dinner.  in the end, we had eaten by 4:30 and he was at work at 4:45 – and I was in bed by 5:30 …. too many things on my list to do and not enough sleep.  #1 son got #2 when his shift was done.

On Saturday the 6th #1 got up early and drove the van to a friend’s house.  They filled the van with people, and a bike, and #1 succeeded in getting himself to Victoria, my friend had a Van big enough to provide the ride, and it was a win-win.   Mr. P. took a lamb roast out of the freezer and put it to thaw, we have invited the loft couple for dinner as they will eat lamb (Miz M. and I will not).   Mr. P. also succeeded in fixing his barbeque, as Lamb may not be cooked within my house without marital strife.  (not opposed to lamb for any emotional reason, just can’t be near it when it cooks without wanting to throw up).

Loft kids came over and we had a very joyous dinner of carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, roasted potatoes (two ways), cheese, chili, lamb, cabbage and carrot salad – and laughter. Was a good nigh.  Not too much lamb leftover for Mr. P’s dinner tonight, I will do something creative with the chili, most of the johnnycake (cornbread) muffins are gone (well, ONE is left)  and so the fridge is a bit emptier.  I did bring up some corn salsa and pickled beans, they were delicious.   the shelves still groan and yet every day of 2 or 3 jars less is a good day!!!!

 

Feb 4th early morning

Oh, dear, I have Got to stop emulating my lovely Aunti, who apparently also wakes in the middle of the night..it just is difficult to sleep through a night.  At least I feel better knowing that she gets up for a few hours to read or think, most nights…

Anyway, we DID have French Onion Soup Teri-style on Feb 3rd.  I ended up having to find a jar of mystery broth (likely turkey) to thin out my onions, there wasn’t enough of the current chicken broth to make it soupy.  The crock pot, on its own, turned those white-white-white onions into caramelized almost black onion goodness.  I did a grocery store run to buy soft white bread (decadent) and lucked out in seeing some beloved friends ===folk I miss terribly, we used to have dinners once every two months, now we barely see each other.   A dinner is planned.  Lovely to see them.

Got some swiss cheese (Canadian version – much less expensive) for Pablo and #1 and #2 sons) as well.  Came home, did some research, toasted the bread, filled the bowls with hot onion soup, put toast on top, cheese on top and then broiled.   The soup and bready/cheese was delish.

I had purchased some tortilini on SERIOUS discount a few days ago, so cooked those up as well. I reduced a couple of jars of my tomato sauce on the stove, then I remembered a jar of alfredo sauce that was just over date limit.  I heated that too.  Dinner was french onion soup and tortilini with your choice of sauce.  Funny, that – the Alfredo was the choice (and afterwards we likely all regreted it, not really that good)….

This gives us some onion soup for tonight, if we wish, and some reduced tomato sauce (and I have black beans in a jar that did wierd things when I was pressure canning – so we may have Chili tonight, or spaghetti)