Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Food Factory

Today has been one of my favorite kind of days: very productive! I'm not driven to complete a list of tasks all the time, but I do like when I really feel up to something and then just do it!

After the farmer's market yesterday and because a recipe Eve wants to try tomorrow morning for breakfast calls for yogurt, I decided to have a "kitchen day." I do enjoy "putting food by" and making my own dressings and such. So today I:

- cooked up 4 pints of kidney beans that are now in the freezer
- soaked 3 cups of dry garbanzo beans (chick peas) for cooking and freezing in just a bit here
- made a quart of yogurt
- made some of my Carrot Muffins (much to the girls' delight!)
- and made two pints and an extra cup's worth of fresh salsa for freezing

I don't know how well Paul will like the salsa, because I threw a bit of cilantro in there (he's not such a fan) and the flavor came through a bit more than I'd expected. We'll see. I also put some fresh, Georgia peach in one of them too. We are all great fans of Newman's Own peach and mango varieties of salsa, so I thought I'd try my own version.

The only thing I didn't get to today was making up a batch of Ranch dressing, but I can do that tomorrow.

I do like getting a lot of cooking done at once and, thinking of our current water shortage here, I kept the sink filled with sudsy water. Doing dishes is much more delightful and uplifting to my spirits when I have a lovely, eco-friendly detergent to use, such as Mrs. Meyer's Geranium- scented dish soap. Their Geranium fragrance is my absolute favorite! I must be in a good deal of company with this, because our local Whole foods always seems to be out of that variety first. The hand soap was out this time and last; I picked up the Lavender (also terrific) instead last time, because I was out. I'd intended to get some of the hand soap this time, even though I'm not yet out of the Lavender - just to have it... figuring they'd have a new order in, but the hand soap was already sold out this time as well. I went ahead and bough the dish soap, which I can use interchangeably anyway. I actually have a new, unused bottle of Seventh Generation dish soap under my sink too. It also smells great and the price is about half that of Mrs. Meyer's (about $2.37 to MM's $4.99), so I have that on hand to use more frequently. I just prefer Mrs. Meyer's because many natural soaps use lavender (as is the case with the Seventh Generation) and the MM Geranium is so unique. I think of Mrs. Meyer's as a special treat, to lift me up in the midst of a grumpy day or, in this case, a long "kitchen day." I can still smell the geranium/rose blend on my hands right now as I type this and it's just so nice. :) They also have a Lemon Verbena fragrance in their line too. You should check them out!

Tonight was Eve's turn to make supper. For her menu she chose:

Veggie "Pigs in Blankets"
Corn on the Cob
Fresh Peaches

I'm not a big dessert maker. We get dessert once-a-week at my mom's when we go to her place on Wednesday evenings and I may make dessert once-a-week myself. Other than that, our fruit is usually the sweet treat of the night.

Along with learning to make the meal, we learn conservation here at Golightly Place (of COURSE!!). So, the water from the dish pans are always saved for the plants outside...

and the paper egg carton is torn and taken out to the compost...

along with the corn husks.

Eve did a terrific job with her meal! Everything was delicious!

We made the "pigs in blankets" using Lightlife brand "Smart Dogs." We used a half batch of Kelli's biscuit recipe to roll them up. Thanks, Kelli! :)

We never boil our corn; always turning it off when it boils and then just setting the corn in the hot water for about 4 minutes. It never gets overcooked and chewy this way; it's always crisp and delicious!

Finally, the crane family stopped by for dinner too. We've been blessed this year to see their chicks, as well as a pair of cardinal chicks, again, being raised in and around our yard.

Marianna asked me about our chore charts and how we keep that going. This is a rather lengthy post already, so I think I'll save that one for the next one! :)

Thanks for stopping by! Have a great evening, everyone!


Jessica C said...

LOVE the cooking photos... and the salsa sounds yummy. Wow, you did get a lot done! Amazing! :)))))

Kelli said...

Your day in the kitchen sounds wonderful and I'll bet your peach salsa will be delicious!
Eve did a wonderful job on her dinner, it all looks so yummy!! We like our corn crisp too!

Andrea said...

Cute little cooker!! :)
Your salsa looks and sounds yummy!!

Marianna said...

Thanks for the corn tip. I always overcook mine!! Now I won't. I'm looking forward to the chore chart post when you have time...Last night, in talking with a group of moms, I finally found a way that I think will work for allowances!

Mary Ann said...

Great job on being so productive! The carrot muffin recipe looks delicious. Yum!

Aimee said...

what a fabulous sounding day!!!
give me your salsa recipe!! i have some roma tomatoes in my garden that are screamin' salsa!

TaunaLen said...

Everything looks so yummy! I am so happy you posted these photos. The view from your dining room table looks beautiful. Now, maybe I'll go fix some corn.


Laurie said...

You've inspired me to spend a day in my kitchen today. I have been procrastinating..I mean putting off...ummm being utterly lazy...no, waiting for the right time (yeah, that's it!) to put all my kitchen stuff back in the cabinets from the Great Floor Replacement. So you've encouraged me now and I'll get right to work on it. Glad to see her first dinner went well! And I've always used my pressure cooker for the corn so now I know an alternative way to do it. Thanks! :)

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