October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment
This week, as part of my simplification kick, I have been doing a lot of batch cooking and recipe recycling. Tuesday, I made a delicious pot roast, which translated into meals even till today. Yesterday, I made a pot roast hash with new potatoes and carrots (I have an abundance of carrots for some reason) and served that with a lightly fried egg on top.
This morning, we had the leftovers from that for breakfast, so we really stretched that meal! In fact, there is STILL some of the pot roast in the fridge, which I must make plans for. It was a bone-in chuck roast, and the bones are in a ziplock baggie in the freezer for bone broth later in the week.
I believe I mentioned previously that the side for the pot roast on Tuesday was my last quart of Winter Root Soup from last year. It was so good… I basically follow the Nourishing Traditions recipe with my own tweaks, plus top it with homemade creme fraiche… oh so good!
I will be making my first batch of the season for this Saturday’s Harvest Fest at church. We’re going pumpkin picking and corn mazing and hay riding at Merrymeade farm, then back to the church for a soup and bread lunch and pumpkin “carving” (probably more painting than carving.) I’ll also be making some kefir bread for that, as well as bringing apple slices and homemade caramel sauce. Food… Makes me happy. 🙂
Today I am making a big batch of carrot soup, and it smells AWESOME! So I thought I’d share my recipe.
2 T butter, ghee, or coconut oil
8-10 large carrots, chopped
4 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups beef or chicken broth/water
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp rosemary
2-3 bay leaves
Celtic sea salt
In large pot, saute onion over medium heat in fat until translucent, then add the garlic, carrots and celery, salting as you go*. Cook until the color of the carrots and celery starts to brighten, then add broth or water or combination of two. Bring to a rolling boil, and then reduce heat to medium low and cover. Allow to simmer for about 30 minutes, or until carrots start to soften. Add spices, and cover for an additional 20 minutes.
Remove bay leaves, and puree with a stick blender. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve topped with creme fraiche or sour cream.
* I learned from a cooking show that if you add salt to taste each time you add a new element to your recipe, you will find it is perfectly salted when you are done. So don’t be afraid to salt and taste as you go along!
October 5, 2010 § 2 Comments
Matt and I are on a simplification kick. For the last few months, we have been asking the question, “Just how much do we really need?”
Currently, we live in a one hundred year old, three-story twin. It has tiny rooms, and we have lots of stuff. The finished attic, which is supposed to be a third bedroom, is stuffed to the gills with boxes of things we never unpacked from our move into the house three years ago.
Navigating from room to room can sometimes be a hazard. Oh, I’ve joined FlyLady, and read all the good homekeeping blogs and subscribe to other mommy bloggers who struggle with clutter and organization, but I still feel overwhelmed and helpless in the face of my mountain of crap— erm… adversity.
But it is time to get serious. Today, I have been clearing out cabinets and shelves in my kitchen, filling boxes to go OUT THE DOOR. We need to go room by room to eliminate all the excess and just… simplify. We have so many dishes, that I’ve boxed up one whole set (dinner and salad plates, bowls, cups and saucers) and am switching to our china which sits in a hutch and never sees the light of day. What’s the point of having pretty plates if you’re never going to use them? Any utensils in the drawers which were doubles or simply superfluous and not something I use regularly went into a box. A whole knife set (with wooden block holder) is now in the box, along with my old 6 quart slowcooker (I have almost half a dozen in different sizes. They all get used– sometimes simultaneously, so it’s hard parting with even one…)
Not only are we getting rid if the standard clutter, but we feel a real need to pare down to the bare minimum. Just the essentials. How many tops do I really need? Can I get by on only 5 blouses, 4 sweaters, two pairs of jeans and a couple of skirts? What does it mean to live simply? Could I get by on only 100 items total? I’m talking, clothes, furnishings, entertainment, etc.
Put that way, to my mind anyway, 100 items seems like an awful lot. But then I look around me at all the STUFF in my house, and wonder what I’m doing with it all. Somehow, I don’t think I even USE 100 items, but I know I have way more than that in my possession.
So it’s all going away. Shooting for a goal of 100 (but not obsessing or killing myself to get there, just aiming for it) I am pushing out the clutter.
Maybe I should make this a general challenge… hmmm….