Posted March 30, 2015on:
The pot of soup coming to a boil on the stove is not particularly green, except for the soup greens and extra celery, but it is rich. This pot started with some leftover liquid from the corned beef and cabbage I had made the other day. I had decided that it would be a good base for soup, so I saved it. Today, I skimmed the excess fat off and strained out the pickling spices. I put that in my French Oven, along with a package of soup greens, a cut up butternut squash (thank you, Glasser & Sands), about a pound of cubed beef, an extra onion, and two extra celery stalks. Tossed in a bit of salt, pepper, and cumin, and a box of low sodium beef broth. Added water to cover the solids, and it is now wafting a gorgeous scent across the kitchen. This is going to be soup like my mom and grandma used to make — the pot sitting and barely simmering overnight, with broth or water added as needed. I expect it will actually be a rich stew by the end of the week.
The roomie notes I’ve been on a cooking jag. Yesterday, I made chicken salad out of the leftovers from a rotisserie chicken we had gotten. Chicken salad is easy – just chop up the leftover chicken (remove the skin), add some celery, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and enough mayonnaise or mashed avocado t hold it all together. Sue says her mom, who disliked mayo, used to do it with ketchup instead of mayo. If she had told me before I had put the mayo in, I would have put a bit aside to try it. Oh, well; next time.
I also made a loaf of whole wheat bread. I found a no-knead recipe that turns out a nice, crusty, artisanal loaf using the French Oven. When Glasser dropped off some groceries earlier, I gave him the first slice, and he thought it was pretty good.
The thing is; I like to cook. Before I got sick, I used my newfound ability to turn out tasty stuff to help support my weight loss efforts. After my surgery, however, I could barely stand. I still can’t stand for too long, due to the sciatica and spinal issues, but I’m at a point where I can sit and chop things, and get things out of the cupboards. The roomie is turning into a fairly capable sous chef – handing me the stuff I need and running back and forth between me and the stove to add things when necessary.
I’ve promised my aunt that when I visit her I will do some cooking. Neither of us is rich, and my doing the cooking will pretty much ensure I can stick to my food plan. It also means I can treat my aunt to some good homemade bread – something she says she has never had.
As for today; dinner is some lovely, garlicky chicken salad on a slice of homemade whole wheat bread, and a bowl of my soup, with a bit of parmesan grated over it (I’d’ve put a cheese rind in, ala Rachael Ray, but I don’t have one to hand.)