Saturday, January 9, 2010

Lots of Snow = Lots of Cooking

Indiana finally got snow (of significance) this week! While there are always downsides to being stuck at home on snowy days, there are lots of benefits as well, one of the biggest being more time to cook! Years ago I had so much more time to spend hours on end baking in the kitchen. Nowadays it is rare that I spend more than the time necessary to make our meals. This week was different.

I was reminded this week of the wonders of homemade bread and how delightful it is to have it around all the time. Three days in a row I made bread and I've been trying to work out in my mind just how I could continue keeping homemade bread made when life gets back to normal (read busy). Where there's a will, there's a way....we'll just have to see how strong my will is on this matter.

Another item made in quantity this week was soup -- three different batches turned out in the space of 18 hours! And they were so good. We had White Chili from Food Network Magazine as well as their Vietnamese Soup and then a tried and true recipe for Italian Sausage and Red Lentil Soup. All were made in quantity and it was helpful to have freezing temperatures so I could use the back patio for extra cooling space!

I did have one moment of kitchen panic this week. After putting off starting supper until way beyond when I should have, I went down to have a look again at the recipe I had chosen only to read that I needed to allow 3 hours for simmering! Oooppps!! That wasn't going to work in the less than 40 minutes I had. I whisked a few chicken breasts out of the freezer where they were just beginning to harden after a shopping trip and pulled out the Food Network magazine and opened to their white chili. And that's how we tried that delicious recipe.

We've had little company this week other than family, a change from the past few months. New Year's Day found me calmly sipping tea at 4:30 when my sister called to see if we could change our dinner plans from quiet family dinner to dinner party for 14. Why not? I decided on 10 more minutes to sip tea and then dived head first into the deep waters of a Chinese meal. The results were good, we all had a ton of fun, and the recipes will appear next month!!!



And now, I think I'll pull some of that frozen soup out of the freezer for dinner. I'm just about baked and cooked out! I'm off to the knitting shop and an afternoon of quiet tea and knitting with a few friends. And maybe I should hope the snow sticks around for awhile....