Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall Food Fun

Fall food plants: beets and rhubarb
What with the new living arrangements and all, I'm having fun working out food preparation under a few simple principle:
  • I am made of food. I want to eat good stuff, not cheap garbage.
  • I'm frugal. I don't want to pay a lot unless there is a corresponding increment in value.
  • I'm not fancy. I don't need whoop-de-do. Although if I have some time, I will play around.
  • I'm short on time. Aren't we all?
I've gotten a lot of help from the herb garden. My salads and pan dishes are usually supplemented with leafy smelly things whose names I don't know (except mint - that one I remember). I'm sure any serious cook would recognize them, but they're herbs and they're fresh.
I'm also systematically working through my freezer to make sure I use up everything from earlier this year. There is little sillier than freezing something and then forgetting about it until it's so old that its only value is compost.
Sundays I start a huge green salad. I tend to base it on greens from a local market and supplement it from my garden - dandelion and chives, mostly. I toss in tofu, cheese, nuts or what-have-I to give it a protein kick and suddenly I have something I could live on if need be.
Most days I cook either a block of tofu or a chicken breast in my cast iron skillet. I season with whatever is in the fridge or the garden. I don't especially feel the need to start with a desired item and then cook toward it; rather, I prefer to cook what I have and just make sure it's flavored well.
About every third day I pick up an odd item from the grocer. Mountain bars are my bad habit, although once it was ginger snaps. Frugal and healthy are good, but there's no sense going crazy!
Right now I'm crocking some plumbs that were about to go; they'll be a fruit stew soon to which I'll add a little of the rhubarb, which is ready to harvest. Within reason, I'll just cook what's ready in the garden without worrying whether it was what I was aiming at to begin with. Why not? this is a home, not a restaurant.

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