I love the dark, rich colors of this food.  Wish I could share the aroma…

March 1, ‘14

I woke up to a temp of 9 degrees at 7 a.m.    Not much to do but wrap myself in blankets, drink coffee, read the news and keep warm.  Around 11:30 a.m., I decided to spend the next 3 or 4 hours Cooking and Cleaning – while it’s ‘warm.’  Today started bright and cloudless but by 2pm, the sky is turning more and more gray.  The temp is 30 degrees. 

So far, I’ve only attended to the Cooking. 

I went to S&S yesterday on my way home from work.    The weather forecast shows there’s a storm coming on Monday and since I was in that part of town anyhow, I decided to drop into the only supermarket that sells canned cat food that suits Albert and stock up on food.  There’s no way I want to be stranded with Albert in a snow storm with him begging me for food & resentful he has to eat sardines.  Plus, I also needed milk and eggs.  I knew that it was Friday and that whole-roasted rotisserie chicken is on sale for only $5, but opted out because I didn’t feel like living off chicken all week.  On my way out of the store I ran into a friend I look upon as my brother.  He was very happy because he’d just bought the last rotisserie chicken and didn’t have to wait a half hour for the next batch to cook like the people who’d been behind him in line at the deli.  He extended an invitation for me to join him and his wife for dinner that evening.

I was pleased for the invite because this winter and accompanying Cabin Fever hasn’t afforded much opportunity to go out and join friends in the evening.  I went, we feasted and I was sent home with the carcass and the meat that remained from our feast.  I put the meat in the fridge and the carcass in the crock-pot to cook overnight.

When I checked the ‘reduced for quick sale’ veggies yesterday at S&S, I found 2 beautiful red peppers for $1.53 and a 5# bag of small red potatoes for $1.75.  I had a yen for Cilantro but the selection at that store was puny and costly.  I decided that since I had to go to another store, for another batch of bargains, I’d look for Cilantro there.

The 2nd store, Price-Rite, had gorgeous Cilantro, many big, fat bunches of it and only .79 per bunch as opposed to S&S’s price of $1.29 for the one puny and lifeless bunch.  I bought 2 bunches….  I also bought a 2# can of name-brand coffee for $5.99.

So, when I showed up in my kitchen to cook this late morning, I had a plan.  I set the peppers under the broiler in my toaster oven then set to cutting onion, carrots, garlic, zucchini and some kale for my chicken soup.  I put all of those veggies in a frying pan on the stove to sauté while I alternately ‘picked the chicken’ and tended the peppers in the broiler.     

Picking chicken is one of my least favorite tasks in the world, but is necessary when making boiled bone soup which is highly flavorful, nourishing as well as low-cost.  I soon got that job finished, I put all the chicken and all the sautéed veggies in the crock-pot and added ½ cup of rice.  It’ll be Chicken-veggie soup with rice in 4 hours.  Then I made a chicken salad sandwich made from the leftover meat and sat down for lunch.  I had to share bits of chicken with Albert because he loves deli-chicken; he woke from a sound sleep when the aroma drifted his way and set to begging me for his share.  Before I sat down to eat lunch, I set half of the bag of small red potatoes into a pot full of boiling water and left them to cook while I ate.  By the time I’d eaten, the potatoes were almost cooked and I set in 4 eggs to cook with the potatoes.

Oboy!  I’m on a roll…! 

I washed and dried both bunches of Cilantro then chopped all the leaves from one bunch and started the process of making Pesto – diced a huge clove of garlic, grated some Parmesan cheese and added a handful of chopped Walnuts – & turned it all to paste in my little blender.  By the time this was done, the potatoes and eggs had cooled so I peeled the eggs, diced the potatoes — skins and all — and made a potato, egg and pesto salad.  The salad seemed a bit dry so I added a dollop of olive oil and a dollop of vinegar and gave it a taste-test.

Oboy, is it good…!  I somewhat wish I’d waited to have that salad for lunch.

I saved 6 of the boiled potatoes to have later this week as home fries with eggs.

The peppers are all roasted and are now steaming and cooling under wraps.  When I’ve finished the coffee from my lunch, I’ll peel off the skin, scrape off the seeds and put the pieces of roasted pepper in a jar with some olive oil along with other peppers I roasted last week.  I’m planning to make roasted pepper soup from the peppers, at a later date.  And after my coffee, I have to make more Pesto using the 2nd bunch of Cilantro. 

With all this food prepared, I should weather the up-coming cold spell and snow storm in great shape.

Having food prepared ahead of a storm is almost as good as getting food delivered….

I love days like today, when the sun is shining and I feel energized and purposeful.  I don’t know when I’ll get around to the Cleaning….




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3 Responses to COOKING UP A STORM!

  1. beetleypete says:

    I had to Google Cilantro, as I had never heard of it, or seen it for sale over here. It seems it is a herb, with antioxidant qualities, but I am none the wiser really, as I still haven’t seen it. Your pepper meal looks delicious, but unfortunately for me, peppers, particularly green peppers, began to give me bad indigestion around ten years ago, so I now have to avoid them.
    I am glad to ‘see’ you more positive, and happy with your cooking Gretchen. I hope your meal out with your friends increased your good mood, and you enjoyed the chicken!
    Regards as always, Pete.

  2. candidkay says:

    There’s nothing like nesting when it’s cold out! Just not the same in the summer:).

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