Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kitchen Wars

Posted by Amy Baranski

This month (Teach your ______ how to cook) has gotten off to an incredibly slow start in the cooking realm. 
In fact, I feel like I haven't really eaten anything "inspired" except maybe my Ethiopian birthday dinner. But even that--a day or two later--wasn't (ahem) feeling totally amazing. I stole Melissa's idea and asked Bob to create a list of things he would want to learn. He compiled a list while on a return flight from a work trip back east. Here's what he wrote and my knee-jerk responses in line.

keeping the fridge clean and empty 
I get the first part. But if the fridge is empty what do we cook? Once my husband suggested we live without refrigeration and eat fresh food every day. Hey I'm willing to try most anything - even that. But as long as I live in a developed country I will never, ever, ever, give up my freezer. I could try ditching the fridge. But if we're in the city that means getting the OK to set up house in the super market right? I am not milking a goat in the apartment babe.

keeping the kitchen clean
Someone hasn't read my first blog post of the month! 

getting rid of a bunch of crap
In general  - yes. Pardon my impatience but when do we get to the cooking part?

including the popcorn popper?
Seriously? You just got it less than 6 months ago!

Uh .. no. Just, no.

top shelves?

Well there is an empty pretzel canister I wouldn't mind letting go of. (It's his). The top shelves have the party supplies and the canning supplies. I thought you wanted me to be ready for the "zombie-apocalypse" as our friends Jen and David call it? 

fancy wine glasses?
Come on, man those were wedding gifts and the only crystal we own!

In general I'm down for this. I do think of our kitchen as relatively organized and simple. How about we get a whole new kitchen? You know, not something pulled straight out of the 1972 Sears catalog? Maybe we should just buy a house this month where we can create a custom kitchen. And if we have a pantry then we don't have to have any food in the kitchen. It could be the perfect world. 

cleaning up the knife drawer and treating the knives better
It ain't that bad but perhaps something can be done here.

Yay we're on to food now! Hell yes! Let's bake some bread!

some old recipes (lentil casserole)
Personally not a casserole fan, probably because I associate the word casserole with the word tuna, but if you're into it let's do it. Sounds like you may already have an old recipe.

making and freezing burritos
  • bag of beans
  • cup of rice
  • jar of salsa
This I can do, and have done, and am very PRO making freezer dinners. They are so easy and worth it. This also feels like a great plan with the baby coming soon. Sign me up!

making our own salsa?
We can even jar it. But maybe we should wait until tomatoes are in season to do the canning so we don't break the bank. Otherwise yes let's freshen it up!

making our own tortillas? (fewer jars, plastic containers)
I've never done this and I'd be willing to try but I'd de-prioritize this on the food portion of this list because I think there's lower hanging fruit, or should I have said maize?

coming up with a standard granola recipe
Homemade granola is tops! The thing I like most about it is that you can throw whatever you have on hand in it. You know, like that leftover shredded coconut in the freezer from holiday baking, and those raisins we've seemed to have had forever...so let's get a standard base together and make it every week from now on.

soup (corn soup?)
Sounds good! Are you thinking of corn chowder? How about a great chicken noodle and minestrone to boot?

moosewood and enchanted broccoli forest recipes
I borrowed Moosewood from Melissa already. Let's pick one thing from it and go to town! And yes I'll put these titles on your Christmas list for this year. 

cleaning the freezer
As long as we get to keep it captain.


Filter said...

Oh man. I am all for the simplifying in theory, but in practice, the zombie-apocalypse survivor in me saves... everything. And sometimes, we even end up using these things! Though David no longer allows me to keep every single glass jar after its contents have been emptied. Part of his strategy is throwing away the lids. Evil, I tell you.

Unknown said...

For the knives, maybe you could pick up an in-drawer butcher block. We have little counter space, and this is a great way to care for our good knives and save counter space. I imagine it'd be good for baby-proofed cabinets, too.

Bob Redmond said...

Why, hello. I'm finally catching up on reading the blog. And I'm ready to do some cooking right now too, except--uh, oh, it's almost midnight and someone is asleep!

Really, it's been a hell of a month. You summerized it well Amy with your post just after the shootings on May 30. http://goodluckwiththat1.blogspot.com/2012/05/responding-to-world-of-chaos.html

Add to that the conference out of town, total chaos when I returned (at work, not in the kitchen)... and it's been a victory to make those quesadillas and soup. (I mean instant Ramen, enhanced with chicken, peas, and carrots.)

We'll count this as a kickoff month, and keep the cooking going into the summer. Thanks for the opportunity to hone some new skills!