Monday, October 3, 2011

The Most Important Ingredient? Time!

I've been at it again.  Last week I baked off some pie pumpkins, scooped out the flesh, ran it through the food processor, drained/strained it and then froze it.  Now I will have fresh, real pumpkin to use in recipes throughout the winter.  Or, I can give it to dogs who need to 1) lose weight, 2) stop pooping, or 3) start pooping.  It really it a multi-purpose vegetable.

Today I made some fresh marinara sauce using tomatoes from last summer and zucchini from this summer.  Then I mixed it with some ziti and cheeses to freeze pans of ziti to be popped in the oven at a later date, when we don't feel like "making" dinner.

Later in the week I expect I will get more pumpkins and apples too that will need to be processed into food stuffs for the winter months.

Yes, I've done a lot of canning, freezing, baking, cooking, etc. this summer.  A few of you have commented that you are so impressed with that.  It's nice of you to say but, I have to share a secret with you....  NOTHING that I have made this summer takes any particular skill or equipment.  If you can boil water, follow a recipe and set a timer you can make all of the things I have made and make them just as well as I have.  The only ingredient I have right now that most of you don't is time.

When I was working full time, I very rarely froze, canned, baked or cooked much of anything.  When (notice I'm saying 'when' and not 'if')I return to work,  I'm not sure I will continue to do all these things.  Sure, UHM and I will still make supper for ourselves and, if I have a little time on the weekend I'll whip up a dessert that will last through the week.  But, I have to tell you that I am not entirely certain I will make the time to do all the things I've done this year.  It's takes a full day to can 20 lbs of apples into applesauce and pie filling.  If I only have 2 days off a week, I'm not sure I'll want to spend one of them doing that.

Still, those of you who don't currently feel like you have the skill set to freeze fresh green beans or make your own applesauce I would encourage you to try.  It's a wonderful feeling to sit down to a meal and know exactly where some of the items on the table came from and how they were made.  Plus, the flavors simply don't compare to anything you buy in the store.

1 comment:

  1. You're absolutely right. And another key ingredient is to actually enjoy cooking. I love to cook, and when I have the time there isn't anything I love more than cooking up a storm. But if I'm having a particularly busy week at work, we tend to live on stuff that can be fixed easily or hey, let's go to the Mexican place!

    I think about my parents - they rarely ate out, my mother is a fantastic cook and loves it - and my dad lived to be 89 and my mom is 81, looks like she's 70 and is in excellent health (knock on wood). There's a lot to be said for eating fresh foods without all the processed crap!