Sunday, October 14, 2012

MPM--So Perhaps I Should Learn from my Own Blog

So one of the reasons I keep this blog is so I can refer to the past and learn things. I had a big at-home roasting day on Monday (beets! potatoes!) and wanted to take care of the delicata squash I had hanging around while the stove was hot. So I googled it on my own blog to see what recipes I liked. And as it turned out, last year in the first week in October--my freezer frosted itself open and I had an angsty moment on the blog about whether we should ditch the freezer or not. This year--the answer should be Yeah.

All that, but I did not find a delicata squash recipe. So I made this one. It was ok, but not great. And the boys, of course, would not touch it. I liked it ok dipped in Trader Joe's sweet chili sauce that I usually keep around for sweet potato fries but I think I will pass the delicata squash to my CSA partner in the future (or get her recipe). I liked it braised (can you braise a vegetable? is that a dumb question? am I allowed to keep a food blog and not know the answer to that question?) or steamed, I guess, but my usual roast-it-you'll-love-it standby prep did not work. Sigh. I think I over-roasted and under-salted (for me). Hopefully it was nutritionally good for me at least. See below for more of the fall cookfest.

The other nice thing was that it reminded me of other recipes we loved, so this week, in addition to working down the freezer (hopefully for the last time for this freezer):

Sunday: eat down the freezer, fire up the grill: finishing the "should be grilled" meals from Dinner A'Fare, plus beets and squash from last week.

Monday: Pork roast with cider-cream gravy, potatoes, caramelized onion and fennel

Tuesday: the blessing that is Taco Tuesday returns. This week, we'll be joined by Beef Chimichangas from the awesome freezer meal exchange my Mothers & More group did.

Wednesday: from the freezer: potato chip chicken (Dinner A'Fare), sweet potato fries (from Trader Joe's), something from the CSA box.

Thursday: Last football practice! I'm a little sad, but that's a good thing--it beats the "OH THANK GOODNESS" reaction. For dinner: from the freezer, tilapia from Dinner A'Fare, mixed grains and veggies from Trader Joe's, and CSA stuff.

Friday: Spaghetti night for the boys, with stuffed shells from the freezer meal trade for the grownups. (And hey, the kids are welcome to join but I don't see it happening.)

So last Monday was Columbus Day (or Thanksgiving, for my Canadian readers) and my office gives us a choice of Columbus Day or Veterans' Day off. I was going for Veterans' Day because I had so much work to do. But then my voicemail shut down and my email locked me out so I had a day with some paperwork but without the cyber connections? It was closer to a vacation day. So I cooked. I had a fridge full of veggies, a freezer ready to burst...pumpkin muffins? Check. Roasted 20+ beets and delicata squash? Check. Premade taco Tuesday meat? Check. I had Pandora on the Today's Hits station (I was still on a dance high from my cousin's awesome wedding we went to over the weekend) and danced around my kitchen and made all kinds of stuff. I also made the pork chops with kale. It was easy but it wasn't quick--I think I just need to accept that my idea of quick and someone-who-is-actually-accomplished-in-the-kitchen's idea of quick are two different things. This really grew on me. I think I have a serious mental block against kale, despite (because of?) my Irish heritage) and I found myself scoffing at the description of the "silky" kale. But while I was ready to write this off and go back to kale chips after the first night, I found myself thinking about this the next day and couldn't wait to have the kale and tomato-y sauce again. The pork was unremarkable, but I did enjoy it with the kale and sauce.

That cooking day also afforded me the chance to finally make the zero point soup, but really, that was silly since it makes a ton and (wait for it) it has to go in the freezer. Sigh. Aid for Friends did all right by me this week. In addition to the completely unhealthy franks-and-beans, they got lots of organic squash and beets. Welcome to Schizo Kitchen.

In the continuing effort to eat the freezer empty, I used the final pork chops for this recipe with the apples and onions hanging around the house. It was fantastic. I was fretting because my onions weren't as caramelized as the ones in the picture, but they were still delicious, at least for the grownups.  The kids liked the pork but not necessarily the onions and apples. Whatever. I'll take it. We all enjoyed. And I liked getting some new things in the rotation.

So the freezer emptying is moving along just fine. We are smoothie-ing up a storm to use the frozen veggies, or at least get them to a point where they will fit in the upstairs (smaller) freezer. Also? Lots of nuts. The ice cream is gone now, and the popsicles are surprisingly popular given the winter-is-on-its-way weather. I'm working on staying in the habit of checking the freezer first so hopefully that will be done by Christmas season. Last week I took one son to see Finding Nemo in 3D and now I keep quoting Dory to myself: just keep swimming. That's all I can do.

Check out I'm an Organizing Junkie! for more festive fall recipes!

1 comment:

Mom24 said...

Love the pork chops w/apples and onions idea. It sounds delicious!

The pork roast sounds awesome too. I haven't made pork in a long time, I'm going to have to correct that. Thanks for the reminder.

Have a good week.