Sunday, November 9, 2008

Butternut Squash

About a year ago, I got a great recipe for butternut squash from a coworker (see here). I was never a big fan of squash, but have made it from time to time, usually acorn, never butternut. This particular recipe, from Afghanistan, is very good. So I made it for dinner last night. It was a big squash, so I now have a lot of leftovers, some of which I'll have for lunch this week and some of which will go into the freezer for another day. Instead of serving it with nan bread, which I've done in the past but did not have time for yesterday, I made chapatis, which were very good. And they're whole wheat, which makes them that much healthier. I made some chicken breast as well, and all in all it was a good dinner.

Tonight I'll be making a roast chicken. It'll be my standard recipe: stuff the cavity with fresh herbs from the garden (rosemary, thyme and sage), sprinkle the skin with salt, pepper, thyme, and sage. If I had a lemon I'd put that in there, too, but I don't. No big deal. We will have roasted potatoes (Yukon Gold) and collard greens. Usually I spice up the greens with red pepper, but tonight I might use some of my jalapenos. We will have leftovers for dinner tomorrow (I don't have time to cook on Mondays), and I'll find other ways to use up the chicken. I always make stock from the bones.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Freezer is Full

I succeeded in filling my freezer with the bounty of summer, so much so that there is literally no more room for anything, which is a probem, because I am constantly coming up with things to stuff into the freezer. Things like 1/2 a loaf of corn bread, or a dozen bagels, or frozen raviolis, or a batch of soup. I've got to get the tendency to freeze things under control until I start making some progress in using up what's in there.

And what is in there this year? I have frozen 2-3 flats of blueberries (they were cheap this year), lots of green peppers (my plants were very productive), and tomato sauces and purees (bought 1/2 a bushel of tomatoes for $8 and spent a weekend cooking and pureeing). I used the tomatoes from my garden to make salsas. The freezer also has asparagus (makes great pasta, in a cream sauce with proscuitto), green beans, apple sauce, and blueberry spread (my first attempt at a non-cooked preserve). I have a couple of batches of paprika gravy, some soups (spicy chicken, curried chicken, curried eggplant, and smothered cabbage). There's french fries, a frozen pizza, frozen ravioli, ground beef, sausage and chocolate ice cream as well. And let's not forget the whole chicken, which takes up a fair amount of space and just might find itself being dinner on Sunday (DD has been lobbying for roast chicken).

The little freezer upstairs (the top half of the fridge) has the hot peppers I grew, as well as three bags of basil (hope that's enough to get through the winter). There's some peppers and blueberries, beets, chicken breast, ground beef, corn bread, cranberries, spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce. And other things I'm sure I forgot.

Heaven forbid we lose power this winter and I lose the contents of my freezer. A lot of work went into putting those fruits and veggies up, and I would be sorely disappointed if I lost them. But should we find ourselves snowed in for a week, at least we won't starve.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Quick Knitting Update

I am currently working on a scarf for my FIL. It's a navy blue washable wool with four cables running up it. An easy pattern that is knitting up nicely.

Over the summer I made a scarf for DD from a ribbon yarn I picked up at a store in the Finger Lakes. Last time I knit with ribbon yarn; it twists something terrible while knitting, so I was constantly untwisting the yarn. But the scarf turned out nicely.

Also made a pair of socks for DS, but they turned out to be a little small and a couple of dropped stitches resulted in holes, which I haven't fixed yet.


I bought a giant cabbage at the farmer's market last weekend. Okay, it didn't seem so giant when I bought it, but we couldn't get it in the fridge without chopping it into 4 big pieces.

So then I had to do something with the cabbage. I took a quarter of it and made a batch of smothered cabbage soup, from Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cooking. I added bacon to it, because, well, it seemed like a good idea. And it was. It turned out to be a pretty good soup, but not the best cabbage soup I've made. Probably will not be making it again.

The rest of the cabbage I cooked up according to a recipe from my mother: slice the cabbage, put it in a big pot with olive oil, saute for a little while, add 1-2 cups of water, 3-6 boullion cubes, some sugar and some nutmeg. This is a very yummy way to make cabbage, and I've made enough to freeze for later. That one cabbage went a very long way.