Monday, January 20, 2014

Nuts to it all! (Tamari Roasted Almonds)

Well I don't know about you but my 2014 is off to quite the start. My mom had her 60th birthday on Saturday and my aunt Liz, my brother and his family, and me and my family threw her an awesome surprise party at our house. We had an amazing turn out: over thirty of her family and friends came to celebrate.

And then wouldn't you know, halfway through the festivities, Nick hurt his foot. He was jumping on the trampoline (trampolines: backyard fun or silent killers?) and landed on his foot funny. He spend the rest of the evening with tear stains on his cheeks and his foot propped up on a pillow. 

The next morning brought no relief so Colin took him to the hospital. Three hours later they came home with some x-rays, Nick's leg in a splint and crutches under his arms, and a referral to see an orthopedic specialist about a fractured ankle.

(The doctor told Nick, "It's probably broken so you'll have to have a cast on for 4 to 8 weeks."

Nick's eyes bugged out of his head. "Forty-eight weeks!")

Monday, January 6, 2014

Overnight Chicken Stock

I don't really make New Year's resolutions but there is something about the beginning of a new year that feels like a chance at a fresh start. And this year it felt even more appropriate to try to put life on a new course as January 1st corresponded with the new moon (an auspicious time in certain circles for new beginnings).

So I've thought about what changes I'd like to make in my life. Of course I would like to eat healthier and exercise more but those are changes I'm always striving for. One idea that stuck out is to make sure we use all of our food and leave nothing to waste. We do a pretty good job of using things up in our house but sometimes the leftovers don't get finished or a bunch of spinach goes slimy in bottom of the crisper.

I think there are three parts to reducing our food waste. The first is to not bring food into the house unless we are going to use it. Seems straight forward enough but I think that step involves a lot of honesty. Just because we should eat a salad everyday doesn't mean we necessarily will. As good as my intentions are, I shouldn't buy three pounds of mixed greens because they will most likely go bad before we can get through them.

The second part is to use what we have in the house. This seems really obvious, I know, but being a member of a CSA means that I sometimes come home with items, or quantities of items, I normally wouldn't buy (for example, the five limes a week that have been rolling in for the last few weeks). I have to be inventive and try recipes outside my family's comfort zone. But I love that; it's all part of the CSA adventure.

The third part is to use any and all leftovers. And I don't just mean heating up last night's spaghetti for today's lunch. I mean finding a use for everything that can be used: no waste. In my mind, stock is the epitome of turning leftover odd and ends into something of value.