WIAW 46 – 2014

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WIAW 46 - winter food - www.inhabitedkitchen.comThe last day of the year (as I’m sure you have also all noticed!) and I’m looking back at a year’s worth of meals.

Soups all winter, salads all summer. (Even a couple of chilled soups in summer… we do like soup.)  Many, many muffins… Beans in every way I can think of (though I’m sure I’ll find more!) And always, always vegetables – whether they’re the star of the meal (glazed carrots, asparagus, stuffed pumpkin,) a few precooked and frozen ones dropped into a soup, or anything in between. Meat, though it’s rarely the star…  a supporting player, who adds a lot but doesn’t really stand out.

Not much fish. We like fish, especially Rich – I should pay more attention to getting it on the table. It’s comparatively expensive, though, and the budget is tight – I guess my first resolution for next year is affordable fish! I can’t really cook it in with beans, the way I do meat. (Budget is not the only – or even the primary – reason I cook that way… but it helps.) The Asian approach, I think – small amounts of several different dishes, each with a protein source – one fish, one, say, tofu… Or the Hispanic, with a piece of fish, and then rice and beans on the side, instead of just rice… Because, in fact – we do like fish…

Anyhow… What I Ate last Saturday…

Breakfast - apricot shake and corn muffins - www.inhabitedkitchen.comAt Greenmarket, one of the local farmers who bottles juice had an apricot beverage.  Now, the problem with stone fruit is that, juicy as they are, they don’t really – juice. They smush. The usual approach is to thin a puree with a lot of sugar water and call it nectar – but that’s awfully sweet…  This had no added sugar, just other juice – essentially, I gathered, they thinned the puree with apple juice. We tried a little plain – there was a definite apricot flavor, but it was still a bit sweet as a plain drink, for our tastes. I decided to try it in a protein shake, though, and that was really good… I did add a touch of vanilla, which I thought helped bring out the apricot, and yogurt. Drank that with the ubiquitous corn muffins, and coffee.

Lunch - soup and muffins - www.inhabitedkitchen.comLunch – soup. The picture is a cheat – I forgot to take one, so this is recycled…  It was actually a black bean soup. I’d made a black bean and pork stew the night before, thinned the leftover with broth and added some more vegetables. (That’s often where the lunch soups come from – leftovers just tweaked a little.) And of course that was corn muffins, from that morning, not the ones in the picture.

Freezer ratatouille with turkey - www.inhabitedkitchen.comI needed a quick and easy dinner. A year ago, in September, I wrote about making ratatouille without enough tomatoes, and freezing it to use in the winter with canned tomatoes. Well, we really liked that, last winter… so last summer, I made a large batch without tomatoes on purpose, and froze it for later use. Now I’m starting to work down the precooked vegetables in my freezer… and that sounded good. I also want to finish the last of the frozen cooked turkey I have from Thanksgiving. So early in the day, I moved both containers from the freezer down to the fridge, to start to thaw, and set up the rice cooker. (We did eat this much rice before I had a rice cooker – but oh, that does make it even easier…) Close to dinner time, I popped the ratatouille in a pan with a can of diced tomatoes, and heated it, Once it was mostly heated, I added the turkey. I wanted a bit more seasoning to balance the turkey, so once it was heated through, I stirred in a spoonful of pesto – I have dried basil, but this has more pop. When I served it, I then added a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, though I don’t usually use it on the French ratatouille…

I think it kind of neat that this late December day tasted of August… from apricot to zucchini! But still primarily local – just preserved. I didn’t plan it that way, but it is nice to be reminded of summer.

Joining Jenn at Peas and Crayons

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