Saturday, July 27, 2013

Cooking on a cold summer afternoon

On the first day of summer a huge storm blew through the Twin Cities, which knocked out the power to thousands of people, including ourselves. Once the power was restored a few days later, we cleaned out our fridge and have been slowly restocking it since. It was definitely disappointing to throw out a lot of food, but it has been a mixed blessing. We've been more mindful of what we have been eating and putting in the fridge and freezer since then.

Today, a little over a month later, we have been enjoying a chilly Saturday. We normally plan our recipes for the week early in the day, but we decided to switch things up a bit by going to the farmers market first and see what we were inspired to cook. So after a breakfast at the market, we shopped around for produce.

Given that it was cold (I think it was around 60 degrees this morning), soup sounded perfect. We found leeks, green beans, corn, and oxtail, among other items. I haven't cooked oxtail before, but it is simmering right now. I'm following Emeril's recipe, with some additions and substitutions.

What was enjoyable about this day was the relative quietude since we've gotten home.  As the oxtail needs three hours to become tender, and because I felt like cooking solo, I've been deliberate and slow about the preparation.  I made the coating for the oxtail and let it sit in the freezer bag while I was cooking bacon.  I took twenty minutes to cut up leftover baby carrots and celery before chopping the garlic and leeks.  (I decided to use leeks instead of onions.)

I found a few cans of tomato product (sauce and diced) in the cupboard, which along with some leftover wine and a few grape tomatoes made it into the pot.  I enjoyed opening, emptying, and recycling containers, followed by composting the remains of the vegetables.  It's been a very nice process which I don't have the time or the pleasure of doing during the busy week.

I am getting pretty hungry now and can't wait to eat!