Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Two in a Row

Last Sunday was a big cooking day! So big, we couldn't post it Sunday or Monday - it had to wait until Wednesday. Not really, I just didn't get around to doing it.

Here's the breakdown. Lunch consisted of homemade pasta with butter sage sauce. All of it was made from local ingredients. For any of those who want to use rougher flour for your pasta (flour that has undergone less milling), I would recommend creating skinnier noodles. In my opinion, it's tastier that way.

Between lunch and dinner Chrissie made chocolate chip, butterscotch cookies, bread, and I made chicken stock. We did not use all local ingredients for these items. These were meant to be eaten during the week. We were very conscious not to eat any of them on Sunday so that we didn't violate totally Locavore Sunday. It was hard. COOKIES!

The chicken stock went well. For those of you that are wondering how much chicken it takes to make stock, it takes 2 picked over carcasses to make a gallon of chicken stock. I'm expecting big things from this stuff. Homemade chicken stock is much, much better than commercially made stock supposedly because the commercial stuff is basically just flavored water. I'll have to put it to the test the next time I make chicken noodle soup.

I think that making the stock is pretty justified because the amount of money spent making the stock is comparable to buying it at the store and the time investment in making it is minimal. Also, your dogs will love you much more for it too. I gave all of the scraps to the doggies, except for the bones, and I was the favorite parent for the rest of the night. On a side note, I don't know if this is a universal thing, but whenever my dogs get nice treats, they get really soft fur after. Does that happen to anyone else?

Dinner consisted of roast lamb, green beans, and mashed potatoes. All the ingredients were procured at the farmer's market. I prepared the roast lamb the way Julia Child says how to do it in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." It is remarkably similar to the roast chicken recipe she has. The deglazing sauce is practically the same. I get this suspicion that all of the basic roast recipes follow a similar pattern, and that I might even be able to extrapolate this to other cooking methods too, so maybe the entire book is a set of variations on a few themes.

Dinner was delicious. Chrissie was in charge of the mashed potatoes and they were the best that I can remember. She decided to leave the skins on this time; my dad would be so proud - most of the nutritional value in potatoes is in the skin, but I think we managed to negate that pretty effectively by boiling the potatoes (boiling things leaches out said nutrients and they end up in the water or destroyed because they cannot handle the heat), and they gave some nice chunk to the dish. We like a mix of creamy smooth with some chunks in our mashed potatoes. Also, let me add that my editor, Chrissie, will be very proud of my long sentence in the paragraph.

The green beans went alright, I probably should have blanched them before stir frying because they were a little chewy, but still tasty. The lamb was superb. I managed to give myself a nice, rare chunk and still provide Chrissie with her much beloved medium piece. Lamb has a nice "earthy" taste to it which makes it a nice change of pace from more traditional bovine fare. Prices are comparable, so it you want something a little different, try lamb.

I'm anticipating next Sunday both positively and negatively. Once we got started, the day went really well, but it took a long time before we managed to pull something together that fit the locavore bill. In the course of trying to figure out what to eat that would be entirely local for our first meal, breakfast was skipped and I was a sad panda. Thankfully, lunch was good and quick to make. We'll see what happens next Sunday.

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