Monday night I spent three hours in the kitchen. On Mondays I’m alone in the house, so I can turn up the music, bang away at the pots, sing, and generally have a good time.
I finally got to a couple of tasks hanging around, in the case of the herbs literally. I pulled the herb bundles down from the wall and put each in a labeled plastic bag. Coriander went into its own tin. One plant made enough seeds to fill the tin and go into a plastic bag. I’ll plant a few of the seeds and see if I can get one more cilantro crop in for the winter. Herbs put by: fennel leaf, fennel seed, savory (a favorite soup herb), pineapple sage, tarragon, and coriander.
I also cleaned out the vegetable crisper. I found some baby white and red onions and a bundle of green onions. I chopped up the white parts of the green onions and reserved the tops. The white and red onions I divided evenly, half of them chopped roughly for stock, the other half minced to use immediately.
Down at the bottom of the crisper I found that my summer squashes, zucchini, pattypan, and an unnamed heirloom, had started to go off. I cut off the soft parts and composted them. This still left much good squash needing to be used right now. I love squash in cream, and I could have had it for dinner, but I had my heart set on something else. It occured to me that squash in cream sounded like a great soup so I improvised a recipe. When it was finished, it tasted to me just like the baked squash I make for dinner.
The crisper clean-out also turned up two of Paul’s huge Gregory Farm cucumbers. One of them made two cucumber salads. I left the peel on and coarsely chopped half of the cucumber, and doused it with rice wine vinegar and a little powdered sugar. This was a Joy of Cooking idea and I must say I love it. I peeled the other half and seeded it, chopped fine, coated with Greek yogurt, and added dill, for a tzatziki-like salad, with the emphasis on the cucumber instead of the yogurt.
The reason I didn’t want squash for dinner is that I had a small buffalo steak I wanted to turn into tacos. I sliced it very thinly and fried it in grapeseed oil, along with colorful peppers from the freezer. I also made a salsa from a few small tomatoes, garlic, dried cilantro, and some of the red onions. I used commercial tortillas – I want to make my own but haven’t gotten around to trying this yet. The buffalo had a musky flavor, the red onion and garlic were strong enough to pair well with it.
What I made in the three-hour session:
- Brewed tea, one gallon sweetened and one not
- Two cucumber salads
- Chicken stock, 2 quarts and a pint
- Summer squash soup, three partially filled pint containers
- Buffalo tacos
- Vanilla ice cream (I was out)