Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cooking Days & Eating Days

...or how we got suckered in to (thinking we should be) cooking every day.

I am the first to admit that this post sort of fits in with the Tweets of Middle-Class problems. But it doesn't change the fact that some days after baking my eyes on my over-bright iPad, I simply cannot figure out what to make for dinner, a.k.a. crap - What Time is IT!?   Those days that simply end on me, and I have no clue what to do.

Except for when I am in one of my "super cooking phases" or have been away from home and good food for too long, I do have the, "Oh just order something!" moments.

Gramma's house contains
some lovely trashy treasures.
As a child and a mere eater of food, and a survivor of the age of all-beige cuisine, leftovers were real.  And often really scary.

But many of us have fond memories of a few things that did "left-over" well.  It might be meat-loaf sandwiches, black-bean soup that's better after a few days in the fridge, pot-roast that makes amazing enchiladas, the turkey soup that emerges from what was a dry Thanksgiving meal...

The current love-affair our pop-food-culture is having with the fresh and obscure has caused many of us to lose sight of the the best of the left-overs.

Certainly - a delicious, fresh cooked meal - where the hot side's hot, and the cool side's cool, the crispy is crunchy and the soft is fluffy and light - this is wonderful.  But often lots of work, but fun and luscious when you can have it.

And then, there is food that takes a long time to cook, but you can cook LOTS of it.  Often, it simmers in the background, needing little attention.  Even often-er letting it sit, and reheating makes it better.

These trends are jumping out at me as I delve into the world of cooking meat.  A few cuts of meat are quick to cook, and are awesome-est straight off the burner.  But a large number of cuts, and most of the best deals, require some serious prep to be their best.  And the thought of putting all that time and energy, and then even more time in to something that is only one single meal can get frustrating.

Nailing down the "cook once, eat several times" approach (or that will also feed a crowd) is an important part of what I want to create.  There's the cook part, but then there's the storage part, and the making sure the reheat instructions are excellent - and don't ruin beautiful food.

RR - you are a fount of ideas.
 But not all days are cooking days.
Some days just need to be eating days.
That means I have to start with two things:
1) Research


2) Emptying the Freezer

So, watch out for the piles of books, a few mix and match meals as I clear out the Korean spiced potato turnip soup, the saag (needs paneer), and the crab cakes will just keep on coming.

(Did I mention we caught 70 crabs this year?)

And watch this space for the good and the bad.  (e.g. No - do not pan sear a cutlet cut from Chuck.  You will still be chewing it next week.)

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