Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Small Projects

Good morning, dear readers!  I hope you are all healthy and happy...or at least well on your way to being so.

Spring is in full swing here at Chez Nelson.  And by spring, I mean spring athletics at the high school level.  Not only do we contend with tired, worn-out, cranky children (and their parents), we spent 50% of our free time shuttling children, watching kids, and eating dinner in staggered shifts.

While I enjoy all of this, I also look forward to summer...when, you know, things kind of slow down and we can see each other for a few minutes.  That particular last point is brought home very close to me these days as I'm only a little over a year away from sending one kid off to college.  Eeeeek.

The crockpot has been my friend as of late.  Two nights ago was spaghetti and meatballs and last night was chicken breasts and whole sweet potatoes.  In a slow cooker, food can sit safely for a long while and the family can come and go, eating out of it whenever they can.

But, in other's an update on some other, small things I've been working on:

If you've been following me here at all, or you've liked WanderLunch on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, then you know I've got a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the menu.  This week, I'm changing it up a little bit.  Instead of my strawberry-lavender jam, I'm trying a blackberry-sage jam.  I seem to have this wee bit obsession with fresh herbs in my cooked fruit products.  Alas, it's a curse.  We'll see what the customers think...and if it doesn't get used this week, I've got a perfect sandwich to use it on next week.  Repurpose - onward and upward, friends!

I purchase a large gallon container of whole garlic cloves from my wholesaler.  Then, I roast off sheet pans of them before pureéing them for my Roasted Garlic Aioli.  Makes my whole house smell like I'm trying to ward off legions of vampires - but like I care!  I save a bit of the pureé out for my personal use and use dollops here and there when I'm cooking or making soups. Good, good, good, smelly smell.

Remember the sweet potatoes-in-the-crockpot I mentioned earlier?  Well!  As it turns out, when they slow-cook all day, they peel and mash quite readily (of course they do).  I boxed up the leftovers and it occurred to me that the remaining sweet potato half would be great in some kind of form of breakfast the next day.  My first thought was to scramble in with some eggs and spinach.  But then, brainstorm!  I added about three tablespoons of flour until I had a nice, soft sweet potato dough/batter.  I shaped it into a patty and fried it up like a pancake.  Then, yes, I did sauté the spinach and scramble the eggs and deposited them atop the flapjack.  A little Parm cheese and hot sauce...and that breakfast tied me over until...well, it's nearly lunchtime, now.

Food is good.  Food is fun.  Food is our friend.

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