Saturday is here and I cannot believe how quickly the week flew by. I am behind on emails, behind on housework and, most importantly (to me at least), behind on cooking! Although I’ve gotten some cookie baking and cheesecake making in the last couple of days, my son was home sick from school Friday and that definitely threw a wrench in my cooking works. Whatever I manage to get cooked for Sunday will have to be pulled off in the wee hours of tonight. Saturday has been declared family day so we will, as a group, enjoy the 80 degree weather outdoors, possibly at Blue Springs. Of course, I’m sure my mind will be elsewhere…thinking about my croissant dough. I am relieved that the day will be warm–which will invariably ensure a good rise for my dough.
Speaking of which, I finally bought myself a proper rolling pin. All I had were an assortment of chapati pins, which are totally not appropriate for rolling large masses of pasty dough. Maybe one day my husband will surprise me with a custom humungo pin–hardwood, 4″ diameter, 24″ length…just a big old sanded dowel. Until then, the standard wood one I picked up at Target will have to do.
And since we are on the topic of shopping, that seems to be what much of my time has been occupied with lately. I’ve had to restock a lot of my bulk flours, as well as herbs. Since my main cooking gig right now is Sundays, I only ordered my spices in 1 lb bags. Wholesale would be 5 lbs–and a better price–but I don’t want them sitting around a long time in opened containers. My new favorite place to get organic herbs and spices is Mountain Rose Herbs. Their prices are comparable to the local Indian shop for things like cumin and mustard powder, however, the quality is much better. All organic. Shipping does hike the price up some but I just try to compartmentalize (and ignore) that aspect of the bill.
Another thing that came in the mail this week was my 5 gallon bucket of expeller pressed coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. From now on all my Sabjimata prepared fried stuff will be fried in this quality oil. The expeller pressed uses no chemicals in the processing, unlike regular commercial coconut oils which are rbd coconut oils–refined, bleached and deodorized. I was using peanut oil for a while but am much more comfortable frying in coconut oil.
More shopping news: Our living room is pretty much done. Here is a photo (now I will know if my mother-in-law still reads my blog or not). Please ignore the tacky crown molding and awful ceiling light fixture. I know it is difficult. But just pretend they aren’t there.
Another time suck around here has been the prospect of getting our kitchen remodeled. I went back to BCC Cabinets and was happily surprised to see new door selections. The one I chose, a natural oaky number, was the one a bunch of people were standing around talking about how ugly it is. I have all the finishes worked out (honed Carrara marble countertops, cheap Daltile backsplash, the same cast brass bin pulls and knobs that were in my old kitchen, faucets, etc.). Now we just have to sell our house, which seems likely soon, as long as God does not step in and spoil the whole thing.
Planning and re-planning the kitchen has kept me up way past my bedtime. We have met twice so far with the contractor and are very confident that he will do a great job. Meticulous and thorough, he was here for a few hours last night measuring and drawing up plans with me. We are moving a supporting wall and finally worked out a way to keep the ceiling up over a 19 foot span–without having to call in an engineer. Big sigh of relief there. Now he just has to figure out how to keep the roof from caving in. This stuff is definitely beyond me.
Finally, fate has pushed my husband a little closer to contemplating a vegetable garden. Our house sits on an acre, but it is a sandy, pine needle littered acre. The other day I received an envelope full of seeds sent from my biological father (aka My Seed Giving Father). Thanks, Bio-Daddy! Hopefully we will have our own harvest planted soon. You may remember the square foot gardening blog posts from some months ago. This would be a good time for my husband to visit the Sabjimata archives! And before you say that I can make the garden myself…let me just say that I do believe in a gender specific division of labor. Tilling is man’s work.
I would be able to, however, plant the lambsquarter, which I know is super easy to grow and just so happens to be one of my favorite greens if not my absolute favorite edible weed! When we lived in North Carolina I searched high and low for lambsquarter but was unable to find it. Could not get seeds for it anywhere. We brought some back from Gita Nagari and planted it in our yard where it did wonderfully. When we later moved to Gita Nagari we just would head over to the barn, climb a manure pile and pick these meltingly soft plants for cooking. That is, the one’s that made it home. Lambsquarter is terrific raw and makes great salad greens (although we have had some dinner guests once who didn’t agree with that last declaration).
All these seed packets have inspired me to get sprouting. We’ll see what happens from there…