Since I’ve been home I’ve had a chance to do more cooking than in previous years. Ok, I’m not doing as much as I’d like- the kitchen is only recently unpacked and I am taking care of a newborn- but compared to the last few months of my pregnancy when we ordered in every night, cooking even once in a while is a lot. Also, when I was finishing work at 6:00pm and was faced with a half-hour drive home, it wasn’t often that I looked forwards to cooking a nice meal and sitting down to eat at 8:00pm. I missed the days at my previous job when I finished at 4:30pm and had time to shop for groceries, come home, cook meals from scratch and have it on the table by 6/7 o’clock.
With the kitchen mostly done I’ve been taking the opportunity to use some wedding and shower gifts that had remained packed for the entire last year. We waited after the bridal shower because we had no storage space and wanted to wait until after the wedding to see how much room we’d need, and it wasn’t long after the wedding that we decided to move, so there was no point in unpacking those items.
Last week I played around with our Crock-Pot slow cookers. One night I made a Mexican Strata (like a lasagne but with tortillas and olives and different spices). It was delicious but not really (to me) a slow cooker recipe because I had to cook the meat on the stove first. Last Sunday I made a pot roast with veggies. That was fun! In the morning I put in a bunch of cut up potatoes, carrots and onions, topped with a 3lb boneless beef rump roast that I’d rubbed with salt & pepper. Add a 1/2 cup of water, cover and turn on the machine to low. It was great- Jakob was calm in the morning so I had a chance to prepare it, then all I had to do was wait until it was ready to eat. It took 10-12 hrs to cook and I’d unfortunately waited until 11:00am to prepare, so we had to wait until 9:00pm to have supper, but it was worth it! The meat fell off the bone and the veggies were cooked perfectly. The taste was mild and was almost exactly like eating a stew that had been separated into individual ingredients. Perfect for a Sunday night, and perfect because Jakob fussed at night but all I had to do to get supper ready was to open the lid and serve!
This week I’ve been playing with our food dehydrator. A few nights ago I dried some watermelon slices. I’d heard they get sweet and candy-like when dried. Eh. Either my watermelon wasn’t sweet enough, or its just not to my taste. Two nights ago I used a pound of ground beef and a spice mixture and made a large amount of beef jerky. That came out really well, but I might have let it dry a smidge too long.
Tonight I put in a mixture of corn, peppers and seasonings to try and make corn chips. They should be ready by tomorrow, and then I will attempt some dried fruits.
The big advantage is that I can prepare foods when Jakob is quiet and have them ready to eat when he’s fussy and I don’t have time to cook. I’m really amusing myself with this! 🙂
In other news, we went for lunch this afternoon with Jackie and Bradley. I can’t believe how fast he’s growing up! Almost 2, talking and being such a little man- really a barometer for how much time goes by. I can’t believe soon Jakob will be sitting there on his own, coloring on the table. And Jackie is a friend I’ve known since the early days of high school. To have thought back then that we’d be sitting here over 13 years later, married, with kids…its crazy. I still feel like a kid- how can I have friends that I’ve known over a decade? I’ve been with Yannick almost a decade, and we’ll be married a year in September. And we have a child. When did I grow up?
I took Jakob outside when I got home and he played in his bouncer in the shade while I knit a few rows in the sun. I just finished the hem and turning row of a sweater (sized for 1 year…I think I mentioned it previously) and am about to start the body. It should go fast- its worked in stripes, and colorwork always seems to go fast. I’m afraid to “save as draft” and add a photo later in case I forget and don’t wind up uploading this post at all, so I’m publishing now and I’ll add a photo in a separate post.