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Some FAQs

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Questions I get asked often about my blogging.

The big three –
1. What do you do with all that food?
2. Have you always cooked like this?
3. How do you find topics to write about every day?

What do we do with all the food? The simple answer, of course, is cook it and eat it. I have to admit it looks like huge amounts of food come in here every week, but really it’s just the fact that most of our food now consists of raw ingredients, which we process.

I did lots of processing today. It was too hot to go anywhere, so I got up early and processed food before it got warm in the kitchen.

Potato salad. Cucumber dip. Roasted beets. Zucchini grated and frozen for bread. Carrots blanched to freeze.

When the CSA arrives Thursday, all that will be left from last week will be a few potatoes.

csa week 7 13 and flowers and dinner 002

The chard will be used tomorrow with the lone remaining tomato in a frittata. As for the rest, the corn went the first night at dinner. All the beans were cooked, chopped and added to some defrosted Trader Joe’s edamame, with a quinoa/brown rice mix, to make a three bean salad. It is being eaten most days for lunch.

Potato salad I made also today to use most of the potatoes left in the bin. All those pickling cukes were added to the dill pickle crock. One of the two slicing cucumbers was used in the gazpacho with the rest of the tomatoes, and the last one became the base for that dip (tzatziki) today. The carrots, I blanched and froze, while waiting for my paste tomatoes to ripen in the garden. They will be used in tomato sauce. Like this one I made last August.

end of august 017

When you eat 15-20 meals a week at home, and don’t buy frozen dinners, it is amazing how quickly you go through the raw ingredients.

We do salads for lunches most days.

larriland blueberries and my garden 076

Not going to work, and having the luxury of time to cook, I have radically changed what comes into this house, and how it is cooked. No, I did not always cook like this. When commuting, I did not make things from scratch. We did too many restaurant meals, lots of take out, and frozen dinners left and right. Lots of those Lean Cuisines for lunches, too.

Now, there are no store bought frozen dinners in our freezers. Everything has been processed by me, so I can control the amount of sodium, sugar and the fats used in our foods. Big change from what we did when working in DC.

Back then, I didn’t even use my crockpot much. When you are gone for twelve hours a day, things tended to turn to mush by the time we got home. Now, dinner goes in the crockpot around 9 am, to be ready by 5 or 6 pm.

The crockpot gives us meals large enough to eat twice, and sometimes to freeze the extra. Whole chickens in the pot. Large vats of soup, or chili. These were things I did not do while working. Cooking large casseroles and freezing parts of them is another change to how I cook.

hawks and lasagna 033

Comparing this to those Stouffer’s meals we used to eat, I can’t believe how different our food habits are. This pan of lasagna, which I made last January, fed us for at least four dinners, and a couple of lunches on Sundays.

That last question? Blogging daily. It takes some planning to have topics. Thankfully, CSA, the garden, the cooking, the markets, the farms, the birds, our road trips, volunteering, give me lots of inspiration. Sometimes I have to go to a list I keep of potential topics.

The discipline to come down to the computer and write each evening is something I set as a goal this year. Make it be a part of each day to record some tidbit, or talk about events happening in the community. A hobby that I enjoy and that is important enough to make a priority.

Well, enough sitting here at the computer. I have to clean up quite a few pans from all that cooking this morning. And, figure out what I want to take to the CSA pot luck picnic in Amish country this weekend. Depending on what is in our basket, I may be processing something large to take to share.


About AnnieRie

Retired, I am following my dream of living in quiet west Howard County, a rural oasis, not far from the urban chaos, but just far enough. I love to cook, bake, garden, and travel. I volunteer at Howard County Conservancy. I lead nature hikes, manage programs and show children all the wonders of nature, and the agricultural connection to their food.

One response »

  1. A lifestyle to aspire to :)! I do look forward to no longer having to commute to DC … but I’ve got the three kids to get through college yet! Thanks for the inspirational post.


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