Getting Fed With a Little Help From My Friends

August 22, 2009 at 2:20 am 2 comments

A delicious meal from Amy's garden

A delicious meal from Amy's garden

When I first set out to only eat foods made from scratch, I was worried I’d spend so much time in the kitchen that I might start talking to the vegetables and giving nicknames to the kitchen equipment — isn’t Ernst the perfect name for an egg beater?

Despite my neuroses, this experiment has been remarkably social.  I used to think it was quaint and old-fashioned that once upon a time, people would run over to the neighbor’s to borrow a cup of sugar.  But lately, I find myself trading recipes, cookbooks, ingredients, and kitchen equipment with friends — it saves money, and you usually get some interesting tips and stories out of the exchange.

I’m also lucky enough to have friends who are amazing cooks. Check out this meal my friend Amy made using veggies and herbs from her garden … it was so good, we devoured half of it before remembering to  take a picture. Tonight, my friend Kellie made shepherd’s pie and berry shortcake, and next week, my neighbor Margaret is attempting Julia Child’s beef bourguignon and a fondant cake.

I’ve been floored by how much easier this project becomes with a little help from friends — it gives you a break from immediate cooking and allows you to plan ahead.  The first weekend of this project, after eating two meals with friends, I had the luxury of having two days just to plan my meals.  This week, after being away last weekend, I was constantly thinking about my next meal — sort of like an animal.  I mean, without Jeff’s help, my pizza may never have become a pie.

So tomorrow, while I’ve got a free day, I’m starting on foods that need more prep time to avoid pulling out my hair mid-week.  Here’s the plan:

1.) Make ketchup & mayonnaise to store in the fridge and use as needed
2.) Bake challah bread, based on a 40-year-old recipe from my friend Lauren’s mom
3.) Take a second stab at making yogurt in hopes of producing a thicker batch
4.) Puree some mangoes while they’re still in season and make mango lassi popsicles
5.) Soak chickpeas & start chutney to make falafel later in the week

On balance, I am a little sleep deprived compared to normal.  I also skipped out on yoga last week, which I’ve vowed not to do this week. But on the flipside, my stomach feels great and I have a surprisingly high energy level during the workday considering that, well, I’m sleeping less and skipping yoga.  This week, the goal is to return to life as usual — as much as that’s humanly possible when your life revolves around food.

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Entry filed under: Food Anthropology, Preparation. Tags: , , .

The Breakfast of Champions … for Lazy People Holla for Challah: My Adventures in Breadmaking

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. margaret  |  August 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    if you make challah and it goes well, you’ll have to share your secrets with me! i tried making it, but i think i didn’t let the dough rise long enough – mine came out super hard…

    oh and beef bourguignon *num num num* i can already taste it in my mouth..

    Reply
    • 2. shiwanis  |  August 23, 2009 at 3:33 pm

      will do … i’m about to make the challah in about 30 min if you want to drop by!

      Reply

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