Saturday, March 5, 2011

Two Weeks, One Day

In the grocery store last night, mid-shop, I realized what heavily canned recipes these are. Like GW though, I didn't want to swap horses mid-stream. Had I been home and able to look at the recipes when I realized it, I'd have made appropriate fresh substitutions.....'cause look!!!!:

Seriously, I think I could start a bomb-shelter with all this non-perishable goodness. I can't even talk about the chicken and fish thawing in the fridge. It gives me palpitations. I'm a little daunted, y'all. I'm essentially cooking 4 weeks of meals in one day. Two weeks x 2 families. Hold me.

This cookbook has a "Putting It All Together" page at the beginning of each week which has advice like "chop all onions," but doesn't add up the measurements for you. And the week is (presumably) arranged in such a way that the recipes flow....we shall see!

First up, Seafood week. Since they didn't give me measurements, I'm just going to chop a shit-ton of onions. I'm going to need them. For those of you who don't understand sophisticated "chef-speak", a "shit-ton" is as much as my food processor will hold. If I don't use them, I can freeze them.

Hmmmm....these recipes might require less cooking than I thought. This could be good. It's a lot of assembling, me thinks. Like this Ruby Red Poached Pear soup: blend sauteed onions, beets, pears, allspice, and broth. Then freeze. Maybe that's the method behind the canned food extravaganza madness? God, I love the smell of canned beets.

Note to self: you are getting cocky. Stop pouring liquids right next to the laptop. You will die without your laptop.

And observe the posted "liquid fill" line when pureeing things with beets!!! Moron. No picture, I leaped directly into clean up mode. Sorry.

Next up is the bean salad side....I bought enough for two recipes. But by the time I got 1 can of all 4 types of beans (kidney, garbanzo, black, wax/green) in there, it's huge!! At least, huge for two families with children who are slightly picky. Add red onion, red pepper, balsamic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Freeze, thaw, serve chilled. Hmmm. Now that it's done, there are two family size servings and it occurs to me they could eat one each week. I guess I should have doubled it after all. C'est la vie. 

In fact, I think I may have made a grave error in doubling these recipes. I didn't read the intro and saw no indication of yield for each recipe. This cioppino (which appears to be a seafood stew, FYI) seems largish as well. I'm going to make a single batch and see what happens. It did seem like I was buying a lot of meat.
There's enough for, I'd say, 1.5 families. Which is just right, because I never like seafood when I cook it (except this shrimp fried rice, I liked this). Husband likes my seafood. Other people like my seafood. I love other people's seafood. But when I cook it myself, I often can't eat it. 

(Um. I use a lot of bold. It reminds me of the scene in one of the Emily books [Emily is LM Montgomery's other heroine. Not Anne.] when her writing mentor is dying and says to her: "Beware of italics!" The maid thinks she says: "Beware of Italians!" Hee.)

The recipes do seem to flow well. As long as I read the next recipe ahead, then if there is a little down time in the previous recipe I can get going on the next. The recipes have definitely gone up since the cioppino. The salmon stir-fry looks nummy, as does the southern shrimp au gratin. And this is going fast. I'm on dinner 5 after only 3 hours. If week 16 goes as quickly, I'll be done in time for Boozy Playgroup!

My shit-ton of onions seems to be holding up nicely. I love my 8 qt. dutch oven. Best $30 I've spent at Marshall's. I use it for everything. I use it to sautee and to make soups and stir-fries,  just rinsing occasionally. Heart. And sometimes I wax poetic about it too much while I'm sautee-ing and things burn:

But here's the thing about me: I'm going to use those onions anyway and call it "extra flavor." Shhhhh.....

Another thing about me: I always turn enchilada recipes into enchilada casserole. There is a knack to rolling enchiladas in such a way that they stay enchiladas. I do not have this knack. And, much as I am sure I will never be able to shake my booty like my Zumba teacher wants me to, I will never develop this knack. I am Scotch-Irish. My genes did not give me the booty to shake, nor the ability to roll enchiladas. I am ok with this. I am also midwestern. I'm more than ok with a seafood enchilada "hot-dish." Layer enchilada sauce (in this case mixed with sour cream, diced chilies, chopped olives, and the burned onions), tortillas, mixed seafood (this actually comes in a bag labeled "Mixed Seafood." Who knew?), colby cheese, repeat.

Also, I have the wonderful suspicion that these new tortillas I found, when fried and filled with eggs, might finally curb the Monica's breakfast burrito craving I've had since leaving Colorado.

And, you know what makes an awesome lunch while cooking? One of these tortillas with the left over cheese and and enchilada sauce nuked for 30 seconds. Just sayin'.

One week down, one to go. I'm going to break this into two posts. 'Cause even I don't find me interesting enough to read more than this at one time.


  1. 1. I like the sound of all the dishes you just named.

    2. I am also Scotch/Irish and from the Midwest. My booty? doesn't have any groove-like shaking either.

    3. I have not read any of LM Montgomery's other books besides the Little Women ones. I will have to look into this a bit.

  2. 1- I'm happy to send along any recipes you might want! I'm just a little wary of posting from a cookbook, what with copyright and all.
    2- I think I need tassels. The teacher has tassels on her pants. I think if I could focus on getting my tassels to shake I might be more successful.
    3- LM Montgomery wrote the Anne of Green Gables books, but she also has a series called Emily of New Moon, and then many, many stand alone books. All wonderful.