Monday, December 21, 2015

Cook all the things

It feels as if almost all I've done over the first few days of vacation is sleep, cook and clean up after cooking.

Right now, two pounds of meatballs are simmering in sauce in the slow cooker, destined for dinner tonight, as well as a whole lot of freezer containers earmarked as future lunches.

A huge grocery order arrived yesterday, consisting of stock ups on staples plus some recipe-specific items, like turkey thighs (slow cooker turkey and wild rice soup). Then there is the quarter ham for Christmas dinner (not to mention leftovers of that ham for soup, and possibly a Chicken Cordon Bleu casserole by America's Test Kitchen). Ricotta cheese for lasagna (freeze pieces for lunch). Pepperoni for homemade pizza (the crust recipe makes two crusts, and it freezes well).

A good portion of this afternoon passed by with my nose in some cookbooks. Actually, most in Cook's Illustrated's Cover and Bake, an older book that was already ten years old when I bought it two years ago. But like all Cook's Illustrated (America's Test Kitchen) recipes, they stand the test of time. I've a list of seven or eight dishes to try.

As a result, I put an invitation out on Facebook for an impromptu dinner party for sometime next week. We're working on setting a date. It will be semi-pot luck style: I'll provide the main and dessert, while guests are free to bring sides, rolls, wine and appetizers. They are well aware that my intent is to try new recipes (and there will be plenty of meatballs in the freezer if it doesn't work out). The dessert will be an easy, rustic apple pie (guest to provide ice cream).

With that, I need to go have dinner. The original plan was to have the meatballs over polenta, but I'm too hungry to wait while it cooks. Though when it comes down to it, given how slowly the electric stove brings water to a boil, it may not be any quicker to make pasta.

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