Friday Night

I am so excited having the cooktop done.  We decided that Friday dinner will be made out on the cooktop and that we will have a fire in our firebowl and eat outside.  So, last night I made cream of crab soup.  Very easy to make and what wonderful weather to cook out of doors….I wonder what I will cook next week…wish I had the oven completed.

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Published in: on October 25, 2008 at 3:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Trial Run

So Friday night I did a trial run on the cook top I am creating for my “Historical”  Kitchen.  I wanted to see which height of bricks would work best before I made the cook top permanent.  For this trial, I decided to make seafood macaroni and cheese from the “Food” magazine I receive.  I boiled the pasta and made the cheese sauce on the cook top.  I had to do the baking portion in the electric oven since I have yet to complete my wood oven.  I chose to cook the pasta on the higher side and the sauce on the lower.  Both heights worked but the lower seemed to work better so, I think I will go with that.  Here is one picture of the cook top in the “trial state”  I will upload other pictures on flicker for you to see the rest.

One problem that I did find was that I need to come up with barier to keep things from rolling out.  And I will be putting stones down in front for anything that does roll to help with fire-safety.

Published in: on October 20, 2008 at 3:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Too expensive to cook healthy!

I spend almost every Wednesday grocery shopping with my mum, which works well for us both.  Today is that day, and what a day it was.  The reason being that the grocery store was busier than it ever has been on a Wednesday…no blizzard or hurricane predicted, but busy as if one was coming plus my shopping total came as a big surprise.

As I am getting older, I have decided to eat healthier and make sure that my husband who is aging 6 months faster than I is healthy too.  So in this new way of thinking I planned menus for the next three weeks and created shopping lists so that I don’t “spend excessively” on junk.  Think it help?  Well, to an extent it did.  That is I kept to the list but ended up spending more on food then I ever have on a weeks grocery.  You are all probably feeling the same way, with the economy the way it is, but I swear I think it’s because healthy food is expensive…how does this world expect people to slim down and eat healthier when the cost is unbelievable.  Ok, I know it really is not only the food one needs to be healthy and slim, and I do want to make an effort in what we intake but I am unsure I can cook healthy if it is going to be this way every week.

I think, “Wow, to have enough land to grow the stuff I would want and need like our ancestors did” but then I remember that they did not have the convenience of freshness.  They relied on seasonally access with storage in a much different many then we would accept.  On the other hand they only really cooked what they had and I am creating menus that have me wanting so many different things that I would need a great deal of land to have them…like I looked every where in the store for fresh Figs…in season but not in the store.  I guess I am going to have to re-think the “Fresh” need vs. can I use canned, jarred or dried and get the same effect or spend some time finding fresh markets near me.  Lots to think on and work on….let you know how this works with being healthy, creative and historical in my menus for my families’ meals.

I hear some of you asking….will you be cooking in the Historical kitchen you have been working on all summer?  Not yet, because it’s not complete but a portion of it is ready, so, I promise soon…

Published in: on October 15, 2008 at 10:06 pm  Comments (1)  

So, Mother Nature has it out for me!

Yep, just as I thought, the week after I cook is one of the most beautiful weekends ever.  I have it on good authority that the gentleman who cooked for Oktoberfest weekend did a splendid job.  I am happy for him and a little jealous…why oh why did I not get at least one day to fully use the kitchen…ah, well, who knows I may get asked back next year.

Published in: on October 15, 2008 at 9:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

The real Dinner Impossible or Fire and Rain

So, I spent this past weekend cooking at the Maryland Renaissance Festival.  I had such high hopes and a wonderful menu planned.  But mother nature wanted to make me work for it.  I woke up to rain on Saturday.  I headed out to the festival at 6:30 so as to get there in enough time to get the oven heated up to bake.  (for those of you who understand the need to pre-heat the oven days ahead will be pleased to know that I did go the the site and heat the oven both on Thursday and Friday).  Yes, the wood was wet and to be honest they were larger pieces then I would have liked but that was ok, wood will burn no matter the size.  Ideally, pieces of wood approximately 1″ to 2″ in diameter are preferable to heat an oven.

Once there, I started fires in the oven and outside of the oven on the cook top so as to begin boiling the broth for the orange sauce and water to boil the chicken.  I even started frying up onions to make an onion tart and then the heavens opened with a deluge that immediately put the fires on the cook-top out.  I started to worry for I did not have any cooking vessels large enough for the chicken I had, so, I improvised.  When I say improvised, I mean I cheated.  Yes, I broke down and cooked the chicken in aluminum foil.  I know what your thinking, “WHY?”, to be honest I just wanted to get out of the rain because the kitchen does not have a covering to keep me dry.  Think I am joking…

Yes, that’s me with an umbrella.  Even with the umbrella there was so much rain that by the end of the day I was wet even through my stays.

Sunday, I woke to less rain, and even a promise that the rain would hold off till later but to be sure I changed my menu to reflect total oven cooking.  I luckily have some wonderful ceramic pieces.  I made the entire dinner in the oven.  The rain did not hold but through quick thinking of a my dear friend who plays the Simplest/midwife we rigged a blue tarp (again not historically accurate but definitely better then standing in the rain once again).  I even was able to give my cooking show on how to make sausages/puddings.  Well attended even with all the rain.  Just to let you know Sunday’s Menu: pottage of root vegetables with pork, salad of spinach leaves, cheese, bread, pears in a red wine sauce, and a compote of dried fruit served over an orange pound cake.

I would pray that the person cooking this following weekend has a better time of it and I never again will have to stand in the rain to cook…well, at least not unless the pay is better.

Published in: on October 1, 2008 at 10:46 pm  Leave a Comment