Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Long days in the kitchen

Last time I shared my grocery shopping list.  Today I am going to show you what I did with some of that food!  I made sure to put myself in the corner, with the only way out being to cook all the meat that needed cooking :-)  I purchased six packages of chicken roasters.  Each package contains two chickens.  That meant I had to roast 12 birds!  We only had room in the fridge for two, 5# packages of ground beef, so that was all I cooked on Monday as well.  Since I now have a lot more room in my fridge I pulled more ground beef from the freezer to cook up once it thaws.  The past two days have been spent cooking or prepping foods to be cooked.  Yesterday I did some food prep, made sure to stay on top of the dishes, and started putting some soups together.  After spending all day preparing to put soups together I was bummed that I only got two done!  It seemed that nothing was going right yesterday, so I just settled for the two and plan on making a day of it today to get the other soups done. 

I made a new to us soup, the recipe coming from the cookbook that came with my Vitamix.  It's called Thai Pumpkin soup.  I couldn't find the green chilies that I bought for the soup, so it had to be made up without them. But it was a very nice change of taste after eating the same soups for months.  I had my Charlotte Mason study group meeting last night, after the meeting I ran into the store to buy more chilies!  I plan on adding them in today.

I took some pictures of my kitchen day yesterday.  It seems like I should have a lot more pictures :-)  I am not kidding when I say I've spent all the past two days in the kitchen!  I am hoping that today will be the last of the "all days" for a least until next pay day.

 Some almonds and sunflower seeds soaking.  These were put into the dehydrator yesterday afternoon.  I will be shutting off the dehydrators, letting the seeds cool, and put them in their proper containers today.  I forgot to start soaking the pumpkin seeds yesterday.  Oh well, I will get to it today, and they will be ready for the dehydrator tomorrow.

 Not exactly food prep :-)  Although these eggs had to be washed.  Doesn't everyone keep their eggs in pink sand castle buckets?  When I came home from my CM meeting these eggs were all gone.  ALL gone....making pumpkin pancakes.  Ugh. That's ok, since they are not supposed to be eating eggs on stage one, I suppose stage one starts this morning.  And now they won't have any eggs to try to sneak and eat!  I really couldn't think of a better way to stick with the stages then to make sure no other foods are available.

 I used two boxes of pastured butter to make ghee.  I really want to give this intro a hardy try.  I am hoping that my Vitacost order will be in today as it has some of the supplements I wanted to start us on.

 Two of the three pots of broth simmering.  I have more bones in the fridge awaiting their turn. Since I need to be making soups, and lots of them, I needed to save some of my pots for the actual soups.  The two crocks and another large pot are being used for broth making, leaving me with another 3 pots to make soup in.

 Homemade coconut milk being made into kefir.  I plan on having everyone be dairy free in the beginning stages.  The kefir grains will take a dip in regular milk to be refreshed before making more coconut kefir.  Speaking of milk, we were supposed to start milking today.  But, it appears our goats had other plans.  I have my doubts as to how 'white' one of the goats eyelids were, BUT that being said I didn't want to mess around with the possibility that she had worms.  I did deworm all my does right after their birthings, but I know last year we had a major worm problem, so it's possible we might see higher activity again this year.  Not sure as we had such a cold winter (for us).  Anyways, I decided to deworm all the goats at once with a chemical dewormer, and then start them on the herbal dewormer right away.  I just got a fresh package of herbal dewormer yesterday.  I am hoping to keep on top of the herbal variety to stay away from the chemical one as we have to with hold the milk for a few days when using the chemical version.  So we should be starting our milking season this weekend!  Now to get that cheese making kit.....

 I found out that my last batch of sauerkraut was probably fine.  It had a thin white film on top.  It didn't appear to be mold, but I didn't want to take any chances.  Then a handful of days later I found this little chart of sauerkraut anomalies and what is safe to eat and what is not.  White film on top is safe.  So I waited the 28 daysfor it to ferment and threw it all out because I was afraid of the white film!!!  Cry.  Now we start again.  Above I have three cabbages shredded and packed into 5 mason jars.  I will start drinking the juice in a couple of days, even though it won't be ready, but I know the last time I still saw benefits for the kraut juice even though it wasn't fully fermented.  I will let the rest of the jars sit for the 28 days.  You may make out the mesh dehydrator tray I cut to fit into the jar above.  I bought some glass candle holders, but they were just a smidge to large to fit in my jars.  I read of someone cutting up a dehydrator tray and it seems to be doing its intended job of holding the cabbage below the liquid.  This will help to prevent mold.

 Here are four of the nine trays that held my greens.  Starting from the top left and going clockwise: collards, kale, rainbow Swiss chard, and spinach.  I put these through my blender and got:

...this green powder to add to our smoothies.  All nine trays worth are in that mason jar!  I can't wait to try it out!  But it will be a while until we get to that stage :-)  I think next shopping trip I will buy some more greens and do the same with them.  I am bummed though, it appears that the dry greens scratched my blender container.  At least it appears that way.  Anyone have that problem?  They are so crumbly that it seems odd they could actually scratch it! 

Well that is some of what I've been up to these past two days.  I know there's been a lot more things I just didn't take pictures of.  For example the mason jars that I steam sterilized in my oven (for the kraut), or the two pans of squash I roasted (with more to do today), or the other various small steps to food prep like hanging yogurt to drain off the whey, or, or, or :-) 

Off to heat up some soup!

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