I’ve made such great progress on my resolution to be more methodical…so many areas I wanted to work on have crossed over into habits.
But I haven’t conquered the kitchen.
Not yet, anyways.
There are so many factors (health, budget, shopping, cooking, routines, meal planning, buying local, etc.) that all combine to make eating happen at home…and I can’t seem to keep all the balls in the air all the time. Or even most of the time.
Not yet, anyways.
(In an old novel, this would be where I set my jaw determinedly).
Nonetheless, kitchen life continues and, as the pantry is currently full to overflowing, I’m feeling particularly cheerful.
Summer is a comin’ in, and we have begun to eat our dinners in the garden. I continue to scour Goodwill and craigslist and freecycle for a farmhouse-style table that I can paint a bright turquoise. But until then we sit on the swing, or on tricycles, or on the picnic blanket and enjoy the summer evenings.
The extra large Ikea cutting board is perfect for these early evening dinners. It provides one-trip transport of dinner items from the kitchen to the back patio. And it also often serves as a communal plate (no extra dishes to wash!). Sandwiches and smoothies seem to be made to order for these evenings.
I’d love to add homemade pasta to that list. But I’m experiencing a serious dither on what kind of pasta maker to buy. Part of me chooses a basic hand-crank model for the modest amount of $30. Because $30 is a modest amount.
But the real me inside desperately wants the KitchenAid pasta attachment set. Which is an immodest $120. (Although, it doesn’t seem half bad to me now…for some reason I thought it was closer to $200, so I’m feeling slightly giddy over $120.)
Speaking of kitchen appliances, my friend Suni recently gifted me with her 20 year old food processor. I had sent out a facebook query as to whether a food processor was a better choice than the vitamix for making thicker foods such as nutbutter, hummus, and bean patties. (All of which have caused me no end of frustration when making in the vitamix).
I didn’t know, you see, because my mom didn’t have a food processor when I was growing up. Well, she had a very small oster that was used for two things…chopping pickles for tartar sauce and grinding nuts for cookies. But our list of absolutely necessary kitchen appliances pretty much started and stopped with the KitchenAid.
The facebook answer was unanimous. Leilani needs a food processor.
And before I even had time to examine the financial possibilities, Suni offered me her four-cupper and I embarked on the Great Food Processor Adventure.
So far I’ve made almond butter. (Just put the nuts in and let the thing run! No scraping! No stopping the machine! No cursing!)
And grated carrots. In the last few months I’ve taken to buying a big bag of organic carrots and then putting grated carrots into…almost everything. I’ve been grating them on the box grater, with help from my personal sous chefs. But, HA, with this thing, those carrots are grated in three seconds flat. Makes washing the thing totally worth while.
And today, we made Angry Chicken’s Black Bean Burgers. Three batches. I made them last week with the vitamix and gave up trying to get it all blended. With the food processor, you just turn it on and it does all the work.
(BTW, I love my vitamix and use it regularly. I just don’t like it for the thick stuff. Don’t want to seem disloyal or anything).
Next up, hummus.
I’ve been working on my Grandma to get her beautiful big food processor out of the cupboard and try it out. Particularly with the nut butter (she makes killer nut butter, and the girls were rather disappointed with my boring almond butter…it paled in comparison to Grandma Ruby’s nut butter).
Anyone have any other ideas of what I can make in my food processor? I’m a newbie, I need all the ideas I can get!