Saturday, January 09, 2010

Saturday Night Fevered

After working a full week and having meetings or other things happening on weeknights, I tend to try and cram a lot of activity into the weekend, especially cooking. But when some big event comes along, I get into a fevered rush to push through the rest of my to-do list.

Take today. I had planned to spend a good chunk of the day at a Fiber Arts Guild event, and when I got home, I knew I still had some baking and cooking to do, despite my desire to sink into an easy chair and continue knitting.

First up, I whipped out a pan of baklava, succumbing to the requests of two separate friends. Not too difficult.

Then, I pulled out the container of breaded eggplant I had thawed, a pint of tomato sauce, the remains of a bag of herb mix, and started working on eggplant parmesan for dinner. Since my tomato sauce was on the thin side, I started by making a roux in the sauce pan (about 2 T each of butter and flour) and then added the sauce and herbs and whisked it until it thickened.


As usual, I layered eggplant slices, sauce (to which I had also added some reconstituted dried kale), and shredded Parmesan cheese, then baked it for about half an hour at 350 F. Such a relatively easy dish to throw together -- if you've done the work ahead of time!


Having checked the root cellar this afternoon and found that all of my root vegetables had not had enough moisture, thus leaving them shriveled and useless (AUGH! as Charlie Brown would say most vehemently), being able to throw together a satisfying nutritious dinner from preserved foods that held up very well was a definite relief.

(Yes, I'm going to have to revisit the root cellar methods for next year. Live and learn. At least that wasn't the sole option for food preservation and storage, and I wasn't dependent on those root vegetables for the whole winter. As they say, don't put all your eggs -- or foods -- in one basket!)

I can relax now for tonight, having gotten through today's to-do list. Tomorrow, though, is another day and another chance to get into the kitchen.

Here's hoping it won't be so frantic!

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2 Comments:

At 1/10/2010 6:52 PM, OpenID eatclosetohome said...

Whew - from your subject line, I was afraid you had the flu!

How do you root cellar your veggies?

 
At 1/11/2010 7:34 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

No, thankfully so far I've just had occasional congestion (*knock on wood*).

This year I tried boxes of sand (didn't have enough plastic buckets). Did add some water, but since they were cardboard, I didn't want to add too much. Clearly that was not the way to go. It wasn't a HUGE loss, but any loss of stored food is really frustrating.

I'm going to try to grow enough later this year to be able to keep them in the ground until needed, like I did with my parsnips. That seems to be the most effective way of keeping roots.

 

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