Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Making the Roast of a Cool Day

Fall has decided to slide in a little early around here, with cool temperatures, grey skies, and occasional rain. And after last week's flirtation with 90+ degree days, I am more than happy to embrace the cooler weather!

I took advantage of that weather over the holiday weekend in order to give the kitchen a deep cleaning. While I try to keep the kitchen in respectable order from week to week, some things just need a little more effort -- and some things need to be kept from piling up. By breaking the cleaning into smaller tasks, I managed to get everything done without completely knocking myself out before I could enjoy the gleaming surfaces and open spaces.

The cooler weather definitely gives me more energy, and so when I dropped off bread and such at Local Roots this morning, I browsed the shelves and picked up eggplant and red peppers for preserving. I mean, how can I get through winter without a little bit of breaded eggplant for eggplant Parmesan -- and roasted red peppers for who knows what?

After lunch, I cut open the peppers and scooped out seeds, then placed the pieces on a parchment covered baking sheet. It took about half an hour at 425 F, but finally I had almost-broiled peppers that went straight into a plastic bag to steam.

The extra time in the oven, plus the steaming, made these peppers very easy to peel, so I made short work of it. I only bought four peppers, but that was enough to pack one smaller freezer box (labeled with the date and the farm from whence the peppers came).

I followed that with a tray of breaded eggplant, and that, too, will end up in the freezer (once I find a corner).

And what makes me even happier and ready to put up my feet than preserving a little more of the summer's bounty? That would be my new "baking" shoes, a cushiony pair of leather clogs that should make standing in the kitchen for long periods a whole lot easier.

And I had enough energy after all that to blog about it! (Though that might be thanks to the three cups of tea I had this morning...)

Is it any wonder I love cool days? I am so much more productive...

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