Slowly and surely I’ve been using up some of the foods we’ve kept for a while in our cupboards and on our countertops. Split-peas, tricolor quinoa, barley and an assortment of lentils have been sneaking their way into our meals as of late. Today I tried making apple chips for the first time. Thin shavings of the fruit topped with cinnamon sugar go in the oven at 300 degrees for just over 30 minutes. Pull the baking sheets out and leave them to sit for a minute or two and they become extra crunchy and curl sweetly around the edges. I believe the recipe I followed was from Giada De Laurentiis.
I also enjoyed baking some quick soda bread today. I followed the recipe for moist brown bread found in Real Irish Food. I took the book out from the library on a whim some weeks ago (it is probably due back already) and have returned to it at least a few times for inspiration or when I’m looking to cook something warm, quick, and comforting. From the top of my head, I can tell you I’ve enjoyed the champ, fruit scones, cooked cabbage and kale, and today’s brown soda recipes. Piper found her seat at the dining table exciting as she could watch (and help) as I mixed together flour, wheat germ and bran. Will came home in time to try a warm couple of slices for lunch. The bread tastes nutty and even slightly sour (I used curdled soymilk again in place of buttermilk–but I imagine even buttermilk would lend a similar sourness). I felt happy to use both the bran and the germ as we have them but don’t use them regularly. I actually keep the wheat germ in the freezer as I have heard the stuff will go rancid quickly.
Last night we watched a film titled No Reservations with Catherine-Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart. The movie has at least a few captivating moments where, as a viewer, I felt drawn into the scenes as they took place and everything felt very real. We enjoyed the score by Philip Glass and the seemingly minimalist cinematography. A nice movie for a quiet late night, when you’re a little hungry and want to watch other people fall in love over food, or at least listen to Catherine-Zeta Jones talk about truffles with the same passion that Frances Mayes writes about her Tuscan kitchen.
An easy dinner tonight may be a creamy vegetable soup using some odds and ends from the fridge. I have a few varieties of sweet potatoes that need using up, some meager celery, mushrooms (and mushroom stock), lots of fresh carrots and another strawberry onion. I’m sure I can put those to use tonight, even if not all in the same dish. I actually saw a recipe online for a curried apple and carrot soup that I bet tastes divine, but I’ve already made those apple chips–shall I subject my family to more apple goodness? Hmmm…
Enjoy your day–I see the afternoon sun is beginning to peer through the blinds over here and I’d very much like to sit and enjoy the quiet for now.