Sunday, August 24, 2014

Food rules

Deliberately ambiguous title this morning.  Read one way, it's about how food rules my current world.  Read another it's about the rules I need to observe in order to stay in charge of the food and not be ruled by it!  This is not about consuming food.  This is about the logistics of liking to cook and save and freeze vs. the reality of a smallish freezer at the top of my fridge.

So I made a giant loaf of bread yesterday, whole wheat and oatmeal with sunflower seeds inside and poppyseeds on top.  This is a variation I made of the whole wheat recipe in the Healthy Bread book.  I also quit using loaf pans, and put the entire lot into one great big casserole with a non stick lining, which creates a fabulous crust. 

I bake at the usual 450 F. for about an hour and a quarter, had to lengthen the baking from the loaf pan time, but now I've got it down.  The crumb of this loaf is lovely, too, nice texture, firm, but good.  Excellent for spreading tomato lemon jam on..




Then found that when I quartered it into useable sizes, the segments  that I freeze wouldn't go into the freezer, dangit.  Those containers full of herbs I picked for pesto were taking up too much space.

Deep sigh, removed them from the freezer, put the bread in their place and set to work, forced by necessity and the rules of food to get on with pesto making.  And after all that whining and tergiversation, it only took about an hour to create flattened packages of pesto for the freezer, now in there lying on a plexi sheet to keep flat while they freeze.

Rosemary, sage, basil, English thyme, lemon thyme, peppermint, spearmint, oregano, I think that's the lot, all done.  Instead of my usual olive oil, walnuts, herb, grated parmesan, I used all the above, but subbed grated asiago for the parmesan as an experiment, so we'll see how that works out.  And I made a container of pesto water at the end, to rinse out the blender without wasting any pesto.

I also finished one bottle of oil in the course of this, just came to the end of it.  Then left it capped and upended while I got on with the newly opened one.  After a few minutes, uncapped it and as I expected, at least another ounce of oil in there still, poured that into the new bottle, waste not want not, good olive oil is expensive.

The food rule seems to be like so many other parts of life: just do it. Don't put up the ingredients and waste a lot of mental effort remembering and planning and resolving to do it.  My whole winter's pesto is now up and done.  And the bread and the pesto all fit nicely in the freezer.

Next to make soup from all the little containers of potato water and pesto water and green bean water and other bits saved up, along with all the veggies waiting their soup life.  I'm thinking of putting soup into freezer bags and squashing it flat, too, why not.  Space saving. 

Every year at this time I wonder if I should have another freezer, and the urge passes if I lie down for a while..or until I get another space saving idea like this one.  So that the cook, not the food, rules!

3 comments:

annie1931 said...

I learned to use those bags with blue and red strips across the top - they seal and even I can get them to stick together. I've 7 meals of squishy pasta all flattened and piled, and 8 or 9 bags flattened with two slices of beef in each one. They pile up nicely, and are so easy to remove. I've made a resolution to use all the goodies in the freezer instead of thinking I have to cook something! I hope it works.

Quinn said...

Your bread sounds delicious!
My tiny fridge has no freezer, but I have a small chest freezer that's been doing yeoman's work for the past year. Right now I'm at that balancing point of eating everything in the freezer from last year (not much left now) while still tucking things in as I cook more than can be eaten quickly. Like you, I find myself cooking because there is something that needs to be cooked. Yesterday it was eggplant parm and steamed acorn squash, with two servings going into the freezer. At some point soon I will do a thorough freezer clean-out and rearrange, before apple season. Oh, apple season!

Minimiss said...

Phew, all that cooking and freezing and such, I need the lie-down.