Working fulltime - and trying to still do a lot of the things that we enjoy on the farm. But, it's not easy.
Last night we asked friends to go out with us for a quick bite. They didn't want to go out, so I asked them to come to the house for dinner. I thought I'd go out and bring back food from a pizza place. I had a busy work week and didn't feel like cooking.
I also didn't feel like cleaning the house, but the kitchen had half of the contents of the pantry in one corner and the downstairs bathroom needed washing up. I also needed to use up veggies in the fridge or risk them going bad.
So - I finished work at 4pm. Bob was off, so I said - "let's vacuum the downstairs, clean the bathrooms, carry the items from the pantry to the barn that need to be thrown out, and to the basement that need to be stored. Then I'll defrost veggie stock and make a quick minestrone soup - and I'll take a frozen pizza crust out, to be topped with that stump of mozzarella left in the fridge. We have 2 hours - let's go"
So, with the Pandora blaring to some crazy soul music mix, we scurried around.
There are three things I want to keep doing around here even though I'm busy. 1) keep roasting coffee - it's the best way to try small plantation beans and it is so worth the trouble. (imagine best coffee you've ever had x 10); 2) keep the sourdough starter alive - even if I don't make bread once a week, I can feed it for two weeks from now - but I love making bread on the weekend when the coffee is roasting, and we don't have great bakeries near us; 3) veggie stock - when the veggies look wilted or starting to become desiccated in the slightest bit - I put an odd assortment together in a big pot with water and boil for a couple hours. I wash it all, but don't trim off the ends of the carrots or peel them - lots of vitamins in the peels after all. I freeze the strained stock and use it for soups, stews, sauces whenever I need it. It is amazing how much better soups taste with this stock as a starter.
Vegetarian Minestrone Soup -
3 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
4 cups green beans, ends removed and chopped into 1" pieces
1/2 green cabbage, cored and chopped
1 red pepper, cored and chopped
8oz box white mushrooms, rinsed and chopped
1 cup dry macaroni pasta, cooked in separate pot, al dente
1 28-oz can of tomatoes, strained with liquid held for another use
1 15-oz can of cannellini beans, rinsed
6 cups veggie stock (recipe above)
1 T dried oregano
1 tsp ground thyme
1 T dried basil
salt, pepper to taste
1 cup of asiago cheese, cut into 1/2" cubes
Saute veggies in olive oil in a large pot while pasta is cooking. Add tomatoes and beans to veggies, then the veggie stock. Add seasonings and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for an hour, then add asiago cheese cubes and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes.
Serve with homemade pizza or sourdough bread.