Saturday, December 11, 2010

December crafts and meals

I'm busy as a bee working on some Christmas projects, only one of which I feel safe to share here right now! More info on the others will come sometime after Christmas, but it's been a busy busy holiday season for gifts here! I just started making this precious little lamb for Lyddie:

Isn't she sweet? Mine won't have the same bunchy "boucle" yarn but will be smooth and fuzzy with the alpaca yarn I am using. It's SO soft and a dream to work with. I just about have the body done and need to go get stuffing, and then it's just the head and other parts and putting it together. I have never made a stuffed animal, so here's hoping it goes smoothly and I can get it done in time for Christmas!!

One of my favorite things to do is cook and bake and create delicious meals out of unexpected and uncommon foods. I remember growing up reading "Little House" books and other prairie stories, farm stories, and other historical fiction where resourcefulness and "natural" eating dominated the female's tasks. I have nothing against technological advances in general but really do feel that a lot of our eating and agricultural habits are harmful to ourselves and future generations. For the last few years I have felt a strong pull toward whole foods/whole grains and local fresh produce. I started a "food blog" to use for these kinds of thoughts and to keep my recipes organized but as I thought it over last night I think that actually deterred me from writing about this love in my life since it made it more of an "ordeal." And it left a huge part of myself out of this blog, and if I take out big chunks and section them off, then what's left? Haha. So I'm back and food will reign again here.

This winter we are doing another CSA (community supported agriculture) at a local farm and I so love doing it. It is only for 6 more weeks and I am already trying to plan where we will get good local produce after that. Most years we drive about 30-40 minutes to a farmer's market up in Seattle each Saturday morning, which we may go back to doing on occasion. Definitely not as convenient as a farm 10 minutes away, but doable, and it is a fun memory that we have created for the last few years.

So this week I ended up with a celery root, a couple acorn squashes and a kabocha squash, potatoes, carrots (oh you have NEVER had carrots unless you have had post-frost fresh carrots!), turnips, tatsoi, and fresh thyme. I used the thyme for a whole roasted chicken, along with stuffing and a yummy celery root/apple/potato mash... I am still working on acquiring the taste for celery root since I'm not a celery fan in general, but Jesse and Lyddie both loved the whole meal.

Last night I made homemade black bean soup from dried beans, used up some of the carrots, and other ingredients I had on hand. And Jesse made corn tortilla chips from some broken tortillas... and we had an amazing delicata squash from last week. Mmmmm....

Tonight I am making low-calorie chicken enchiladas with leftover chicken and pumpkin sauce... Apparently we're on a Mexican-ish kick since tomorrow is supposed to be chili. I'm getting set to meal plan and have been mentally devising a meal plan list over the last few days - I think we'll have a stir fry to use up a few leftover greens.. using up food is always on my mind these days!

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