I am feeding a mob of people these days - my kids plus an extra for the season and all the others that come in and out and through our doors (thank goodness for that large table, you have no idea how often it is overflowing). They're always looking for something to eat. I'm always in the kitchen. Always at the grocery store. And yet somehow the cupboards are always bare. I should probably just stop putting the groceries away - they disappear so quickly it seems a waste of time! I can't remember the last time I was able to make enough food that there were leftovers.
Perhaps I exaggerate, but only just a little bit. The food situation is intense! Our stored garden food is not as plentiful as it was just a few months ago, which is fine (oh but there are plenty of beets!). Of course we have access to a grocery store (and visit it nearly every day it seems). But it is on my mind as I start planning this year's garden, and we realize that it isn't necessarily growing enough food that is the trouble, but storing it. Cans and frozen food only gets us so far. There is no way around our need for a root cellar and it seems that will be a priority for 2017. If you have built something that you love and that works for you - we're all ears! There are so many resources out there for building one, and all so very different. We have some ideas and are beginning to plot that out. But that will be a year before we reap the rewards of such a project. And so I must continue on without that healthy, accessible store of root cellar dreams.
The truth of course - and you know this as well as my children do - that I love this. I couldn't be more happy when the table is overflowing and another chair must be sourced from somewhere else in the house because we have an extra on top of the extras already present. I'm delighted to feed them all and have a lot of fun doing so. It does get tricky this time of year, though....with those shelves of garden goods dwindling, and nothing fresh coming from the garden or any local farms, plus our added newish twist of being gluten-free. I couldn't be more grateful for wonderful food blogs, and cook books in these days. It's so helpful to be inspired by the good work those writers and makers are doing, and bringing something exciting and new into the kitchen. It keeps me going in there, to be sure.
A few things that have made their way onto our kitchen table of late -
Vibrant Vegan Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl from 101 Cookbooks - this makes for a happy lunch around here. So very good.
90 minute Kaiua Pork from Zenbelly - this has been a welcome change from the pulled pork that I usually make. We love that one too, but mixing it up sometimes is lovely. (I do not make this with the instant pot as she gives in the recipe, as I don't have one and don't think I need one. Do I?)
A Simple Carrot Soup from 101 Cookbooks. I absolutely love the curry in this soup, and my kids are convinced that any soup is fun if there are a fun assortment of things to add to the top. I'm not sure why that changes everything for them, but it does. And I can totally roll with that.
Cozy Butternut Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Stew by Oh She Glows. Lentils are a tricky thing around here. My kids are great eaters, but lentils, for some reason, it's like saying a four letter word around here and sure to cause moans polite and not so polite if I speak of them. BUT...red lentils are different. It's just the green ones they don't love...and brown....(am I getting all my lentil colors right here?). And so I make this dish without calling them lentils. That little omission makes all the difference and they eat it quite happily. There ya go. This is a yummy one.
And with that, to the kitchen I go for the weekend of people and meals and good times ahead! Wishing you and yours a wonderful one too.