Let’s be honest– the real reason most of us became mothers was so that we’d finally have a small person throw open the back screen door on a warm, sunny day mid-spring and thrust a bouquet of dandelions into our hands.
Seriously, I have been posting a lot about food here lately. What? Is it December or something?
In all honestly, this is my favorite time to cook. Grilling is cool, and lighter, warm-weather foods are all well and good… but give me a big bowl of soup and a hunk of crusty bread any day. I’m just that kind of girl. Which means that this menu right here? Well, it’s pretty much near perfect as far as I’m concerned. Add in Christmas baking, Christmas Adam, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Simon’s 4th birthday (eek!) and I am in foodie bliss.
Now that you know how I came to have an InstantPot (affiliate link) lurking in my kitchen, and you know some of the starter recipes that began my obsession with electric pressure cooking, I’m going to share some of the recipes that I’ve tinkered with now that I’ve gotten the hang of it. One key to remember: I’m horrible about precision in culinary endeavors. I’m the person for whom the note, “to taste,” was written. My printed recipes are, to paraphrase Captain Barbossa, not rules, but more like… guidelines.
Truth: I am not a kitchen gadget girl.
First of all, I’m far too cheap to actually buy tools for things that I have already figured out a way to do with something else. Case in point: for years and years, I had no rolling pin. I used a drinking glass turned on its side, just like my Mamaw did. Then, my husband bought me a rolling pin. I used it and loved it. It didn’t make the cut to move to Nepal so… I now use a drinking glass again. And I’m fine.
Second, I prefer small kitchen, and small kitchens rarely have the kind of storage space that gadgets demand. Actually, this is one of the things I like about compact cooking spaces: If you don’t use it, you don’t need it isn’t a vague notion. It’s an in-your-face, daily reality that prevents me from acquiring or holding on to extra baggage that will eat up valuable kitchen real estate. If it doesn’t haul its own weight, by golly, it has to go.
The weather has finally changed here… maybe even for good! I can’t tell you how excited I am to dive headlong back in to casseroles and soups and other warm and yummy things that make my house smell amazing. Fall is my favorite time to be in the kitchen; pumpkins and apples make me ridiculously happy. And gearing up for our first Thanksgiving in our own little home? Double prizes, as Phin likes to say!
Although I don’t quite know why, our family’s menu is one of the things I am asked about with fair regularity. For quite some time, I posted them here. They were well-received, and people were always telling me that they had fallen in love with a new recipe (not one of my own, one I had shared!) or that it had helped them with their own brain-drain on the topic of keeping their family fed. Then I just got out of the habit and, well … that was that.
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The rhythm of life here is different at Floating Axe Farm—even though the “farm” part of that name consists, for now, solely of 16 hens smack dab in the middle of the very awkward, very ugly pullet phase.
Once upon a time, my favorite breakfast in the world was a can of warm Coke and a chilled Snickers bar. No, I’m not joking. For years (years) this was my go-to. From high school, all through college, and even into the first few months of my marriage, I broke my fast each day with what I rationalized was not much different than a cup of coffee and a danish … just different.
When you do a lot of cooking, you quickly come to realize that, ummm … well, you can make anything at home. Usually cheaper, probably healthier, and almost always better.
Those cinnamon rolls in the bag inside your grocer’s freezer? Cheaper, healthier, and better homemade.
That loaf of fancy artisan bread? Cheaper, healthier, and better homemade.
It’s kind of a running joke here: if it stands still long enough, I will try to find a way to cook it in the crockpot.