Friday, May 13, 2011

Guaging Success

How do you gauge  meal success? One of the ways I know I'm cooking fairly healthy is when the amount of jars in the dish washer is substantial.  If the bulk of the week I have four to seven jars to unload, then I know I'm cooking with home-grown foods. Without a root cellar, the food we raise goes into the freezers or jars and so empty bags and jars tell me I'm cooking with what I squirreled away for the winter. And yes, it is still winter in many areas of Wyoming. By Laramie and Cheyenne some of the roads were closed the last couple days because of winter weather. Also over in the Yellowstone Park and down towards Jackson Hole. I'm getting seriously tired of waking up to frost, though we haven't had snow for a week and a half or so. I am still hovering most days in my winter coat because the wind still has a cold bite.

But wait a minute, I was talking about food. One of my favorite things. One of those empty jars held stewed tomatoes that I simmered with a can of tomato sauce, olives, mushroom, onions, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. This became the Italian sauce in egg Parmesan, something my oldest daughter told me about a few years ago and I've always wanted to try. It was easy and delicious. I found the recipe on the Internet and yes smarties, I did NOT follow the recipe as written but took large liberties with it. I prefer to see recipes as suggestions.
Kirk commented that he must be a guinea pig for poor man was hit with two experiments in a row. Kind of poor man for he did like the food both times. The simple eggplant Parmesan that reminds me of a creative rendiditon of lasagna was really good and the cilantro pesto on a grilled turkey sandwich with Jarlsberg cheese and home-made sourdough bread held great possibilities.
I confess. Guilt is making me say this, I strayed off the track, way off the track from the original recipe. I had to, it looked well, boring. Instead, I slanted towards a sauce I make for fish. The big difference between it and pesto is I don't use walnuts or Parmesan cheese in my sauce and the base of the fish sauce is mayonnaise. That's where I thought the sandwich went wrong. It was too dry. The mayonnaise would of helped. 

The other pesto I made was parsley pesto. It's yet to be tried. I just through it in the freezer and I'll probably use it in rice.


The other jars in the dish washer held  jam, pumpkin, applesauce, applesauce, and some more applesauce. Our grand daughters love applesauce and when they saw I'd used some in a pumpkin cake recipe to replace part of the oil, they wanted some too and some more, and some more.  

So what I really want to know, after I've talked your ear off, is do you like me, gauge whether you are cooking healthy by how many jars are in your dish washer? 

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