Harvest Time is Here to Stay

Harvest Time is Here to Stay

You guys. You guys! I have so little time to write now that I’ve taken up my old habit of writing down ideas on a scrap sheet of paper, and hoping I remember what I wanted to say when I finally have time to write again. But I couldn’t miss the opportunity to take a few minutes while dinner(s) is cooking to very briefly ramble about how excited I am about food. I mean, I’m always excited about food. But especially right now.

You see, I’ve been faced with this problem. I started waiting tables four nights a week which leaves essentially three nights to actually cook a meal. Given that we have dinner with one of our respective sets of parents per week, that’s two. And let’s be honest something else is usually going on one of the other nights, so maybe one? That’s a lot less than normal for me- usually I cook dinner at least five nights, I would say. Four in busy weeks. It generally makes the whole task challenging, what with trying to remember to prepare ingredients, harvest things in the garden, make sure everything is ready to go when I finally, FINALLY, have time to cook.

So I’ve adapted a new strategy, one I used to use on weekends when I was younger. Make everything at once. I’m not kidding. Make EVERYTHING at once.

If you plan it right (say, remember to harvest, soak beans, thaw meat, etc), you can make four meals in one night, if you are crazy and have a lot of videos to watch on your phone. I have been attempting this for several weeks with little success, honestly, mostly due to the fact that my free nights keep turning into social events, which is fine, we do like to actually spend time with family and friends. Sometimes I wish social night was, hang out and watch hulu while I make five meals, but that’s how it goes.

This is the first week I really, really got it right. And so, without further ado, here’s what I made for dinner tonight:
– Roasted chicken with pasta salad (pasta, kale, fresh tomatoes, mozzarella)
– Casserole with rice, black beans, fresh tomatoes, kale, cheese, onion, hot peppers (I got it so right I remembered to wear gloves while cutting up the jalapeños)
– Kalezones, aka calzones filled with kale, cheese, chicken and onion

And prep for the rest of the meals this week, which, when we aren’t feasting on leftovers, will include:
– Flatbread with tomato, mozzarella and basil (made from the leftover kalezone dough)
– Stir fry with chicken, cauliflower, kohlrabi, peppers and garlic scapes (made from the leftover chicken, of course)
– Frittata with fresh tomatoes and cheese (made with our eggs, of course)

If it’s not obvious by now, the things in our garden include tomatoes, sweet and hot peppers, and kale. Oh and did I mention kale? And actually I also harvested onions, a pumpkin, lots of ground cherries and blackberries, and carrots, but haven’t figured out what to do with them… yet.

My technique? I made a list of all the things I had to use up, and tried my hardest to come up with a combo of things I could make in advance and things that would be really easy to make when I got home from the restaurant late at night. I’m hoping I succeeded.

Next week: pumpkin stuffed with wild rice and … kale?

PS: Happy Lammas, and happy harvest. Pictures to follow.

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