Cooking From Scratch: Weeks 9 and 10

It’s hard to believe that it’s been only ten weeks since I began to cook most of my foods from scratch. Since January 1st, I have made countless loaves of bread, several birthday cakes, and a lifetime’s supply of dinners and lunches. I also experimented with making my own alcohol, cheeses, and butters. I also sewed my first pair of fleece gloves.

So I’m basically a homesteader now.

All jokes aside, I have also had days where I just opted for the Papa Johns Two for Tuesday deal because I was too sick, too tired, too low on groceries to make anything. On those days, I savored every lazy, not-made-by-me bite, then got back to cooking the next day.

It has been a complete lifestyle change. I used to cook for weight loss and health, or for novelty, but now I spend a good chunk of my day getting excited about the moment that I can go home and make dinner. It allows me to travel the world via food, at a time when I’m too broke to travel again until late this year. It allows me to feel like I’ve earned a nice hot meal every night, rather than only on “tough” days.

The past two weeks have been no exception. I’ve spent them eating very well, including veggies, desserts, and meats. That’s what I call well-rounded.

The Best Things I’ve Eaten The Past Two Weeks

Garlic Sriracha Pork Stir Fry. Last week I suffered from a nasty cold that had me stuffed up for days. After this spicy, salt-laden, meaty dish, I felt like I could run a marathon. My sinuses cleared up and I suddenly had energy again. Which just goes to show you that when medicine fails, food is an excellent backup.

Potage Parmienter (Leek and Potato Soup). This blended, creamy soup from Julia Child’s cookbook has tons of flavor and requires very few ingredients. It is, essentially, just leeks and potatoes boiled in water for about an hour with salt, then blended, and mixed with a teensy but of heavy cream and parsley. It’s a rich soup that is very healthy and doesn’t make you feel weighed down.

A Savory Dutch Baby. Actually, several savory dutch babies. After I ate my first one, I couldn’t stop myself. I had them for dinner three nights in a row, each night with different cheeses and veggies thrown on top. The pancake is so soft it just dissolves in your mouth, leaving behind a buttery, bready taste.

My favorite rendition included avocado and sauteed red peppers with eggs and mozzarella cheese. If anyone can come up with a better comfort food than cheesy, eggy pancakes, I’d like to see it.

There were other things of course, but these stood out to me the most. They’ve all gone into my Favorites section of my internet bookmarks, and will be made again soon.

I’ve also spent the last week educating myself a bit more about wine. There’s still a lot to learn, but I know enough now that I’m not walking into the liquor store blind anymore. I used to walk in, grab the prettiest bottle and hope that it wasn’t super dry or crazy sweet. I had no idea what the difference between a cabernet or a merlot was. Now, I do, and it helps me not waste my money.

The weather here is getting warmer, although I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of the cold spells. I hold onto the fact that in roughly eight weeks, it will be warm enough to wear flip flops. As soon as it is, The Fiance and I will be hitting the road to go exploring.

Until next time, keep starting from scratch.


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