What’s cooking in January

Every weekend this winter I tell myself I’m going to do nothing at all at the farm. Last night I told the Workhorse that I was planning to sit on the couch until it was time to go home on Sunday.  But then the kitchen calls…  It’s a big, bright and inviting kitchen, and it seems there’s always something to make.  Besides, the woodstove is in the kitchen, and on a cold day in January that’s where I want to be.  Each weekend we’re here I realize that very little time has passed without something on the stove or in the oven.

Here’s what will come out of the kitchen today…

  • Tea (Irish Breakfast) before anything else happens – and coffee for the WorkHorse
  • French Toast for the Workhorse and the kids
  • Scrambled Eggs with Northbrook Salsa for me (I’m on the ‘gained-5-pounds-at-xmas austerity plan) plus a little of the big pot of oatmeal I made with Northbrook Applesauce
  • Grilled cheese on Challah for those not on the austerity plan
  • Quinoa salad for me
  • Roasted chicken breasts to add to the soup and to keep in the fridge
  • A pot of Mulligatawny Soup
  • Chocolate chip cookies made by Eve (from The Joy of Cooking – absolutely the best recipe)
  • White bean chicken chili for dinner for the grownups and goodness knows what for the kids

It’s a lot, right?  But I can’t help myself – the kitchen beckons. I try to do other things – I caught up on some e-mails and went skating with the family – but I still end up back at the stove.

Since I’m in a food frame of mind (challenging given the austerity plan) I’m thrilled that we’ll start our winter food share with Kawartha Ecological Growers this week.  We’ve been thinking about an organic food box for ages, but getting produce from farms minutes from our own makes it pretty appealing.  Here’s what to expect, according to their web site:

The Box:

Local winter food is more than just potatoes!  Every box will be varied and beautiful, containing a wide assortment of winter greens (kale, tatsoi, salad mix, sprouts, etc), root veggies (potatoes, beets, carrots, leeks, sweet potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, celeriac, winter radish, garlic….), homemade preserves (pickles, jams, honey, maple….) and fun! (popcorn, cornmeal, hominy, dry beans….) – with all the quality and goodness you know and love!  We’ll work hard to keep your winter local eating experience diverse and delicious, providing regular recipes to go with your ingredients as well as local eating tips and support on the blog – eating local through the winter is easier than you think, and much more fun when you’ve got a community behind you!

Sounds pretty great, no?  I’ll let you know how it works out and what we cook with it.

In the meantime, I’ve got to clean up the kitchen (serious downside to culinary fun).  Here’s the soup recipe – I’ve been making it once a week this month – satisfying and very delicious.  Enjoy.

Mulligatawny Soup (From New Light Cooking by Anne Lindsay)

2 tsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp minced gingerroot or 2 tsp ground ginger
1 to 2 tsp curry powder or curry paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 potato, peeled and chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken or turkey stock
2 cups fresh or frozen chopped mixed vegetables
2 cups diced cooked chicken or turkey
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley

1. In large nonstick saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic, ginger, curry powder and cinnamon, stirring, for 1 minute.
2. Add potato, apple, stock and mixed vegetables; cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. In food process or blender (I use an immersion blender), puree soup until smooth, return to saucepan.  Add chicken and salt; heat through.
4. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with cilantro.

Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each.

Northbrook Applesauce

1. Visit the favourite trees of each family member and pick apples from each
2. Wash apples and halve (don’t peel or core) and put in large pot with a little water.
3. Cover and cook on low heat until apples break down and become mushy.
4. Process in food mill until smooth.
5. Freeze or water process in jars.
Tangy, delicious and a lovely shade of pink!