Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cozy at Home


Another blustery day visits us. Secretly I couldn’t be happier. Yesterday I functioned as a merchant ship:


She is like the merchants’ ships;
She bringeth her food from afar.
Proverbs 31:14

Well . . . maybe driving in to town and making my market rounds doesn’t exactly classify as going afar, but nonetheless I buzzed from merchant to merchant resupplying my larder: 12 pounds of ground bison for the freezer, a case of those yummy sprouted corn tortillas . . . oh make that 4 cases, and so it goes. I shop in bulk whenever possible. Of late I cannot seem to secure large bags (50 lbs) of organic pinto beans. Has the oft predicted food shortages begun? Or have others recently discovered the joy of pressure cooking as I have and can’t seem to get enough of those delicious fresh Mexican beans? Despite the reasons, I have had my feathers a bit ruffled at the outstanding order for pintos. But . . . I simply reach into the pantry for another sort of bean and begin experimenting on it. Having a well-stocked pantry really makes life easier on the cook.

I love to cook -- as if you didn’t already know that -- and not just opening cans and dumping, but really adding and tasting and inventing and conjuring something wonderful to feast upon. I read cookbooks voraciously and follow some to a tee . . . at first, but then my artiste persona takes over and the ingredients begin to shift. Some of my most delicious creations came from a bit of this and some of that from the fridge with a little something new added. Last night we dined on a scrumptious salmon pasta salad. I used a previous dinner’s salmon remains (two nice fillets from fish that my local butcher received via air from Oregon that day, filleted before my eyes, and then wrapped up for me to go – wow, that’s fresh!) that I grilled topped with tapenade. Into the penne pasta (our family favorite) went the flaked salmon (yes, I nibbled), cherry tomatoes, and fresh asparagus (broiled in balsamic and olive oil). I bathed it all in a basic French vinaigrette (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crushed garlic, Dijon mustard, coarse salt and freshly ground pepper) and finished off with a generous crumbling of feta cheese. Bread and assorted fresh veggies joined the table setting as we sat and enjoyed our time and meal together. Broken chocolate pieces (rich and dark, some spiced) provided the perfect nibble of dessert. Even after a day away running errands I offered a healthy, delicious, and simple meal for supper.

Today I relish the thought of having NOWHERE to go! I love to “keep” my house. Today my agenda fills with making bread, cleaning out the mudroom to make room for the new pantry: simple shelving, chic curtains (to hide the lower storage area full of ugly white buckets of yummy grains and beans), and lots of mismatched containers of my stores to sit upon the shelves alongside cans and jars of stored-up-for-a-future-meal comestibles . I bid adieu (GLADLY) to the muddy boots and mismatched flip-flops that flip and flop right out into the pathway to the door. The mudroom is officially moving to an alcove in the garage. Big kids can stand and pull on boots . . . no benches needed. Each doorway has a pile of shoes . . . it just happens around here, but I have taken steps to tidy the jumble. (We’ll see how long it lasts.)



Aaaaaahhhhh . . . it feels so good to ramble and babble away with a teapot at hand and the beautiful piano melodies of a young Edvard Grieg filling the air (Mountain Dances played by Rune Alver) as the fireplace radiates and the dishwasher hums. Home feels so good and cozy on this chilly day in the waning April month.

Well, my teapot has emptied as has my bread basket, so I must be up and about the business of bread making. Today I shall try out my new baguette pans and continue my quest for that elusive “crusty” crust with a whole wheat bread. Maybe today will be the day . . .

13 comments:

Michelle said...

Oh my catching up on my blogs!! I want to see some of the food you will be making!! I am just starting to get into cooking and learning how to do the pinch and dash thing. :) Love your rain boots. :) Hope all has been well with you!

sukipoet said...

sounds like a lot of lovely homemaking to me. you know, up here in the north country grocery stores you can't find corn tortillas, only flour. your meal sounds so delicious. oh well, tuna sandwich for me tonight.

Flea said...

Best of fun with the crusty crust. I wish I could be there to enjoy it with you! I can almost smell it from here ...

Yolanda said...

It sounds wonderful and like my kind of day. My wisteria is starting to bloom just now.

farmlady said...

I wish more people liked to "keep" their houses as you do. Our homes should reflected a caring heart.

Grandma Tillie's Bakery said...

New baguette pans did you say? Yipee! Let me know if you get a nice crust with the wheat bread. My whole wheat refrigerator rolls are best with oodles of butter over them as soon as they emerge from the oven, but I do wonder what they would taste like with a bubbly crust...

One Woman's Journey said...

You make me hungry. I love this kind of day. Blessings sent your way.

Karen Deborah said...

I worked HARD today! both my patients were demented in restraints. whew, I could sure go for some of that tea and a bit of fresh bread.
i can tell you where we buy from Montana if you want. I just bought pinto beans from Sams which is like cost co. I don't care if pintos are organic, that's not one of my high priority organic items. Looks like a cute new pair of purple crocs.

gail said...

Hello Debbie,

It all sounds delightful. Have a lovely day. You've made me hungry. Its lunchtime here in Australia and I'm off to make a sandwich.

Blessings Gail

Mim said...

Wow 50 lbs of Pinto Beans.. that would last the two of us forever! And your homekeeping and organizing and bread baking all sound divine.
Tell us about that perfect bread you baked.. was it crusty on the outside and fluffy inside... I'd like the secret to it.

jojo said...

ahhhhh, there is nothing better than a well stocked pantry, a rain day and a nice cuppa tea. Enjoy!

Sharon said...

Mmmmm...what a delicious post.I live in Oregon and though I am not really a fan of salmon I have heard we have the best!Blessings~Sharon

Karey said...

My pot of tea is about empty and my stomach is growling and I think I'm going to go make waffles!

I too, after having repainted our entry, am moving our boots and coats out to the garage. I bought a bunch of hooks at Home Depot yesterday. Now Monte's doing some more remodeling in the laundry room (boy, has that room gone thru eras: 1st, our bedroom, as we hadn't finished the upstairs, 2nd his office, tho now an official laundry room, it's an exercise room and sometimes guest overflow room).

I'm a keeper of home and home is my favorite place to be, and I trust God to bring people or whatever my way, in living each day in love with Him!