We’ve had four snowstorms in the past two weeks, for a total of just under two feet of snow. That’s about twice what this area averages in an entire winter, and we’re not even out of January yet. The snow removal infrastructure isn’t really up to this challenge, and as a result today is the fifth snow day we’ve had in the past eleven days of school. Miss B and I are both getting a little stir crazy, and I’m having a hard time getting 15 quiet minutes to answer work emails, let alone sit down and compose a thought-out blog post. Hands-on activities are the way to go in these situations; here are some of the cooking projects with which I/we have been distracting ourselves:
Recently Miss B started waging a concerted campaign to take a storebought box lunch or “instant children’s meal” to school on occasion. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with these, it’s a prepackaged single lunch serving of, say, crackers, deli meat, and cheese. Sometimes there’s a juice pouch thrown in, or a small candy bar. Sometimes the main component is a pre-made sandwich, or a do-it-yourself mini pizza. In every case there is a considerable markup on the price of the individual components, and little control on the part of the purchaser over how the foods are processed and packaged. (Really, the only control you have is over whether or not to buy one. Once you are past that, your options are pretty limited.) One major food producer in the US has a monopoly on these products (at least where I live) and they are marketed directly to children. A number of Miss B’s classmates bring them to school regularly, so she’s been seeing a lot of them and was intrigued.
The holidays are over. Perhaps you never want to see, let alone produce, another baked good as long as you live. Perhaps your New Year’s resolutions involve restricting your consumption of butter and sugar. Perhaps you got that norovirus that’s been rampaging around the northern hemisphere for the past six weeks and would rather not eat anything just now, thankyouverymuch.
I’m not really being as ascetic as it might appear here, what with the last recipe being for vegetable soup, and now this. I was originally intending to post a cookie recipe today, until I discovered that I’d left the camera, with the memory card containing all the relevant photos, at a friend’s house over the weekend. Of course I made this discovery immediately after I ground up the last of said cookies in the food processor to put out on the snow for the birds. That’s the kind of thing that’ll give you the January blues, all right. Luckily for me, these are first world problems and, let’s face it, who doesn’t benefit from an extra serving of fruit now and again?
Once upon a time, I used to be flummoxed by food writers who said things like, “No one really needs a recipe for soup, but….” Huh? I thought. I need a recipe for soup. What, am I supposed to just throw a bunch of stuff into a pan and hope it turns into soup?