I have been on holidays for the past week and, although I had a wonderful time, I’m really glad to be home. I enjoy restaurants from time to time, but a week’s worth is too much. So, it was with great interest that I read the Simple Abundance articles for the past 10 days or so … it’s all about food and setting up your kitchen for success.
I think a good stash of cookbooks is a great place to start … but with the internet, it’s not really necessary. My cookbooks are all well-used (as can be seen by all of the stains on them) but I often look things up online now. I like the idea of having a collection of comfort food recipes. And I think comfort food changes depending on the time of year. Meatloaf and scalloped potatoes do the trick in January, while butter-soaked corn-on-the-cob brings the most comfort in August. And if soul food is your personal passport to the past, for me it’s my mom’s potato salad and my dad’s cabbage rolls. My mom makes a “mashed” potato salad that is as simple and yummy as it gets. My husband grew up with “cubed” potato salad, and that’s what I tend to make. I’ve made a least a dozen different kinds – from curried to dill to cajun potato salad, but nothing makes my mouth water like my mom’s version. And although my dad has shown me how to make his cabbage rolls, I’ve never tried. I can’t imagine that they would ever be as good. And I haven’t had either dish in several years. So when my folks come to visit this summer, I’m hoping they’ll make these favourites, so that my kids can see (and taste) what I’m talking about.
I’ve also long been a fan of the meal plan. I know, I know, I know. How can you possibly know of Tuesday what you will want to eat on Friday? But trust me … when it’s all sorted out and you know what you’re having for dinner and you know you have the food in the house, you’ll want to eat it. I keep a rotating 5-week meal plan that changes from summer to winter. It takes a few hours initially to come up with that many meals that we all like … but it’s so worth the investment of time. And now that I live 45 minutes from a grocery store, it’s absolutely critical! If you are looking to simplify your life, this one act may have more impact than anything else you do.
And so, I spent the morning at the grocery store, buying lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, to help make up for the previous week of too much everything. And I look forward to returning to our usual fare, the stuff we’re used to that I can cook with my eyes closed. Let me know what your tricks are for simply abundant cooking.
Until next week …