What’s cookin’, baby?

A lot. The news is piling up so I best get to it on this cool lovely autumn day of 11-11.

At Home & Abroad

First and foremost, Happy Veterans’ Day! To all veterans past and present. I join millions across our home country and abroad in thanking you on this day. I am grateful for your service and sacrifices. We don’t forget and on this day we say loudly and clearly: Thank You. Each and every one of you.

In This Home

The Repairs & Beautifying of my “new” space (mobile home rental of 2-1/2 months) rolls forward full steam. I’ve completed various repairs and of course painting the entire interior. The really big news is the new windows are in!!! (not by moi, rather the landlord’s brother and two nephews). Will blog on that another time.

For now, will say simply that they are making **a world of difference** in retaining heat, eliminating chills and drafts and reducing noise. I love ’em!! Still to figure out: window treatments.

From The Oven

My vaaaastly-improved domestic situation has renewed a lifelong passion for cooking. (Was a time I seriously considered culinary school.) I’m thrilled to report that my “new” digs include a kitchy circa 1960s gas oven and stove. MUCH prefer them over electric!

kitchyoven

With the dust from the move at last settling and the cold weather upon us, my thoughts turn to soups and crockpotting. Notice I wrote *crock-* not *crack*-potting. 🙂 Soups are my strength & speciality and this time of year really brings out my inner German hausfrau.

Had I planned to post on this, I’d-a taken pics! Anywho, moving on … alongside fresh spinach, kabocha is my top-fav veggie. Kabocha’s ubiquitous in Japan; that’s where I discovered and truly fell in love with it! Normally I like it very simple — steamed in dashi in Japanese fashion — and enjoyed in soft chunks. Paradise!

But with a hankering for a nice thick dairy-free soup, I decided instead to roast it. Cutting kabocha is a bit like slicing through a thick dense hunk-a clay! A good knife is **essential** … and proceeding slowly and cautiously. The thick skin should first be pierced with a chef’s knife and then carefully work the knife through in a sawing motion.

I cut slices about 1-2 inches thick and lay them on a baking sheet covered with foil and sprayed with canola oil. Then I sprayed the slices and sprinkled Himalayan salt — sea salt would also be **delish** (I long ago ditched the iodized salt for the superior savoriness and flavor of sea salt). Roasted ’em at 350 for about 20 minutes; turned once about halfway through.

Beautiful!!

roastedkabocha

Inspired by the roasted kabocha, I sliced up a coupla white onions. Deskinned about 4 cloves of garlic (in the center marked by pumpkin slices in the pic below.) Set those on foil sprayed with canola oil. Lightly sprayed the onions & garlic with the same and again the Himalayan pink salt. Roasted in a 350 oven for about 20 minutes, turning once to prevent burning. A little char is good; too much only makes the garlic bitter and onion unpleasant.

Yum!

roastedonion+garlic

From the Kabocha

The seeds. Some people like to wash ’em or soak ’em first to remove the strings. Me, I like the strings. So I simply spread ’em out on a sprayed foil, lightly sprayed with canola oil and sprinkled with … you guessed it! … Himalayan salt. Roasted at 300 for about 15 minutes, turning here and there to prevent scorching. (A little scorching doesn’t bother me. 🙂 )

The result:

kabochaseeds

Roasted kabocha, onions & garlic … waiting for my next move. 🙂

What shall it be?!

I do not care for dairy-based soups so it’ll certainly be a chicken-broth base. With “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base in a jar — my starting point for any soup in the absence of genuine broth from the bones. Amazing stuff, Better Than Bouillon! (Comes in chicken & beef.) Discovered it years ago on the Internet and have *never* returned to those crappy salt licks called bouillon cubes!

From the Grab Bag

So a lot’s cookin’ in this corner of the world.

I’m still at my PT job at Fry’s Food and will drop it soon as something better comes my way (lookin’).

I’ve been gaining more hours and most importantly new experience and skills at the radio station while filling in for a coworker. Joy! I hope for and dream of more and more hours, consistently, regularly and not only as a fill-in.

From the Scorpio Moon

Visions! Today, 11-11, is a new moon. In Scorpio! {In my case, in the 5th house of creativity.} With Scorpio being the energy of creativity and passion and desire, today (and approximately the next two) is ideal for creating a vision board. For seeding that which we truly desire.

Hence since I go to work (Fry’s) in a coupla hours, I best get on it! Again, Happy Veterans’ Day and gratitude to each and every veteran who has served or is serving. And Happy New Mooning in Scorpio! ‘Tis the day for digging down deep into our passions and articulating, by word or by image, our true desires and passions.

Toodles for now …

 

 

 

 

 

 

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