Last week, I posted this photo on Facebook with the caption -
Busy and productive day in the kitchen! Had so much produce to use up, so I pulled it all out of the fridge and started chopping. Challah for tonight and some for the freezer. Vegetable stock. Chunky Vegetable Soup. Hamutzim - Israeli Pickles. Apple Sauce. Fresh squeezed Mandarin Orange juice. Banana Bread. Broccoli Kugel / Casserole for tomorrow. Now to make a simple dinner - Picante Cod. Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts. Roasted (or maybe mashed) Purple Sweet Potatoes. Shabbat Shalom.
So I decided to write about what I found in the fridge and my process. Overall, I spent about four hours doing all of this.
What I had to work with
Mandarin oranges, 1 lime & 1 lemon that were kind of shriveled | Apples, also shriveled | A bowl of pears that were pretty fresh, but a couple were starting to get soft | Two giant broccoli crowns | Two parsnips | About 10 small carrots (not the baby ones, just small) | One zucchini | One shriveled yellow bell pepper, half of another one & a couple of whole peppers in good shape | Half a head of cabbage | About half a pound of Brussels Sprouts | Celery | About half a pound of baby turnips | One Jalapeno | Two little bags of peeled garlic – one open and a little funky, one still sealed | On the counter, two very brown bananas and 2 dried up red hot peppers | In the freezer, one bag of vegetable scraps saved for stock and a cup of pomegranate seeds | Plus, a bag of onions and a bag of potatoes
Put on some good cooking music. I definitely believe the food tastes better when I cook with music. For Jewish holidays, I have specific playlists, but today I put on my go to - Classic Rock.
Finish up. Turn off stock and remove from burner; leave in pot to cool. Remove cinnamon stick and star anise from apple sauce. Use immersion blender to break it all up; put it into a jar. Preheat oven again to 325; bake challah for 20 minutes; pull rolls out to a cooling rack and bake loaf for about 4 minutes more. Remove banana bread from pan; peel off parchment and place on a glass plate. Cover with a tea towel; this will live on the counter until it’s gone. Wash all the dishes that I didn’t wash already; set table for Shabbat, including putting challah on its tray. Move frozen challah to a silicone bag for freezer storage. When pickles, apple sauce and soup are cool, put in fridge. Strain vegetable stock; also wait to cool and put in freezer. Clean up; wipe counters.
Open bottle of wine and start dinner. But that’s another post.