My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Saturday, September 11, 2010

here's what's cooking this week:

I had this big bag of dried blackeyed peas. I stuck them in the crockpot to cook this morning... and then four hours later... I've got about 12 cups of cooked blackeyed peas.

What does a single girl do with 12 cups of blackeyed peas? WHATEver she wants!

In typical Heather fashion... since I am the Salad Whisperer... I made a blackeyed pea salad!
I took those beautiful (they really are!) heirloom cherry tomatoes pictured in the earlier entry... in those fabulous colors of white, red, purple... four cups worth... and mixed them with 4 cups of blackeyed peas... one cup of diced red onion... a little olive oil and some red wine vinegar. It is soooo good... and it's only 1 weight watchers point per 1/2 cup!

I also made a Massaged Kale Salad. I'm not crazy. Google it. Apparently... kale is such a sturdy green that it's hard to eat raw BUT the best way to capture the nutrients of the kale is by serving it raw. SOOOOooo... you take a little salt and a little olive oil and you literally massage the kale. I put mine in a collander (strainer) so that the juices could drain away. It really does create a lot of juices... I also mixed in a bunch of chard because there was some for sale today at the farm and I like the idea of blending my sturdy greens. I read something that said that the massage released water from the cell walls in the plant and that's what made it tender. I don't know but it really did change the texture of it.

I mixed my limp kale with freshly picked garlic, red onion (because that's what I had) and some really beautiful hot peppers of various hues - purple, red and yellow - that I bought today. I doused it in a little red wine vinegar (again, because that's what I had) and it's excellent.

BUT... I realized that it's really good to take the kale salad and top it with the blackeyed pea salad! They're a perfect pair! And when I mix all of them together I've got lots of good healthy FILLING stuff all in one dish. I just love it when I invent/discover/create new foods!

As for the other ten million cups of blackeyed peas on hand... I cooked up a batch of brown rice (in the microwave... it's quicker) and I've got that on hand to have blackeyed peas and rice for a quick, filling, healthy meal. My fridge was empty this morning and it's full this evening and I only spent about $40 on food (including the crab cakes that Austin and I are indulging in tomorrow!)... partly because I have been working at keeping my pantry stocked with grains/rice/beans and just supplementing with fresh stuff. I invested about an hours worth of time in preparation and this food will last me most of the week.

I made a trip to the Amish Bakery today too... the lady who owns it wanted to know where my son was so we had a nice conversation about what Austin is doing in school, etc. I just love LOVE LOVE living in a place where people know us, remember us, care about us and appreciate us. I just can't imagine any other place on earth that could be such a kind and sweet community.... although I will also say that I believe the true story is that this community, probably like any other, mirrors what you give them. I show my appreciation to the people who run these small businesses, I give them my business and my loyalty and I blog about it and in return, they do good stuff back at us. And truly, although my company is a major corporation, our agency is a small business and we try to show our appreciation to the people who trust us with their business. It's reciprocal.

I got a call from my beloved Purple Michael this evening. He is on his way to Atlanta for the week but he will be staying at his parents... about 3 hours from me. So although he's closer to me than he is in Chi-town... he's still too far of a distance for us to spend any time together BUT... the good news is that he's accepted a role in the upcoming Christmas program at Stone Mountain Park and will be IN ATLANTA from November thru January! I'll be gathering a group to go to Stone Mountain to see his show and will move Heaven and earth to spend some quality time while he's nearby. That definitely gives me a bit more holiday cheer... just knowing I get to see my best gay husband.

And now it's 8pm and I'm watching football and completely chilled and so grateful for a productive yet relaxing day...

that's what's cooking! Hugs, y'all!