My Lenten challenge is to cook more (or, more specifically, learn to cook). Here are the last few days.
Day 1 (Wed, 2/25): I ate grilled cheese and tomato soup – bread, cheese and condensed soup all from the store for lunch. For dinner (sorry) microwave popcorn.
Day 2 (Thurs, 2/26): I put pig’s neck bones into the crock on low early in the am. After 7 hours I added the beans I had soaked and turned the crock on high. After 3 hours the beans didn’t appear to be getting any softer so I took the whole crock and dumped it into a soup pot and boiled the heck out of it for another 2 hours. 12 hours later – there was still a lot of meat on the bones. I added seasoning and some crushed tomatoes and ate. Not too bad, actually. But 12 hours? Maybe I just need to start in a huge stock pot and boil the heck out of the meat for several hours then add the beans and continue to boil. I froze three servings for future days.
Day 3 (Fri, 2/27): I had a craving for french onion soup – and thankfully I know how to make this, AND it is just three ingredients! Cut up large yellow onions into thin slices and cooked them in butter for ‘a while’. When the onions were the right texture for french onion soup (and if you’ve had it before, you know what that is) add several cans of beef broth. Num! I ate two servings.
The best part of all this… a friend told me the onions would cook a little faster if I added just a little sugar (which did seem to work, although I don’t know the science behind it). So, I pulled down my sugar container and found a chocolate bar I must have hid from myself many, many months ago. Yea chocolate!
Day 4 (Sat 2/28): A friend invited me over for lunch and he made this wonderful rice dish with shrimp and veggies. He and I will go out to where he gets this special type of rice and I will try and see if I can make it, too. It didn’t take long and was worth the effort. For dinner I ate the rest of my french onion soup.
Day 5 (Sun 3/1): For breakfast I fixed a spinach, swiss and tomato scramble. Lunch was a canned pasta meal (mostly eaten by children) and dinner was microwave popcorn. Of course, Sundays don’t count as part of Lent – so I’m off the hook on these last two.
OK – I made it through 5 days – and while I didn’t do a lot of cooking – it was certainly a lot more than I normally do. Progress not perfection. I’ll try and do better this week.