Thursday, August 19, 2010

At home

As the days in the kitchen at work get longer and longer this time of year, i actually find myself wanting more than ever to cook when i get home. this can present a problem as i usually get home late and i am notorious for turning up the music, or banging pots and pans louder then is apparently "necessary". honestly i just love cooking. i will cook all day long and come home and cook more when i can. my favorite thing to do in the world is to cook three meals in a day for my family. three semi-elaborate meals that my children will not only eat but enjoy. i suppose i have different motivations for all of it but by cooking at home i have filled the house with great smells, spent the day with the family, fed them well, and had fun. music gets turned up, phone doesnt get answered, nothing else really matters. i also have been posting a bunch of technical stuff, and wanted to lighten up. this is what i do, if you have questions please please ask.

late on Tuesday night i left work and headed to my local grocery store in search of oxtail (the tail cut from a steer-looks like mini-osso bucco) but didnt have the highest hopes it would exist there. i did however find some beef knuckles and while it wasnt perfect it would work. i headed home to start a beef stock, and decided to give it a whirl in the pressure cooker. never having done it, i did some quick research and found that about an hour at about 15# of pressure is the way to go. what a fabulous method. as much as i love the time commitment of making stock i really hate leaving them cooking over night. a good beef stock takes about 8 hours to get good extraction. i roasted the knuckles added some aromatics and let it rip and in 50 minutes and some cool down time i had a perfect stock. the house smelled great and it wasnt even Wednesday yet. i refrigerated it for a soup the next day.

got up started some milk bread, then got working on the soup. lunch was perfect- fresh bread and soup by noon is always a bit of an undertaking. we finished it with really lightly sugared sliced peaches and a touch of cream.

dinner was a a puree of pinto beans (they cooked in just under 2 hours), marinated, grilled, and chopped tenderloin steak, slaw, avocado puree, boysenberry lemonade, and it was all great. i also made some horchata (a mexican rice milk drink that i have been working on perfecting for about 3 yrs) but i spun the horchata in the new ice cream maker. i actually only had a few bites but the boys seemed to like it.

i encourage you to get your family in the kitchen with you. my boys are better eaters, and cooks for it. while the workload can be big (the dishwasher ran 4 times) the payoff is priceless. sitting down to a meal where everyone is around and everyone will eat, and talk and tell jokes is the whole reason i do it. i want my children to eat as well as any child could. i want them to know what vegetables are, i want them to understand good food, and eventually i will need them to be able to cook (for themselves at least) good food. wholesome, healthy, fresh foods. i couldn't feed them anything else. and even though the table settings all dont match, and our table has marker drawn across it, and some one always spills something, and someone has to always go to the bathroom right when we sit, i wouldnt have any of it any other way.

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