Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snowy Cozy Winter. cooking on the woodstove and dinner musings

Good Morning. In my neck of the woods we have a steady flurry of snow coming down, a perfect morning to be on a farm cozy inside with a fire. In my normal life this is not an option- lucky for me though- I am farm sitting for some fantastic animals in a cozy house that overlooks the mountains. Bliss. Streaming the folk station out of Boston, WUMB, seals the deal.
On wood stoves. Beautiful, warm, satisfying to build the perfect fire. I have also been looking for ways to use the heat from a wood stove to cook food, cutting back on using a second fuel source for cooking. So far I have experimented with beans. I soaked white beans then put them in  bowl of water on top of the stove to cook. So far they had about 3 hours of active fire and the residual heat overnight. I think they have another 2 hours of fire to go, but I'm excited at the prospect.

Also on food, last night I threw together a fairly easy meal while writing a paper. I didn't necessarily need to have a fast meal, simply one with a fair amount of inactive cooking. My solution was roasted baby eggplants and zucchini with sauteed mushrooms over polenta, pesto chickpeas, and a tomato sauce. In an ideal world I would have added a side of steamed kale, but I was fresh out of leafy greens. I left the stems on the eggplant and zucchini but cut them in to fans up to the stem. Next I drizzled olive oil over them and placed sliced garlic between the fans of the vegetables, and put them in the oven. At some point I sauteed onions and garlic, added vegetable stock and white wine, brought to a boil, stirred in coarse polenta. After about 10 min. of occasional siring the polenta was finished. I sauteed the mushroom quarters in butter, opened canned chickpeas (would have loved fresh cooked, but didn't plan in time) and heated with pesto. Finally I heated some tomato sauce, and dinner was complete.

Finally, I leave you with photos of snowy winter. I am still struck by the beauty of snow and mountains here. Do you see the heart in the first photo? A collaborative piece, I walked the shape- then the puppy dashed across making an "arrow."
Stay warm and cozy!

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