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Kitchen fixings…

January 14th, 2004 · 1 Comment

Getting an edge
Now that I’m getting things done , or at least being a bit more efficient, I was able to get the knives sharpened today, for the first time in years. I’m ashamed to admit that this wonderful wedding gift has been getting neglected and the knives were so dull that I had taken to using our little Cutco steak knives instead of our expensive set. Ever since we moved to the island, I didn’t know where to go to get the knives sharpened, and with the whirlwind of life, the blades remained decor.

Asking around I discovered that a grocery store, Central Market , in Poulsbo sharpens knives for free on Wednesday mornings from 10 to 11 in the meat department. So I grabbed a handful of knives and headed out the door this morning.

The knife sharpener did a brisk business, standing there in the aisle between coolers with the machine on a small table before him. There was someone ahead of us, and by the time we were done, someone else had arrived with another batch of knives. Walking through the store, I spied a number of shoppers carrying around bunches of blades in their carts. It was funny, like belonging to a club or something, the not-so-secret I-Need-My-Knives-Sharpened Society. I’m not an expert on blades but once we got home, I had a great time using my “new” knife to cut fruits and vegetables for lunch. Seems like it was a good job – and for “free” (never mind what I spent on groceries!). It’s great to have some sharp blades again in the house. Can’t do much with a dull knife, except gather dust…

What we won’t be eating
Espresso-coated steak – a Seattle creation with Starbucks grounds, of course…
Low carb Doritos
I’ll also be skipping the low carb candy and ice cream I heard advertised at Fred Meyer too…I’m not sure what the point of these products is – how much candy, chips and ice cream should we be eating anyway, low carb or not?!

Recipe testing

Going through my stacks of magazine clippings, I’m testing out recipes to see if I should keep them. What I am learning to appreciate a lot is the Sunset “Prep and Cook Time” estimate. That helps me out hugely, to know how much time I need to make the meal, especially for a new recipe. I can back-calculate and figure out what time I need to be in the kitchen to start dinner. However, I keep finding that I should add about 20% more time to the number…I’m not sure why cooking takes me longer than it should…either I’m dawdling a lot while I’m cooking, or I’m getting distracted easily, or I’ve got some good reasons (three little ones?!) why cooking things takes me longer than it should…I wish all cookbooks had a “Prep and Cook Time” line in each recipe. I have a few that list calories but to me, right now, time means more than calories!

Is it Chinese New Year yet?
One of the clippings in my stack was a Sunset magazine Chinese New Year feast, complete with steamed cake. I’d never made a steamed sponge cake and it sounded intriguing. One night I cooked the chicken, rice and stir-fried lettuce for the meal. And when we had the leftovers, I made the cake for dessert. It was pretty easy to make, mostly beating together eggs and flour before placing it in our bamboo steamers to cook. I don’t know much about Chinese New Year but I didn’t think the cake was anything special to make. Somehow I guessed it was just any old kind of dessert.

But soon as Ted sat down at the table, seeing the cake on a plate, he asked “Is it Chinese New Year already?”

Thanks too Anita’s blog , I did know the answer – Chinese New Year in 2004 is January 22 (Year of the Monkey) – and I also enjoyed the link she had to Tray of Togetherness , the symbolism and ritual of all the foods.

One wasn’t enough

Earlier I blogged about Kashi Strawberry Fields cereal with dried berries in it. Guess I’m a sucker for a sale, for I found the other two Organic Promise Kashi cereals at discount and decided to try them as well. Cranberry Sunshine did not brighten my morning much – I didn’t like the taste of these corn flakes. The girls and I did like the Autumn Wheat – and it has more fiber, which I like to find in my morning cereal. Recently we’ve found Kashi’s Good Friends Cinna-Raisin Crunch and Barbara’s Bakery Puffins on sale too. Now that we have more than one box in the house, the girls like to mix them together in their bowls. This reminds me of a good friend who does this in her home too 🙂 and I find myself thinking of her family at breakfast – funny how those little things in life link you to others…

I like cereal in the morning. It’s easy to fix and good for the girls, especially with yogurt (those bacteria !) I used to like to make my own granola, but over the holidays I felt overloaded with baking and began buying more cereal. Today at Central Market I got a bit of granola too, but I’m thinking I might return to making my own. Buying it in the box or bulk bag is easy. But to me it’s not as fun or tasty as experimenting to make my own. And the girls all like to take a turn stirring it too…they can’t wait to be more involved fixing food in the kitchen with me…

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Jan 17, 2004 at 1:59 pm

    We currently have 12 different open boxes of cereal in the pantry, 4 “back-up” boxes unopened, and one bag of French Vanilla organic granola from Planet Organics on the counter in a basket. The open boxes include one kind that only Mom eats, three kinds that only Dad eats, six that we all munch on, and two of dubious use. Definitely some FANatics of daily cereal mixing in the house.