I set a loose goal for myself three days ago. I say loose because given the manic nature of my personality, it’s not reasonable to expect compliance with any non-essential 24/7. Actually, now that I think about it, I’ve set several new goals recently, some as far back as last October when I announced I wanted to start baking all of my own bread, including the Artisan variety. I asked for the supplies I’d need, pans, pizza paddle and stone, for Christmas. Of course Santa brought them. But then I couldn’t decide which recipe book I wanted; that decision required multiple trips to the library for research. (Who want to spend money on the wrong book?) Anyway, I finally decided on Artisan Bread from the Culinary Institute of America’s At Home series. (Love it!) I read it front to back a couple of times, trying to decipher then master ‘bread making lingo’. Then I took notes and started visiting little shops in our area that specialize in organic products, including nuts and seeds, and hard to find baking ingredients. I pillaged the brains of shop owners until I felt confident enough to begin. My first loaf of mixed wheat and grain bread emerged from the oven only 3 short weeks ago. Yeah. It took that long to go from setting the goal to realizing it. I bake breads every 3 days now, and it hardly interferes with the rest of my days schedule. The bread is delicious and not hard to do anymore, and the days of spending $4.79 for a small artisan loaf are hopefully gone forever.
Ever since Rich’s type 2 diabetes rared its ugly head, I’ve been cooking a great many meals taken from Marlene Koch’s Eat What You Love recipe book. I love that each item is broken down nutritionally and includes not only ADA equivalents but Weight Watcher points as well. I told my daughter, Billie, all about the book about a year ago, but it wasn’t until, on a recent visit here to Hot Springs, Arkansas, when I prepared a meal for her, (including a Balsamic vinaigrette for the luscious accompanying salad), taken from the book, that she decided she wanted to hear more. Last week a package arrived in the mail from her. It was Marlene’s new book, Eat More of what you Love! Receiving it has inspired me to make set yet another culinary goal.
Every day I want to try a new recipe. I addressed the new commitment for the first time day before yesterday when I prepared Quinoa and vegetable stuffed red peppers. Making that vegetarian choice helped me keep another goal I’d set two weeks ago. That one is to prepare and serve two meatless dinners each week, one being a fish preparation, and the other 100% vegetarian. I was on a roll for one day. But day two was bread day and I got over zealous making multiple loaves, par baking several for the freezer.
But the plan is back on today! Marlene’s Light-as-a-Feather Zucchini Casserole will accompany one of my own creations: Chicken-fried-baked-in-the-oven-Steaks, a small green salad, and of course, a modest serving of artisan bread.
Aunt Bea’s Pearl for today, pearl, as in pearls of wisdom, is: Stay on task, keep your focus, and never bite off more than you can chew!