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A Cooking Mishmosh Frenzy


I got out of bed this morning with an ambitious goal: Cook two—hopefully, three—days worth of meals. I enjoy cooking, but not all the time. Before the husband and I moved in with the mama (my mom), when I didn't want to cook, we went out. Unfortunately, the mama doesn't like eating out, although she's okay with us getting take-out. It's just as well since the restaurant choices in our town are limited. And, of course, we aren't made of money.

I do my best to make nutritious, balanced meals that meet the taste preferences and dietary needs of us three. The husband limits his salt intake because of his high-blood pressure, the mama needs foods on the not-so-chewy side, and I keep tabs of foods that make me itch. The mama is also very particular. If she doesn't like something, she eats a few bites, shoves the plate aside, and says, "I'll eat this tonight (or tomorrow)." Then several days later, I throw it out or eat it on leftovers day. Another challenge is to make economical meals with organic, local products as much as possible. It's easier today than it was six years ago when we moved here. (That being Hollister, California.)

Today, I dealt with a Cornish hen and a couple of beef shanks that had been thawing in the fridge for a couple of days, as well as a small bag of frozen shrimp. In the veggie bin were a small head of red cabbage, a handful of brown mushrooms, a small head of Napa cabbage, several beets, some roasted chestnuts, ripe persimmon, and a package of tofu that needed to be consumed tout de suite. A very creative mishmosh challenge!

All in all, cooking was fun today. The results: We had shrimp toast and beets for lunch, and grilled Cornish hen with sweet-and-sour red cabbage, persimmon, and chestnuts for dinner. Tomorrow. we'll have beef, tofu, and veggie soup for lunch and/or dinner. I'll post recipes for these dishes some time. I figure the cost of these meals for three might equal a meal for one at a restaurant. Yep, that's what I like to think.

After today's frenzy, I may be suggesting take-out on Friday.

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