Now that the holidays are over, things have slowed down to a calmer pace here at Twelve Acres. No more baking till the wee hours of night, no more wrapping and last minute trips to the store. Now I can slow down and focus on the pleasant activities that make me happy.
I have spent a considerable amount of time organizing and streamlining my kitchen this past week. I've also learned some time-saving tips and techniques by watching most of the cooking shows on the Food Network, which I pre-record and watch at night when everyone else is in bed (fast forwarding through the commercials of course). My favorite chef is Alton Brown, host of Good Eats. He's a talented technician and his multi-purpose gadgets really make me stop and think about the stuff in my kitchen drawers. I've changed my tool layout following his method and it's really made a difference in the way that I cook. What a relief! I am having a lot more fun in my kitchen now. I appreciate Ina Garten's and Tyler Florence's easy-going, practical approach to cooking as well. The best food comes from using simple ingredients cooked properly. No need for all that fuss! Fuggedaboutit!
I have invested in a 14 piece set of stainless steel Emerilware
. Emeril's stainless steel line is made by All Clad, which any cookware devotee will instantly drool over. I can't afford the All-Clad line, but I can afford the Emerilware version! It arrived today and I went through all of my Calphalon pieces and put the ones I've replaced into storage. When Derek moves out he'll inherit them. They're all very functional still and in great shape and he has experience cooking with them, so he knows how to handle them.
I made a turkey pot pie today using my new Taste Of Home cookbook and my brand-spankin'-new 3 quart stainless steel sauce pan. This cookware heats much more quickly than the hard-anodized aluminum I'm used to using, so I had to turn the heat down a bit while cooking the filling. It occurred to me that this new cookware will save me money because I use less propane when cooking! BONUS! My investment is going to save me money! I'm beside myself with glee!
The chooks have picked up egg laying this week. I think the extra hours of light provided by the light on a timer are starting to have an affect on them. Half of my Australorps are once again laying, albeit slower. I've been averaging 5 eggs a day, up from 3! Yay me! Now I can once again cook up some egg dishes for supper. I was really sweating it last month during all my holiday baking. There was more than one day when I used up all the eggs in the fridge. And then there were the customers who wanted eggs that I couldn't supply.
I'm enjoying all the wonderful gifts I received for Christmas. Everyone who knows me and loves me knows that I spend the majority of my day in one of two places: outside with my animals or in my kitchen. Everything I received can be used in either of those two places. Isn't that nice?