Wednesday, March 3, 2010

when you have the right tools

When I was much younger and first married, I truly did not understand the necessity or the blessing of having the right tools in the kitchen. Being somewhat simplistic by nature, I never thought to attain more than the common, everday kitchen tools (ie: pots, fry pan, crock pot) and some basic utensils; can opener, a couple of big spoons for mixing (mixing what?) and maybe some measuring supplies, just in case I baked a cake (from a box). Though I wasn't completely ignorant of cooking from scratch, it certainly wasn't a lifestyle. And forget about spices. Salt and pepper were the only ones I thought I would ever need...I was so naive!

Today, I'm still somewhat simplistic I suppose, compared to many, but my realm of cooking tools has definitely grown. I have things like a blender, a juicer, food processers (big and small) baking stones and more. Items I never thought I would own, nevermind use on a regular basis. My hand utensils have also grown in number and I find myself wondering how in the world I ever survived without a garlic press or a mini whisk!

These tools, now everday helpers in my kitchen, make it possible for me to grow and explore new ideas and recipes to continue to develop our food plan. I have also found out that with just a little careful planning, remnants of ingredients from one recipe need not be discarded but can easily be used in another recipe a day or two later. Savings on time and grocery money - I'm all about that.

I made crockpot lasagne last night, with ground chicken browned in olive oil. Made my own tomato sauce and made a creamy filling with cottage cheese and a little ricotta. Spices like basil (always have some fresh on hand), fennel seed, oregano, nutmeg, sea salt and pepper make a world of difference! I always add a little red wine to my sauce to enhance the flavor. Layered in the crock pot and topped with mozzarella and parmesean cheese, it's a quick, low mess and high protein meal! I'm using the left over sauce in my homemade beef/veggie stew tonight!

I thank God everyday for the tools I have - leaving me more time to care for my family in other ways.


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