Home > cooking, work > Working Cook April 22, 2010

Working Cook April 22, 2010

First thing I had to do when I got to work today was find my big stockpot. I have two, plus another couple big pots and two smaller ones, one with Teflon, in my fleishig cabinet. But I could only find my smaller stockpot.

Okay, fine, they’re NOT mine really, but I’m both possessive and territorial and also, I’m pretty much the only one who uses them. So they might as well be mine.

Anyway, the smaller stockpot is NOT big enough to make enough soup for Shabbat. So, I went in search. Nothing in my normal work kitchen, so I went to Keshet, where I found my big stew pot sitting in the fridge. I need that pot for chicken soup days, so I transferred the lentil soup into a container and took the pot back to Kerem. Then I checked Ruach. Note that I had already gathered my meats for the day but was still in street clothes.

In Ruach, I found a dozen apples but not my stockpot. I told the janitor (I wish I had better French – it all turns to Spanish)and searched in the work kitchen again. This time, I checked the dishwasher we never use. And there it was.

I put on my whites and changed my shoes and got to cooking. Beef cubes in one pot (with some water to let them simmer a bit) and chicken bones and drumsticks in the big stockpot, covered with water. Dairy pot for hardboiled eggs. I mixed up some matzo ball mixture, and put it in the fridge.

Then I started on the vegetables for the stew – onions, carrots, celery and sweet potatoes. Somewhere along the line, I skimmed the stockpot and added the parsley and dill. Note – normally, I get bunches of fresh parsley and dill that I float in wet water (water with just a drop or two of soap, which kills the surface tension and makes dirt and things drop off, but doesn’t affect the taste of the herbs) before using them. This week, I had expensive hydroponic parsley (no dirt or bugs) and DRIED dill. Seriously. I may add fresh dill tomorrow because dried? Is tasteless, whereas fresh is delicious.

The eggs were done, so I put a big pot of salt water on the stove, and started peeling apples. When the water boiled, I dropped in the matzo balls and let them simmer. I finished peeling the apples and made the batter for the kugel. I like to let it rest a bit. Then I sliced the apples, tossed the slices with cinnamon and sugar and mixed them with the batter. It was already past noon at this point.

I turned off the soup and the stew and just SAT for a chapter of the current Oz book. Then I was up again to make egg salad and portion out soup. I then took the drumsticks out of the soup pot, poured the stock into a big pot and dumped the bones and herbs. Stock went to the fridge to be finished tomorrow (if Leon doesn’t give it all to Papa – and it’s strong for me to add more water along with the veggies if I must), portioned soup went to the freezer and the legs (still flavorful) went to Keshet.

I then portioned out the beef stew, and took the now done kugel out of the oven. I put the matzo balls (labeled “for shabbos”) into the fridge, took the kugel upstairs for Keshet, took chicken breast fillet out to thaw while putting a tray of stew in the freezer, and took Keshet their dinner.

2PM – time to go home! Took off my whites, changed my shoes. Done.

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Categories: cooking, work
  1. Anonymous
    April 23, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I have such trouble cleaning and checking fresh herbs. I want to try your method! Do I really just “float” the herbs, or do I swish them around or something? I need to rinse them, right? Do I not need to check them after? I’ve cleaned herbs in what I thought was a thorough manner and still had stuff sticking to them after. I am eager to try a method that works and to know how to do it right. Thanks for any information and especially details you can provide.

    On a related topic, when you write about nuking a bag of spinach, is this fresh or frozen? If the former, do you have a good cleaning and chekcing method for it? If the latter, are there choices other than Bodek?

    Thanks for writing this series. It’s informative and helpful and interesting and a bunch of other positive adjectives too.

  2. mamadeb
    April 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm

    You swish the herbs and turn them over a couple times. The other key thing is to *lift* the herbs from the water, so that everything falls to the bottom. If you drain them, you’ll just put everything back. To check, use a clear cup and scoop water from the top. If it’s clear, the herbs are clean. If not, lift them out and put them in another waterbath.

    I nuke frozen vegetables. If I were doing fresh, I’d do the floating thing but with several changes of water. Any of the frum brands (like Golden Flow) are properly checked ahead of time.

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