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Archive for June, 2010

Working Cook June 21, 2010

June 21, 2010 2 comments

Finally, a full week at work. Haven’t had that in awhile.

Walked in to find Misha watching the World Cup. Tomorrow, he graduates from school (meaning he’s now 21 and that’s it for him.) He’ll be spending his time at the DayHab instead. He had a medical appointment today, though, and they all left shortly after I arrived.

I checked for foods Mendy needed – chicken, gefilte fish and egg salad. I gathered up stew meat and ground chicken from the freezer, and carrots, celery and onions from the fridge, plus a sugar-free gefilte fish loaf from the kitchen freezer.

Started a beef vegetable soup and a pot of salted water for the fish, while defrosting the chicken. Added chopped mirepoix to the soup, plus a can of tomato sauce, garlic, parsley, basil, and bay leaves. I let that simmer on a rear burner, and took about a pound of ground chicken to cook up for Mendy. I also started a pot of brown rice.

I started cooking the rest of the ground chicken (about five pounds) while chopping an onion and batonneting a few carrots. When the chicken finally finished cooking, I moved it to a bowl and used the same pan to cook the veg. When that was cooked, I mixed the two. At this point the fish was done, as was the rice, and I started a pot of water for the eggs.

I pureed the chicken and portioned it out, and then portioned the gefilte fish. Portioned the rice and the chicken saute for the boys, put the soup in the fridge, and cooked the eggs, washing pots, etc, along the way. Made egg salad, portioned it. Cooked a bag of peas.

Made enough chicken saute to freeze one tray.

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Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010 1 comment

Back at work! What a relief. Shiva is over for my husband.

I was very happy to see that my preparations worked well – Mendy ran out entirely of only two items other than the mayonnaise salads. The freezer itself was kinda empty – only two trays of food left for the other individuals.

Mendy needed broccoli and squash, and he was low on tilapia. I had all of that in the house. I also had chicken breast fillets and noodles.

I cut up the squash, put a bit of oil on it and slid it into the oven. I also dumped two bags of tilapia fillets into a pot with hot oil, paprika and seasoning salt. Meanwhile, I nuked the chicken enough to separate the fillets, and seasoned them with oregano, paprika and garlic chips. Those also went into the oven.

I put up a pot of water for noodles, and began to microwave the two huge bags of broccoli. By this time, the fish was cooked, so I portioned it out and washed the pot. The noodle water boiled at that point, so I dumped in a bag. Drained them, mixed them with oil, salt and onion powder and portioned them. Washed the pot and colander.

Pureed and portioned the broccoli. Cooked peas.

Took the chicken out to cool. Watched some television (TOP CHEF!) and then took the not-quite done squash out. I finished them in the microwave. Mashed the squash with salt and cinnamon. Portioned it. Washed up.

12:30. DONE.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook – June 8 and June 10, 2010

June 10, 2010 Leave a comment

Yes, there’s a day off in the middle there. In fact, I won’t be back at work until next Wednesday.

Tuesday, I got to work and, ascertaining that Mendy was doing well, made macaroni with tomato sauce and cheese. And about a quarter to one, my mother-in-law called me. My father-in-law, after a series of strokes and pneumonia, was gone, peacefully in his home.

I went there as soon as I could – I was going to go there anyway to cook dinner for them and my husband – and when I arrived, they’d already made the funeral arrangements, and my sister-in-law and her daughter were boarding the plane from Israel. The funeral was on Wednesday – out of respect, we bury as soon as possible. Also, mourning doesn’t begin formally until afterward.

I had to go into work on Thursday. I’m not a mourner, and Mendy needs his soup, so I had to go in. That meant a 90 minute ride on two trains, instead of a fifteen minute walk. Since Mendy only uses 6 cups of soup, I finished the soup – I cut the vegetables (carrots, onions, celery, parsnip, turnip) very small and as soon as I portioned off for Mendy and drained the soup to the other pot, I added them. I also made matzo balls and put in a bag of noodles. Mendy also got his salads (egg, corn, tuna) and a couple of hard-boiled eggs.

I fixed up an extra portion of tuna salad with paprika and garlic for Misha. And then I went back to Manhattan.

Categories: Uncategorized

Working Cook June 7, 2010

June 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Today was extremely easy. When I checked around the fridges in both houses, I noticed LOTS of leftovers, including a pot of matzo ball soup. There was NO point in cooking dinner.

Mendy *did* need food. He needed roasted tomatoes and zucchini. Zucchini goes fast, and the bags of frozen seem to grind up very small. Two bags will get me just over a week’s worth. And I had no frozen zucchini in the house. I went shopping for it and tomatoes.

And then decided to use fresh zucchini instead. After all, I wasn’t cooking anything else, so I certainly had time to slice and cook it properly. So I went to my new favorite vegetable place and got a half dozen NICE plum tomatoes and five nice zukes.

Got back. I took the tops off the tomatoes and put them two to a container and baked them with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and oil. Then I sliced up the zucchini and steamed it with spices. And watched tv until they were cooked and I could mash the tomatoes and puree’d the zucchini.

Funny thing – I had a greater volume of zucchini after puree’ing than I normally do for approximately the same amount of vegetable. Fresh seriously rules.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook June 2, 2010

June 2, 2010 Leave a comment

I had groceries today! I had everything I needed! Yay!

I made tilapia, noodles and broccoli for the guys. There was a funny moment, though. Ina walks in, wondering if I had leftover. I tell her I have fish that was probably done. She perked right up. “Fish?” Next thing I know, she’s fixed herself a dish of puree’d spinach (I was in the middle of Mendyness) and a filet, and was very happy.

Mendyness was, besides the spinach, green beans, tuna salad, and hard-boiled eggs. I need to make Mendy tilapia tomorrow, as well as soup.

Categories: cooking, work

Working Cook June 1, 2010

June 1, 2010 Leave a comment

Brief recap of the past week or so – they decided that they were not going to do a grocery order, so I had to use what I had on hand, plus what I could buy locally. It wasn’t so bad. I had to buy frozen broccoli and gefilte fish loaves, and a fair amount of fresh produce, but I got through the week, and today.

So, let’s talk about today. I assumed there wouldn’t be much, so I planned for that. And I was right. Almost no produce, no starches, and limited amount of meat. Mendy needed ground beef. I took out two 4lb packages (and that was pretty much it for the ground beef) and put one in the microwave to thaw.

I looked in my cupboards. I had rice. I had dried beans. I had spices. I had tomato paste. Okay. That spelled chili to me. I would rather have had canned beans, but I knew I could manage with the dried. I still hadn’t changed, so I just picked up my purse and went shopping for produce.

There’s a produce store – a small Russian supermarket, really, with meat and prepared foods as well as canned goods and fruits and vegetables – on the corner, but I’ve had really poor luck there. Last week, I had to toss out about a third of a bag of potatoes.

So I went to a more expensive but more trustworthy vegetable stand instead. And I got three lovely peppers and a bag of onions with nary a sprout.

And then I returned to the home and was ill – not very, but enough to throw me off my game. It’s been a long time since I was feeling like that. Fortunately, it was an easy day.

I set the beans up for quick soak (cover beans with water above two inches, boil for two minutes and let sit for an hour), put the other package of meat to thaw, and started cutting up the onions and the peppers. Got them in the post to saute, with cumin, garlic, cinnamon (yes, cinnamon), paprika and pepper. I was aiming for a “chili” powder without much heat. I love heat for myself, but these guys – not so much.

I also started a pot of brown rice. By this time, the second batch of meat was thawed. I added the meat (less about a pound for Mendy) to the vegetables plus more spices,and let that cook. When the rice was done, I portioned it out, washed the pot and started cooking the remaining meat.

During this time, I did sit down a bit more than usual. Not happy about that, but I did feel not so great, and I did plan an easyish day.

The beans being soaked enough, I drained them, put in fresh water and started cooking them. I pureed and portioned the ground beef for Mendy, and then added tomato paste and more spices (and water, of course) to the chili. When the beans were cooked, I added them to the chili pot and let it all simmer. I also nuked some green beans. Meanwhile, the grocery order I made LAST MONDAY arrived.

Did I put them away? No. Because the chili was finished. It took ten minutes to portion and label it,and another five to wash the pots. I put the extra in the freezer, took dinner over to Keshet and was gone.

Categories: cooking, work