I’m joining in with Heather this week, chronicling my kitchen time each day. It doesn’t seem like much but this work does take up such a big part of my day, the preparation, the cooking and of course the cleaning. I’m always in and out of my kitchen, checking on bread, washing butter, popping food in and out of the oven. I love thinking about what we’re going to eat each day, checking my fridge and cupboards for ingredients, or lack thereof.
As the boys are growing so are their appetites, they always seem to be hungry for something. Given a choice they’d eat things I don’t approve of all day, but I’m so aware of their growing bodies, the bones they are forming that need to last a lifetime. I want to know they are putting goodness into their tummies as often as possible. So I make double batches of breakfast pancakes, ready for the snack time call; fill the fridge with fruit and which up huge batches of hummus for a quick lunch.
Now that we are in full fledged summer, the foods we are eating are shifting. We’ve left behind the soups and stews, pies and rich gravy. Instead we’re beginning months of salad eating, filling our tums with the greens of the season, cleansing our systems and eating lighter foods that feel good in the heat of summer.
There are a couple of things that are a staple on our table, it’s just the accompaniments that alter; there really is nothing as popular in our house as a home grown roast chicken at any time of year. In winter it comes with broccoli, peas, yorkshire pudding and gravy, but in summer the side is salad, feta and delicious roasted veggies. There are few things I like more than roasted root vegetables and I’m trying to teach my boys to enjoy their sweetness too.
As well as trays of vegetables for roasting, I’m prepping bread this morning. I won’t be eating it myself but I still enjoy making it for Stephen and the boys. I like knowing that the bread they eat, for sandwiches, toast or just smothered in butter, is wholesome and not filled with additives and preservatives. Instead I’m using some of our own honey and raw home made butter. The honey really does help the yeast do it’s work and adds a mellow flavour, the butter gives is smoothness and richness. As I scrape the last bit from the container it reminds me to make some more, I’ve plenty of cream in the fridge for just this purpose.
A home raised chicken is sitting on the counter, slowly defrosting ready for tonight’s dinner. It always seems a little incongruous to me to be eating chicken while we still have birds outside. This one is from a previous batch, but his distant cousins are currently beginning to explore the outside world, enjoying the sunshine and clover that it offers. I love that the connection between what we eat and what we grow is so immediate, and as the summer continues I look forward to filling our table with more of our own produce. Right now we have salad greens, eggs, milk, meat and honey, all raised here on our own farm.
Over the next few days I plan to make a big batch of hummus, some mayonnaise, quinoa salad, quiche, scones and maybe even some strawberry jam. Oh and of course some cheese. It’s busy here in the summer kitchen!