This week I am experimenting with a new sous vide cooker that I picked up on sale over cyber Monday and a FoodSaver vacuum sealer that I got on sale at Costco. My friend Sarah stopped by a for a visit once and made us an excellent sous vide meal plus she’s always talking about how great sous vide cooking is on her blog.
I’m looking forward to the combination of the vacuum sealer and the sous vide cooker. It makes it possible to prepackage meals to easily cook later. I like cooking, but find cooking three meals a day to be exhausting. OK, I find the idea of cooking three meals a day to be exhausting. I don’t actually do it.
Also I think that focusing on having better building blocks for meals around will help me a lot. For example, chicken salad isn’t a hard proposition if one has cooked chicken around. There is no way I’m going to make chicken salad from raw chicken when I’m looking for a quick lunch.
I also learned why it seems like every time I buy asparagus, it seems to go bad before I use it all. Apparently it has a high ‘respiration rate’ which basically means that it’s prone to going bad quickly. (Also this may be related to the fact that I buy everything at Costco so I end up with giant bags of asparagus.) According to the internet, putting it in vacuum sealed bags and freezing is supposed to work fantastically. My experiment in this is not far enough along for me to know whether or not the internet is right in this case.
I also have been making lots of stuff with a stand mixer that I got a few weeks ago as an early Christmas present from my mom. It is an amazing tool. And I just needed a stand mixer because our new house came with a kitchen cabinet that was made to house a stand mixer. (If you have the space, the stuff will fill it.)
I feel spoiled with all of these new kitchen gadgets. Certainly I don’t feel like one needs gadgets to cook. In some cases, they do make it much easier to cook certain things and being able to cook with ease just makes the whole process so much more enjoyable. In other cases, they are more trouble to store, clean and use than they are worth.
I struggle sometimes with the whole food process. Eating healthy is complicated.
If there are Frosted Shredded Mini Wheats in our house, we will eat the whole box before we touch any other food around.
Buying healthy food doesn’t mean we’ll eat it. But if I don’t buy healthy food, we certainly won’t eat healthy.
Healthy, fresh food also tends to be the food that spoils the quickest. Since I’m the one that does the grocery shopping at our house and most of the cooking, I always feel guilty when food goes bad.
It’s hard for me to anticipate what we are going to eat. I might buy a bag of oranges one day and they’ll disappear in two days and the bag of oranges I buy the next week sits around until they look so sad nobody wants to eat them. And then they sit around a little longer until they look sad enough that I have to toss them in the compost bucket.
I want to eat healthy, but when my blood sugar is low or worse, B’s blood sugar is low and he’s all whiny, ease becomes so important.
It’s a weird sort of chaotic cycle. Some days, weeks or months I do better than others. Some times I have energy to focus on healthy eating or the drive to cook. Some times less so.
But I always circle back around to my desire to eat healthy. I try to find that connection to good food. Generally, food that lives. In a way, it’s a connection to earth, to life itself.
Bad food is the opposite. Bad food feels dead. Doritos feel dead. Fast food feels dead. And eating it makes me feel lethargic and closer to death.
Good food is vibrant and green. Maybe it’s not technically still alive, but it’s closer to life. Fresh rosemary from our little rosemary bush outside is still alive just before going into our food. Salad and fresh fruits and vegetables are still living when we eat them.
Maybe this analogy shouldn’t go to far. Fresh baked salmon has a feeling of being fresh and alive when eaten, but certainly I don’t want to think about it actually being alive.
Sometimes my circles lead me a little bit forward. I find a new recipe, or a new food that I love. I first started baking bread as a teenager. This was a move forward. Sometimes, I don’t make our bread, but I always have it as a skill to go back to.
Hopefully learning how to use my sous vide cooker will be a step forward. Hopefully my vacuum sealer will be a step forward. They won’t cook my food or prep my food for me, but hopefully they’ll help me in this process.
Anyway, I am off to try making some bread with my new mixer and to prep some of the food I bought at the store yesterday for the week ahead. Then tonight’s dinner is going to be sous vide steak and asparagus!! Yum!!