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Mexican Mondays and Other Things

Dec
7


I’m working on learning to love my kitchen.


If the kitchen at Sassafras Farm was perfect, I’d have to pinch myself all the time because then everything would be perfect. And that just wouldn’t feel real. This kitchen is like the Ornery Angel. It’s here to test me.

Every time I go over to Stringtown Rising Farm, which right now is two or three times a week because I’m still cleaning out over there, I have to stop and sigh over the kitchen for a moment because I loved that kitchen. It was actually no bigger, with no more counter space or cabinet space, than this kitchen, but it was open to the dining room and living room, with high ceilings, so it felt larger and was very airy. It’s the thing I miss the most about Stringtown Rising.

If you love to cook and bake, kitchens are important rooms. Eventually, I want to restore the original kitchen here, but for now, I must learn to love the narrow galley kitchen remodel that is here and that reminds me of apartment kitchens I cooked in when I was 18 years old. I cooked Thanksgiving dinner in this kitchen a few days after I moved in, so I know I can cook a big dinner here. Someone asked what was the first thing I cooked here and if it was Grandmother Bread. Yes, it was! Now, with Thanksgiving past and life settling down at least halfway, I’m trying to get back into more home cooking. I haven’t cooked a lot lately. While I was packing up at Stringtown Rising, I got to where so much of my kitchen was packed up that I could no longer cook real dinners there and we ate a lot of sandwiches or frozen pizzas or takeout for a few weeks. That was fun for a few days, then it got old, and I really missed home cooking. Now, I’m still struggling to remember where I put this or that, having periodic panic attacks because I can’t find something basic like baking powder, but I’m cooking again.

And I know that is what my new kitchen needs. It needs cooked in. That is what will make it feel like my kitchen, along with memories, like our first Thanksgiving here.

Some time back, Morgan had this idea that she wanted to have Mexican Mondays. This really never took off, for a few reasons. One being that she was always in sports and a dinnertime routine is difficult when working around sports. Another was that not everyone likes hot, so that caused some conflicts over cooking for different tastes. Now we are here, just Morgan and I, and we both like it hot, and she’s not playing basketball this winter. (A decision she and I made together to take a break during the time we are settling in here.) So she asked if we could have Mexican Mondays again. Monday, I made quesadillas. Then we decided to have Italian Tuesdays, and last night I made pepperoni and mozzarella paninis. For Wacky Wednesday, we’re having breakfast for dinner. We decided on Fried Fridays, but we couldn’t come up with anything for Thursdays. (We’re taking weekends off for free choice.) If anyone has a good idea for Thursdays, let me know. For some reason, Morgan really loves this mealtime structural thing! And it’s fun and a challenge for me to come up with fresh ideas within the structure, so why not. But….. Thursdays? What about Thursdays? Help.

And yes, next stop on the Sassafras Farm tour will be the studio so I can show you the unbelievably gorgeous space I have now to create my commercial kitchen for classes. It is AWESOME and helps make me feel better about the kitchen in the house. I’m going to have the most amazing kitchen ever OVER THERE!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 7, 2011  

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  1. 12-7
    1:18
    am

    I can “feel” the excitement and awe in every post you send us. I am so happy for you guys. Dreams really do come true don’t they.
    As for Thursdays, how bout Thasarole Thursday. T

  2. 12-7
    1:37
    am

    I just got back in (it’s a bit after 1 am) from rescuing my guinea hen from an owl!!! Heard a ruckus and ran out with the dog to see wings drifting through the trees where she normally roosts and after searching the ground found her frozen (figuratively the way birds ‘freeze’ when in danger) in some weeds. got her in the coop for tonight but she won’t stay, tomorrow night she’ll back in her dangerous tree roost. *sigh*

    Anyway, I got back in and woke up the computer and here was your next room!

    LOL I was trying to think of a way to get casserole in there, Thasserole just may be it!

    If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, how about Appetizer Thursdays
    Small bites, snacky things, finger foods and tasty tidbits so you can graze and nibble… (and clear out leftovers) sort of American Tapas. Maybe a salad to round things out.

    Appetizer doesn’t rhyme with Thursday very well, but it’s a thought.

  3. 12-7
    1:43
    am

    “Take it Easy” Thursday (meaning no stress – possibly something simple or leftovers) or “Tried and True” (aka “Traditional”)Thursday where you prepare something like a baked chicken with the trimmings, pork chops w/baked potato, or hamburgers – some traditional American cuisine or a dish that is “tried and true” in your family.

  4. 12-7
    2:07
    am

    Thrifty Thursdays, where you cook your most frugal meals? Or, I have it: Teenage Thursdays, where the teenager in the family plans and cooks dinner!

  5. 12-7
    2:23
    am

    You can go for a challenge and do Thai Thursday

  6. 12-7
    3:03
    am

    Theobroma Thursday? I could stand a dinner a week centered around chocolate.

    Or Thin Thursday, for eating flat foods like crepes and omelets.

    Thirsty Thursday, soups.

    Thoughtful/Thankful Thursday, volunteer at a local food bank or something.

    Thumb Thursday, food that’s so easy to make you can do it with your thumbs.

  7. 12-7
    3:08
    am

    Hidden in this post for a Thursday adjective is a remark about your ‘commercial’ kitchen for classes. Suzanne, will that also be a Commercial Kitchen, complete with permits and all so that you can sell your artisan cheeses?

  8. 12-7
    5:40
    am

    Adventurous Thursdays – make something you’ve never made before – pick a country and web search for a recipe or vegan, whatever.

    What are the plans for the old farm? Is it going on the market at some point?

  9. 12-7
    5:41
    am

    Weird trivia moment: I believe in Finland pea soup is traditional on Thursdays…

  10. 12-7
    5:50
    am

    KarenAnne, yes, I’m working with a realtor to get it listed very soon.

  11. 12-7
    5:58
    am

    How about Healthy Thursdays with fresh vegetables and lighter options to contrast with Fried Fridays? :)

    We had a kitchen like yours when we lived overseas in military housing. It was challenging, but we got used to it. Happy cooking!

  12. 12-7
    6:15
    am

    Leftovers.
    Soup & sandwich.
    New recipe night.
    Seasonal.
    FunFunFun! :)

  13. 12-7
    6:45
    am

    Asian Thursday? Not just Thai, but also Japanese (miso soup!), Chinese (stir fry!), Indian (hot vindaloo!). This kind of food also tends to have very little fat and lots of veggies, so it fits the healthy theme as well.

    So the old place is not listed yet. I was browsing Roane County realty listings the other day (my wife and I are considering a move away from CT once she retires) and saw a listing for land (only) on “Stringtown Road”. Part of the family spread?

    BTW have been reading your blog for some time now and never miss a day. Congratulations on the great find in the new place. I hope our own eventual search (not necessarily in WV) will turn out even half as well.

    Tom the Old Geezer

  14. 12-7
    7:00
    am

    Thoughtful Thursdays – make it a healthy food night!

  15. 12-7
    7:29
    am

    :snoopy: T.V. togetherness night Thursdays! Meals that can be eaten in front of T.V. watching movies…pizzas, burgers, sandwiches…or whatever is your choice. Sounds good to me.
    Mrs. Turkey

  16. 12-7
    7:39
    am

    How about Slurpy Thursdays? (kind of like thirsty Thursdays!)
    Make Thursday all about the soup!!

    I’m so happy to be reading about your new place and glad to see you settling in and making it your own!

    Can’t wait to see the studio next!!

  17. 12-7
    8:06
    am

    I am sure you and the new kitchen will adjust to each other soon….and then when all the dust settles you can plan a new kitchen. Tortilla thursday? Served in all ways? :happyflower:

  18. 12-7
    8:28
    am

    I think Thursday would be a great day to get out the good old crock pot. This would free you up somewhat, and you could have a great meal at the end of a busy day…or put your feet up awhile and call it Therapeutic Thursday

  19. 12-7
    8:35
    am

    Love the new place. check out the Cozy Little House blog- she just moved to a smaller home too, not sure why but was emotional for her as well. she has done great things with her little house- quite lovely actually.

  20. 12-7
    8:36
    am

    How about Tasty Comfort Foods for thursdays. Pork chops, roast, or baked chicken with mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, greens, green beans, etc. Rolls or bread made with Grandmother Bread.

  21. 12-7
    8:39
    am

    I’m thinking crockpot or soup on Thursdays……it’s nice to have a “night off” from cooking, yet have a homecooked meal. Grilled cheese sandwiches and soup is one of our favorites. Or a crockpot roast with plenty of leftovers for the weekend.

  22. 12-7
    8:45
    am

    Very few steps required in that kitchen. It probably wouldn’t take much to move the kitchen over to the “old” one. I wonder if there are any of the hookups still there (gas and water). With some imagination, I’m sure you could use what’s there and redesign it to fit. Bring in the Seans!

    So happy Morgan is taking time to “settle” in with you this winter. Now that you’re on good roads, you won’t have to drive! But she has many things to get ready for spring…no time for sports. And think of all the free time you’re going to have! WOW! No stopping a project to pick her up anymore.

    Soupy Thursday, All-in-One Thursday (1 dish meals), Smorgasbord Thursday (there’s sure to be leftovers…can you cook for just 2??)

  23. 12-7
    8:54
    am

    I was going to suggest Thai Thursdays, but then I saw Old Geezer’s suggestion and like that even more! As long as you can get your hands on most of the spices, etc, Thai and Indian foods tend to be very simple to make, very healthy and so delicious!

  24. 12-7
    9:12
    am

    How about Thankful Thursdays? Where you eat up the dibs & dabs you have left from other meals or use them creatively to make something else. There’re only 2 people in my household most of the time, and almost all recipes make too much for us. We find that after 3 meals of (whatever) we’re both tired of it and it languishes in the back of the fridge.

    We have a dibs n’ dabs meal about once a week or at least every other week. It keeps the waste down to a minimum and the tiny packets of things out of my freezer too!

    Judi

  25. 12-7
    9:37
    am

    Throwdown Thursday! That one just hit me. Think I can talk Morgan into a throwdown? LOL.

  26. 12-7
    9:39
    am

    Comfort food Thursdays! Mmmmm comfort food.

  27. 12-7
    10:04
    am

    Some of you are cooking for only two. I am now cooking for only me. So, whenever I make a 2+ recipe, the other half goes into a freezer container and “Voila!” I have another meal ready to take out. Even when it was just dh and myself, I would take a day from time to time and cook a big recipe and pkg/save/freeze other meals from it.
    I like the suggestion of appetizer Thursday. What came to mind was “Dim Sum”. Always delicious and a wide variety. But I prefer Asian cooking over any other type. I just had congee (aka ‘jook’) for breakfast. Google it. ;)

  28. 12-7
    10:06
    am

    What do you mean by “Throwdown?” Just curious.

    My thoughts were along the lines of trying something new, like someone else already suggested. I wasn’t as good as coming up with a name like some of the others, but I made one up anyway…Thunderlicious Thursdays.

  29. 12-7
    10:29
    am

    Throwdown, like a challenge.

  30. 12-7
    11:07
    am

    When I lived in California, Tuesdays everywhere were ‘Taco Tuesdays’, just throwin’ a wrench in the whole works…sounds like loads of other good suggestions for Thursdays!

  31. 12-7
    11:22
    am

    I think Throwdown Thursday is a wonderful idea. Morgan isn’t a stranger to cooking, but it never hurts to be put to the test. She’ll appreciate what she learns later on when she’s out on her own. I truly wish I could get so excited about cooking again. To me, it has become a chore that I dread every day.

  32. 12-7
    11:47
    am

    When my kids were older teens and living at home we were all busy working and going to school. There were four of us and we were each responsible for one night of the week Monday-Thursday. We could cook, get take out, or take everyone else out but we were totally responsible for that night. Then Friday night we always ordered pizza. Weekends the kids were usually gone with friends so I cooked for my husband and I or we went out. You might consider assigning Thursdays to Morgan. My kids seemed to enjoy it and as a result, my son is a marvelous cook and does all the cooking in his home.

    Loving the posts!

  33. 12-7
    12:20
    pm

    How about “Thrifty Thursdays”? Try to make meals as economical as possible (who doesn’t these days?!), but also to make creative use of any leftovers or items in the pantry that are closest to their pull date. Might be one-dish casserole dishes, Italian tacos, who knows?

  34. 12-7
    12:25
    pm

    I like Throwdown Thursdays, sounds like a lot of fun and blogging material. :lol:

    I know that you said that you want to leave Sat & Sun up in the air, but I can’t help but suggest that you name one of the days something special, like Sassafrass Sundays. :yes:

  35. 12-7
    12:34
    pm

    ooh, I like Thrifty Thursdays, too!

  36. 12-7
    1:41
    pm

    We have something similar in our home, but Monday’s are Meatless Monday (which, to be honest, usually turns into Mexican Monday because I have a lot of recipes for Mexican food that don’t use meat or stock).

    Around here, payday is every other Friday, and that’s usually when we go grocery shopping. So Thursdays have become leftover day, where we clear out the fridge of all leftovers to make room for the next day’s shopping. On the Thursday that isn’t before a payday, it’s experimental day – the kids and I try out a new recipe.

    My mother is on her own now, and she’s a professional cook. She doesn’t have money for classes to expand her skills, so she makes one day a week “Ethnic day”, where she tries cooking something foreign and unfamiliar. Last week she made egg rolls for the first time, and loved them so much she whipped up three more batches to keep in the freezer for busy nights. I think she’s planning on trying pot stickers this week.

  37. 12-7
    1:43
    pm

    It’s a pretty kitchen.

  38. 12-7
    2:06
    pm

    :happyflower:
    Thursday sound like a casserole night, espically for the winter months.
    Suzanne, I look at you kitchen and I remember my kitchen in our home before we move here in the country, we had a small cape cod home that I loved and dearly miss, it had a galley style kitchen with less counter space than yours, and most of the larger cooking vessels had to be stored in the basement, but I cooked up a storm with no problems, I purchesed a piece of formica at a counter top store that I placed oved the sinks when I needed a bit of extra counter space, and it worked out just great. I will be willing to bet anything, and I am sure your readers will agree, that more wondeful cooking and baking will come from your kitchen than from those huge fancy kitchens we see in magazines and on tv.
    I know it has been said so many times, it is good to see you and your Family finally home.

  39. 12-7
    5:54
    pm

    How about Throwback Thursdays? You could dig out a cookbook from an earlier decade and cook something from it every week.

  40. 12-7
    6:34
    pm

    I soooooo know of what you speak. We also moved early Thanksgiving week, and my brand new gas range didn’t come with the conversion kit for propane. And NOW the ooooooooold propane tank is leaking and we aren’t getting any action from the service. So I haven’t had a stove for three days. Using only the microwave, toaster oven and crockpot gets old after a while. I want my stove!

  41. 12-7
    9:27
    pm

    Vegetarian Thursdays. Not a t but an idea.

  42. 12-7
    10:41
    pm

    I’m liking the Throwdown Thursday theory…and I think you could go two ways. The obvious one would be to make two versions of something. Either you vs Morgan, or the two of you pick two versions of a recipe and try both for comparative purposes. You could also go with a more Iron Chef version of the throwdown and challenge yourselves to use a new ingredient and find a way to make it something you would enjoy…..

  43. 12-8
    9:54
    am

    Well, I’m not going to Thursday because it seems you have enough help. However, does Morgan know how to cook? I said I wasn’t
    going there but how about teenager Thursday.
    Many BLESSING to both of you in your lovely new digs.

  44. 12-8
    1:02
    pm

    Thrifty Throwdown Thursday? That would encompass a lot of the ideas already given and combine the two ideas you like.

  45. 12-8
    2:44
    pm

    I actually love your kitchen already, want to swap with mine ;)

  46. 12-9
    8:33
    am

    I notice you don’t have a “chicken” night and all those chickens in the freezer.. why not chicken night?

    Or, I also love the idea of a SOUP AND BREAD night.Ours in Mondays–I make a pot of hearty soup and a loaf of homemade bread on Sundays and voila! Easy Monday nights! Thursday would work too..!

    No “fish” night ? –You probably don’t get much fish where you are or maybe don’t like fish so much? I love a good salmon caesar salad, fried fish and chips, or fish veracruz in the oven, or a tuna casserole for fish night.

    PS: Fish Veracruz: Put filets on fish (can be frozen) in pyrex dish,dump a jar of picante sauce or salsa over it, throw a half dozen olives on top of that and bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes! I serve this over rice.

  47. 12-9
    5:48
    pm

    How about “Thrifty Thursday” where you have leftovers, soup from leftover meats & vegs or vegs from garden, omelets when the hens are laying heavily, Fondue with your homemade cheese and bread, Welsh Rarebit, etc. Make it a game to come up with something new that is thrifty.

  48. 12-10
    2:10
    pm

    “Thrifty Teenage Thursdays” would be my choice. Or maybe
    “Thrifty Together Thursdays” – an economical meal with what’s on hand – all pitch in to make it happen. It may even work when the fellas come home. Never can tell==or you’ll never see your boys on a Thursday again!

  49. 12-12
    11:08
    am

    I like your kitchen! Just remember: The bigger it is, the more there is to clean!

  50. 12-14
    3:04
    am

    Hmmmmmm, gave it some thought and the one thing that sounded like a good food idea was “Fair Thursdays”….I just love Fair Foods…nothing sounds so tantalizing than going to the Fair and eating to your hearts content. :)

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