A marathon – a long lasting difficult task of a specific kind. My feet now know what a cooking marathon entails.
I feel like I've been in the kitchen all day today, because…well, I have been in the kitchen all day.
And why was I in my kitchen all day? Well, not only did I have a ton of food from my once-a-month shopping trip to take care of and put away, but I've also been in the mood to try out new recipes.
And my husband's apparently been in the same mood, too.
Last night he wanted to make a mocha shake, but we didn't have any chocolate syrup for the topping. At first he experimented with melting chocolate chips, but that didn't work. I suggested he look for a recipe for chocolate syrup, but he said the only ones he remembered seeing when he looked online required boiling for 30 minutes—and he didn't want to wait.
But finally he gave in and got back on the computer to look one more time. And lo and behold, the very first recipe he found required only a few minutes of boiling! Jackpot, he thought; and his need for instant gratification was ever-so-slightly assuaged.
So he set out to make the syrup, still a little skeptical of the outcome. But he needn't have worried; we were all very pleased with how it turned out. It tastes just as good as the syrup we usually buy at the store, and it's a whole lot cheaper, too. I just had to try out the syrup on some ice cream. Yum!
The recipe tasted great, but we will be tweaking it a little the next time we make it, decreasing the cocoa to 1/2 cup and adding a 1/4 cup corn syrup based on some of the comments we read on the recipe site. And check out where we stored the syrup—in an old (but clean) water bottle. It was perfect for it.
So now to my cooking marathon for today. Here's a list of the things I did in the kitchen today:
- baked the overnight French toast that I prepared last night (I'm not sure how well I liked the recipe; I'm not used to soggy French toast. Maybe I did something wrong?)
- washed a multitude of dishes from Jeff's experiment in the kitchen last night
- prepared a whole fryer chicken for my too-small crock pot
- cut celery for the crock pot
- peeled and cut onions for the crock pot and for browning ground beef
- peeled and cut carrots for the crock pot
- browned 5 pounds of ground beef with onions and separated them into bags for thefreezer
- made up freezer bags of cheese for our pizzas this month
- divided up and labeled all our shredded cheeses in freezer bags for the month; put several of the bags in the freezer
- made up a hot roll mix and a cornbread mix and put them in jars for storage
- made up a batch of chocolate chip cookies and froze the dough (I've never done this before, but I tried it out today and it worked beautifully! I'll be making more batches of cookies in the next few days and freezing the dough in half-size batches so I can bake a small number of cookies at a time. Usually when I make cookies, the recipe makes about 3 dozen cookies…and the cookies are generally gone by the next morning. You do the math. The kids are limited to 4 cookies a piece at most, and then there are two adults, so that means…yeah, we always eat too many! So making only a half batch each time is the perfect solution for us.)
- made the dough for yeast rolls using the hot roll mix I made up earlier; set it aside to rise
- washed dishes a second time because I was running out of clean bowls
- baked the rolls
- removed the chicken from the bone for dinner
- successfully make delicious chicken gravy from scratch (I'd never done this successfully before. Thanks, Kate & Toni!)
- washed the kitchen table & swept the extremely dirty kitchen floor
- set the table for dinner
- ate way too much for dinner (it tasted so good, I couldn't help it!)
- had a battle of wills with Jerah about what she was eating/not eating for dinner
- baked a half batch of cookies from the freezer
- ate way too many cookies, even with just a half batch
- left the kitchen counters completely cluttered with dirty bowls and dishes from dinner
- walked away from the kitchen with the goal of doing the dishes after the kids go to bed
- had happy ending to cooking marathon with thanks for all we accomplished
The kids and I are planning to do some "school" over the summer (a much-reduced work load), but I made a command decision to take today off from any academic work. We'll just start back up tomorrow…or the next day. All of us need a little break right now.