Cooking With What You Have

I'm hosting book club tonight. Our book club has been meeting for over 20 years, and although attendance ebbs and flows, and often we don't read the whole book, it's still an incredibly important part of my life. Coincidentally, Beatrix has HER first book club today, at her friend Meara's house, and I'm dying to find out how it goes!

I wanted to make something fun, and so settled on a Moroccan chickpea stew, which could sit in the crockpot all day. We had most of the ingredients already (which isn't always the case), and as an added bonus, most of them really needed to be used up (aging carrots and the like), so I felt very virtuous. I even opened a bag of cinnamon sticks I've been holding on to for awhile!

That got me in the mood to use up another on-the edge product, mainly some souring milk. I usually make a Texas sheet cake with sour milk, but today I tried a new recipe for chocolate cake, which I will also serve for book club (it's currently cooking on my new baking rack, a Christmas present). With the leftover sour milk, I mixed up a coffeecake.

Meanwhile, Patrick made use of another Christmas present by inserting one of my syrup taps into our big maple tree in back — we'll keep you posted!

These days of productivity and even small things like cooking several dishes give me a similar contentment to the feeling I have while working on a larger house project, like painting a room or rebuilding something. It's a great way to get in touch with that feeling when my time is limited.

Pioneer Woman blog, you've got nothing on me!


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