The Home

Going Full Martha

I’m trying to set up a schedule for regular cooking and cleaning. Who better to consult than Martha Stewart, who plans everything daily, weekly, monthly, seasonally?

So Saturday I did a big clean – combining seasonal, monthly, weekly, and daily. I was at it for about 7 hours – and this is a small space! But I moved furniture to vacuum, dust and mop. I cleaned windows (which, if you live on a main traffic artery, get…absolutely MUDDY, no lie). I wiped down Venetian blinds, cleared out my kitchen cabinets and wiped the shelves down, cleaned the refrigerator and freezer. I vacuumed upholstery and throw pillows. I took down the two light fixtures in this place and cleaned them, and swapped out the bulbs for eco-friendly ones (also so much brighter!).

I slept very well.

Sunday I did a food shop. I borrowed Bernardo’s car and ran down to Gerardi’s, our farmer’s market run by a lovely family from New Jersey who grows a lot of what they sell, and sources the rest as locally as they can. I got local eggs and butter, as well as beets (I gave the actual roots to Bernardo; I prefer the greens), spinach, onions, beefsteak tomatoes, basil, acorn squash, local corn, and decorative squashes. Then I ran to Met, which is a franchise run by a Staten Island Italian family that literally stocks EVERYTHING, and got soup greens, a large turkey leg, and some staples. Got a case of Trebbiano and Montepulciano at our wine shop, and a baguette and some chocolate lace cookies from our local bakery.

And came home and cooked.

I started with the veg. Reading this book has given me a lot of ideas (and I’m not even done with it yet). I sautéed the spinach with garlic and olive oil; I removed the spinach, kept the garlic in the pan, added some more oil, and sautéed the beet greens. I divided these into small portions and froze them.

I had some limp baby peppers and leftover mushrooms, so I sautéed those with some onion, and through THAT into individual-sized containers to freeze.

I soaked black beans and kidney beans, and put them into Ziploc bags in individual portions, and into the freezer they went.

I roasted two ears of corn, which turned into 3 servings of cut corn – which of course I froze in individual portions in Ziplocs.

I roasted an acorn squash – which turned into 4 servings, which I (all together now!) froze in individual portions in Ziplocs.

I made a stock with the turkey leg and soup greens, as well as the skeleton of a rotisserie chicken I had in the freezer.

I had some bread in the freezer that was on the verge of freezer-burn, so I turned that into croutons and made a stuffing with celery, onions, mushrooms, and some dried sausage.

It was also time to cook the ground turkey Bernardo had got for me a few weeks ago, so I made Swedish turkey meatballs (I know, Swedes recoil in horror). (And froze 2/3 of them.)

I’ve also had a craving for tomato soup, so I made a big batch of that and froze half of it for pasta fagiole later this week.

I had a chicken breast on the bone in the freezer in danger of drying out, so I poached it and made a lovely chicken salad with tarragon, white onion and celery. Lunch!

I made deep chocolate ice cream with many of the egg yolks; I made an egg white frittata with greens, mushrooms and goat cheese. I made polenta.

This should keep me for at least 2 weeks, possibly the entire month with the occasional meat/fish supplement. I find that since I’ve moved, I’m eating a LOT less meat than I used to. And I still have scallops, a beef pot pie, and moussaka in the freezer for variation as well.

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