Cultivate Simple Podcast in iTunes Chiot's Run on Facebook Chiot's Run on Twitter Chiot's Run on Pinterest Chiot's Run on Flickr RSS Feed StumbleUpon

Freezer Soup

December 9th, 2014

I’m a cook from scratch kind of person and I really hate producing food container waste. Thus I have all sorts of wide mouth pint mason jars in my freezer filled with all varieties of ingredients. When I’m cooking I often double or triple a recipe and freeze some. I do the same when preparing individual ingredients. Thus I can make a pot of delicious soup with ingredients from my freezer is only an hour and it will taste like it has been simmering all day!
Soup 1
Yesterday was the perfect soup day, but I was busy running errands and working until about four. No problem, I went to the basement freezer and came upstairs with: chorizo, black beans, red beans, green peppers, sweet corn, chicken stock, and spinach. I pulled onions, carrots, and garlic from the pantry along with a few spices and a soup was born. I love using wide mouth half pint mason jars for freezing because with only a minute or two submerged in warm water the contents will come out quite easily. They defrost quickly in a pan on the stove and are the ultimate homemade convenience food.
Soup 2
In about 30 minutes I had a delicious pot of soup, a big one to eat on all week for lunches. Some of it will probably end up back in wide mouth jars and in the freezer for when we need a bowl of soup in minutes. Best of all, it’s healthy, mostly homegrown, and best of all there was not one can or package that had to be thrown away!

What’s your favorite quick meal during the cooler winter months?

Quote of the Day: Tamar Adler

September 21st, 2014

“We’re anxious about serving, but the simple, blessed fact is that no one ever comes to a dinner for what you’re cooking. We are all hungry and thirsty and happy that someone’s predicted we would be and made arrangements for dealing with it. We come for the opportunity to look up from our plates and say “thank you.” It is for recognition of our common hungers that we come when we are asked.”

-Tamar Adler from An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace
meals with friends 5
Recently I’ve been thinking about starting a supper club or some sort of way to gather around the table with people. Then I read an article on Serious Eats titled Friday Night Meatballs: Changing Your life with Pasta and knew this is exactly how I wanted to structure my weekly dinners. There are so many people we want to have over yet somehow it never works when we try to schedule it, as is common with busy people. Setting one evening a week to open our home seems like the best way to have meals with people when it’s convenient for both us and them.
meals with friends 4
When we lived back in Ohio we had a couple that we got together with weekly, there were also lots of other people that came over often to gather around our table or we went to their homes to gather around theirs. There really is no better way to fill not only our stomachs but also ourselves.
Christmas Dinner Again 2
Making Christmas Dinner 6
I love the idea of settling on one simple meal to make each week, something that makes it easy for people to choose accompanying salad, dessert or wine to bring. I love the idea of people coming when they can, bringing friends and family if they happen to be in town. I love the idea of meeting new people and sharing food with friends we haven’t seen often enough. But most of all, I love the idea of gathering around a table for conversation and community.

Do you get together with friends often for meals and conversation?

Quote of the Day: Nigel Slater

June 1st, 2014

You can’t smell a hug. You can’t hear a cuddle. But if you could, I reckon it would smell and sound of warm bread-and-butter pudding.

Nigel Slater in Toast

bread pudding
I’m a big fan of bread pudding, the sweet form for the savory version you have at Thanksgiving or for breakfast. It truly is a comforting dish! It’s been a long time since I’ve made a batch, seems like it should be on the menu soon.

What’s your favorite comfort food?

A Simple Celebration

May 31st, 2014

Mr Chiots and I really appreciate the simple things in life.  We have tried hard to simplify and get back to the basics, and the celebration of special events is no different.  Birthdays go by as any other day, no gifts or anything out of the ordinary except for maybe a “happy birthday” uttered in the morning.  We are big believers that you should make the most of every day and moment and not relegate celebrating to one special occasion.  Thus our celebration of 16 years of marriage yesterday was simple.  We both worked outside until around 7pm and then enjoyed a simple meal. A salad harvested from the garden topped with homemade meyer lemon vinaigrette paired with scallops I picked up a few hours earlier at the farmers market.
dinner
After dinner we went out and closed up all the birds, checked on the pigs, watered a few things in the garden and then settled in for an evening of reading and writing.  It was simple and just the way we like our evenings to be; is there any better way to celebrate life than by living life?  I think not!  Far too often we are too busy worrying about the next big event or celebration and we miss the moments that happen each day.  These moments, even if they are simply doing chores together, are the moments that make up our lives.  There is great value in these moments, don’t let them slip away!

What’s your favorite meal to celebrate a special occasion? 

Small Farm Food

May 3rd, 2014

If you’ve been reading here long you know I’m a big advocate of local and small farm food. Just because I try to eat locally doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy food from afar. Growing up in Colombia gave me a taste for all things tropical. Just like the rest of the food in my diet I source my tropical goodies from small farms as well. We live in a day and age that makes that very easy.
avocados 2
Yesterday I received a beautiful box of avocados from Fairview Orchards in California. I received 18 beautiful avocados, wonderfully fresh. They were picked Monday and arrived at my place on Friday morning (they were supposed to arrive Wed, but the USPS 2-day Priority isn’t what it used to be).
avocados 3
I’m super excited to be able to eat avocados till my heart’s content. They’ll be on the menu every morning with eggs (one of our favorite ways to enjoy them). No doubt some of them will be mashed, mixed with lemon juice and frozen for future enjoyment and I might even get crazy and make a batch of that avocado ice cream I’ve heard so much about. If you’re looking for sources of small farm favorites, check LocalHarvest.org, they are a great resource for all things local and small farm.

What’s your favorite fruit/vegetable from afar that’s not local to your area?  

Reading & Watching
Resources

Shop through these links and I get a few cents each time. It's not much, but it allows me to buy a new cookbook or new gardening book every couple months. I appreciate your support!

About

This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

Admin