I often think I should have been born a hundred years earlier. I'd love to be a farmer's wife - spending my days cleaning, cooking, baking and sewing. I don't know if this type of lifestyle is possible anymore and, if I was forced into it, I am quite sure I'd be rather irritated (*the grass is always greener . . . *). But, I as much as I love my job in theory, in reality it is just draining. As a full fledged introvert, having to immerse myself in the politics, policies, personalities, emotions and conflicts of the many people I must interact with on any given work day zaps me of any sort of balance. I am always amazed by people who leave work to spend their evenings with more people and more tasks - clubs, classes, exercise. I just need to decompress.
I also spend my weekends decompressing. I love nothing more than a weekend free of commitments that allows me to cook, clean, read, watch TV and recalibrate. Over the past two months, I have switched from trying to do a bit of everything each weekend to alternating between a cooking (and grocery) focused weekend and a cleaning focused weekend. Of course, a bit of each must be done every weekend, but I am trying very hard not to obsess too much about keeping my place super tidy (yes, I am a neat freak) and to also do some focused meal preparation. So far things are going pretty well. It is a relief to get away from the weekly cleaning grind and I love having lots of food stored away in the freezer for weekday lunches and evening meals.
On that note, here is the food I prepared on my first "homemaker" weekend. Everything was made from my favourite cookbook: Rebar Modern Food Cookbook (I can't say enough good things about this vegetarian cookbook or it's namesake, a yummy and kitschy restaurant).
Greek Red Lentil Soup (served with crumbled feta)
A whole wheat pie crust (my technique needs some work) . . .
for an Apple and Spinach Tart
For breakfasts and snacks, I made Vegan Energy Bars. Yum.
At least half of each dish was placed in the freezer and has been slowly gobbled up over the past few weeks. After a month or so using this strategy, I have a nice variety of food in the freezer and have really cut down on last minute food purchases and badly planned dinners. Let's see if I can keep it up!
(Not Quite) Vegan Energy Bars
(adapted from Rebar Modern Food Cookbook, by A. Alsterberg and W. Urbanowicz)
Combine Dry Mix:
2 cups 12 grain cereal (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped prunes
1/2 cup flaked almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup carob chips
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
With Wet Mix:
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs (the vegan recipe called for 1/3 cup flax eggs)
1 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
Spread combined mixture onto cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper and oiled). Bake for 18 minutes at 350 F. Cool and divide into bars.