Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Weekend Homemaker

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.


Danielle said...

The vegan energy bars look delicious! What's in them?

Melissa said...

I have added the recipe for you. Enjoy!