Sunday, June 29, 2014

Living with Someone Else's Things

We have been in our summer rental in upstate NY for a couple of weeks now, and it has been interesting to live among other people's things. In the beginning, it was mostly about child proofing to protect the owners' treasures from our children's curious little fingers (and the baby's mouth). But with that task mostly behind us, we can really start to see how our life style and preferences influence our stuff. Especially in the kitchen. I noticed today while putting away dishes and pots and pans, that there are two muffin tins, four mini muffin tins, two round cake pans, two square cake pans and two bread pans. Clearly someone does a lot of baking. I don't have that much baking gear because I try to avoid sweets, and just make the occasional paleo muffins or birthday cake (not paleo).

We do a fair bit of cooking and we cook in large quantities, so we have big pots and pans at home. A big frying pan perfect for frying 5-6 eggs at a time, a large slow cooker perfect for preparing whole chickens, good sized roasts and big batches of broth, and a big dutch oven. We don't have any of those resources here, and it is interesting to see how we tend to cook smaller batches of things as a result. Several times we've barely had enough food to fill everyone up at dinner time - never mind enough leftovers for lunch the next day (always my goal). Luckily small pans don't get in the way of deconstructed dinner. We can easily cook all the components separately and combine them at the end.

Here is one of our latest examples: Spinach Salad and Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce

The baby's dinner. We haven't introduced tomatoes yet, so I pulled out the ground beef and pork sausage before combining it with the sauce. She loves the spaghetti squash because it is fun to eat, and we had her try the chopped raw spinach. She didn't eat much of it, but we work to keep exposing her to a variety of vegetable tastes and textures.

The  toddler's dinner. She has just recently started enjoying salad more, but she requests hers "Plain with no dressing" every night. She seems to think I will forget. And we keep her sauce on the side so she can chose whether she is going to mix it that night.

Mama and Dada's dinner. We like dressing on our salad, and I like lots of red sauce too.

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