Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Common House & Kitchen

(Common house front, with Sean, Maggie, Lynne, KathyJ and Alan)

So Elmer is a carpenter by trade, which means that the community has roped him in to help make sure that the contractor is actually building our houses correctly. It means I don't see him on Sundays much. He is on site checking out the construction and making punch lists. Lots of punch lists. Iterative punch lists. On the same buildings, over and over and over again.

But the good news is that means he takes a lot of photos of the common house.

This is the kitchen. See the pretty pretty fridges!! The counter top on the island is a temporary thing until the stainless steel counters come in. We have to have some temp stuff in place to pacify the building inspector so we can get a temp occupancy permit in time for Thanksgiving.

This is the low range for handicap assessable cooking. Plus, there are two of our ovens.

Here are the ranges and the other two ovens. Aren't you drooling? Don't you want to cook here????!! (God... I do.)

What's that you say? Will we be in by Thanksgiving?? Hell no. This kitchen is not ready to be inspected by the Board of Health. But on Thursday, even though we are not in our houses yet, we are having a pot luck Thanksgiving. Don't worry. I'll take photos. In the meantime this lovely, yet still functionally useless, kitchen will serve as the backdrop for our community to gather around. We will mingle in front of not quite finished fireplace and grin at each other and eat and dream of a yule season of cooking in this thing.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Strawberry and Basalmic Vinegar Sorbet

So this recipe is only tangentially related to cohousing. I think it counts because we are trying to use up the stuff we have in the freezer so we don't have to move it. Elmer thinks it counts because if we had cohousing members around when we made it we would have shared it with them.

These are pathetic reasons made by people who are hanging on to sanity by the slimmest margins, dealing with little sleep and lots of stress (and a kitchen that is nowhere near as fabulous as the new one will be!) Good thing this was an easy one to pull off. And so tasty. It reminds us of strawberries in the early summer, even though there is currently not a fresh strawberry to be found. (Well... not one you would want to eat anyway.,.. who buys strawberries in November? Yuck!) The balsamic vinegar takes some of the cloying sweetness off and the black pepper adds a surprising warmth to a cold sorbet.

Strawberry and Basalmic Vinegar Sorbet Makes 4 - 6 servings
1 16 oz package frozen strawberries. You were going to make margaritas with them, or smoothies. Now you are cleaning out your freezer. Time to eat them or chuck them. I vote eat them!
1.5 Tbls balsamic vinegar (adjust to taste)
2 grinds of black pepper.

Take your blender. Open the package of strawberries and dump them in the blender. Curse that the ice chop feature does not work as well as you think it does. My guess is the best bet is to drop the strawberries in the blender one at a time. That's an educated guess based on the amount of "fail" in the last batch of chopping.

Once all the strawberries are well blended (you may want to add a couple of tablespoons of water to get it to mush correctly, but go easy here). Add the vinegar and two twists of your black pepper grinder.
Blend again until smooth.

Feel free to taste and adjust for seasoning. Be brave. You were just going to throw the strawberries out anyway... you might as well have fun with it.

Load mixture into your ice cream maker and follow your manufacturer's instructions.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Butternut Apple Soup

Still not moved in yet.

Not only that, but most of our cookbooks are in storage. There have been times when we have gone to the bookstore and written down recipes from the books we own but don't have access to, so we can actually have dinner. How sad is that?

However, I would like it to be noted that we are already cooking for our neighbors, even though we are not moved in... even though we have no Common House kitchen yet...even though we don't have a fridge in our house yet.... (do I sound bitter???).

Wednesday night we hosted a Marketing meeting at our teeny in-between-house-and-Cohouse apartment and we made this recipe, which is one of those we swiped from the bookstore. I would like to feel ashamed. Instead I feel full:

Butternut Apple Soup Makes 8 servings, at least.
1 Butternut squash (about 2.5 lbs)
Olive Oil
2 large onions
1 T powdered ginger (ginger root would have been better, but we did not have any)
2 tsp cardamom
2 russet potatoes (must be the kind that breaks down, not something waxy)
2 apples... whatever you got on hand.
1 1/2 C Apple Cider
3 1/2 Water

Cut Squash into 1 inch cubes. Set aside.
Saute sliced up onions in olive oil until yummy (this is subjective).
Saute ginger and cardamon in some olive oil on medium heat for 2 minutes or so.
Add squash, potatoes & apples to pot. Saute for 5 minutes.
Add cider, water & a pinch or two of salt.
Bring to a boil and cook for 35 minutes.
When squash is tender, take the sauteed mess off the heat and puree in batches in your blender.

Serve with crusty bread and crazy ass marketing team members who are still trying to sell houses.

Come live with us! We'll feed you!!