A change of pace from my ruminations (to be continued) on cash gifts for adult children. Today my plan was to buy a chicken (a good sale at Rouses) and roast it. I was at the store because I had to mail a few items and also needed some milk. That was good, because chickens were nowhere to be found. I had to get a raincheck. In fact, I was at the end of a long line for my rain check. (Why? the chicken wasn't THAT cheap.)
So we're gong to have potato and vegetable hash, part of my clean out the fridge quest, and some eggs, which were gifted to us by a retired colleague.
But something good came from my roasting plans. Since I didn't want to roast a chicken all by itself, I had decided to roast some veggies too. So I took a look at a cookbook I had gotten from Paperbackswap.com a long while ago. I confess I had not opened the book: Barbara Kafka's Roasting: a Simple Art.
Kafka anticipated my oft-repeated sentiments that people today eat fewer home-cooked meals AND spend more time at it, because each meal is a unique event, shopped for and prepared in isolation. Here is Kafka's eloquent exhortation:
It seems to me that less cooking is done today than used to be and that when it is done, it is so much more work because we have lost the habit of the continuous kitchen. We start each meal from scratch with fresh shopping and a brand-new independent recipe. Our predecessors didn't, and we can save ourselves a great deal of work and have better, more economical food with greater depth of flavor by seeing cooking as an ongoing process. There is not better way to get in the habit than with roast birds, meats, and fish.
"Start with a roast" might be the motto of the continuous kitchen. When the roast is done and eaten, there are usually leftovers of the home cook's version of a chef's mise en place for future meals.
. . . .paragraph on using bones to make stock . . .
Leftovers have gotten a bad name . . .. Today's leftovers can be turned into tomorrow's elegant first-course salad, a simple sauter, or a curry. Having good leftovers is like having a good souos-chef in the kitchen, someone who has done half the work before I turn up for the finishing touches.