Saturday kitchen marathons

This was my third consecutive kitchen marathon Saturday. I nicked named it that because, with the exception of attending my son’s Pee Wee football games Saturday afternoons, I’m in the kitchen cooking dinner all day Saturday for the upcoming week.

Saturday I cooked black beans with smoked turkey in the crock pot. The beans soaked Friday night and after parboiling the smoked turkey legs with fresh garlic, and a few other seasonings, I removed the skin and bones, and tossed the turkey in the crock pot with the black beans, onions and other spices. I’d be lost without my crock pot.

I enjoy fresh vegetables, so I took two large heads of cabbage and shredded them. Then I sliced three large Vidalia onions. Instead of sautéing them stove top, like I usually do, I put them in a large tin baking pan. I seasoned them with Lawry’s all season salt, olive oil, black pepper, and a little of the juice from the smoked turkey legs and tossed them in the oven. Yep! In the oven. Thanks for oven tip Butch! I cooked them in the oven on 350 degrees for about an hour or so. Cooking them in the oven was so much easier and relieved me of standing over the stove and having to wash another pot.

I also slaved over five pounds of homemade mashed potatoes. Hubby was leisurely walking around the house, so I put him on potato duty and had him peel the potatoes. He didn’t look thrilled about his contribution to dinner, but he didn’t complain and very nicely peeled them.

On to the turkey loaf– A couple of pounds of ground, freshly diced garlic, red, yellow, and orange peppers, whole wheat bread crumbs, crushed red peppers, a few other spices and a new special ingredient that a friend gave me that made the work all the worthwhile. The sauce is a Pineapple, Coconut, Mango, Tequila Sauce and is unbelievably smack your momma good! It’s all natural and gluten-free (makes up for the smoked turkey legs). I mixed the sauce in with the loaf and poured a little on the top. I covered the loaf and tossed it in the oven. OMG! My loaf had a completely new flavor that delighted my taste buds!

Tomorrow I’ll make a couple of cups of brown rice in the rice cooker, and we’re pretty much set for the week.

Are we eating left overs? Yes! Am I tired from all the cooking? Yes!!! The good news is that I don’t have to cook again until next weekend. I might steam some fresh vegetables later in the week, but that’s a quickie. So while I despise spending so much time in the kitchen on Saturday, I am not stressed during the week by simultaneously trying to cook dinner, walk the dog, help my son with his homework, and getting him to football practice on time.

All that cooking yesterday freed me up today to do two things that I haven’t done in a while.  Take a nap and update my blog. Yeah, finally!  Both felt good.

Forrest Gump was right, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get!” Just when I had my old routine down pat, our son started a new school, so I’ve had to figure out a new system.