Lately I’ve been inspired to put my kitchen appliances to work. Today, I have a loaf of bread baking in my bread machine. I love when loaves turn out well. It takes maybe 7 minutes for me to measure everything and plop it in the machine. Four-ish hours later, and a yummy loaf is ready for us. I picked up 50 pounds of organic whole wheat flour for $20 from a nearby health food store, but I’ve realized it’s not the type of flour suitable for bread.
The stuff doesn’t rise. In today’s loaf, I have added gluten. If it doesn’t work out today I will put a combo of bread flour/wheat flour. The flour should still be good for quick breads and such. I hope. I still have a lot to learn about bread and baking.
I’m using my crock pot for the first time in many months. I have a whole chicken in there. I rinsed it and seasoned it and I’ll see it again later this evening. I don’t like cutting up raw chicken, especially when it’s from a whole chicken so I like that I can just cook the whole bird and use the meat in a variety of ways.
We’ll eat some of the chicken for dinner tonight along with rice and some greens. I’ll portion out the rest of the meat and use it in soup, maybe a casserole, and maybe tacos or a chicken salad. I’ll save the bones and use those to make stock. My $4.36 chicken from Trader Joe’s can go a long way!
(Related: See Laura’s post on how to stretch a chicken to make six meals)
Finally in my kitchen today, I’m soaking raw sunflower seeds in saltwater. They’ll soak for quite a few hours (7+) and then I’ll put them in my dehydrator. Haven’t used that contraption in a long time, either.
Apparently, soaking and then dehydrating the seeds/nuts helps with our own digestion. Makes sense. A seed, by design, is meant to sprout and grow into another plant. So it has enzymes or something to protect it in it’s seedy state. Those enzymes are a challenge to digest, so by soaking ’em and dehydrating them, we help make them more digestible. Or something. This is the first time I’m doing this. Either way, it only took a minute of my time to prepare the seeds right now and it’ll just take a few more minutes to put them in the dehydrator.
I enjoy working in the kitchen and trying new recipes and methods of food prep. I especially enjoy it when I can use a helpful appliance to do most of the work for me!