To Cook or to Quilt? That is the question.

If I could eat like your average American, I’d probably get more art and music done because I could eat fast food and frozen meals. I’d be more efficient. I’d probably compromise my health in the long run and end up w/type II diabetes by age 50….but, in the short-term, I’d be efficient. Efficiency is appealing to me, even though I recognize it as an unhealthy preoccupation and in fact largely an illusion: most of the stuff that is supposed to make is more efficient is a huge time-suck . One of my favorite quirky movies actually has efficiency as a theme and stars Anthony Hopkins.

So. I spent practically the whole day cooking so I’ll have healthy meals for the work-week ahead.  Or preparing, as is the case for a big batch of shredded carrot, coconut, pineapple salad I made; you can see it here, along with the leeks and potato that were soon to be chopped up into a gratin:

I really don’t feel well unless I eat well, and eating well to me is lots of fruits and veggies and much less refined sugar and flour and processed stuff. Though I do occasionally bust out and go crazy with a good baguette from my parent’s bakery. If it weren’t occasional, I’d be a blimp.

The Potato-Leek Gratin looks like this once assembled: it’s sliced potatoes tossed w/fresh thyme and garlic and olive oil, layered w/steamed leeks, topped with breadcrumbs–spelt breadcrumbs in this case:

And this is what it looks like out of the oven:

I also chopped and washed a big bunch of kale; so now I have some readily available yummy food.

But my cooking wasn’t done yet because Bearbear was out of dog biscuits. I haven’t perfected my dog biscuit recipe yet; the dough is a bit sticky, still, but here’s what the process looks like. You can see that the finished product is a bit….irregular. He loves them, though.

The dough is made from whole grain flour, dry milk powder, fresh parsley, wheat germ, chicken broth and some other stuff.

After kneading it a bit, I rolled it out. I’m a bit of a wimp and my rolling pin has a muslin sleeve, which keeps the dough from sticking:

I think I told my mom once I had a muslin cover for my rolling pin and she laughed at me.

These shapes look nice, but the dough really was too sticky and by the time I got a spatula to scrape my biscuits up and onto the cookie sheet, things were looking a bit less regular:

That’s OK. Bearbear liked them just fine.

2 thoughts on “To Cook or to Quilt? That is the question.

  1. Clare, David passed along your blog. What fun! The gratin looks great. When I make dog biscuits I use two sheets of parchment paper to roll out…not stick. Then the same two sheets are used to bake on a sheet pan.

    I am cleaning out the fridge this week. So we will be having some strange meals. I don’t want to buy too much fresh and have to use up what we do have.

    See you soon!

    • That is such a good idea re: baking parchment. I have a big roll of it. Both my dog and I thank you!

      I’m looking forward to seeing you guys back in Tucson; no doubt you’ll make me wish I could visit Ireland again sometime soon!

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