Thursday, May 11, 2017

A Homemade Kind of Day

Yesterday, it was humid and the weather was dreary. At one point, the skies poured down hail for a few minutes-just long enough to wake up the baby from his nap. On top of all that, it was a Wednesday, and Wednesdays have a way of seeming long (even though I spent at least half the day thinking it was Tuesday, it still felt long). 

So, I decreed that it was a good day to make donuts. (is there ever a bad day to make donuts?) I didn't want to go through the whole extensive process of making a yeast donuts and keeping track of their rising times, so I figured I'd go the simple route and make deep fried cake donuts. I had never made cake donuts before, but it couldn't be that hard, could it? 

When all is said and done, I think I would have had less work if I had just made yeast donuts. 

I made the donuts according to the directions that I had written down from the internet, which is kind of surprising. I oftentimes don't make food exactly according to a recipe, because I like to approximate when it comes to dumping in ingredients. I followed the directions when it said to toss blueberries in flour so they wouldn't explode and turn the dough purple. I followed the directions when it said to roll out the dough and cut donut shapes. Welp, the dough turned purple, and the dough was not holding together well. Even when I added additional flour to roll it out, it just wasn't working. 

So, I decreed that it was time to turn our donuts into donut holes. My baby kept clamoring for attention, so I kept feeding him fresh donut holes to appease him while I deep fried the whole batch of dough. I really should have cut the batch in half, but I didn't think of that before I started making them. I whipped together some lemon glaze for the donut holes, and voila! Deliciousness in the form of blueberries, deep fried fattiness, and lemon. 

Earlier in the day, I got to experience the joy that is making Greek yogurt, which hopefully will balance out all of the unhealthy donuts I've been eating ;) Anne-Marie wrote about making homemade Greek yogurt a while back, and she did the number-crunching to show how much money they have been saving now that they make their own yogurt, and I became convinced. Convicted that I too, need to start making my own Greek yogurt. Plus, it was a great excuse to invest in a big slow cooker, something that I've been wanting to purchase for a while. 

Let me tell you, opening that slow cooker this morning (after sitting on the counter all night wrapped up in towels) and seeing yogurt was magical. I even texted my husband about it, I was so excited! After popping it in the fridge for a few hours, I began the process of straining it. I determined that next time I make yogurt, I will strain it longer-even though I strained it longer than the recipe required, the yogurt was still not as thick as I would have liked. But, it's still tasty, and I am so excited that I now know how to make it! 

Since I had already spent so much of the day making food in the kitchen, I planned for a very simple dinner: fried cabbage and pork noodles. It's an easy-peasy, very delicious Japanese dish, and it's pretty cheap to make, too. But when I was pulling out the ingredients, I noticed a little warning on the side of the tonkatsu sauce bottle.  

In order to keep myself from mentally losing it, I decided to ignore this warning until my husband came which point I panicked about this supposedly cancer-causing sauce, and began wondering if I should call any friends we had ever served this dish to and inform them that they could get cancer. I jumped on the internet to find out more information, but all I could find was an article over ten years old about soy sauce with dangerous levels of dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. Which only caused me to freak out and panic more. Thankfully, my ever-calm, patient, and rational husband did some research about the warning label and regulations, and decided that such a small amount of this sauce would most likely not cause us to have cancer. Which made me happy, because I was getting cranky from being hungry and just wanted to eat the food! 

Wednesday seemed to be very food-focused, and I thought about how grateful I am that I can make homemade food. I know that lots of people have full-time jobs and don't have the time to make homemade food. I know that even if people don't have full-time jobs, it can be hard to find time to make food-there are days when it's a struggle to get dinner on the table because of a cranky baby or unpredictable events! I know that some people don't have the ability to make homemade food-either they don't have the ingredients, know-how, equipment, or space. 

I've always enjoyed making food in the kitchen, but it wasn't until this week that I realized what a particular gift it is that I can make my family homemade meals, and that I can spend the occasional day making foods like yogurt and donuts. I hope that I never take this for granted. Even on days when I'm scrambling to get dinner on the table as the baby clamors for my attention, I hope that I'll be able to appreciate the gift of making homemade food for others. 

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