Friday, January 30, 2015

Eating Omily: Winterizing the Homestead

When the cold weather sets in, certain steps have to be taken for comfort and peace among the ranks. These are some of ours:

I frequently have a snack when I do my aerial training, especially when it's cold out, because it just seems like I always need more calories to get through the exertion. It's probably more about that 90 second break to stuff something in my face, but whatever. I used to do the five-ingredient-or-less snack bars, but those are kind of a commitment: what if you don't want a whole bar? What if you want more than a whole bar, but less than two?

Then, quite by accident, I discovered this:
I don't know what's better: those crisp strips of toasted coconut, or getting a whole walnut, coated in cinnamon and cocoa powder...but does it matter, when every bite is this good, and a bag is only $6?? Didn't think so. Get it from Bread Alone, at Union Square Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, and lots of other Green Market Locations. They have other flavors, too, but why bother?

Last night we went all out on the Winterizing effots with a delicious dinner of pulled pork tacos. I put a pork shank in the slow cooker that morning with half a jar of canned tomatoes, a chopped carrot, a chopped onion, a few chopped garlic cloves, dried thyme and oregano, the juice of a lime, water, and some of the bone broth I keep in the freezer. By the time I pulled it out of the slow cooker, the layer of fat around the shank, and the bones in the middle slid effortlessly away from juicy, flavorful meat. I tossed mine with some peach barbecue sauce I found at the farmers' market (which is where the pork shank came from, too, surprise surprise).

When I was looking up a recipe to start from, I kept seeing recipes that called for four or six tiny pork shanks, weighting just a handful of ounces each. Where are these pigs mincing about on these tiny forelimbs?? Our pork shank was a hair over a pound and two thirds! It fed both of us easily, but while lots of flavorful, rich braising liquid was left over, none of the meat was. This morning I put the thick braising liquid in a pan with some added water, and a handful of chopped kale and simmered it for an incredibly hearty and warming breakfast, perfect for cold endurance prep.
Sorry for the blurry picture; I think I was too busy salivating to see properly. This may actually be my favourite part of slow cooking animal parts...

In other Winterizing news, we've finally set up our home bar. It's class as far as the eye can see in our living room, and cozy cocktails to warm back up to our heart's content:
Kitty thinks so, too.
"Excuse me my good lady, a dry martini, garnished with catnip, stirred if you please, and make it snappy!"

Some day we'll have to break it to her (and possibly ourselves) that she is in fact a cat, but in the meantime she's pretty cute. From this angle, you can see some of our awesome booze choices: the two right in front are made locally, one right here in Brooklyn, the other upstate, and for sale at the Farmers' Market! Another Brooklyn-made liquor is just behind that vodka, with the red cap: Dorothy Parker gin is where it's at mixed with that artisan sweet vermouth, I'm telling you. Bond can keep his watered down vodka; I'll take a real cocktail. Although I may have to search out a good dry vermouth just so I can make these this Winter...

Are you finding amazing treats at the Farmers' Market? What steps are you taking to winterize your apartment for optimum fun hibernation? Are you also super excited about the hipster bone broth trend, but feel the need to tell everyone that you knew how awesome that stuff was AGES ago? Are you dying over those penguin martini garnishes??? I KNOW!!!

Tell me all about it in the comments. :-)

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