While counting the minutes till the heat wave ends, I have been thinking about why I wanted to start this blog in the first place. I love to cook. I love to eat more than cook. I love food history. I thought about the fact that most nights after a long day at work and a traffic filled hour commute from Boston that I still take the time to cook – yes actually cook – a meal for dinner. Oh believe me; the draw of the “quick casual restaurant” is strong. So easy, so quick. Or what about those frozen ‘put together already’ meals? You know the ones in the freezer section with pasta, chicken, veggies and sauce already in it. But here is a little known fact about me: I don’t own a microwave. Yep you read that right – no microwave. So actual cooking is the only option in my house. Or going out to dinner. Never “take out/bring in” except for the occasional pizza.
So as I push through each night to chop a few veggies and brown some meat and make a “scratch meal” I will often write the inventions down. Although I own MANY cookbooks I rarely follow a recipe. I like to read a cook book, maybe watch some shows on TV and that is how I draw my inspiration. My husband will come in the kitchen as I am finishing up and say “What’s for dinner? Cabinet stew?” See my post titled “hello world” for how this term came about!
So far my postings have been digging into some food and family history. I am going to continue that as soon as the heat breaks. I have a scintillating 3-part series in mind for meatloaf, meatballs and stuffed peppers and why they all are really just the same thing! But it is too hot to make these things right now. (Why didn’t I start this blog in December?)
So I am making an effort to post more the way I originally intended. To capture the true “essence” of cabinet stew. To post whatever creation – whatever cabinet stew – I had for dinner last night or last week.
Tonight’s cabinet stew:
What do you get when you mix a ring of turkey kielbasa from the fridge, 4-5 scallions that have been rolling around the crisper drawer for who knows how long, some not-so-fresh-anymore corn on the cob purchased last week, a partial container of crumbled blue cheese, a forgotten handful of oily black olives from deep under the deli drawer and 3 tomatoes purchased reluctantly from the store because locals ones aren’t in yet? You get DINNER!
From the pantry, I cooked a box of penne pasta and while the pasta was still warm I tossed it with garlic flavored oil, the tomatoes, some fresh basil snipped from the garden and oh that leftover bit of fresh parsley I found.
I stripped the corn from the cobs, I peeled and rough-chopped the scallions, and chunk-ed the kielbasa. I cleverly throw this onto a grill pad on my gas grill to cook the corn and scallions and give the kielbasa some grill marks. After dodging the hot, crazy popping corn on the grill I added this mix on top of the warm pasta blend. Tossed with a little more oil, some red wine vinegar, salt/pepper and the blue cheese on the side…..I pronounce it “warm grilled pasta salad”
…but we all know that it was just tonight’s cabinet stew!