This is about hard work and recipes. It is about people doing what it takes and I’m proud to say I am surrounded by them. The “Little Store that Could” was one possible title.
Today the wall came down between our store and Deb’s book store, making a combined space that is inviting and exciting. In just under ten months, a dream has doubled and we have storage and new floor space and warm colors.
The post and beam arch went up and we all stood back amid the dust and clutter to welcomed Monadnock Oil and Vinegar Part Two.
The hard work that has gone into growing this retail space is equal to the support the community of customers has given. Most us, who are intimately involved, have worked at least six-day weeks. Kim and Korey have put in many more days and hours. I am humbled by their work ethic. Beyond the store, they are in the New England frenzy season of canning the fruits of their labors from their garden, which didn’t just grow itself.
I’ve never canned anything in my life. But I have helped prepare foods for canning and that was enough to teach me it is hard work. This week with my hospice client, we sat for an hour shucking corn for canning. We made it through a bushel basket before our fingers were too cold and sticky to continue. Armies of jarred tomato sauce and peaches stood on the counters.
Preparations for the immediate future can’t include short-cuts. I have taken this to heart with my eating habits. Although my commute is just 15 minutes, by the time I arrive home there are hungry dogs and cats to feed, mail and voice mail messages to check, email and electronic missives waiting my response. Cooking dinner is looming and I still need a post for the next day. I have two recipes that are quick, healthy and delicious. I fall back on them at least once every week with some variations, because cooking for just one or even two, before the end of a very long day can be daunting.
Coconut Shrimp with Rice (and whatever salad I can throw together)
Frozen shrimp – I count out how many I need
Olive oil – I like to mix about a 1/4 cup of Baklouti Green Chili infused and California Garlic infused, or straight Persian Lime
Coconut White Balsamic vinegar – I do a 50/50 ratio of oil to vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Thaw the shrimp in water while heating the oil and vinegar slowly over a medium heat. Stir oil and vinegar regularly so it doesn’t smoke. Add the shrimp and patiently stir is on a low heat for about 20 minutes while the rice is cooking.
When the shrimp have browned to a caramel-like crust and the rice is done, throw together some greens, mix up a fresh dressing of oil and vinegar to drizzle over the greens and serve.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Toasted Pine Nuts and Sage Leaf (a salad with a choice of balsamic vinegar and oil is nice!)
Frozen Butternut Squash Ravioli – I count out however many I think is enough and that determines the rest of the ingredients. I can only recommend Rosetto Gourmet brand from Market Basket here in my neck of the woods.
Butternut Squash Seed Oil
Several fresh Sage leaves
Boil the ravioli until they float, then drain. The pan goes back on the lowest heat. Add the oil, sage and pine nuts. Simmer until the nuts start to brown and the sage becomes brittle, about 10 minutes. Add the ravioli into the oil slowly with a bed of pine nuts and sage below it. Constant attention to carefully turning the ravioli and keeping everything moving is needed. In about 15 minutes, the ravioli will be toasted and the oil is reduced.
Serve with a salad.
My recipe for success every day depends on flexible planning for the immediate future.