Weekend Cooking

We had a cold, rainy weekend, and it was glorious. I did some cooking and read, did a little book brainstorming, and was delightfully lazy. It was just the kind of time to spend snuggled up under a blanket with a cup of tea and a good book. Lately, it’s seemed like every time we have a cold, rainy weekend, it’s a weekend when I have to go somewhere or do something, and for once I didn’t have to.

I was even so lazy that I decided not to do any baking, as I’d planned, aside from the biscuits I made for breakfast. Not that I needed to bake, given that I have a freezer full of stuff from past baking binges. I have a couple of bags of blueberry mini muffins and a bag of pumpkin mini muffins, plus some shortbread cookies, and I found some chocolate mini cakes in the back of the freezer when I was looking for something else.

I’ve discovered that the whey I get from draining my homemade yogurt can be substituted for buttermilk in baking, and I think the results are even better. It makes for fluffy, flaky biscuits and really fluffy waffles. I didn’t really need to know this. It’s dangerous knowledge.

But I did do some Instant Pot experimentation. I wasn’t totally crazy with my initial attempt at using it to make a pot roast — the meat wasn’t as tender as it is when I make stew, and the vegetables were mushy. I did some more research and tried pressure cooking it for less time (about half an hour less than most of the recipes, since I was using a smaller roast) but letting the pressure release naturally. I roasted the potatoes (white and sweet) in the oven. The meat was just right, fork tender and juicy. But then for Sunday lunch, I thought I’d try something else I’d seen for the vegetables. I scraped the fat off the liquid, put it in the pot and let it heat up on saute, then put in some potatoes, carrots, and green beans (not traditional with this, but I had them, and they were good cooked this way) and cooked for four minutes, then did a quick pressure release and put the roast in with it all to warm up. The vegetables were just right, soft but not mushy, and they tasted like they’d been cooking all day with the roast. So I will have to fine tune this recipe and cook it again. For science.

Oh, and I also made pizza this weekend. I won’t have to cook a meal until later this week, I did so much cooking this weekend.

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