Winter Quarantine Kitchen

The first image is a japanese sweet potato my mother brought me for the holidays. Japanese sweet potatoes are like sugar in your mouth and they are firmer and hold up better throughout the cooking process than the orange kind i am used to seeing in the stores. If you cook them for an hour and a half on a slightly lower heat in the oven the skin will become caramelized in its own sugars and you can peel it off and eat it like a sugary chip. The inside flesh is soft and pale yellow. It is sweet as sugar. There is a photo further down demonstrating how you can use the sugary liquid the bubbles out of the sweet potato as it cooks to make hard candy. When you first pull the cooking sheet from the oven you’re going to use a spatula or a butter knife to scrape the juice into a pile on the parchment paper. When it is piping hot it will be liquid. As it cools it will become a syrup which will then become hard as it cools completely. While it’s a syrup you want to shape it into a round ball and then leave it alone. Once it is cool you can pick it up and pop it into your mouth and suck on it as a hard candy. Do not chew it as it will likely break your teeth but if enjoyed as instructed it can make for a sweet treat. The next image was a meal i made out of tomatoes, zucchini, and peeled radishes. I put in some of the italian herb pasta sauce and the fresh thyme from my friend’s garden. It came out really good. I ended up spooning it over rice. The next picture is of breakfast one morning. I reheated some cinnamon raisin oatmeal i had made the day before on a baking sheet in the oven and added an acorn squash and some avocado. The next photo is zucchini, onions, and potatoes in tomato sauce over rice with a side of acorn squash. One of my favorite meals is my go-to beans and rice topped with avocado, sauerkraut, and catsup. I really dig that combination of flavors especially in the winter. One night i made kale, carrots, and potatoes in the skillet i had used to make something else in earlier. There was just a bit of italian herb pasta sauce left in the bottom of the pan. The olive oil and pasta sauce mixed and ended up giving the potatoes a crunchy tomato-flavored side. It was quite a treat. The last image is of my last meal of the year 2020. As always, i made sure i consumed black eyed peas during both new year’s eve and new year’s day, just to cover all my bases. I don’t really believe it has any real bearing on the level of luck one will have in a year. I feel like my faith is in God much more than it is in vegetables but it feels like something that can’t hurt to do, just in case; especially this year. I roasted some bok choy in the oven, boiled some black eyed peas, and then put carrots, tomatoes, tomato sauce, and onions in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil. After they had simmered for a bit i added the black eyed peas and bok choy and had a bowl while it was still warm. It came out really good. The caramelized bok choy, the carrots, and italian herb pasta sauce made it sweet even though there was no sugar or honey added.

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