Watched Pots: Meals for the Back Burner Watched Pots: Meals for the Back Burner
The GOOD Life

Watched Pots: Meals for the Back Burner

by ReadyMade

January 20, 2010
This article is part of The GOOD (and ReadyMade) Guide to Slowing Down, from GOOD Issue 18. You can read more of the guide here.Here are a few comestibles you can make that take a lot of time but not a lot of effort.BeansSoak them for six hours, strain, and cover in water and simmer for another hour while you read a book. If you want to go Italian style, slow cook them over low heat with water, salt, olive oil, and whole garlic cloves until they're tender. This method turns beans into butter (not literally). It also breaks down the outside of the bean, which is the part that gives you gas.StockHomemade stock is the secret ingredient that, when used in place of water, makes your soup, rice, and beans taste better than everybody else's. (Or it's what makes theirs better than yours.) Throw some bones (you can leave these out if you're a vegetarian), celery, carrots, onions, and whatever else you like the taste of-Parmesan rind is incredible-into a pot of water and simmer for at least an hour (really, you want to aim for as long as possible). Just make sure it doesn't boil too hard. Then strain before storing.SauerkrautYou can say you spent two weeks making your fresh sauerkraut, but the truth is it only took half an hour of work and then it fermented on its own. All you need is cabbage, caraway seeds, salt, and the desire to shred. Find a recipe at awesomepickle.com.A fancy mealGet a few buddies together and take some time planning a course or two each for a dinner. When the day comes, devote several hours just to mealtime, treating your guests to a series of small plates, one after the other (beer or wine pairings are a nice touch). By dessert it will be hard to tell who is having more fun: those at the table or those in the kitchen.Illustration by Tim Lahan
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Watched Pots: Meals for the Back Burner