Cooking Al Fresco

cooking al fresco Every Sunday my workshop team meets up for a working meal. We alternate between brunch and supper and we take turns hosting. The last time I was responsible for cooking for my team I was Living Large by housesitting so I had plenty of room to cook and host. When I lived in the Bayside Bungalow last year I was able to host a Dinner Party for Six, but here in the yurt that would be pretty uncomfortable. So this term I put off hosting until the weather warmed up enough to could dine outside. Fortunately, this weekend we had splendid weather so I offered to host brunch.

I set up milk crates and strung my hammock between the posts of my grape arbor so we’d have outdoor dining space. As I got my ingredients out to start cooking, I realized that in addition to dining outside I could also do my cooking outside. This is one of the advantages of my plug-and-play kitchen. I keep a one-burner electric cooktop in My Kitchen Cupboard and I usually place it on top of my mini fridge to do my cooking. This morning I brought my cooktop outside and plugged it into my power strip just inside the door. I used my outdoor shelf as my countertop and it worked splendidly.

I did have to remember to keep everything covered so that seedpods blowing in the air didn’t settle in my pots. But it was lovely to cook outside in the fresh air and breezes. This will be especially nice as the weather warms up and it gets too hot for me to want to cook inside the yurt.

it felt great to meet outside today!

I have always loved dining outside, but I hadn’t really thought about outdoor cooking as an option (other than grilling and camping, of course!) Now that I’ve discovered how nice it is to cook outside at home, I’ll plan an outdoor cooking set up for the tiny house I'm designing for myself. This is, of course, a seasonal activity especially in the Pacific Northwest, but for those days when it’s possible, it’s so delightful!

As part of My 200 Things Challenge I’m living with only two plates on hand and I didn’t feel like digging my others out of my storage tub in the shed, so we improvised. Two people got plates, two got cutting boards, one got a baking dish, and one got a pot lid. We giggled about our interesting dishes, but we’d done the same thing the week before when another of my group mates hosted, so it didn’t seem too strange.

I cooked up huevos rancheros with a delicious salsa verde from the farmers market and fresh homemade guacamole. For dessert (since all our brunches involve dessert, of course!) I cooked up a strawberry rhubarb compote (also with fresh local ingredients) to drizzle over vanilla ice cream.

Hooray for cooking fresh food in fresh breezes!