Cave Girl Make Fire. And Roasted Veggies.

We live in my dream house. For all its warmth and character and closet-space-less-ness, it’s truly the home of my dreams. (I’ve got a biiiiig tantrum brewing for the day the military moves us away from this wonderful place.) While all we really needed was three stone walls and a hole to crawl in & out, (and perhaps some bat repellent), we decided to opt for something *slightly* more luxurious and went for a more modern – yet modest – home to start our married life together. We can see the TV from almost every room and the Primal Pooch has a nice, fenced in yard to destroy. My life is truly blissful. What else could one ask for?

He's happy, we're happy.

Okay, I suppose we’ve had just a few MINOR problems:

An estimate on a sewer line repair equal to the cost of my college education;

Mysterious, sudden infestations of crickets, grasshoppers, and/or slugs that respond only to force (ie heavy books thrown from 6 feet away);

And last, the unpredictable antics of intriguingly antiquated kitchen appliances.

I was never much of a cook before the CaveHusband, but our relationship grew through the adventure of cooking together. This was a time when I needed repeated reminders on how to a) boil water; b) cook chicken; and c) scramble eggs. As we became committed to the “Paleo/Primal” way of life, however, I realized that I needed to get a clue – and fast.

So right after we moved in, I began getting to know my kitchen. The petite gas range/oven became my ally – the only oven I’d ever known. Like Navin Johnson’s scrappy canine sidekick, I decided to name her Sh*thead. (Because things didn’t always go so well, and I blamed her lack of cooperation.) Sh*thead and I went through a lot together. So when she finally kicked the bucket last week, I was a little upset.

Until I realized she’d been playing me all along.

The delivery guys who brought me my new unit didn’t hesitate to let me know that I’d been cooking with a half-broken, gas-leaking, pre-historic version of what the gas range evolved into some time around 1955. I was basically using the cooking equivalent of Maurice’s woodchopping machine.

Me on the left, CaveHusband on the right. Obnoxious semi-functional contraption dead center.

Rather than put my feelings into song, I wasted no time getting to know my new-age gadget. And guess what? I don’t suck at cooking. It isn’t a randomly successful, often disastrous kitchen exercise. There’s actually rhyme & reason to it – a fact that escaped me during Sh*thead’s tenure with us. So to honor this fantastic turn of events, I’ve been roasting, roasting, roasting my days away.

I roasted a small pasture-raised chicken with food/wine genius K. Muir’s advice: Lemon, garlic, ghee inside & out, thyme, and a touch of white wine.

I didn't dare roast chicken for months because it never cooked the way the interwebs said it would.

My winter love interest is roasted butternut squash. I found a post on Cavemen Gourmet that combined BS with more BS – Butternut Squash with Brussels Sprouts. Brilliant!

I peeled the B Squash with a vegetable peeler, cut into chunks, and tossed with ghee and a dab of maple syrup (I know, sugar. Sue me.) I did the same with the B Sprouts and set them to roastin’ at 400 degrees for 30 minutes while the bird cooled. Yup, we like our roasted veggies with just a touch of oxidative damage. (Whatevs, nothing a little Acai berry can’t fix, right?)Β The burnt-er, the better.

(That Acai thing was a joke.)

This is when veggies are the BEST. THING. EVER. No matter what the Twitter banter says. ("In" joke.).

Make this. Make it NOW.

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15 Responses to “Cave Girl Make Fire. And Roasted Veggies.”

  1. Happy cooking!!!
    Our oven is all jacked up as well. When I’m baking, I think it expresses more heat into the rest of our apt than it actually keeps inside itself to cook. Thankfully this has developed a rage problem in me, so I’m able to breathe fire and finish cooking what the oven won’t.
    I HATE renting.

    Anyway, great post. I think I could read your writing all day long. You’re the best, plus tax.

    RIP Sh*thead. (When I first typed that, I accidentally included the I after the asterisk. Genius.)

  2. Yum! Yes please. Have you tried to or do you make your own ghee? I found this comparison of ready mades, http://freeradicalfederation.com/Ghee_Comparison_Table but it sounds like it’s somewhat easy to make one’s self. I may try it myself and then decide to buy next time πŸ˜‰
    Congrats on making friends with the new occupant.

    • I haven’t made my own ghee! I keep thinking about it, but the local Weston A. Price chapter leader is also the proprietor of Pure Indian Foods, and sells the most incredible, 100% grass-fed organic ghee in the “Ayurvedic” tradition. I’m addicted! (And in case you don’t feel like making your own, they ship! http://www.pureindianfoods.com)

  3. Butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and oxidative damage are my favorites! (Along with bacon, of course…)

  4. DO NOT throw that carcass away! Simmer it until the marrow leaches through them bones and everything falls off! Here’s where the best part of the bird — the chikin soup part — gets made, and it’s good for whatever ails you. When the slow simmering stage is over, sieve out all the big stuff and throw into the remaining goop some chopped onions, carrots, potatoes, celery — whatever you’ve got. To me, chicken soup calls for rice, so I add about a half-cup of cooked rice. Or noodles or shells, Or whatever. Plus water. Or whatever. (It’s now possible to buy chicken stock/broth at the grocery stiore to add to the mix, although you get those nasty additives/preservatives in it.) (I freeze whatever juice comes out of my slow-roasted skinless chicken breasts, which I roast in quantity with lemon slices occasionally and then cut up and freeze. )
    While that mix is slowly simmering (with lid on, so it doesn’t all escape as steam), I moosh through the meat/bone residue and keep the good stuff to cut up and add in to the soup later. More time in the pot and then . . . spoon heaven! Here’s one occasion that calls for crusty, thick bread! Crackers just won’t get it. Enjoy while it lasts!
    DO NOT give those splintery little bones to the mutt, even though he pleads for them.
    Also go gentle on the seasonings. Simmering seems to increase their pow quotient. Chicken soup is meant to slide down easy.

  5. Woman. WOMAN! Just stop it! The similarities are killing me: I *just* moved from my dream house, in which one of my favorite features was the fact that the main living room was a part of the whole house (TV visible from everywhere, FTW!) and I love love loved it despite the fact that we had exactly two closets for the entire place (one in each bedroom.) AND I threw a major hissy fit when leaving (call me when your turn comes: it’s an experience)

    ANYWAY. I love roasting butternet/acorn squash — one of my favorite ways it to peel it, chunk it, throw it on a pan with olive oil and some maple syrup (I know, sue me) with some unpeeled cloves of garlic. Roast for 25ish minutes at 400, then add a whack of sage leaves and chopped up panchetta (if you don’t mind the saltiness/baconyness of panchetta). Roast for another 20, 25ish minutes, eat, die. DIE! OMG so good.

    Can’t wait to make your roasted squash version!

    • Too much! Haha…we’ve got 2 closets total – I suppose TECHNICALLY we’ve got three, but here’s the breakdown:

      One is 5ft wide by 2 ft. deep. This is MY closet and Husband built a perfectly fitted set of tiered shelving to make the most of the space. I rotate warm/cold clothes from the attic to save space!
      One is 2 ft. wide by 6 inches deep and serves as our linen/toiletry closet.
      One is 3 ft. wide by 3 ft deep at the widest point and cut diagonally in half by the basement stairwell. This is my wonderful husband’s closet.

      It has been the MOST FUN EVER to come up with creative storage solutions for everything so we can have a nice, orderly home. I mean that! I love every minute.

  6. Looks delic lady! Caveman has had a great influence your skills behind the stove πŸ™‚ Keep cooking and inspiring my taste buds. xoxo

  7. Hey Liz! This is Monika Banker, John’s wife! I’ve been following your blog for a couple of weeks now, ever since I saw one of your posts on FB, and your blogging style and information have really intrigued me! As I read your paleo recipes and lifestyle choices, I realized that we are striving to live a similar lifestyle, however, we are several steps behind you and your CaveHusband! Last night I made your brussel sprout/butternut squash mixture (just with the olive oil instead of maple syrup) and LOVED it. So i figured it was finally time to let you know that your blog has been a source of great motivation and information. Thanks! Hope all is well:)

    • It is SO cool to hear from you and get a comment from you on my blog, Monika! What an awesome thing to wake up to πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you like my blog. I’m no chef and have NO talent in the kitchen, so these recipes are ones I’ve been able to make without burning the house down or losing any digits (although I’ve come close). That’s so cool that you & John are on the same page. It’s so rewarding to live this way! Please keep in touch about it. I hope one day we’re all in the same state and we can cook a Paleo-style meal together!

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