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Feb 9, 2010 11:14 AM

at home kitchen vacation ideas

I've got some holidays next week that I have to use up and no real plans, so I thought I'd tackle some kitchen projects. Maybe do some pickling, make some chutneys and mustards, maybe some charcuterie and long braises. That sort of thing. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for some interesting projects that I could undertake.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. I'm a baker by nature, so I would be leaning to puff pastry/croissants/Danish since I seldom have time to do those.

    1. Youve already mentioned charcuterie, which is one of the things I'd do. Make stock and demi-glace? That's kind of mind-emptying in a zen sort of way, but it does offer great results.

      Teach yourself how to make phyllo from scratch? Improve your butchery skills? (goes hand in hand with charcuterie).

      1 Reply
      1. re: wattacetti

        Demi-glace is a great idea. And although I'm not a baker by nature this would be a great opportunity to stretch those muscles a bit. I like the idea of croissants.

      2. Oh, to have a couple of days back-to-back to have a "kitchen vacation!"

        The last time I did this, I popped a turkey in the oven, made a pot of baked beans (maybe the OP wants to make more than one pot -- it looks like they can things and baked beans can very well). The house smelled won-der-ful. I like the OP's idea of long braises. It's all good.

        In-between tasks like making stock, reductions and sauces we like to drink some wine, eat good Italian cold cuts and cheeses, and dunk berries in chocolate.

        If the OP hasn't already done this, perhaps he can spend a half day creating his first Turducken?

        2 Replies
        1. re: shaogo

          I will never make turducken, but I watched Prudhomme do it on PBS and was taken with the gravy. Its recipe is on his website - deeply roasting whole eggplant, sweet potato, onion, and garlic, then peeling and mashing. He adds this to drippings, stock, and cream. This week I did the vegetables, pureed them, and froze them in small containers. I think this base will make great gravy for various roasts - for me, first up will be pork loin.

          1. re: greygarious

            That sounds awesome.

            If the weather abides I'll possibly break out the smoker as well. I'm really looking forward to this.

        2. neat question! start a batch of beer or sauerkraut? from time to time i set myself a goal to perfect something, a dish or a technique. might not be what you want to tackle in a couple of days but you could make a start. perfect pie crust was one of my endeavors and attempts freeze well. perfect steamed rice. french onion soup -- taking all the time you need to caramelize onions is a luxury. homemade beef, venison or bison jerky disappear as if beamed to the enterprise around here.

          1. Well, if you haven't yet, I would do Mexican tamales, just mastering soft/firm masa will make your day!

            2 Replies
            1. re: blue room

              Yes, great suggestion. Tamales is something I'd definitely be into spending some time on. Maybe I'll try perfecting a mole. I'm loving the suggestions. Thanks so much and keep them coming. Any excuse to stand around the kitchen drinking wine and listening to music is welcome.

              1. re: blue room

                Tamales were my first idea as well. Also mole. Here is a thread from a while back with some other ideas:

                Have a great vacation! (so jealous)