Sundays are great for prepping. First, I organized the spoils from Saturday's farmer's market: onions, garlic, fennel, potatoes, asparagus, chard, parsley, butter lettuce, celery, snap peas, lemons, cherries, mushrooms, and mulberries. I rewarded myself with some coffee, toast, bacon, and a 2-egg omelet. With the rendered bacon fat, I sauteed a majority of the mushrooms: ugly shiitakes and oyster shrooms, over medium high heat until they shrunk and smelled amazing. This was sealed and placed in the fridge.
I then got out the stockpot and placed the frozen turkey carcass from this previous event into it. I added a chopped onion, peppercorns, parsley, and a few bay leaves. I also began deconstructing the whole chicken I got from Guerra's, making sure to add the wings, backbone, neck, and chicken carcass into the pot. On a side sheetpan I placed the removed chicken legs and breasts, seasoning them before putting them in the fridge. (The breasts will likely turn into curry chicken salad, while the legs would likely become roasted, or turn into adobo. The liver is certainly waiting to be turned into paté, while the kidneys are ready to be added to a sauce. Yum.)
I filled the stockpot with water and set it over high heat. Once I saw bubbles, I adjusted the temperature to medium low, and left it.
I got out the ground lamb and mixed it with soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, various spices, and an egg. This mix also went into the fridge. During the week, it would be meatballs, great with a tomato sauce and pasta. Or as a side to a green salad.
For salad, I consolidated my balsamic vinegars, added some dijon mustard, chopped garlic, salt, and olive oil, all mixed in a cruet. To be shaken, not stirred.
With the last third of a walnut/cranberry wheat loaf, I made croutons: chopped them into cubes and dried them out in a 350 degree oven, while on the side I added garlic and salt to some olive oil. I strained the olive oil into a pan and heated it. The bread cubes were added to the pan and tossed for a few minutes, until they got to the right shade and texture.
No bread? No problem. I made two different mixtures for no-knead loaves: a wheat loaf with currants and toasted almonds, and another with chopped olives, shredded cheese, and herb de Provence.
At some point I took care of Saturday's leftovers: fava beans tossed with sea salt and truffle oil, brown rice, and roasted pork tenderloin with a sauce made from spring onion, bourbon, mustard, and veal stock.
One and a half basketball games, a few NY Times articles, a couple of e-mails, and several short errands later, the turkey/chicken stock looked ready. I poured it out, and in stages, defatted and filtered it. Looks like I have just over a gallon: four quarts and then some. It smells and tastes amazing, and is ready for anything: soups, sauces, gravy, risotto...
Best thing to have after it's all done: a nice cool glass of water.
With prep like this, the menus pretty much write themselves.