A Year in Bread is holding a little competition to collect favorite bread stories. As the prize is a signed copy of the new book, Local Breads: Sourdough and Whole-Grain Recipes from Europe’s Best Artisan Bakers (which I greatly covet), I’m offering up the following submission: Read the rest of this entry »
I have a little head cold today, and I really wasn’t feeling very hungry this evening. For some reason, the only thing that sounded good was oatmeal. So I put together this simple one dish supper, that would also make a festive breakfast, of course. Read the rest of this entry »
I stopped by Ludgate Farms market a couple of weeks ago and found Anasazi beans, one of my favorites and a hard to find heritage bean variety. (A good online source is Adobe Milling in Colorado.) My score at Ludgate’s called for an extra special dish, and this Cassoulita won the Google Cooking award for the day. In fact, these turned out to be the most delicious beans I have ever eaten. Read the rest of this entry »
When I was growing up, a staple Sabbath breakfast was rice pudding. We made the traditional custard based pudding but used brown rice, fresh eggs from the hen house, soy milk, honey, and lots of nutmeg grated over the top just before baking. Combining soy milk and eggs now seems odd, but in those days it was just part of the mix of being self-sufficient on the land, trying to make ends meet, and having both vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians in the family. We made lots of incongruous combinations like that.
I put this vegan pudding together out of thin air this evening, though it definitely harkens to Thai “sticky rice” dishes I’ve eaten at restaurants in more recent times. It is just sweet enough with the rice syrup and fruit; creamy and delicious. Read the rest of this entry »
One of my favorite recipes in the old red checked recipe book is this one for a hearty, hot drink. I well remember the day when little 8-year-old Marta came to the door and handed me the recipe as a gift. It was written in pencil on two bits of notebook paper, whip-stitched through the holes to bind them together. Read the rest of this entry »
Nick Vagnoni, of Slashfood, reports finding an old red checked recipe book at a library book sale the other day. This caught my attention, because I have one just like it in my own library! I pulled it out last night, and was flooded with memories as I thumbed through the recipes. Some neatly typed on an old manual typewriter, others handwritten in the neat, schoolbook script of my mother, or the roughly rendered print of childhood pals.
My mother gave me the picnic check binder sometime around 1971, and it became the repository of all my cooking lore as my skill and interest deepened. In those days, we lived in a pole frame cabin in the woods, and did much of our cooking on an old Monarch wood-fired cookstove. In addition to the simple fare collected in the book, are ingredient labels from breads that I used as the basis for my own bread creations, formulas for household products, and formulas relating to my animal husbandry. There’s even a recipe for baby formula for fawns—as in baby deer (yep, one of several wild babies I raised during those years).
Some of the old recipes I still use today. Watch this space for a few classics that I’ll pull out and share from time to time.
Among the staple items I keep in my fridge, my little bottle of yuzu vinegar holds a respected place. This citrus (thought to be a hybrid of sour orange and citron) has a bright flavor and fragrance. You can find it in various places online, but be aware that quality varies. The version I get from The Grain & Salt Society is organic, and a true, simple vinegar containing only yuzu juice and sea salt. So what can you do with this flavor enhancer? Read the rest of this entry »
I found an interesting apparatus for making cultured vegetables called a Perfect Pickler. It takes four days to make a batch, and my first effort will be ready to eat today. I made a lovely pink salad mix with red and green cabbage, sliced carrots, seasoned with dill and juniper berries.
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5/25/2007 UPDATE: This recipe has now been updated to reflect further refinements. The result is a much more complex blend of flavors, with salty olives, avocado chunks and cherry tomato halves adding freshness, contrasting flavors and texture. This is still a favorite, and oh, so good for you!
I did my shopping at Weggie’s at 2:30am Thursday morning. Shopping in the middle of the night is great from the standpoint of crowd avoidance, but it’s NOT the time to look for fresh produce. The organic green veggie bins were completely empty except for one lonely little head of broccoli. It was in fairly good shape, so I brought it home and googled for a raw broccoli recipe. I found a “Broccoli Primevera [sic]” originally from “Delights of the Garden” by Imar Hutchins, and used that as my starting point.
One thing I hope to use this space for, is to explore some of the culinary traditions that have shaped my life. I grew up in a Seventh Day Adventist family, and as a 4th generation vegetarian, that culture certainly is the most important influence on my diet and lifestyle. I plan to write more about that in the future. Today, though, I made a simple dinner with food that comes from another deeply religious tradition, macrobiotics. I’m a relative newcomer to the macro style of cooking. But I love the rich complexity of flavors, and the simple elegence of this food with its strong Japanese influence.
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