Monthly Archives: September 2014

Onion sops and other stories

onion art design

I suffer from Stir The Onions Syndrome.

STOS
I admit it.
If someone is cooking anything – even just a few onions in the pan – I have an irresistible urge to take the spoon away from them and stir.

Even if the onions don’t need any stirring. I often have the spoon before I can think that maybe, just maybe, other grownups are perfectly capable of stirring their own onions. I’ve have done this totally unawares, until I find myself with the spoon, and no memory as to how it got in my hot little hand.
It’s not about the cook. Or the spoon. Or even about those onions, it’s about all onions.
Onions as the base of so much food.
Onions as the root of cooking.
Onions as the prelude smell.

What comes after the onions?
onion art

But onion sops.

Not sobs,

from Onion Tears, although I have cried me a river of onion tears,

but sops. Quick sops Biblical backstory – a piece of bread dipped into something

26Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 27And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

King James Bible

You know, like sippets,

Solomon's Sippets - available in Austrailia

Solomon’s Sippets – available in Austrailia

but larger

Sippets?

Yes, sippets. Sippets good.

Like tostes.

Toasting Fork - toasting old school

Toasting Fork – toasting old school

A sop of Onions

Take and slice your Onions, & put them in a frying panne with a dish or two of sweete butter, and frie them together, then take a litle faire water and put to it salt and peper, and so frie them together a little more, the boile them in a lyttle Earthern pot, putting to it a lytle water and sweet butter, &c. You may use spinnage in a like manner.

Thomas Dawson. The Second Part of the Good Hus-wives Jewell. Falconwood Press: 1988.p. 7-8.

(Thomas Dawson is soooo cool – how many different ways can YOU spell ‘little’?)

Meanwhile, Last Thursday……

Culinary Insights |  Plimoth Bread Co, Tani Mauriello and Kathleen Wall | 4:00

Join Tani and Kathleen under the Culinary Insights tent on Thursday for a glimpse of all that awaits us this weekend (Sept 25-28) when Plimoth Plantations reveals the renovated and expanded Craft Center and all-new bakery, Plimoth Bread Co! Their program, A Toast to Bread, introduces us to sippets, sops and toasts. Not sure what those are? Come to the market on Thursday and find out!

New Plimoth Bread Co. at Plimoth Plantation Craft Cent.
How do you #icrafthistory?
#iservehistory
Drinking Peasants by Pieter   -notice the onions hanging by the fire - Those braids or plats are known as  Traces. Onion Traces.

Drinking Peasants by Pieter -notice the onions hanging by the fire – Those braids or plats are known as traces. Onion Traces.

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Filed under Autumn, Bread, Recipe, The 17th century

Summer, Squashed

Zucchini

Zucchini

So far this summer I’ve had fresh zucchini, fresh patty pan, fresh acorn but no fresh summer, squash.

patty or petit pan squashes

patty or petit pan squashes

Acorn squash - called 'vine apples' in 17th century England

Acorn squash – called ‘vine apples’ in 17th century England

 

What is summer without summer squash? Just in time, I was gifted 5# (and when did this become ‘hashtag’ and not ‘pound’? Or is it both?)

Mine are all yellow, and somewhat larger

Mine are all yellow, and somewhat larger

Thank you, Olivia Brownlee. Olivia also sings “The Cookin’ Tune” click and love.

Back to squash, what to do, what to do?

Salad Days, Soup Nights, when Autumn is new and Winter is still far.

First the salad…..

End of Summer Cool and Hot

Squash

5 T olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled

2 # small yellow summer squash, sliced into 1/3 inch rounds (or one 2# Summer Squash, cut into quarters and then cut into 1/3 inch triangles)

½ cup minced tender parsley stems

Salt

2 Tablespoons grated orange zest

2-3 teaspoons hot pepper flakes

 

  1. Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat until hot. This is done in 2 batches to keep it all from becoming too soupy. Add 2 Tablespoons of the oil then add the garlic and sauté for one minute.
  2. Add half the squash and half the parsley, season with salt. You want it to soften but not brown.
  3. Transfer to a large bowl and add 1 Tablespoon of the orange rind, and 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Stir together.
  4. Add 2 Tablespoon oil to the pan and heat until hot, add the rest of the squash and parsley, season with salt and cook until softened but not brown.
  5. Add to the bowl with the first batch, toss in the rest of the orange rind, and add 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Taste and adjust salt and red pepper. Add the last tablespoon of olive oil.
  6. Let stand for at least 10 minutes or up to an hour. May be refrigerated for up to 3 days (says him, not at my house, it doesn’t linger here that long) .

Mario Batali Molto Gusto.p.37Molto Mario

and then for the Soup Nights

END OF SUMMER HOT OR COOL SOUP

1 # brown lentils

1 large onion

1 large celery rib with leaves OR 1 smallish fennel bulb

2 medium summer squash (2#) (or zukes or patty pans)

A quart  baggie of juice left over from canning tomatoes with water to total 6 cups OR

2 large tomatoes and

6 Cups water

optional add ins – 1 or 2 carrots or 1 or 2 small turnips or maybe a potato…whatever’s lonely in the bin

1 cup ditalini, tubetti, or elbows

  1. Combine veggies and lentils in slow cooker and cook on low 7 hours.
  2. Add pasta and salt and cook on high for 30 minutes
  3. Serve hot with cheese – Parmigiano or Romano , you know what you like

AND the cool and the next day when the pasta absorbs the liquid and it’s not really soup anymore,: Frittata base!

Michele Scicolone The Italian Slow Cooker p.32. She calls it Sicilian Lentil, Vegetable and Pasta Soup

Italian slow cooker book

A little orange zest is not amiss, esp if you have any left from the other squash recipe. Or put a little zest in your coffee – it beats the heck out of Pumpkin Pie Spice Everything.

BTW :

b68a29a63204c191f20add1506dca3ac

 

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Filed under Autumn, Books, Recipe, squash, Summer

Red Potato Salad

More of a pinkish mauveish reddish….pnkyredthat’s what happens when you mix red beet root ….

with just about anything.

In the Victory Garden Cookbook it’s called Russian Beet and Potato Salad. Not red potatoes, not this time.
I thought I could play up Spud/ Sputnik angle by calling it Spudnik, but then I thought it might go unnoticed…..or worse, you’d think that I could NOT spell, and  didn’t even know how to use Spellcheck.
Sheryl Julian who was with the Phoenix back in the day, now with the Globe – I have a whole lot of her Sunday Globe columns in my clippings file. Here’s a story with her Apron obsession, which doesn’t sound so obsessive to me…..

The New York Times also had an Apron photo essay/story recently….

But the season is good for beets and potatoes, and this salad is almost a stand alone meal, if you add a hard boiled egg – a cold one for a hot day and a hot one for a cool night. For now is that part of September that is still Summer, but encroaching Autumn.

Autumn Leaves - John Everett Millias 1856

Autumn Leaves – John Everett Millias 1856

Red Beet and Potato Salad

2 medium potatoes

¼ c chopped parsley

1/3 c chopped scallions (or chives or Vidalia’s)

1 cucumber

1 dill or half sour pickle (or 2, 2 pickles)

Salt and pepper

4-5 medium beets

Mayonnaise

Horseradish mustard

  1. Cook potatoes until just tender, peel as soon as they can be handled and cut them into ½ inch pieces.
  2. Peel cucumber, cut in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Cut into ½ pieces.
  3. Cut pickle in to ½ dice and add with spuds and cukes.
  4. Add parsley and scallions and mix gently.
  5. Cook beets, slip off their skins and cut to ½ pieces.
  6. Just before serving add beets and season to taste.
  7. Dress the whole thing with a mixture of mayo and horseradish mustard.
  8. The longer the beets sit with everything the more magenta the whole thing gets. Sprinkle with vinegar of it’s too flat. Salt and pepper everything, too.

Victory Garden Cookbook p. 25.

Victory Garden Cookbook - Marian Morash

Victory Garden Cookbook – Marian Morash

Fractals, chlorophyll and solstice - what's not to love about September?

Fractals, chlorophyll and solstice – what’s not to love about September?

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Filed under Books, Summer, TV shows

Smoke and Ginger

Smoke and Ginger would be a great name for a Rock Band,or a cocktail….. it’s also the taste of the change of season.

The Days are still somewhat Summerish, but some of the Nights are downright Autumnal…..it’s interesting that as the traditional burning of leaves has been curtailed as environmentally unfriendly, the number of fire pits that people gather around has grown – is there less smoke now or is woodsmoke better then leaf smoke? There’s government money to spent on that study somewhere.

Anyhow, the taste of smoke to me always speaks more to the cooling weather then the heat of summer. It makes no logical sense; many more summer meals cooked over fire, but was that really fire taste or lighter fluid/charcoal briquette taste?
Could it be that I started at the Plant in September and wood smoke became the flavor of the season?
Could it be the many years of Charcoal Burn at work that has shaped my perception that smoke is autumnal?

Making charcoal - you thought it made itself? It takes a lot of smoke to make wood become charcoal

Making charcoal – you thought it made itself? It takes a lot of smoke to make wood become charcoal Photo by Sally Rothemich

 

Jack and Ginger, jack-whiskey-ginger-alenot to be confused with Fred and Ginger,

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Flying Down To Rio

 Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire Flying Down To Rio

….in terms of zingy names a Gin and Ginger would be a natural, which is also evidently called a Ginger Rogers, not the dancer sort, just to make he whole thing a little confusing
Liquid smoke is made from actual smoke….I just try to work this factoid into all sorts of conversations
But, here in real time, Norah brought in pears, pears from her Sainted Smudder’s pear tree. A 5 gallon pail of pears, with a note to take them. So I ate one. It was small, so I ate another. I put a few aside for lunch, but I’m not a greedy gobble guts. I ate one at lunch with my salad and other with some blue cheese. There were still some that need a home, so I took a few home to make Pear and Ginger Soup … but the next thing I knew there weren’t any left…they just disappeared like magic . They were fragrant and soft and juicy…all the good pear things.
If any had survived I would have made the soup. The beauty of this soup is that it is a great improver of pears. Now if you have a Farm Stand or a Farmer’s Market or a Tree, and you have lovely pears, they really need no improvement. The real challenge is to let their simple beauty shine though. BUT if you’re buying pears through the supermarket, chances are you’re getting pears that are tough enough to stand up to some pretty rough handling. In short, pears that could use a little improvement.

Pear Ginger Soup

6 ripe pears, peeled and cored

3 ½ cups water

¼ cup sugar

1 vanilla bean

1 cinnamon stick

4 whole cloves

1 2/3 inch thick slice fresh ginger

Powdered ginger to taste

  1. Combine the water, sugar and vanilla bean, cinnamon stick. Sliced ginger and cloves in a pan. When it comes to a gentle boil, add the peeled and cored pear bits and poach them 30-40 minutes until they are soft.
  2. Drain and reserve the liquid. Remove the vanilla bean, cinnamon and cloves.
  3. Puree the pears and the ginger slice in a food processor or blender. Pour back into the pan.
  4. Add 2 cups of the poaching liquid or enough to make a soup consistency.
  5. Heat over medium heat. Sprinkle with powdered ginger and serve.

Serves 4

Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook. Clarkson N. Potter, Inc. 1983 (1994) p. 140.

MS Quick Cook

Smoked Turkey and Stilton Sandwiches

What? You need more direction that this? Smoked Turkey. Stilton Cheese. You can buy both of these things sliced at the deli counter. Mustard is good. A little lettuce or watercress is not amiss. Sprouts – not to overwhelm but to give a little green with the rich also works. Arugula? Easier to get then watercress these days and just as good. Now you see it.

I always cut this sandwich into 4 triangles, and turn them out like butterfly wings. I don’t know why, I just do. Some sandwiches aren’t meant to be eaten in rectangular form.

 Martha Stewart’s Quick Cook. p. 141.

pear, singleAlexander_Lucas_

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Filed under 1990's, Influencers, Summer

First, Bolonia Sausages

 

Welcome to another Wicked WayBack Wednesday.

For years, and years, and even more years, when I saw the words

Bolonia Sausages

which are fairly common words in 2nd half 17th century English cookbooks, I thought

Bologna

OM bologina

You know, like Oscar Mayer. Click Oscar Mayer, it’s the link to the song

oscar_mayer_kid

And then one day I realized it was

Baloney.

Baloney, like  I was wrong.

Really wrong.

Wrong way, really and truly wrong.

Wrong country wrong.

Darn those 17th century English dialects.

Not Bolonia but Polonia. Not Italian sausage – Polish sausage.

oscar-mayer-kielbasa-polska-85001

Oscar Mayer kielbasa polska

A smoked Polish sausage…..like kielbasa

First, Bolonia Sausages.

The best way and time of the year is to make them in September.

Take four stone of pork, of the legs the leanest, and take away all
the skins, sinews, and fat from it; mince it fine and stamp it: then
add to it three ounces of whole pepper, two ounces of pepper more
grosly cracked or beaten, whole cloves an ounce, nutmegs an ounce
finely beaten, salt, spanish, or peter-salt, an ounce of
coriander-seed finely beaten, or carraway-seed, cinamon an ounce
fine beaten, lard cut an inch long, as big as your little finger,
and clean without rust; mingle all the foresaid together; and fill
beef guts as full as you can possibly, and as the wind gathers in
the gut, prick them with a pin, and shake them well down with your
hands; for if they be not well filled, they will be rusty.

These aforesaid Bolonia Sausages are most excellent of pork only:
but some use buttock beef, with pork, half one and as much of the
other. Beef and pork are very good.

Some do use pork of a weeks powder for this use beforesaid, and no
more salt at all.
Some put a little sack in the beating of these sausages, and put in
place of coriander-seed, carraway-seed.

This is the most excellent way to make Bolonia Sausages, being
carefully filled, and tied fast with a packthred, and smoaked or
smothered three or four days, that will turn them red; then hang
them in some cool cellar or higher room to take the air.

Robert May The Accomplist Cook

Robert May and the frontispiece of The Acomplist Cook

Robert May and the frontispiece of The Acomplist Cook

If you’ve made sausages before, you can see that this is actually a pretty good sausage recipe. A stone is 14 pounds so 4 stone is a LOT of meat. 56 pounds of meat. 17th century sausage making is not for those with dainty appetites. 20-30% fat. Water and spices. Good advice to get rid of the air pockets. This is not a starter recipe.  Smoking is easy if you have a smoker or know someone who has a smoker.

Either way, sausages in September seem completely more Autumn then sausages in August. The cold nights are only the coming attractions for the season ahead. It’s still not Fall, so all those Pumpkin Spiced  Lattes and doughnuts – not quite yet, thank you very much.

pumpkin spice lattes

All in due time.

some-e-cards-pumpkin-640x420

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Filed under Recipe, The 17th century

Two Many Tomatoes

Two is more than one. Quite actually, many, many, many more than one. One tomato is easy to handle. tomatoEat it. Maybe even out of hand. One perfect tomato sandwich to eat over the sink. Add it to just about anything.
More than one tomato, find other ways, many other ways, to eat them…..

one, two, three, four, FIVE. Five tomatoes

one, two, three, four, FIVE. Five tomatoes

So I learned to can. Cherry tomatoes.In a class. With Rosa Galano. But Friendship sauce is a post on it’s own.

This photo was on edible South Shore and South Coasts Facebook page, Michael Hart, photographer. I'm the big knife and part of a hand in front on the right side.

This photo was on edible South Shore and South Coasts Facebook page, Michael Hart, photographer. I’m the big knife and part of a hand in front on the right side.

and that was Wednesday night, and I had too many tomatoes on Monday afternoon. Not just cherry tomatoes. Big tomatoes. Big Ripe tomatoes. Big Ripe Juicy tomatoes. Lots of them. A BAG FULL. That needed eating NOW. Or at least very close to now. Thank you, Mindy.

Mindy was my Pilgrim sister. Here's she with Cindy.

Mindy was my Pilgrim sister. Here’s she with Cindy.

Stop drooling, start slicing.

A One, Two Tomato Punch.

These are guidelines more than recipes, which are what recipes really ought to be seen as.

Tomato salad.

1. Tomatoes, chopped/sliced/diced – whatever the tomato tells you it should be.
2. Fresh basil, eating fast because cold nights are coming and that marks the end of it, unless you’re clever and have already potted it up and brought it indoors and put it in a sunny window that you aren’t likely to leave open at night or you could have save yourself the trouble and just left it OUT in the cold….
3. Good oil.
4. Vinegar. Change out the vinegars – red wine, white wine, balsamic, raspberry (I have fruit vinegars for beets, but they’re good on tomatoes, too). Mint or tarragon vinegar when I’m not using basil. Just this is the basic salad.
5. Salad Improved: Add cheese – fresh mozzarella, or blue or feta or a few shavings of Romano.
6. And add a piece of bread to mop up the juices, and now it’s a meal.

The Happy Meal of My People!

And then…..

Tomato salad because Saucy

Tomato Sass

1. Cook a pound of spaghetti, or other member of the skinny-strandy branch of the Pasta Family.
2. In another pan, fry up a well chopped onion with a clove or 2 of garlic in oil. A pinch or two of hot pepper (or a spoonful of the chopped red hot peppers is nor amiss, either) if you like. Cook it up nice. If you have more fresh basil, add a little chopped now, too. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Drain spaghetti.
4. Add the onions and the oil, toss.
5. Add Tomato Salad, without improvements. 2, 3, even 4 cups worth. Toss again
6. Serve with cheese on top.

This is based/influenced on Victory Garden Cookbook

Victory Garden Cookbook - Marian Morash

Victory Garden Cookbook – Marian Morash

Cold Tomato Sauce with Hot Pasta. p. 320.

Very Loosely. Seeing the name alone set me on my way. Marian Morash has a slightly (very) different version that is also very good, or so say the splashes on the page.

Leftovers of this, mixed with eggs and fried , topped with more tomatoes and cheese, makes great fritatta.

There’s also a tomato jam somewhere…not in this cookbook, but in one nearby, one that I already trust. if/when there are more tomatoes. It’s still September, there are still more tomatoes.

Green_Tomatoes
And Green tomatoes. Emeril Lagasse has a green tomato pie with molasses ice cream, a combination that make me want to drool just reading the words, but I don’t have an ice cream maker (or I would make – and eat – one or two batches of ice cream every month/week/day/meal) so maybe I should be looking for some green tomatoes. But where in the Emeril world IS this recipe?????

Emeril Lagasse, 2009. BAM

Emeril Lagasse, 2009. BAM

 To be continued…..

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Filed under Eating, Recipe, Summer

Cooked, food for thought

I’ve been reading Cooked, which has me thinking…..

Cooked...the book

Cooked…the book

Or the question the book dodges….

Why don’t we cook anymore?

Which seems to imply there is a basemark/benchmark for a common good old days that is eluded to but never really defined or examined. There are some scary statistics gathered by agencies that have agendas, but are they really data? Even last week another study was released – that looked at 12 families. Twelve. Who said they didn’t have time, didn’t have money, didn’t have the kitchen…… How do twelve families represent what is going on in the whole country today? I can get a better – and bigger – cross section at my next family gathering. Or at lunch at work.

Anyhow, beyond questionable samples, Pollen and his ilk talk about how our Grandmas did things. But do we really  have that common Grandma? Is common the same as average?  Nobody is average, Grandma’s included.

I don’t even have that common Grandma among my grandmothers.Both of my Grandmas were uncommon and above average.

One, Nonna, came from the old country (one of the old countries my family is from, that is), and was famous for her bread that was baked in a wood-fired oven. Back in the old country. She never used a recipe, she just cooked things. Wonderfully. But she only cooked Nonna food. She wasn’t interested in trying new tastes or flavors, she was interested in making the new things taste familiar.

The other, Nana, loved going out to eat, and take out,and when she did cook, she double checked the Fannie Farmer on her shelf to help her memory. She worked in a grocery store. She loved food in boxes. Good FOB (Friend of Betty…. Crocker).

Betty Crocker, Nana's kitchen friend.

Betty Crocker, Nana’s kitchen friend.

BUT both Nana and Nonna assumed that a kitchen would have a hot place and a cold place, a wet place and a dry place. You would need a knife and a spoon and a pot and a pan, a dish and a bowl. And a table, to work on, to clear and to sit around to eat at. Nothing in the room was designed or coordinated or needed updating, it was functional and familiar and just fine just the way it was.

They assumed that everyone contributed to the meal, whether it was stirring the pot or earning the money to pay for the groceries or running down to the store to pick something up or reaching up on a high shelf to get something down or setting the table or sweeping the floor. Something. No free lunches. That sitting down was part of the meal, as was a prayer. That there was always enough, and if  someone should show up at meal time, then there was plenty.

Waste was a sin, and an unnecessary one.

Besides the elusive common Grandma, and benchmark for how much have we lost when, there are a few other unanswered questions/broad assumptions that need a little more attention:

1. How to define cooking…

When I asked my son about summer cooking he said we didn’t cook, we just ate.

Back to salads, sandwiches and smoothies…

But according to SOME measures, putting bottled dressing on salad mix is cooking. Not in my house.

I’m with Alton Brown on this: Food + Heat + Cooking

alton_brown

Are salad based cookbooks really cookbooks or does there need to be another name for that genre, this category of food prep? But I digress…imagine that.
Sometimes I buy things for a salad and then eat them one component at a time…those little new potatoes I boiled up for One Potato Salad? Just as good, one potato at a time, either hot or cold. Is that cooking?
But we ate nonetheless. At home.Mostly.

2.Is the microwave cooking? Is it different if I’m ‘nuking’ something frozen by a corporation versus something I cooked and froze myself? Is re-heating/re purposing cooking? Broad categories don’t always hold up to close questioning.

3. The 800 pound Gorilla in the room seems to be the rise of dining out, that eating OUT became incredibly popular and as a family activity. Once upon a time dining out was for grownups, children stayed home with the babysitter – or Grandma – but in the late 60’s and early 70s that world changed. Just last week my brother asked me if I remembered the FIRST time we went to McDonald’s.

Darn tooting I do.

We had to get plain hamburgers, my mother wasn’t paying extra for overpriced cheese, BUT she could take us all out for under $10 and the place was child appropriate. So we went. BTW, there were no Happy Meals when I was young, but I can assure you, we were plenty happy.

MacDonaldsAnd do you remember their mottos?

  • Lets eat out! (1960–1965)

  • Look for the Golden Arches! (1960–1967)

  • Go for the Goodness at McDonald’s (1962–1969)

  • The closest thing to home (1966–1969)

  • McDonald’s is your kind of place (1967 – January 22, 1971)

  • You deserve a break today (January 23, 1971 – April 23, 1975) (click the link, you know you want to sing along)

 The sad old, and frankly, I just don’t buy it meme, that Cooked brings up  is that more women in the workplace led to more people dining out, but I think he doesn’t look far enough back to see women  entering the workplace in record numbers. Like the Mill Girls era back in the 1840’s. Or the Rosie the Riveter’s in the 1940’s . Woman just didn’t count in the workplace until the 1970’s. What was different in the 1960’s and ’70’s was

the advertising :

  • that you work hard for your money and
  • you deserve a break;
  • that you just don’t have time;
  • let us do the hard work for you,
  • and that cooking is hard work and
  • we’re the professionals, so let us do it for you.

 

  • Overlapping, self serving advertising messages. In a time when more people see/hear more advertising then ever.

Gorilla.

800-lb-gorilla-fullzize

Which leaves us with..
4. Meals that  people are left to prepare – since they don’t have time for the daily  – are for the holidays and special occasions, which are already  FRAUGHT and frightening, because they are occasional and special. Which therefore proves that cooking is hard and not something you would want to do everyday.

and so the cycle continues.

eat-food-not-too-much-mostly-plants

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Filed under Books, Eating, Perception ways

24 Carrot Gold

Exactly how  many carrots are to a pound depend on the size of the carrots, but if you have 24 lovely little carrots, or about 3 pounds (2 1/2 pounds for cooking and a 1/2 pound for snacking) you can make some carrot salad for the days that remind you that although the Dog Days are over, summer isn’t really over quite yet, and some carrot soup for the days can get chilly and tell you Fall is coming soon, just not as soon as all the pumpkin flavored everything that is available would seem to indicate.

More then enough carrots here to make both soup and salad

More then enough carrots here to make both soup and salad, and have a little carrot nosh in the interim

CARROT SALAD

¾ cup dried chick peas or white beans

1 or 2 garlic cloves

1 ½ pounds carrots

1/3 cup olive oil

¼ cup vinegar –wine or cider

¼ – ½ cup chopped parsley

1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Scallions OR fresh cut chives or garlic chives (you might want to omit the garlic cloves if you go this route)

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin or ground coriander

Optional –

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

And/or 1/3 cup minced fresh dill

  1. Cook the chickpeas or the beans with the garlic. Drain well.
  2. Peel the carrots, or merely scrub them well if they’re very fresh and thin skinned. Cut them into thin, flat matchstick pieces, 1½ inches long by ¼ inch wide. Steam them for 5 – 10 minutes – just tender.
  3. Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
  4. Combine olive oil, vinegar, herbs and spices in a large bowl.
  5. Add cooked beans and mix well.
  6. Add cooked carrots and toss gently.
  7. Cover tightly and refrigerate.

4-6 servings

Adapted from Mollie Katzan. Still Life with Menu Cookbook. Ten Speed Press. 1988. pp. 157-8.Still life with Menu

Carrots come in many colors and can be used interchangeably

Carrots come in many colors and can be used interchangeably

CREAMY CARROT SOUP

2 cup chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

4 cups broth

1 cup white wine

½ cup ricotta cheese

½ teaspoon celery seed or dill seed

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Cook onions and garlic in butter over medium heat until translucent.
  2. Add carrots and cook. Covered, another 5-10 minutes, until the carrots start to sweat (the juices start to come out of them).
  3. Add broth and wine, raise heat.
  4. Bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer until the carrots are soft.
  5. Puree mixture in a blender or a food processor.
  6. Put the puréed back in the pan over low heat and add ricotta, celery seed and salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Heat thoroughly and serve.

Makes about 2 quarts.

From A Musical Treat: Good Food is Music for the Palate. Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra Volunteer League. 1995. p.49.This is a recipe I contributed. It’s an amalgam of several different recipes that finally became mine.

carrot blossom-Daucus_carota_May_2008-1_edit

Carrot in flower – Queen Anne’s Lace is really wild carrot. It used to be known as Bird’s Nest. Those little flower ends keep curling up as they form seeds

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Filed under Books, Recipe, Summer

Pudding Time Approaches!

Tinky updates the Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival – see you there!

Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival (and Pie Extravaganza!)

puddingweb

There are only three weeks left until the Pudding Hollow Pudding Festival—and the day is shaping up! Prizes are starting to arrive, including the first prize (a combination of gifts: a blender/chopper from Cuisinart, a tea cozy from Ann Brauer Quilt Studio, and maple syrup from Wilder Brook Farm, plus much more).

And we have our judges lined up. Two have been with us before. Kathleen Wall, colonial foodways culinarian at Plimoth Plantation, has judged almost every year. And Michael Collins, chef at the late Green Emporium, will taste pudding again in between work searching for a new restaurant. They will be joined by first-time judge Dédé Wilson. Dédé is a baking expert, a cookbook author, and the founder of the online baker’s resource Bakepedia. We are honored to welcome her.

If you’re a cook, keep honing that great recipe and prepare to dazzle…

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Leading by a nose…..

Herbal Inspirations.

This is the time of year that the garden is just bursting….

and it’s cool enough to want to eat it all!

cuke3

cool as a cucumber – they don’t even realize that their days are numbered

 

Thyme, ready to hang up and dry

Thyme, ready to hang up and dry

oregano

oregano

Basil

Basil

This time of year just plain smells good!

Herbs in the Kitchen was one of the earliest herbal reference book I bought.Herbs in the Kitchen I’m pretty sure I got it from the Paperback Booksmith in Hanover Mall, in either ‘75 or ‘76. It was one of the standards.  I still love it, and get inspired every time I read it.

My modern herbal library- not to be confused with my early modern herbal library – has grown since then.

Helen Morganthau Fox, gardening with herbsMrs Grieve, modern herbal

Eleanour Sinclair Rohde  ESR a garden of herbs I’ve read them and studied and collected all.

AGSAdelma Grenier Simmons inspired trips to Caprilands in Connetitcuct and I was able to attend several of her lectures and workshops, as well as collect her books;

Jeanne Rose’s Herbs and Things, herbsthingsnew_smallwhich nicely bridges the centuries of herbal lore;

Susan Wittag Albert and the China Bayles series. China Bayles even has her own book of herbal days, China Bayles Book of Days. China Bayles Book of DaysYes, a fictional herb guru has her own book!

Carolyn Dille and Susan Belsinger have written together and separately….

This is a together one

This is a together one

But it’s only recently that herbs and other things you eat that come from the garden can be equal (ish) partners between the covers.

Vegetable Literacy Deborah Madison has her chapters based on plant families…..it’s very different kind of organizing and makes a whole lot of sense. This is from her blog

‘Vegetable Literacy’ is centered on 12 plant families and how they meet in the kitchen. It’s also a cookbook (some 300 recipe). Mostly it’s about connecting the dots between botany and the garden and the cook. People ask me what inspired this exploration and I have to say that I don’t recall a single moment in which that intention suddenly leaped to the fore. It was more like the idea of botanical families and the relationship between them and the kitchen had been there for a long time. Maybe it’s in my genes—my father was a botanist and gardener and farmer among other things. And even though it didn’t occur to me plant anything until I was in my mid-thirties, something must have rubbed off.  And it rubbed off from my botanist brother, Michael, my many farmer friends and the gardeners I have known. Most of all, though, it was starting to garden that made plants and their families come into view with increasing clarity. Once I started to grow vegetables, I saw them in different ways: how much space they need, how large and many their leaves, how similar the blossoms within a family, the possibilities of eating more of them then what we see in the store or even the farmers market—hence the many little pointers about eating the whole plant—and more. The garden reveals the big and sometimes gnarly world that lies behind the pretty vegetable.’

Deborah Madison with allium

Deborah Madison with allium

So, stop and smell the mint,mint close upand the fennel

fennel flowering

fennel flowering

and the borage….

borage

borage

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