Recipes & cooking Ideas, Tips & Guides

Pesto fest! (garlicky green ice cubes) -

Pesto fest! (garlicky green ice cubes)

I cook by feel, and my recipe books don’t get off the shelf much. With pesto, in particular, it’s all “to taste” in my kitchen, and to texture: Too little oil, and the blender or Cuisinart can’t process it; too much, and it won’t really freeze nicely. For me, freezing’s the main point. I don’t want to OD on pesto in high summer, but want a steady supply year-round.I make a lot of pizza, crust and all, and I smear the unbaked crusts with olive oil, my pesto, and roasted garlic before I layer on homemade tomato sauce (stored frozen beside the pesto) and the cheeses.An “ice cube” or two of defrosted pesto also makes a welcome spread on baguette or crackers with olives and cheese and other snacking things, when guests stop by. Nothing’s easier as a seasoning when m

How i freeze green beans in red sauce, and 14 more food-storage tips -

How i freeze green beans in red sauce, and 14 more food-storage tips

SO MANY GREEN BEANS, so little time. That’s how I always feel around now: how to keep up with the glut of one of my favorite vegetables. I don’t like them canned (all olive green and overcooked!) and they can lose crunch or get ice-encrusted when blanched and frozen plain, so I put mine up in canning jars in the freezer, doused in homemade tomato sauce. Read how I freeze green beans and many more garden-fresh goodies.

Apples+green tomatoes=gooey mincemeat - - county Hudson

Apples+green tomatoes=gooey mincemeat

Up here in the Hudson Valley/Berkshires area, where the apples come in fast in fall, I make applesauce as fast as I can to freeze. A batch of mincemeat sounds about right, too, especially from a recipe minus the traditional beef suet. This one’s vegetarian.The recipe is from “Stocking Up II,” a Rodale cookbook of 1980s vintage that has since been reissued in athird version. The most-disfigured spread in my copy: the one with ‘Currant and Green Tomato Chutney,’ which uses loads of apples as well. If a waste-not, want-not mood seizes you in the not-too-distant future, here’s the recipe. (I fig

Harvest help: canning and freezing book giveaway -

Harvest help: canning and freezing book giveaway

You can win one of two, three-book sets that I’ve purchased to share as prizes—no, not my old food-splattered copies, above, but new ones. Promise! All you have to do to have a chance in the truly random drawing (I’ll use the tool at random [dot] org to pick a winner) is comment below, and be a subscriber to my email newsletter. All the details are at the end of this post.Your comment should simply tell us what you like to put up for later from your garden or the farmer’s market—and it can be as simple as a sentence or include a recipe or a link to one; up to you.Tips and Tricks:Immediate ideas and tips on coping with the harvest can be had from these articles:What’s in My Freezer at Harvest Time: a Roundup of Ideas Making Pesto: Garlicky Green Ice Cubes Growing and Storing a Year of Parsley (good for many other green herbs, too) Dan Koshansky’s Hand-Me-Down Refrigerator Pickles Vegetable Curry-in-a-Hurry ‘Love Apple

Planting do-over’s: more beans and greens - - Switzerland

Planting do-over’s: more beans and greens

I PUT MY BEANS UP ON A PEDESTAL because they are one of the crops that’s finally producing here in the Year of Big Rains. In fact, I just planted another whole row of bush beans, along with more collards and kale, among many things. Welcome to Week 3 of the cross-blog Summer Fest 2009: Beans and Greens Week, a perfect time (if you hurry) to fine-tune the vegetable garden and eke out some produce for late summer, fall—and beyond.

Waiting, waiting (for a ripe tomato) -

Waiting, waiting (for a ripe tomato)

I’m hoping some of my 2008 progeny will start turning red, but if not, I have a stash of green-tomato recipes. (For now I’ll hold onto them, as it’s not yet time to give up…look for them in a few weeks here, and enjoy the Oven-Roasted Tomato idea down at the bottom of this post meantime.)But really, I marvel each summer-into-fall when I stock my freezer with the harvest turned to many quarts of sauce: How did I even get one ripe fruit, considering what could have happened?No fruit. Only green fruit. Fruit with spots. Fruit with black bottoms. Fruit with cracks. Fruit eaten by marauders of every taxonomic order.Tomato leaves spotted. Or dropping off. Or eaten and just plain gone (ho

Hungry? come visit my kitchen on the kitchn blog -

Hungry? come visit my kitchen on the kitchn blog

ILOVE TO COOK FROM MY GARDEN, but it never occurred to me that any *real* cooks would be stopping by. Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan, cookbook author and proprietor of The Kitchn blog on the giant Apartment Therapy network, and her husband, AT founder Maxwell, were the first bloggers to wish me well online when I left my career to live in my garden in 2008, and I’d said “come by sometime if you’re in the area.” And guess what? The result was a visit filled with great conversation and some of my simple-but-fresh food, including a pizza (my specialty), and now a lovely story and slideshow on Sara Kate’s blog.

Roasted tomatillo salsa (or is it more like jam?) -

Roasted tomatillo salsa (or is it more like jam?)

Everyone usually agrees that tomatillos, garlic, onion, peppers and cilantro are the basic ingredients involved, but do you simmer your tomatillo salsa on the stovetop, or simply pulse-then-blend the raw ingredients together? Perhaps it’s best to roast it in the oven till the whole thing transforms from a thin-into-thickening slurry, and finally to something more like a loose and glistening jam?On the word of my friend You Grow Girl, Gayla Trail, I went with the roasting-pan method.Since I planned to freeze (rather than can) about a dozen small jars, I didn’t have to worry about a perfect balance of acidity, or what other ingredients I added. I simply went by eye, and taste. In my first batch, I was timid about the hot peppers; in my second, I went a little bolder.

Growing, cooking & stashing asparagus: 12 don’ts - - state Oregon

Growing, cooking & stashing asparagus: 12 don’ts

1. Don’t skip the part about digging the trench, which one Cornell University bulletin describes as a W-furrow (illustrated below). Some people simply dig an 18-inch-wide by 12-inch-deep trench and spread the roots out flat in the bottom. In a W-furrow, a ridge of soil hoed into place down the middle (in this case of a shallower trench, just 6-8 inches deep) supports the spider-like roots.2. Don’t bury the crowns all at once, but rather fill the trench in gradually as the topgrowth develops through the first season.3. Don’t forget to water as the crowns make their way to establishing a deep root system. Details on planting and careare here.Picking4. Don’t pick too soon from a new planting. Some sources say you can pick a little starting one

Giveaway: ‘the smitten kitchen cookbook’ (and deb perelman's leek fritter recipe) - - city New York

Giveaway: ‘the smitten kitchen cookbook’ (and deb perelman's leek fritter recipe)

I first met Deb Perelman in my former life, when I worked for Martha Stewart. It was late 2007 or early 2008—a millennium ago in internet years—and we’d invited in a group of bloggers we admired to get better acquainted.  Deb sat to my left (and beyond her was Heidi Swanson of, with the founders of Apartment Therapy and across the table, and more). I think that gathering is what crystallized my intention to start a website: such an inspiring group.But I digress. If you haven’t visited Smitten Kitchen, prepare to be entertained, educated, and called to action.DEB PERELMAN is a self-taught home cook, and is funny in that self-deprecating way I love (often using the cross-out strikethrough key on her editing dashboard to good effect). On the blog, and in the new cookbook, Deb invites you into her kitchen, and family, teaching you (her Tips section online alone is worth a visit, let alone all her recipes) while tempting you. You always come away hungry…until you get out the ingredients

Growing and storing a year of parsley - - Italy

Growing and storing a year of parsley

Curly-leaf parsley is great for edging borders, and for planting as a “ruff” around the feet of bigger plants in pots, where it will be beautiful all season, even after substantial frost. But if you want to cook, go ‘Gigante,’ or ‘Giant of Italy.’ Flat-leaf parsley has more parsley flavor, to my taste.All parsley is extremely high in nutrients, particularly Vitamin C, folates and Potassium, as well as beta carotene. In fact, a quarter-cup of raw chopped parsley has about as much C as a quarter-cup of orange juice and double the folates (more that one and a half times those, even, of raw spinach). I include raw leaflets in salads, greatly boosting the nutritional value of

Cukes ‘n zukes: size matters, as does pickling spice -

Cukes ‘n zukes: size matters, as does pickling spice

But first, that key reminder: For best flavor and texture, harvest both zucchinis (Cucurbita pepo) and cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) before the skin gets hard and dull, when they still look like the beauties up top. Bitterness from an increase in the chemicals called cucurbitacins that these crops (and melons, pumpkins and gourds) contain may increase with overripeness, though it can also result from environmental stressors such as uneven soil moisture, low soil fertility, low soil pH, high heat or wide swings in temperatures. Once you’ve got such tender subjects in hand, head directly to the kitchen.IAM KNOWN FOR MY PICKLES, and more all the time thanks to search engines and other such decidedly non-culinary efforts. The second-most-popular post I’ve ever published (just an inch behind my slideshow of gorgeous vintage “green” WPA posters from 1936-43, like the one below): the easy refrigerat

Garlic powder, preserved lemons and more, in alana chernila’s ‘the homemade kitchen’ -

Garlic powder, preserved lemons and more, in alana chernila’s ‘the homemade kitchen’

Besides leaning how, enter to win the new book plus a chef’s knife and tote bag Alana shared with me to celebrate her book launch, the followup to her previous hit, “The Homemade Pantry” in 2012.One recent weekend, when we were teaching back-to-back, daylong cheesemaking classes at my place, I was explaining to the students how Alana Chernila and I ended up in my kitchen together this way, surrounded by all this milk and cream. After all, I’m a gardener, right, not a dairy farmer?Trying to explain Alana’s and my connection, I asked the class:“You know how my A Way to Ga

Love-apple sauce, and real applesauce - - Italy

Love-apple sauce, and real applesauce

I make about eight batches of red sauce late summer until frost, stashing it in the freezer for a year of enjoyment.  It isn’t much prep work, at least not the way I cook. Each “batch” constitutes a spaghetti potful of fresh, raw ingredients before it cooks down to less than half that, enough for 5 or 6 freezer containers of 12-16 ounces each. If you’ve got that last glut of tomatoes in need of processing, or see a bargain bushel of seconds at the farmstand, this lazy-person’s recipe for red sauce might be just the thing.Again, I don’t take the time to peel or seed the tomatoes (to you purists, mea culpa; I’m a whole-food type…and also a bit manic when I cook). The sauce is the tiniest bit more bitter, perhaps, but think of all that fiber (and time saved).Lazy Woman’s Tomato SauceIngredients Enough paste-type or other tomatoes to fill a spaghetti pot 1 head garlic Extra virgin olive oil Fresh basil Fresh parsley, preferably Italian flat-leaf Salt and pepper to taste; small amount of sugar optionalWash tomatoes and cut off stem ends and any blemishes

Comfort food: farinata, a polenta delight -

Comfort food: farinata, a polenta delight

USE KALE, cabbage or another green if you prefer, to make this Italian-style porridge that’s quick, filling and perfect for those of us who consider such things as soupy polenta to be comfort food—and also love garlic. (Count me in on both scores.) This recipe was inspired by something a friend scribbled down from the old public-television show “Cucina Amore.”Other references call this farinata–the word just translates as porridge or gruel–Farinata di Cavolo Nero (or Farinata with Tuscan Kale). To confuse things, lately the term farinata is often used to refer to a thin, unleavened savory pancake of chickpea flour (also called a socca)…but here we’re in the cornmeal gruel business.ingredients:½ lb. kale or cabbage or mix 6 cups water or vegetable broth (if the broth is salted, or you like a lot of Parmesan, adjust salt below) 1 teaspoon

Greek lemon, oregano and garlic roast potatoes - - Greece

Greek lemon, oregano and garlic roast potatoes

THIRTY-SOMETHING YEARS into life as a vegetarian, I have consumed more potatoes than I can even imagine, and eat them several times or more a week. So how to make them different, and special? Memories of a favorite Greek restaurant I frequented decades ago sent me looking for a recipe for patates riganates, roasted potatoes with the flavors of lemon, garlic and oregano. Here’s how I make it, and some variations:

Stock from snippets: last call for vegetable broth -

Stock from snippets: last call for vegetable broth

BETWEEN DEEP FREEZES YESTERDAY I grabbed the scissors and a bag and out I went: last call for vegetable-garden snippets. Why leave those final bits of kale and collards, parsley and pak choi–tattered as they may be–to winter’s ravages? Combined with some onions and a winter squash that weren’t storing well in the cellar, among other things, they became stock.

Canning-jar giveaway, and produce-stashing tips -

Canning-jar giveaway, and produce-stashing tips

AS I PLANT MY PARSLEY, PICK ASPARAGUS and get ready for tomato transplant time, it gets me thinking about tomorrow (as in “the offseason”) when my Northern garden doesn’t offer up so much food as it will the next few months. No worry, because I am a hoarder—of fresh garden and farmer’s-market produce (though not on sagging shelves like that 1940 Farm Security Administration slide, above!).

The age of asparagus, and a 5-cookbook giveaway! -

The age of asparagus, and a 5-cookbook giveaway!

To enter to win a copy, simply scroll down to the comments and tell us how you like your spears. Type a whole recipe right into the comment box, or just a link to a recipe on your blog or another’s, or perhaps a tip instead about what you like asparagus served with (Anna says dill and lemon come to mind, for starters).The backstory: I met Anna Thomas when “Love Soup” came out last fall, and promptly stocked my freezer with double batches of several of her recipes made from my winter squash and sweet potatoes and kale and the like, and stocked up on copies to give as holiday gifts. Now a whole new season of homegrown vegetables has begun, and I’m working my way through “Chapter 9: First Tastes of Spring,” and on to “Chapter 10: Green and Greener.” Heaven. Vats of Asparagus Bisque, here I come.Thismust-have cookbook features 160 vegetarian recipes for soups and all the extras, from b

Stashing the sweet potatoes, in curry-in-a-hurry - - India

Stashing the sweet potatoes, in curry-in-a-hurry

First, the disclaimer: This is only the second batch of curry I have ever made, after a lesson imparted just weeks ago from a friend. I am no expert, but it’s easy, highly adaptable in flavor according to your hand with the spices, and it sure does taste good. If you are a professional chef, please no laughing; I offer this to encourage other curry wannabes to just suspend fear and try a potful as I did.Also please note: What follows is more guide than precise recipe. I cook by feel and taste. The amounts below yield about one-third of an 8-quart stockpot (what I think of as a spaghetti pot) of finished curry, so prep an appropriate amount of vegetables. If you like a finer texture, dice accordingly; I like chunky (and too-fine dices don’t hold up as well after cooking, freezing, a

Peppers: short and sweet, or feeling spicy? -

Peppers: short and sweet, or feeling spicy?

Those are my faded little hot chiles (above), in case you think I’m kidding. I’ll replace them with a new shiny red set this fall, promise.STUFFED PEPPERS (with Uncle Ben’s, chop meat, onion, Parmesan) were a staple of growing-up years, baked in Mom’s deep Pyrex casserole dish with V-8 juice as the liquid. So 1960s—and so easy and filling, right? (These days I skip the meat and use brown rice, plus pine nuts, onions and raisins, with my own tomato sauce thinned-down as the juice.)But my go-to pepper dish is appetizer, not main: simple oven-roasted pep

Summer fest: a vintage look at fresh corn - - Usa

Summer fest: a vintage look at fresh corn

First, a word about Summer Fest, which I co-founded in 2008: It’s a giant round-robin of sharing themed to a single garden-fresh ingredient each week. Get all the details and latest links below, just before the comments, and stock up on delicious ideas from around the web—or add your own.I READ UP ON CREAMED CORN this week (as did many of my Summer Fest colleagues—see the links below), and found a lot of variations included cornstarch or flour as thickeners, sugar, and even Parmesan cheese or bacon or any manner of extras. Once I shucked the fresh-picked corn from down the road, I thought: I can’t do that to this beautiful stuff, and went the ultra-simple route. Even adding cream seemed like gilding the lily. But I did.Corn in Historical ImageryMY VINTAGE PITCHER GOT ME THINKING how much a part of our heritage corn has been,

Will the real oregano please stand up? - - France - Greece - Italy - Mexico - Cuba

Will the real oregano please stand up?

Called “the mystery plant of the herb world” by The Rodale Herb Book, “oregano” is the common name for a small multitude of plants that are mostly useless in the kitchen. Among them are many true oreganos, in the genus Origanum, and also many plants that aren’t. Mexican oregano (Lippia graveolens) is a relative of lemon verbena, not oregano. Cuban oregano (Coleus amboinicus) is a succulent that tastes and smells somewhat like oregano and makes a good houseplant. It is used like oregano in Cuban cuisine. Italian oregano thyme, a member of the genus Thymus, also has the familiar oregano scent.Among the true oreganos there are choices for great beauty, like O. vulgare ‘Aureum,’ a golden-leaved form. (My sorry plant was probably just plain O. vulgare—not even pretty like the golden kind.) Sweet marjoram, a kind of oregano known as O. majorana, is more the stuff of French cuisine, and an excellent culinary herb. Pot marjoram, O. onites, is also savory-flavored.But if you want to cook with the classic oregano taste, you want to try Greek oregano, O. heracleoticum, which is a pungent

Baked pears for breakfast, or maybe dessert -

Baked pears for breakfast, or maybe dessert

IT’S SO EASY, and also good for you—so good you could eat one for breakfast, and nobody would even raise an eyebrow, at least not in my household. And ‘tis their season, so I’ve been baking pears. I feel silly even telling you how to do this.

Harvest bounty: to stash, or savor? - - state Texas

Harvest bounty: to stash, or savor?

I’m making soup this week because the hodgepodge lodge of produce on hand (above) says “soup” to me.  I’ve got a mammoth onion donated to the cause by regular visitor and commenter Blue Arrow, and a pile of summer squash that another “regular” here, Kathy of Cold Climate Gardening, left behind when she visited in person last week (and wrote a very nice story, thank you).From my own jungle I plucked beans and kale and parsley and garlic, and a few tomatoes.I’d need some corn, too, if I were going to make the exceptionally quick and easy Late Summer Vegetable Soup from Everyday Food and Dinner Tonight, but I’m saving that for next time.My first batch of soup to freeze this year will be from Sara Kate at Apartment Therapy’s, who with her blogger husband, Maxwell, welcomed me to the blogosphere at my debut in spring. (They a

9 things i needed to learn about sweet potatoes -

9 things i needed to learn about sweet potatoes

1. That all the mail-order providers I have used send me my “slips” (pieces of vine sprouted off their stock sweet potatoes) much too early. Yes, I may have few hard frosts after late April or early May…but the weather is by no means as settled nor the soil as warm as a sweet potato would ideally have it. I want my slips to arrive a month later than some stupid automated calculation at the growers is apparently indicating, triggering my too-soon shipment. Just say no to early delivery; hurrying doesn’t help.D.I.Y. for Starters?2. If I had healthy, firm stock left from the previous year—and no sign of any disease or troubles last growing season—I could technically sprout my own slips, and it may just come to that. I’d need to get some of the stored potatoes to begin to sprout in

Longtime companions: good-keeper squash - - county Day

Longtime companions: good-keeper squash

I am wild for winter squash, including ‘Jumbo Pink Banana’ (guess which one that is?) and ‘Triamble,’ a blue-skinned three-parted creature of similar endurance to the former. The banana, which can get to 40 pounds or more in a warmer climate, resides in my living room, the gray-blue beauty on my desk. For a year already. Cut flowers, or even a potted orchid? No match. These beauties really last.That’s because they are all in the species of Cucurbita (say: kew-CUR-bit-a) called maxima, the best “keepers” in the squash clan and also some of the finest-grained and thickest-fleshed and to my tongue, tastiest. ‘Blue Hubbard’ is in this species, too, and if you want pies or soup or “pumpkin” bread this winter,

Lentils! (including in sweet potato shepherd’s pie) - - city Jerusalem

Lentils! (including in sweet potato shepherd’s pie)

Lens culinaria is said to be the oldest pulse in cultivation, and originated in the Middle East. I have never grown it, but a few catalogs, including Sand Hill Preservation, offer seed of various kinds. It is a cool-season crop, like peas.I smiled to see that the acclaimed restaurateur and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi (author of “Plenty” and “Jerusalem”) was in a similarly lentil-mad state this first month of the New Year, according to his latest column in “The Guardian” newspaper.  He calls them “the ultimate comfort food,” and shares two recipes – the hummus-like Crushed Puy Lentils with Tahini and Cumin, and also Lentils with Mushrooms and Preserved Lemon Ragout. (Get out your metric

Making quick tomato sauce, ever so slowly -

Making quick tomato sauce, ever so slowly

I AM CULTIVATING PATIENCE, THANKS TO MY TROUBLED TOMATOES, learning to wait between sadly small outbursts of red fruit. Even my quick red sauce—normally made in hasty batches that overflow two spaghetti pots at a time—is an exercise in restraint, more meditation than mass production.

Think green: as in leafy, beans and herbs -

Think green: as in leafy, beans and herbs

IHATE SPENDING $1.49 OR EVEN 99 cents for a bunch of herbs, when all I ever need is a few springs at a time. And so I try to strive for herbal self-sufficiency, using simple tactics of growing and storing all the herbs I want all year—mostly in one of two basic frozen forms.You can make a “pesto” (as in: a sauce of crushed herbs) with many of your green garden flavors. Not just parsley (above), but sage, basil, rosemary, chives and garlic scapes will work—and probably more, using a little water or oil to semi-liquefy the harvest. I’m putting up some cilantro and dill, using both the ice-cube and rolled “log” tactics below, as a test this year, too.The recipes and how-to’s:Garlicky Green Ice Cubes. (How I make and freeze 365 days of basil pesto, and other herb pestos, too.) Will the Real Oregano Please Stand Up? (What a confusing herb this is! If your homegrown oregano tastes

Food fest 5: some kernels about corn - - Mexico

Food fest 5: some kernels about corn

It Ain’t What It Used to Be Though corn is rightly labeled native to the Americas, the original plant from which today’s corn derives, called Teosinte (technically in the genus Zea), had a long and winding journey from its roots in Southern Mexico.  Talk about the domestication of a wild thing!The original grass had far fewer, tiny kernels, and not in anything so orderly an arrangement as today’s tightly packed heads that we call ears of corn. Have a look at these images (especially the macro ones) to see how heroic a job has been accomplished.Starting more than 7,000 years ago, careful cultivation and selection by native peoples of the Americas and much more recently by farmers in wider reaches have yielded corn for

Cookies, snacking cakes, pies & more: 5 new books to bake by, with ali stafford -

Cookies, snacking cakes, pies & more: 5 new books to bake by, with ali stafford

When Alexandra Stafford, author of the book “Bread Toast Crumbs” and creator of the website, has visited the podcast before in recent years, we’ve usually talked vegetable cookery or soups, because we’re both big soup-makers. But 2020 is no normal year. And so what the hell? Let’s bake.Plus: Comment in the box at the bottom of the page for a chance to win one of the books we’re featuring—all five will be given away here to five readers. Then head over to Ali’s website for a chance to win each book, too (details below).Read along as you listen to the November 30, 2020 edition of my public-radio show and podcast using the player below. You can subscribe to all future editions on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify or Stitcher

Recipe: baking up some heirloom beans -

Recipe: baking up some heirloom beans

The way I cook is all about big potsful of things, and freezing or canning for later: cook once, eat multiple times. For the price of 1 pound of dry beans and a few simple ingredients, the yield is enough for six or eight portions, most of which are frozen in small containers for later use.This easy recipe takes very little active prep, but lots of waiting on each end for soaking and then baking. We gardeners are patient types, no?baked-bean tips and tricksDon’t want to pre-cook the beans? Soak them for 24 hours, changing water several times, and plan to bake them longer, perhaps all day. No good tomatoes in winter? I avoid needing to use canned by freezing a few bags of whole paste types at harvest time (above) for just this

Making romesco sauce and more, with deborah madison -

Making romesco sauce and more, with deborah madison

DESPITE THAT 1940s Harry Truman-ism, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen,” that’s exactly where harvest time sends us, especially if we grow our own edibles. Who better to ask for inspiration now than Deborah Madison—often called the Julia Child of vegetarian cooking? Listen to our conversation (my newest podcast) about her latest book, “Vegetable Literacy.” Along the way you’ll get wisdom on her must-have garden herbs; a recipe for her versatile, rich-in-a-good-way Romesco sauce; and even Deborah’s unexpected secret weapon for gopher control.Madison’s massive 1997 volume “Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone” (Amazon link) is probably on your shelf, or should be, and this year she published her 10th cookbook–another comprehensive, beautiful must-have. It’s arranged not in the usual manner (appetizer to dessert) but taxonomically, by plant family.  (Remember my story about it, and her recipe for cauliflower pasta with red pepper flakes and more?)

4 links: help with salty pickles, ticks, seed saving - - city New York - state Connecticut

4 links: help with salty pickles, ticks, seed saving

THANK YOU DEB PERELMAN OF SMITTEN KITCHEN, who cooks up a giant food blog from her tiny, 42-square-foot New York City kitchen. Just in time for peak pickling season, Deb unlocked the riddle that had been puzzling her (and me) for years: why recipes come out too salty sometimes and not others. Turns out that not all brands of Kosher salt (shown above, in my Grandma’s glass salt cellar) are created equal. The scoop from Deb (thank you, thank you).WANT TO USE LESS CHEMICALS in and around the home and garden? Who doesn’t? Beyond Pesticides dot org is an essential resource to help in the plight. Just look at this list of factsheets (each a PDF). I love the one on “Reading Your Lawn Weeds,” for instance, a tactic that will really help you think before dumping on some needless toxin; you can find it partway down this page of theirs, at the link

Simmering harvest-flavor soups, and a book -

Simmering harvest-flavor soups, and a book

Now I have a third way to put up my annual bounty of parsley (the first two are here): three “bunches” will go into each batch of “Parsley Soup” that Thomas says is like “a rustic leek and potato soup that’s been taken over by a gang of parsley, but in the nicest way.”A double batch of “Green Soup With Sweet Potatoes and Sage” (top photo, in the bowl on the right) is already in my freezer; a whole section of “green soups” (using leafy greens as a key ingredient) is a particular delight, since I seem to have mastered their growing this year and have more than I thought I could ever otherwise use.T

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