Recipes & cooking Ideas, Tips & Guides

The family brussels-sprout tradition - - city Brussels

The family brussels-sprout tradition

MY TINY FAMILY’S GIANT TRADITION: Brussels sprouts! I bring over the homegrown, still-on-the-stalk, bigger-is-better sprouts to my sister’s each Thanksgiving, and we have at them, assisted enthusiastically by my brother-in-law (and pushed around the plate by my niece). That’s baby-sister Marion and a mock-terrified me showing off a recent holiday harvest–just one image of many in another long family tradition: taking crazy photos.  Individual crustless pumpkin pies and pureed sweet-potato soup with greens might be on the menu, too:Brussels sprouts are delightful just roasted (it’s easy to roast vegetables, like this), but lately I have become addicted to a “salad” at nearby Crossroads Food Shop.

Canning-book giveaway, and top canning sources - - Georgia

Canning-book giveaway, and top canning sources

Win one of three, three-book sets that I’ve purchased to share as prizes—no, not my old food-splattered copies, above, but new ones–the latest edition of each book, promise! All you have to do to enter the random drawing is comment below. All the details are at the end of this post.First, as promised, the resources for canners and would-be canners so you can get started right away stashing those peaches, plums, cukes, tomatoes and more:USDAThe USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning: The tried-and-true resource, revised in 2009. A must destination for all would-be and experienced canners. (You can buy a print copy from the Purdue University online store.)The Extension ServicesMost state Cooperative Extension Services have extensive online resources; your county off

Recap: stashing the harvest, a bounty of tips -

Recap: stashing the harvest, a bounty of tips

I’m gathering green herbs—parsley, basil, sage, cilantro, chives, you name it—and freezing them in various ways.Have you put your white potatoes into storage? I leave mine in the dark, insulated ground awhile longer, but sooner or later…With sweet potatoes, what to do when it’s time to dig and store.Where to stash onions and garlic (and soon we’ll be planting the latter—along with multiplier onions—so have you ordered your bulbs?).Freeze some peppers while they’re plentiful and cheap.I’m ripening all the tomatoes I can (the tactics, on and off th

Cookbook giveaway: ‘good food to share’ -

Cookbook giveaway: ‘good food to share’

Sometimes entertaining–or even cooking a family meal–stresses the “ta-da” over the togetherness at the expense of the cook’s mental health. Sara Kate, whom I have never seen without her brilliant smile on full display, says that’s just not the point.“When I first started to work on this book, knowing it was in the entertaining category, I thought long and hard about what entertaining meant,” Sara Kate wrote recently on her blog.  “In my mind, entertaining as a word applied to my work is a bit of a silly notion; because this thing we do with food feels so much more deep than other forms of entertainment in our culture. The act of cooking is really about feeding the bellies and souls of the people we love, and I take it very seriously.”“Good Food to Share: Recipes for Entertaining With Family and Friends” will nourish on every level through all the

Winter salad with apple, pepitas, sunflower seeds -

Winter salad with apple, pepitas, sunflower seeds

How much dressing-to-greens you like is up to you. Make a cupful and use it through the week, or simply whisk small amounts of the basic ingredients to taste in the bottom of a large-enough-for-tossing bowl, and whisk before adding greens and the rest.for 1 cup of dressinglarge clove of raw garlic, grated (2 teaspoons of grated shallot can be substituted) 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard, or to taste ¼ cup vinegar, a combination of red wine vinegar and balsamic ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil salt and pepper to taste for the saladraw pumpkin seeds raw sunflower seeds crisp, not-too-sweet apple, sliced mixed greens stepsIn a jar or bowl, combine the dressi

Making pickling spice with gayla trail -

Making pickling spice with gayla trail

“What do you use for pickling spice?” I asked–because I can see on my blog stats that my page with the headline, “What’s in pickling spice?” is getting lots of hits as it does each year at this time.What’s in pickling spice? Well, it’s a less obvious answer than you might think. Gayla grows a lot of her own ingredients, and pickles things you might not have thought of, too—like radish seedpods (top photo), garlic scapes, purslane, cherry tomatoes and more. That’s what we talk

How to freeze peaches, and a peachy clafoutis -

How to freeze peaches, and a peachy clafoutis

QUICK: BEFORE THEY’RE GONE for another year: Pack up the flavor and juiciness of peaches for offseason use (and while you’re prepping those peaches, turn a bowlful into an easy, elegant peach clafoutis–my favorite dessert of all):Farm-Fresh Peaches, Frozen to Perfection Packing a harvest of summer’s juiciest flavor for the long haul: a how-to. Clafoutis Batter, Universal Solvent of Fruit Desserts: Learn to make this easy batter that turns fresh, dried or frozen fruit into a dramatic dessert.

Growing (or just eating!) heirloom dry beans - - Usa

Growing (or just eating!) heirloom dry beans

But lately I’ve been thinking: Why not grow beans for drying (a.k.a. shelling beans)—or at least start experimenting with dry beans for cooking, and see if we can get you hooked?how to grow beansGROWING BEANS, whether for eating fresh or drying, is pretty easy, if you follow some basic tactics:Select a sunny spot with well-drained soil. Rotate the spot you grow your beans, ideally on a three-year schedule, to limit disease transmission. Keep the area free of weeds (especially when the seedlings are young). Use an inoculant rated for beans to get the seeds off to the best possible start

Templates for great vegetarian meals, with martha rose shulman (giveaway!) - - New York - Los Angeles

Templates for great vegetarian meals, with martha rose shulman (giveaway!)

Los Angeles-based Shulman is not a vegetarian, she says, but finds herself eating that way a lot–which may sound familiar to others, especially with the farm market and garden harvest season just getting into high gear.“I realized that people have problems with the concept of the vegetarian main dish. There’s really no lexicon for it. If you eat meat, you can ask, ‘What’s for dinner?’ and you can say, ‘Chicken,’ and that’s a good enough answer.“In my house, I do have one-word answers. When my son says, ‘What’s for dinner?’ I can say, ‘Frittata,’ or ‘Gratin,’ or ‘Pasta,’ and his only question will be, ‘With what?’ And

Gifts to make: lavender-laced caramels, herbed salts and more, with gayla trail -

Gifts to make: lavender-laced caramels, herbed salts and more, with gayla trail

Confession: Despite all my years at “Martha Stewart Living,” Gayla is far more adventurous in making things than I am. We both cook, and can, like mad—but she goes further. After purchasing a small copper still, Gayla spent her summer making hydrosols (floral waters—such as rose water), and just bought a set of wood-carving tools to try her hand at spoons and other implements. Impressive.And she can sew—to make the oversized muslin packets for herbed bath “tea” bags, for instance. (My last attempt, in junior high school sewing class, resulted in the project becoming stitched to the lap of my dress.  The bell rang before I realized what I’d done, so I had to wear it, like a lopsided fabric collage, to my next class. Nice.)GAYLA’S RELATIONSHIP to the garden so intimate that every bit of it seems to make its way into the rest of her life, and into the lives of lucky friends who are recipients of her many giftable goodies, such as:Bundles of twiggy herbs fr

Learning to can, in a video series with theresa loe (lesson 1: easy refrigerator pickles) - - Los Angeles

Learning to can, in a video series with theresa loe (lesson 1: easy refrigerator pickles)

THERESA LOE packs more into a garden—or a canning jar—than anyone else I know. A longtime gardener and city homesteader on just a tenth of an acre in Los Angeles, she manages to layer her back and even front yards much the way she layers cucumber slices and spices into canning jars for her easy, low-salt refrigerator pickles. That how-to and recipe is the second of 13 short lessons this Master Food Preserver is serving up starting this week on “Growing a Greener World,” the PBS series where she is a founding producer.

In ‘jerusalem: a cookbook,’ a world of contrasts in every dish (a giveaway) - - city London - city Jerusalem

In ‘jerusalem: a cookbook,’ a world of contrasts in every dish (a giveaway)

I CRAVE A SALAD—but one with something more substantial, not just greens. I’d also love an escape (too many garden chores screaming for attention—get me out of here!), but then I remember: I hate to travel.  Thankfully, I have found comforting solutions on both scores in a book I bought last fall, “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini, an intimate journey through a cultural fusion of traditions and tastes. I’m making fattoush for lunch–the recipe is on the jump–and offering you two “tickets” to “Jerusalem,” too, in the latest cookbook giveaway.

Dear gayla: the root cellar of our dreams? - - Usa - Washington - state Idaho - state Colorado - state Minnesota

Dear gayla: the root cellar of our dreams?

The latest longing for a way to store my garden produce properly overtook me last week, when I was looking for images of roots (as in those ant-farm-like diagrams of a cross-section beneath the soil surface of the prairie).  One of the “autofill” suggestions that appeared when I started typing r-o-o-t into a Library of Congress photo-archive search was the phrase “root cellar,” and I could not resist.Suddenly, down the rabbit hole into underground repositories of yesteryear I went, touring historic root cellars around the United States that had been surveyed as part of a Histori

Bryant terry’s glazed carrot salad, from his ‘afro-vegan’ cookbook -

Bryant terry’s glazed carrot salad, from his ‘afro-vegan’ cookbook

“This dish is a mashup of glazed carrots, which are popular in the South, and Moroccan carrot salad,” Terry says in the recipe’s headnote. “The savory coating is rich, intense, and delicious, and as you can see in the photo, this is a gorgeous dish.”Read my companion interview with Bryant Terry, and enter to win the cookbook. The recipe:bryant terry’s glazed carrot saladYield: 6 to 8 servings1 ½ pounds carrots (about 10 medium carrots) 1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt 2 tablespoons peanut oil 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon j

How-to canning help, from theresa loe - - Los Angeles

How-to canning help, from theresa loe

Theresa describes herself as “a lifelong canner.” Both her mother and grandmother canned, she says, and Theresa eventually studied culinary arts at UCLA, then took the Master Food Preserver curriculum through her county cooperative extension.“I try to get people thinking outside the canning jars,” says Theresa, who grows much of her family’s food on a mere one-tenth acre in the Los Angeles area (including a coop for a small flock of chickens). “The new video series focuses on creative ways to can, and to use what you can.”  Each of the fun, approachable recipe videos is about 2 minutes long, offering the “aha” of the essential technique involved (with full recipe and details on the “Growing a Greener World” TV website).where to begin in canning?WHEN LEARNING to can, stick first with the high-acid foods, such as tomatoes that have

How to dry beans (hint: don't rush them!) -

How to dry beans (hint: don't rush them!)

 I GREW SOME GREAT BEANS for drying this year–varieties you could make into baked beans, for instance, or add to vegetable soup, or simply serve as a side dish, cooked up with onion and bay leaf and carrot in just enough water to cover them plus a bit, simmering till tender and delicious. But unlike beans I grow for eating green, these guys make you wait–but how long? About six weeks after the fresh-eating stage, typically, but here’s the thing: You really have to watch the weather, which can be wet in fall, the antithesis to drying anything.

I’m on a cornmeal bender (things could be worse!) - - New York

I’m on a cornmeal bender (things could be worse!)

One of my favorite quick, cheap, filling meals is farinata—a sort of soupy polenta with grated cheese, garlic and greens stirred in. I still have kale and spigarello in the garden, which work perfectly.I form a stiffer version of polenta into slabs and then cut it into cakes, cooked till crispy and topped with onion rings or shredded carrots or maybe some extra crumbles of bleu cheese. The recipe.Speaking of crispy: The same restaurant where I had polenta for supper used to feature crispy polenta triangles. They’re not unlike these polenta “fries” from Heidi Swanson of I chop a tiny bit of fresh rosemary into the batter before forming and cooking the wedges.  Caution: addictive.I was happy t

Pantry polenta cakes with carrot, cheese and crispy onions -

Pantry polenta cakes with carrot, cheese and crispy onions

(The polenta can be made and formed well ahead, then finished in the sauté pan at mealtime.)ingredients:6 cups water 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups cornmeal 1 large carrot (or more), grated bleu cheese crumbles, about ½ cup (more or less to taste) pepper grated garlic to taste (start with 2 cloves) 2 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional amount to sauté the onions) onions, cut into slender rings, for topping flour, enough to toss and coat the raw onion rings steps:Bring the salted water to a boi

Andrew weil’s cookbook ‘true food,’ and his tuscan kale salad recipe - - Italy - state Arizona

Andrew weil’s cookbook ‘true food,’ and his tuscan kale salad recipe

Weil is a keen cook, and it shows in the not-hippie, not-boring, not-weird cuisine that he created with Sam Fox, the founder of the partner restaurant corporation, and Michael Stebner, the executive chef of their now-six-and-counting restaurants. Their approach, whether serving patrons or cookbook readers: “globally inspired cuisine,” and also “delicious food that is also good for you.”As I have been since my 20s, Weil became a lacto-vegetarian in 1970, at age 28, but by the mid-1980s he added fish into his diet, which continued to evolve over the years. “True Food” (book or restaurant) features poultry and bison recipes as well, so non-vegetarians need not panic about coming away hungry. On that topic: I especially love the section called “The Problem of Proper Portions,” in which Weil writes about what’s “just enough.” In Italy, he says, a “serving” of pasta would fit into a teacup. Food for thought.Nothing has the life cooked out of it, and the flavors sound positively vivid. I’m drawn in by such intensely colorful dishes as Fettucine with K

Ideas for a fall and winter of soups, with ‘bread toast crumbs’ author ali stafford -

Ideas for a fall and winter of soups, with ‘bread toast crumbs’ author ali stafford

Besides ideas for flavor combinations, we’ve assembled loads of links to specific recipes for soups ranging from winter squash to lentil, onion to tomato, root vegetables and even garlic, here and on her website. Read along as you listen to the Oct. 30, 2017 edition of my public-radio show and podcast using the player below. You can subscribe to all future editions on iTunes or Stitcher (and browse my archive of podcasts here).Plus: enter to win Ali’s book “Bread Toast Crumbs,” which includes ideas for great easy peasant loaves, soup toppers and even some soup recipes, by commenting at the very bottom of the page.Update: Ali and I also did a whole other vegetable soup episode–from the basic version to recipes with beans, and even mushroom soups, too. It’s here.soup ideas with ali staffordQ. I’ve been so looking forward to this conversation about my favorite food.A. I’m so happy it’s soup se

Problem peppers, or a glut to stash? some ideas -

Problem peppers, or a glut to stash? some ideas

HOW DOES YOUR (PEPPER) GARDEN GROW? Are there healthy green plants, but no fruit? Or maybe fruit with shrunken, dark ends? Need an overall refresher course on growing Capsicum? This page on peppers has answers and links about all that–plus tactics for freezing any excess harvest for offseason use, and how I roast sweet peppers for use now (or to tuck into the freezer, too, all sugary and wonderful, a treat to brighten winter days).Categoriesfreezing & canning recipes & cooking vegetables

Hailstone rhubarb crumble, compote, syrup -

Hailstone rhubarb crumble, compote, syrup

The aims:to figure out what sweetener was tastiest—yet not too sweet. Typically recipes call for 1 or 1½ cups of white sugar for 6ish or 7 cups of cut-up raw rhubarb, equal to about 2 pounds of fruit, but that seems like too much; to taste-test different spices in the mix (cardamon, cinnamon or ginger are often suggested, as is orange zest); to make use of  any excess liquid that results from cooking the rhubarb, but in some batches makes for a too-swampy compote. With three batches of 6 cups of one-inch rhubarb pieces, we tried these additions, all of which were sweet enough for our taste:½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup fresh orange juice, plus the zest of an orange;

How blogger gayla trail spiced up my life (an herbal adventure with ‘you grow girl’) -

How blogger gayla trail spiced up my life (an herbal adventure with ‘you grow girl’)

I confess, I’d become somewhat herb-complacent, always stocked up year-round on garden-grown parsley and garlic and sage and chives, but not very herb-adventurous any longer otherwise.  I have various other herbs in the garden, but mostly ornamental varieties—like gold-leaf creeping oregano (also called marjoram, and a great groundcover), or garlic chives (which I rarely eat, but whose late-summer white flowers the pollinators and I both enjoy very much).After saying goodbye much too soon that Sunday to Gayla, her husband, Davin Risk, and their dog, Molly, all I wanted to do was pulse aromatic things in my food-processor, and I made basil pesto to freeze in cubes, froze whose rosemary twigs, made a parsley log and more of my usual fare–the ways I always freeze herbs. But every time I looked over at the goodies I’d made in class the day before, I thought: more, more, more!Gayla re-awakened the herbalist in me, with “recipes” like these:homemade herb-infused vinegarsWE WARMED a stainless

How to freeze parsley, chives and other herbs -

How to freeze parsley, chives and other herbs

GET OUT YOUR FOOD PROCESSOR and get creative. You can simply puree virtually any green herb (from chives to parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro, arugula, sage, and even garlic scapes when in season) in an olive-oil base. Some cooks add garlic and/or nuts and grated cheese now; some think the mixture doesn’t store as well with the extra ingredients. Freeze the thick mixture as cubes, knocked out into doubled freezer bags with all the air expressed. More onmaking herb pestos.freeze herbs as ice cubesTHIS METHOD MIGHT BE preferable when an oil base doesn’t suit, such as for lemon balm or other mints (or with other green herbs that might be used in a non-olive oil recipe later).  Easy: wash herbs, pat dry and remove from stems. Chop if needed, or simply press into ice cube trays and drizzle a little water over to fill, so a cube will form when frozen. You can also process the herbs with a little water as the base, as in the oil version above, and then make cubes. When ready, pop cubes out into freezer bags.freezing rosemary, thyme or baySOME HERBS ARE EASIEST to

Laurie david, on ‘the family cooks’ and ‘fed up’ -

Laurie david, on ‘the family cooks’ and ‘fed up’

One of the least expected but most beneficial side effects of my departure six or so years ago from my city and corporate rat race lifestyle for life in my rural garden is that most days, I prepare three meals for myself. On so many levels, that old-fashioned and pretty simple act has been a game-changer.In “The Family Cooks,” and in the recently released film “Fed Up,” which Laurie co-produced with Katie Couric (the trailer is farther down the page), the message is clear, and it’s summed up in Couric’s foreword to the cookbook:“The single most powerful thing anyone can do to protect their health, live a healthy life, and to have a healthy future is to go into their own kitchen and cook for themselves

Giveaway: nigel slater's 'the kitchen diaries' (and his recipe for dal and pumpkin soup) -

Giveaway: nigel slater's 'the kitchen diaries' (and his recipe for dal and pumpkin soup)

I almost went for Nigel Slater‘s baked onions with Parmesan and cream, and oh, the chickpea and sweet potato curry called out, too (it calls for pumpkin and onions both).“The Kitchen Diaries” is a book about “right food, right place, right time,” in Slater’s words, and though the precise diary days he fills in this delicious year may not match mine, exactly—Slater is in England—they unfold in similar order.  “Learning to eat with the ebb and flow of the seasons is the single thing that has made my eating more enjoyable,” he writes, eschewing the modern-day supermarket’s all-possibilities-all-the-time approach.Slater’s kitchen doors open onto a small urban London garden, and as I read the recipes and other musings on the weeks and months in the year, I can imagine him moving in and o

‘river cottage veg’ cookbook, and recipe for macaroni peas -

‘river cottage veg’ cookbook, and recipe for macaroni peas

I’M PULLING THE PEAS today, making room for another planting to reap in fall (forces willing).  With one pound of the shelling types that figure to be in the haul, I’m making a sort of pea pesto to serve on pasta, inspired by Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall’s newest cookbook, “River Cottage Veg,” and his dish called Macaroni Peas.  Get the recipe—and enter to win a copy of the book, proof positive that even a master of meat-centric culinary arts can be swayed to the botanical side of eating, and boasting 200-plus vegetarian recipe (60-plus of them vegan). First, a confession: I don’t own any other Fearnley-Wittingstall books—though I know him as a celebrated television chef; magazine columnist for “The Guardian;” founder of a reknown cooking school and restaurants in and around his base in the South West of England; and the winner of James Beard awards. I’ve been eating low on the food chain for 35 years, so Fearnley-Wittingstall’s biggest hit of all—“The River Cottage Meat Book”—and likewise his acclaimed fish cookbook didn’t match my kitchen style.

Pickled cranberries, pear butter and more, with marisa mcclellan of food in jars -

Pickled cranberries, pear butter and more, with marisa mcclellan of food in jars

Read along as you listen to the Nov. 2, 2015 edition of my public-radio show and podcast using the player below. You can subscribe to all future editions on iTunes or Stitcher (and browse my archive of podcasts here).my preserving q&a with marisa mcclellanQ. I want to right away say to people who are already thinking, “I don’t have a big kitchen; I can’t process a bunch of things for gifts,” that you don’t have a big kitchen, either, do you?A. I have a teeny-tiny kitchen. The footprint of my kitchen is just 80 square feet. It’s not big at all.Q. And you’re in downtown, or center city, Philadelphia?A. I’m right in the middle of downtown Philadelphia, and live in an apartment that had belonged to my grandparents originally. It’s been in my family for years and years and years. Although you wouldn’t think it would be an ideal place for a canner to function, I really

After the hail, sorrel-spinach soup - - Britain

After the hail, sorrel-spinach soup

If you haven’t grown sorrel, Rumex acetosa, it’s easy from seed but perennializes even in my cold-winter garden (apparently even in Zone 3). It’s one of the first things to be up and growing, so I could have made sorrel soup weeks and weeks ago—or used the young, more tender leaves in salad, where they add a tart, not-quite-lemony flavor. A pretty, red-veined sorrel is especially nice in salads; it’s a close cousin, Rumex sanguineus. Neither species is tasty when the leaves get big and tough, so keep picking. (That’s it emerging in early spring in my raised-bed garden.)Sorrel is related to knotweed (meaning it’s in the Polygonaceae, or buckwheat family, as you can tell when it sends up its flower stalk around now). The Royal Botanic Gardens website says on that it’s native to the British Isles, and was once used to treat scurvy.spinach and sorrel soupTHIS SOUP is very green-tasting and tangy; delicious hot or cold, and thicker or thinner according to your preference.

Freezer-emptying hot 3-bean vegetarian chili -

Freezer-emptying hot 3-bean vegetarian chili

ingredients:2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 Vidalia onions, chopped 4 large cloves garlic, chopped (more if the cloves aren’t hefty) 3 Tbsp. red chili powder (I used Rancho Gordo’s) 1-½ teaspoon anise seed (optional) 1-½ cups cooked, drained black beans 1-½ cups cooked, drained pinto beans 1-½ cups cooked, drained garbanzo beans 4-½ cups quartered paste tomatoes 2 medium-size sweet peppers, chopped (we used one orange and one yellow) 1 Poblano pepper, chopped (we used one that had aged to red, but wasn’t dried, when it would be called an Ancho; not hot, but adds a rich flavor) 2 or 3 medium-hot small peppers, seeds removed, such as 3 Japaleno, or 1 Jalapeno and 1 Cayenne (Cayenne ar

Simple ways to make vegetables special, with alana chernila -

Simple ways to make vegetables special, with alana chernila

What do you say we all make this the year of the more inspired approach to eating our vegetables? To that end, I called friend and cookbook author Alana Chernila, whose latest volume is “Eating from the Ground Up: Recipes for Simple, Perfect Vegetables.”We talked about a range of topics from how to roast a potato (no, not by just tossing it on a roasting pan with some oil) or a beet to perfection (ditto), to ingredients you may not be using that can make even a simple side dish into something special. A

Can, freeze, or dry? home food preservation basics, with elizabeth andress - - Georgia

Can, freeze, or dry? home food preservation basics, with elizabeth andress

Dr. Elizabeth Andress, is a Professor and Extension Food Safety Specialist at the University of Georgia, and oversees my go-to reference website about all matters of putting up food sanely and safely: It’s called The National Center for Home Food Preservation. We hope to inspire you to plant extra and make this the year you enjoy the fruits of your garden labors all through the offseason–whether canned or dried or frozen. Read along as you listen to the Feb. 27, 2107 edition of my public-radio show and podcast using the player below. You can subscribe to all future editions on iTunes or Stitcher (and browse my archive of podcasts here).getting ready to preserve the harvest

Gear up for food-preservation season, with erica strauss (giveaway!) - - city Seattle

Gear up for food-preservation season, with erica strauss (giveaway!)

Erica Strauss of NWEdible dot com and I discussed how—plus we’re each offering giveaways of key canning gear to help in the effort. (And no, that’s not us in the 1940s photo above from the Library of Congress–but we both think food preservation is more fun when tackled with friends.) Even if you’re a CSA shareholder or a farm-market shopper, and not a vegetable gardener, now’s likewise the moment to make plans for when the bounty you’ll purchase comes in. Do you have fresh lids for canning jars? Enough pickling salt or citric acid? Have you eaten your way through last year’s canned, dried and frozen goodies to even make room fo

Links: sample a new novel, can tomatoes and more - - state Oregon - state Iowa

Links: sample a new novel, can tomatoes and more

I WON’T tell you much about “The Signature of All Things,” the novel due out October 1 from Elizabeth Gilbert that I read in galley form this summer, except this: The backdrop of this historical tale is brilliantly botanical, and you can download the first chapter free right now, by clicking here.  (More on this great read after publication, including a giveaway of some copies I’ve pre-ordered to share with you.)how-to: canning whole peeled tomatoesI SAID I’ve been making tomato sauce to freeze, but perhaps you are thinking about canning whole peeled tomatoes. I love this simple how-to in photos and words from the Food in Jars’ website author, Marisa McClellan. Note that she has updated her processing times since she first published the how-to in 2009. Total time in the hot-water bath or pressure canner is always under discussion, even among experts on food safety. Other references to compare to, for the range of th

Redefining ‘vegetarian,’ ‘painting’ rice, and making tomato sauce with mollie katzen - - San Francisco - state California - state New York

Redefining ‘vegetarian,’ ‘painting’ rice, and making tomato sauce with mollie katzen

THE ADVENTURE IN Mollie Katzen’s “The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation,” begins even before the first recipe page. It starts in the delicious, intimate endpapers—which came from illustrated journals that the author has been keeping since she was a teenager, which were also the origin of her beloved, bestselling “Moosewood Cookbook.” The musings (that’s one in the photo above), in drawings and hand-lettered words, speak to how Mollie—a keen gardener, and the guest on my latest radio show—approaches food today. Learn how she suggests we re-define “vegetarian;” how she “paints [her] rice,” and makes her simplest, most delicious tomato sauce. And maybe win her newest book, too. 

Margaret on wnyc radio: making 'tomato junk,' a 'last chance food' - - India - Mexico - city New York

Margaret on wnyc radio: making 'tomato junk,' a 'last chance food'

LISTEN IN to my chat with WNYC’s Amy Eddings, on their “Last Chance Foods” segment that aired today. Their whole season of “Last Chance Foods,” part of WNYC’s version of “All Things Considered,” is archived here.tomato junk recipeingredients:olive oil garlic onion 1 teaspoon to 1 ton anything edible left in your garden or at the farmer’s market, including herbs such as parsley and basil tomatoes, equal to at least one-third the total volume of ingredients water salt and pepper to taste Especially good vegetable choices include: summer squash such as zucchini; green beans; brassicas such as kale or broccoli; chard.Trickier choices: cabbage, or beet or mustard greens, and other distinctive-tasting vegetables, including roots such as turnip; hot peppers; or eggplant, that might overtake the flavor or texture of the Junk.Celery and carrots work well in batches that will become soup. Include spicier peppers

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