Making Ricotta at Home

January 27, 2017 // 7 Comments

Continuing with my being “thrifty” (equals CHEAP), I sometimes don’t go through all of my milk before the expiration day. I hate waste. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remember reading about how easy it to make ricotta. I searched and came upon The Kitchn’s version. It may not be as flashy as other sites but The Kitchn always delivers with thoughtful, interesting (Click for more)

Modern Problems: Those Pesky Kale Stems!

January 25, 2017 // 2 Comments

I love kale. I also am “thrifty” and the stalks have always been problematic for me. I’ve tried sauteing them until tender before adding the actual kale leaves. It’s fair but not very exciting. I’ve also tried fermenting them but no one who tried them asked for the recipe, if you know what I mean and I think you do. This last weekend I was reading the old book, When (Click for more)

Royal Corona Beans in a Creamy Tomato Sauce

January 23, 2017 // 6 Comments

This was featured in our last newsletter and I’ve made it several times since we’ve had Royal Coronas back in stock. I think it’s an almost perfect dish. It really shows off why heirloom beans are so great and make such a huge difference. Recipe:¬†Royal Corona Beans in a Creamy Tomato Sauce 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cloved garlic, minced 1/2 yellow onion, chopped 1 carrot, (Click for more)

More on Soaking. Sometimes, It’s a Very Good Idea.

January 20, 2017 // 6 Comments

I almost hate to bring it up because everyone has such a strong opinion about it but normally I don’t soak. Sometimes I do. I really think the best beans come from very low and slow cooking after a strong 15 minute boil. Soaking can help speed things up and some claim it helps the texture. I’m not sold, but I have no problem with people who insist on soaking, unless they say something (Click for more)

Food Real Fast: Don’t Tell Me You’re Too Busy To Cook!

January 6, 2017 // 5 Comments

I was chatting with a friend about the wave of prepared food delivery services. I’m sure they are a godsend to some, but I just don’t get the appeal. The cost, the packaging, the disconnect with the food itself- it all has zero appeal for me. Why not cook a big pot of beans on the weekend? If you don’t love to cook, which I seriously doubt is you if you’re reading this, (Click for more)

My Puny Little Olive Harvest

January 5, 2017 // 0 Comments

My house came with two olive trees that the previous owner planted. I love them but I live on a forested mountain top and it gets warm but there’s lots of shade and I don’t know if it’s the ideal place to grow olives. I don’t care. The trees seem happy and some years you get more olives than others. This year was one of those meager ones. Ta da. This was it. On the advice (Click for more)

2016: It Wasn’t All Sadness and Politics

December 30, 2016 // 20 Comments

There’s been so much talk of 2016 being one of the worst years in memory. I’ve had my share of heartache but there were many bright spots. I might need to wallow in my misery over the weekend but for now, I want to remember the highlights of an amazing, unusual year. The most amazing thing that happened this year was the New York Times article on our Marcella beans that came out in (Click for more)

Leftover Strategies: Grits with Black Eyed Peas and Bacon

December 26, 2016 // 0 Comments

Earlier, I wrote about cooking on my wood-burning stove and the success I had making grits. It was simple and fun but even having given away a lot to my mother, there was still plenty left. This morning, I gently heated the grits with a little chicken stock. Meanwhile, I sauteed some chopped bacon pieces, drained the excess fat and then stirred in some leftover Black Eyed Peas. I made a bed for (Click for more)

Black Eyed Peas and Greens

December 22, 2016 // 5 Comments

My romance with Black Eyed Peas continues. I had some very poor dishes made with very old peas in the past. Aside from bringing luck on New Years Day, new crop, home-made Black Eyed Peas are just plain delicious. Like Lima Beans and Teparies, they aren’t as versatile as regular bean. They have a more vegetable flavor that is easy to like but not as easy to add to everything. I had leftover (Click for more)

Hearth Cooking: Soup, Grits and Beets

December 20, 2016 // 0 Comments

I know there’s little that’s more obnoxious than a Californian complaining about the cold but here goes: This last weekend was too cold. At my place, it hit 30F. I know, it’s likely to have been colder where you are but we’re just not set up for this here. My place came with a wood burning stove, which is dandy when I’m at the house for long stretches but it’s (Click for more)
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