November 28th, 2013 / comments
Last November, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I opened the fridge to get a slice of lemon for my morning cup of tea and was overwhelmed by bowls, containers and aluminum foil wrapped packets of leftovers. Charles had been in charge of clean up the night before and, with the help of a couple of other non-cooks, had done a splendid job but the overstuffed fridge needed immediate attention.
The turkey carcass was precariously perched on a jug of gravy and a bowl half filled with roasted cranberry sauce. Mashed sweet potatoes flavored with chipotle peppers and mashed white potatoes rested side by side in one container and a forlorn slice of pumpkin pie wrapped in plastic sat on a small bowl of gingered whipped cream. After I found the lemon for my tea, I began to deal with the wealth of leftovers by topping the piece of pie with the whipped cream and eating it.
I made run-of-the-mill turkey sandwiches dinner-worthy by making sandwich rolls with the leftover sweet potatoes. These yeast rolls are not difficult to make but need to rise twice before baking so I got started as soon as I’d read the paper and emptied the dishwasher. Here’s how I made them:[/donotprint] … read more
January 2nd, 2013 / comments
The last couple of weeks have been a time of giving and receiving, departing and arriving, and a time of discovering common ground.
The minister of our church traveled to be with his extended family in Australia for the holidays. In his absence, our Christmas services were celebrated by Ilene, a rabbi new to our community, and Brendan, a young man from Boston, who has studied Zen Buddhism, is a recent graduate of divinity school and is in the process of seeking ordination. They were wonderful services, and services out of the ordinary, even for our less than traditional church.
When I thanked the rabbi for her participation in our service, she invited me to attend a Shabbat service the following Friday evening at her synagogue. At that service, I was in the midst of fellow Vermonters, in a sacred space, enhanced by the art and craft of New England artists. The prayers, songs, and the sharing of joys and concerns gave voice to the common ground we share. The bread we broke after the service was evidence of culinary common ground. Although, I hadn’t baked golden brown, braided challah since we moved to Vermont and left an Episcopal community, it was the perfect thing to serve at the dinner party planned for Brendan’s last night with us. … read more
September 26th, 2012 / Comments
Fall has arrived. The chlorophyll is fading and revealing the warm shades of yellow, orange and red and the cool evenings make a fire in the woodstove welcome.
As tomato season ends, winter squash season begins.
Pumpkins, like all winter squash, grow in the summer and are harvested when the fruit and seeds have matured fully and the skin has hardened into a tough rind. Summer squash is in the market all winter and winter squash is available in the late summer, fall and winter. … read more
February 29th, 2012 / Comments
I’ve invited Sarah Pinneo to share her thoughts and a recipe. Sarah is a friend, food writer, cook book author, and a novelist. This month, she celebrates the publication of her book Julia’s Child (Plume / Penguin U.S.A. 2012).
Her cookbook The Ski House Cookbook is on my bookshelf and I use it whether or not there is snow on the ground. Her new book, Julia’s Child, is a delectable comedy for every woman who’s ever wondered if buying that six-dollar box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.
Here’s Sarah….. … read more
December 28th, 2011 / comments
My first eBook is finished. It’s called Bread and Crackers and it can purchased or borrowed from the Kindle store.
If you don’t have a Kindle, download free software here, so that you can read Bread & Crackers on your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android Phone.
Bread & Crackers is a collection of my bread and cracker recipes and illustrated with my watercolor paintings. The recipes are enriched with memories, food history and musings.
November 30th, 2011 / comments
Making sour dough bread from scratch is a long process. Gathering wild yeast and cultivating a sour dough starter takes a week and then it takes another twenty-four hours to make the bread. Active dry yeast from the grocery store reduces the time to a more manageable three to four hours plus the extra half hour it takes to cleanup after kneading the dough and forming the loaves. Breads leavened with baking soda or baking powder, are quicker, but baking bread in the oven requires that I not stray far from the kitchen so that the bread can be taken out of the oven at precisely the right moment. If all these facts make you unwilling to make bread at home, consider the ease and freedom of steamed brown bread. … read more