Gingersnaps from a Vermont Kitchen

February 6th, 2013 / comments 2

Ginger is one of the most versatile ingredients in my kitchen. There is ground ginger in the spice drawer, fresh ginger root in a ceramic crock and crystallized ginger in a jar in the pantry. Ginger tea, made by simmering slices of fresh ginger in water with a bit of brown sugar, chases the chill of a frosty afternoon and soothes a sore throat. I put ginger in everything from stir-fries to meatloaf and it is always present in the form of gingersnap cookies.

baking tools c egbert Gingersnaps from a Vermont Kitchen

They are a mainstay in Charles’ diet. He can resist chocolate cake, banana splits and candy bars but he has an undeniable gingersnap habit – every lunch ends with a gingersnap or two. So, when he reached into the blue and white cookie jar and found only a few gingery crumbs, I said that we could make a batch of gingersnaps rather than driving to the market to buy them. … read more

Carrot Falafel

February 2nd, 2013 / Comments 0

The snow is lovely, the air is crisp, very crisp and carrots have replaced the fresh, local leafy green vegetables that fill my fridge in the warmer months. The golden glow of the fire in the woodstove matched the warm orange of the carrot soup and carrot falafel that I made last week.

c egbert Carrots  Carrot Falafel

Carrots

The Moors brought carrots, cousin of both Queen Anne’s lace and parsnips, to Europe from Asia in the 10th century. With more natural sugar than any other vegetable except beets, carrots are rich in carotene, which improves night vision, and are renowned as an anti-wrinkle agent.

According to some food historians, carrots originated in Afghanistan, which was enough of a reason to make falafel with carrots as the primary ingredient. Tahini sauce added a taste of the Middle East to our dinner. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Challah – Interwoven Traditions

January 2nd, 2013 / comments 2

The last couple of weeks have been a time of giving and receiving, departing and arriving, and a time of discovering common ground.

grain c egbert 01 Challah   Interwoven Traditions

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

Sweet Comfort from a Vermont Kitchen

December 5th, 2012 / comments 3

This time of year the sun sets before I’ve finished my afternoon tea. The cold damp air mandates a roaring fire in the woodstove. This is the season between holidays. There’s lots to do and not a lot of energy to do it. It’s comfort food time. To me, comfort food is food that’s easy to prepare, flavorful with a creamy consistency – the perfect description of pudding.
pudding c egbert Sweet Comfort from a Vermont Kitchen
As a young cook, I made pudding by combining pudding mix with milk, cooked the mixture, stirring patiently, until it had big bubbles that plopped and spattered like the boiling mud pots at Yellowstone. … read more

Haddock en Papillotte – Dinner from a Vermont Kitchen

October 12th, 2012 / Comments 0

Is it just me, or has planning the menu for a dinner party become more complicated than coordinating colors and patterns for a crazy quilt?

quilt c egbert Haddock en Papillotte   Dinner from a Vermont Kitchen

In the 20th century, creating the menu for a dinner part was as simple as choosing a main dish, usually meat or chicken; a vegetable, anything green; something to pour sauce or gravy on, either potatoes, rice or noodles; and, something sweet to finish – a pie, a cake or something chocolate. Alas, those days are gone. … read more

Winter Squash Bread, Gratin & Curry Roasted

September 26th, 2012 / Comments 1

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. falling leaves Winter Squash Bread, Gratin & Curry RoastedAs 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

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