Wednesday October 13, 2010
Today, Jo Bracken was to be a our guest but technical difficulties arose - we could hear her but she could not hear me. Not the best scenario for an interview.
With that said, the daughter of the iconic cookbook writer, Peg Bracken has just revised and republished for its 50th anniversary, The I Hate to Cook Book.
Imagine growing up in the 1960's with a Mom who had the courage to tell it like it was! Peg Bracken was as witty as they come!! She was one of those people who hated to cook but mastered the art of using canned soups, cake mixes and well-greased casserole dishes. Her wit and humor is scattered throughout the pages intermingled with such recipes as Sub Gum Yuk, Turkey Divan, Chicken Rice-Roger, CanCan Casserole and Hootenholler Whiskey Cake.
This book is a classic, if not for the recipes , but as a period cult classic - the generation that embraced the new industrialized food - using them to liberate them from toiling in the kitchen. And I confess, I might make the spinach surprise and the Chicken Rice-Roger (that is if the canned soup is low sodium, has no MSG or preservatives) for the fun of it!!
Tuesday October 12, 2010
I bought these gourds and wanted to make a great fall table centerpiece but they looked naked without a table runner.
Brainstorm: I had these great twig placemats in the cupboard and thought they would make the perfect backdrop for the gourds. What do you think?
And as it turns out - it's a great tip - use 2-3 placemats to create a table runner.
Monday October 11, 2010
Sometimes people are placed in your life to inspire you. I met such a person last night - her name is Alex Elman. She doesn't yet know that she had such an impact on me, but she did. Her story - inspiring!
We spoke about organic farming and organic wines and I was excited to see if perhaps she might want to be a guest on my radio show, and better yet, a guest wine blogger. You see, Alex is a wine expert and has started her own label - Alex Elman Wines - Authentic Wine Treasures that are natural and organic. Alex is also blind. I tip my hat and raise my glass to Alex!!
According to a NY Post article:
"These wines are the best examples of what they are and where they come from. They are wines that are honestly made," she said.
Elman goes for wines that are organically produced, and has picked four with which to launch her company: a Chardonnay and a cabernet sauvignon, both from France; and a red, a Malbec, and a white called a Torrentes, both originating in Argentina.
The wines go for $12 to $15 a bottle, and Elman wanted them to be good enough for people to bring to a party, and affordable enough for every day.
"I'm not someone who is out there telling you what to drink," she said.
"What we're trying to do with Alex Elman Wines is to take a lot of the guesswork out, because when you walk into a store there are so many wines.
"I would really like this to be people's go-to wine," she said.
I can't wait to taste them!! Thank you Alex.
Sunday October 10, 2010
Doesn't everybody serve their chickens a fresh-baked pie for breakfast?
Thursday October 07, 2010
You gotta love Elizabeth Keen and how she runs Indian Line Farm - check out the list of produce for this week's pick up. THANK YOU is all I can say!!
And, that carrot soup (she suggests) is on my menu today - a rainy, damp and cool day here in the Berkshires.
News from Indian Line Farm
After recording 7" of rain Friday afternoon I began to think of the Old Testament. This summer has been filled with drought, extreme heat, small insects in mammoth quantities, a strange fungus which killed our last cucumber planting and now... flooding. We are lucky here in that our land does not actually flood but it sure is saturated with water. We were overjoyed at the rain and had quite a time on Thursday and Friday during harvest. We were all so happy to be wet and warm that the pelting rain rarely bothered us. We will now be rolling up our irrigation equipment for another year and hoping for a bit more rain in 2011.
For the farm crew,
Vegetables for the week of October 4th
Potatoes, from Thompson Finch Farm--Ancram, NY
Red Meat Radishes
Hakurei White Sweet Turnips
Broccoli Raab--limited quantity
Purple Top Turnips
Mix and Match Greens
Chard, Kale, Arugula, Mustard Greens and Spinach
Delicata Winter Squash
Tomatoes--up to at least 2 lbs.
Rainbow Salad Mix--possibly none
1/2 gallon apple cider from Windy Hill Farm for folks on Tuesday. Friday folks got cider on Friday October 1st.
Macoun Apples from Maynard Farms, Ulster Park, NY
Heavenly Carrot Soup (Gardeners’ Community Cookbook by Victoria Wise)
Serves 3 to 4
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
1 ½ tsp. ground coriander
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 lb. carrots, scraped and finely chopped
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ cup white wine
Sprigs of cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Stir in the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until slightly wilted. Add the carrots, wine, and coriander. Cover the pot and cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are mashably soft. Remove from the heat and cool enough to handle.
2. Puree the carrot mixture, along with 1 cup of the broth, in a food processor or through a food mill. Return the puree to the pot and stir in the salt, pepper, and remaining 3 cups of broth. Reheat and serve right away if serving warm, or cool, and chill if serving cold. Garnish with the cilantro, if using, just before serving.
Alice’s Moroccan Carrots (Gardeners’ Community Cookbook by Victoria Wise)
18-24 baby carrots with ¼ in. stem attached, scrubbed, and halved lengthwise
¼ tsp. paprika, hot or mild
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 clove garlic, crushed
Pinch of salt
¼ cup olive oil
¼ tsp. ground cumin
Pinch of cayenne
2 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves
1. Combine the carrots, garlic, and pinch of salt in a large sauté pan. Add water to cover, bring to a boil, and simmer briskly over medium heat until tender, 3-4 minutes. Drain and cool to room temperature.
2. Transfer the carrots to a nonreactive dish large enough to hold them without overlapping too much. Toss with the cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and cayenne. Add the lemon juice, oil, and parsley, toss again, and set aside to marinate for at least 1 hour. May be refrigerated for up to 3 days, holding out the parsley until just before serving.