Thursday, December 23, 2004

Pie in the Sky

Yes, I succumbed. I admit it.

I couldn't let this entire week leading up to Christmas pass me by with a crisper drawer full of fresh oranges... and NOT make Pie in the Sky.

For the uninitiated, Pie in the Sky is my first original creation. Picture it:

graham cracker crust laced with cinnamon and fresh orange peel

fluffy filling with orange juice, orange peel, cinnamon, and extra flavoring, with egg whites whipped in; once baked, it settles into beautiful layers, with a slightly spongy eggy top covering a creamy, richly flavored custard

whipping cream infused with fresh orange peel

cinnamon orange peel OR cinnamon orange pecans for that crowning touch

Truly "a slice of sunshine topped with a dollop of cloud," as I once described it to a friend. It's one of those desserts that takes a little extra time to make because you must concentrate on mixing everything just right, but I find that gives me a chance to concentrate on layering the flavors and imagining the end results... which include very happy friends.

To wit... the Gentleman came by in the still-falling snow last night, and it only took one mention of Pie in the Sky to draw forth his ready acceptance of my invitation. (He's no fool.) And a warm slice of "exquisite" pie (his word), topped with cool thick whipped cream, and served with orange-pecan coffee was just the thing to content him before he braved the elements once more.

There's always room for dessert, especially in my house.

A Man for All Season(ing)s

He walked into my office nearly 6 1/2 years ago, looking for a job. He was a tall, lanky youth with tousled dark hair and laughing brown eyes, and he exuded both confidence and humility, as well as a keen desire to learn and to work hard, a wickedly irreverent sense of humor, and a sensitivity toward and passionate interest in other people.

Call him Mitch Heat, for an action-hero kind of name suits his daring and sometimes wild personality better than a couple of other nicknames I've used for him.

Reader, I hired him, and in no time at all, we became close friends, comrades in joke-telling and prank-playing, and brother and sister in spirit... and in stomach.

I cannot count now how many times I invited him to dinner and fed him until he thought he might burst: vegetable paella, spinach-artichoke lasagna, random Indian dishes, imam bayildi... not to mention pear cake, baklava, soup and bread and cookies and every good thing. For this guy alone, I made special jars of dill pickles with extra garlic (since he told me he ate the garlic after all the pickles were gone).

For every time he helped me out, be it on a work project, moving me into my house, or being a shoulder to lean on in difficult times... I cooked for him, and I did so with a glad heart, because he has always appreciated this small gift of mine, and because I have long appreciated him.

He has traveled far over the years, and he has been overseas for nearly two years, leaving me bereft of his presence save for occasional emails or phone calls (courtesy of his parents). But he is back home with his parents, and once the weather makes the roads passable, he's coming to see me. This is, perhaps, the best Christmas present I could get this year... the chance to see him and talk with him and enjoy the presence of a very dear friend.

And I'm ready. I have all sorts of food ready for him, from the caramels from my Fabulous Aunt (who also dotes on this young man) and extra-garlicky pickles that I left with his parents, to homemade chocolates and baklava and biscotti. And if he has time, I intend to give him dinner as well... hearty soup, crispy curry crackers, and luscious Pie in the Sky. He's heading back overseas after the holidays, and I want to make sure he has plenty of good memories to carry him through the rest of his stay.

As I've said before, in my little world, food is often an expression of love, and if you think that this lavish display of culinary expertise means I love this guy, you're damn right I do. He is kin to me, someone I trust and rely upon for sound judgment, a fervent hug, an open mind and listening ears, and a rollicking good story. I consider it an honor and a privilege to be a part of his life and know that he will always have a warm and affectionate spot in mine.

Here's a health to you, Mitch Heat, my beloved friend.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

(Not So) Instant Gratification

Sometimes when I've been baking madly and have lots of cookies and such piled up in the kitchen, I like to surprise people with random care packages. Sometimes, like after the holiday party this year, I like to share some of the goodies with people who weren't able to be around for the first run of such treats.

(After all, I always liked getting surprise care packages from my Wonderful Parents and Fabulous Aunt in college... and still enjoy getting boxes in the mail. So why shouldn't other people have that same pleasure?)

This year, I packed up little sample boxes for some of my friends and a couple of my far-flung colleagues: baklava, cookies, maybe a biscotti or two (if they fit in the box). Tucked them in the mail, then sat back and waited...

And it's always gratifying to see their responses. One recipient just informed me that she shared her box with others in her department, and they are now wondering if I will send them such a sample box every month. Probably not, I say, but there's no telling when I might send such a random care package again (since I tend to play up to appreciative audiences, you might say!).

The element of surprise is always part of the pleasure.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Assorted Chocolates

Last night I melted more milk chocolate chips and made a small selection of chocolates for friends (and for my own secret stash).

First up, candied orange peel. It was a bit tricky to drag those small peels through the chocolate. Yes, I know I could have dumped them all in and coated them completely, but I didn't want to do that, so the peels are about half to three-quarters covered. (Note to self for future reference: don't put so much, if any, sugar on the peels that will get coated in chocolate as the sugar ends up flecking the chocolate, thus preventing a smooth coating.)

Next, a few slices of crystallized ginger from the natural foods store. These were easier to dip thanks to their broad, flat surfaces. Very tasty!

Finally, what to do with that leftover melted milk chocolate, but to dump chopped pecans into it and make more chocolate-pecan clusters?!

I packed up a small assortment for the Gentleman, since he's running me around on errands this evening, and another small assortment for my impending guest, but never fear... I'll save some for those of you I won't see until after the holidays!

Chocolate Potluck, anyone?

Monday, December 20, 2004

Mass Ap-peel

When your parents send you a couple dozen oranges, what do you do with all of them?

I started Sunday morning with a bowl of cheese grits and a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. That took care of four small oranges. And since I know I'll have plenty of rinds to save and dry out for later baking, I decided to try something different with these orange rinds:

Candied orange peel.

It's not a terribly difficult process (though I admit my thumb is still sore under the nail from scraping out all the pulp and rind to get down to the bare peel). After scraping out the white stuff and cutting the peel into small strips, you simmer it in water (twice) before simmering it in a sugar syrup. Then roll the drained peels in sugar, let dry, and there you have it!

Happily, the fair Titania called from Philadelphia while the peels were simmering away in the sugar syrup, so I could draw upon her expertise in this matter and learned that when draining the peels at the end, I could also save the sugar syrup, now flavored with orange. One quick sample of the syrup proved the brilliancy of this suggestion, and I now have two cups of delicately colored and flavored syrup (which tasted fantastic on my pancakes this morning) to use in various concoctions. (Some may even go into a new liqueur I'm brewing...)

I also decided to try a slight variation... after rolling most of the peels in plain granulated sugar, I added cinnamon and gave the rest a cinnamon-sugar coating that is irresistible. (The only reason there's still a whole jar left is because diabetes runs in my family and I don't need to tempt fate, thank you very much.)

Thus I am inevitably led to the next likely use for some of my orange stash... and the cinnamon orange peels:

Pie in the Sky.

Stay tuned.

Buried Treasure

While rummaging through my cupboards yesterday looking for alcohol (no, I haven't turned into a lush, I was trying to start a new liqueur), I came across a bottle I had known was there but had forgotten. And lo and behold, what was in this hefty bottle, the contents of which I had been utterly oblivious to???

"Kirschwasser," I cried out gleefully to the bewildered heavens. Kirschwasser!

What's so exciting about that, you may ask?

And my simple three-word reply:

Swiss cheese fondue.

We will feast this winter, my friends, on as fine a fondue as you will find anywhere in the Alps.

I promise.

Christmas Crackers

Sometime last year I borrowed The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion cookbook from the library in the hopes of finding some good recipes to add to my repertoire. I didn't find quite as many that I'd like to try as I had hoped, but I did find myself intrigued with the section of cracker recipes. And since I'm fond of a good snack of crackers and cheese, I thought I might just have to test a few variations.

On Saturday I pulled out the recipe for the Curry-Ginger Crackers and got to work. Imagine, if you will, flour enhanced by minced crystallized ginger, salt, curry powder, turmeric, a bit of butter, and other fine stuff... rolled out to a delicate thinness and cut with a wavy-edged pastry wheel... then baked until golden and crisp. Yum.

A large handful disappeared with some of the spicy tofu pate I had leftover from the party... don't quite know how that happened (she said innocently)!

I will say that next time I think I will add the optional cayenne pepper and perhaps a bit more salt as the crackers turned out just a little too sweet for me. On the whole, though, they were definitely worth the effort. (And believe me, on a weekend when I felt more inclined to rest, it was not much effort!)

Now I look forward to trying the other cracker recipes, too...

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Delicious Trouble

I picked up another bag of milk chocolate chips at the grocery store yesterday, thinking I might make some more chocolate-nut clusters this weekend. (Those were really really good.)

Other ideas tossed out by my guests and willing workers last night include:

chocolate dipped orange peel
chocolate dipped pieces of crystallized ginger

When a conversation of a similar nature came up at Dinner Club earlier this year, the Gentleman noted, "Now there's trouble... delicious trouble."

He's right, you know. I may end up making chocolates this weekend. And if I feel really inspired? There's always crunchy frog.

Mmmmm... heap good.

Cooking Lessons

One of the joys of having friends who enjoy good food is that there's usually someone in that crowd who is also interested in learning to cook, thus ensuring me a willing assistant in the kitchen.

Yesterday the lovely Phoenix spent part of the afternoon and into the evening in the kitchen with me as we made the focaccia for her family dinner next week and then a pan of baklava (some of which went home with her).

We also pulled together to make a roasted squash risotto for dinner, laced with curry powder, nutmeg, and sherry, and crowned with vegetarian sausage crumbles and chopped pecans. The prep work gave her a good chance to improve her knife skills as she learned how to cut and peel a butternut squash and to chop onions (sniff sniff), as well as to practice mincing garlic again. This risotto is an excellent, savory, comforting dish that is really fairly simple to prepare but just takes a long time to cook properly. (Which is why I'm always glad to have help... I hate standing and stirring for over an hour!)

Once that was finished, I quickly steamed and then lightly sauteed some tender organic baby spinach to go on the side, and we were set. Mr. Nice Guy joined us for dinner once he got away from work, and he was so effusively grateful for the fine food that he merely sketched a salute when I pointed him in the direction of the sink and the dirty dishes. (Hence, the name Mr. Nice Guy instead of his preferred nickname.)

It's such a treat for me to have help in the kitchen... not only does it give me a chance to pass on many of the things the Chef Mother has taught me over the years, but I often learn something new as well as have a great time talking and laughing and just enjoying some time spent with friends. And there's nothing like sharing the joy of home-cooked food made from fresh, quality, often organic ingredients with people who appreciate the love and care that goes into the mix... and completely putting them off the unsatisfactory mass-produced dross that gets served up in cafeterias and fast food places.

Just my little act of subversion in the world.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Wake Up, Little Sushi

Sometimes you find things on the Web that are just too random and amusing to be believed. Case in point: The Original Sushi Pillow.

Now, you might think that with all the quilting and such that I do, I might have come up with this idea anyway. I doubt it. But I have to admire the quirky creativity that went into the wide variety of pillows available on this site!

And I have to admit... now I have a slight craving for the stuff.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Orange You Jealous?

Bless my Wonderful Parents, they sent me my Christmas box last week. Along with the two wrapped packages, they included two quarts of Mexican vanilla (one of the secrets of my baking) and a whole lot of citrus: lemons, navel oranges, and sweet oranges.

(It's a well-known fact that citrus fruits not only contain a lot of Vitamin C, absolutely essential for warding off winter colds, but they also make really terrific biodegradable packing material.)

This morning, along with the old standby of cinnamon-y whole grain pancakes, I had freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast. (Then I scraped out the peels and left them to dry; I see Pie in the Sky in my future!)

Yes, it's a little extra effort for that early in the morning, and it's perhaps a dangerous time for me to handle sharp knives (though I'm sure some would argue any time is a dangerous time for me and knives; but I digress). But you can't beat the smell of fresh oranges to set you on your feet on a wintry morning.

And that fresh, golden, pulpy, sweet juice tasted so very magical this morning. Not even a light snowfall and slippery walks could diminish the inner glow I felt from drinking that juice.

Some people have to have their morning coffee or tea, and I have nothing against that. I'm rather fond of both myself. But for a truly special treat, give me freshly squeezed orange juice, and I'm a happy woman.

Here's to your health!

Monday, December 13, 2004

An Apple a Day

Even though I've only been in the kitchen to snag leftovers and make chocolates the past few days, my reading pile has kept me close to culinary delights as I plowed through In the Devil's Garden: A Sinful History of Forbidden Food by Stewart Lee Allen. Organized by Deadly Sin, the book examines the history of many foods that were forbidden for one reason or another, and it does so in a light-hearted, witty, nudge-nudge-say-no-more sort of style.

How can you not enjoy a book in which the author begins one chapter with the highly irreverent statement: "If you deconstruct most religious ceremonies, you wind up with a man dressed suspiciously like a chef serving some kind of snack" (p. 185, "Blasphemy")?

One of the interesting tidbits I gleaned from the book was about apples, long thought to be the fruit that caused Eve's downfall in the Garden of Eden. Turns out that the forbidden fruit was never really named until the Roman Catholic Church (proponents of the grape and lovers of wine in the Communion service) attempted to curb the popularity of the Celtic Church and its threat to Roman hegemony by trashing the Celtic love of the apple and its use of hard cider instead of wine in their Communion services.

Makes me glad I had cider for Sunday brunch.

To Coin a Phrase

I never got around to picking up little bags of chocolate coins for Hanukkah gifts this year, despite my initial resolution to snag them at Godiva. Instead, I decided to try and make "coins" on my own.

Shouldn't be that difficult, right?

Well, actually, it wasn't too bad. I had the bright idea to pull out the mini muffin tin liners and spoon small amounts of melted milk chocolate chips into each cup, which worked reasonably well (though they only resemble coins in their roundness and fluted edges). They aren't quite the same, but they're homemade, and that should satisfy my friends, right?

But the best part? With a fair amount of milk chocolate left over, I decided to add some chopped pecans and finish off the pot by making chocolate-pecan clusters.

How sweet it is!

Great Minds Think Alike

The other evening, the lovely Phoenix stopped by to discuss her plans for cooking a Solstice dinner for her family (since making Christmas dinner would be too much pressure). We pored over The Cookbook to see which entrees sounded best, then browsed the salads and vegetable recipes to select good complementary dishes.

As the Chef Mother herself taught me, menu planning is all about contrasts: a nice variety in color, temperature, texture, flavor, and even size and shape. And for a Solstice menu, it seemed appropriate to use (mostly) seasonal produce as part of the celebration of the cycle of life. So Phoenix decided on this menu:

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Tagine (over Whole Wheat Couscous)
Gingered Green Beans with Hazelnuts
Winter Pear Salad
Baklava (which we will make together this week)

To toast such a fine plan, we made hot chocolate from scratch, using vanilla soy milk and some of those delicious Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips. And let's not forget the dried chocolate mint from my herb garden. So thick and rich, and utterly satisfying.

Between you and me, I think she's going to turn out to be a fabulous cook!

Friday, December 10, 2004

Feeling Elfish

I have leftovers.

I have too darn many leftovers.

And happily for those of my friends and family who live a fair distance away, a number of those leftovers fall under the category of desserts which will keep longer than usual (like biscotti and spiced nuts).

So as I sorted through Christmas and Hanukkah presents last night, packing up boxes for family and friends like a good little elf, I tossed in little bags of spiced nuts or biscotti or cookies "for extra padding." I also packed up some baklava to leave on the desks of a couple of especially nice co-workers this AM as there's still a lot of that to be shared. (And that's a hint to those of you in the area to come and help me eat the rest!)

The rosemary walnuts, however, did not get bagged and distributed to friends. No way. Those are mine, and I am definitely going to be selfish about it.

Being one of Santa's elves has its limits.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

For Your Reference

Forgot to mention... for those of you who have a copy of my personal cookbook, almost all of the dishes from last night's party are included in my recipes.

What's missing:

marinated water chestnuts
stuffed mushrooms
caramels (and even I don't have this recipe!)


cucumber-yogurt spread; see tzatziki or borani, but season with dill
potstickers; see tofu vegetable dumplings, use saute/steam method
guacamole; no tomatoes or cumin, lots of cilantro

I'm still working on getting the caramel recipe from my Fabulous Aunt, and I don't know how widely she will allow me to share it, but I can work on typing up and sending out the other three recipes if there is enough call for them. Let me know!

A Feast Fit for... the Tech Gods

Another big holiday party has come and gone, and I think it's probably safe to say that all the guests went away well fed and very happy and relaxed. (At least they looked awfully relaxed sprawled around my living room after dessert.)

The final tally for the meal:

guacamole and chips
layered Italian torta (the cream cheese spread)
cheese and crackers
marinated water chestnuts
homemade dill pickles
3 kinds of spiced nuts: Indian pecans, rosemary walnuts, cinnamon-orange pecans
vegetable samosas and two chutneys
tofu vegetable potstickers and dipping sauce
spicy tofu pate
stuffed mushrooms
bruschette with white bean/rosemary spread and sauteed spinach
carrots and cucumber slices
smoked salmon and cucumber-yogurt spread
lavash crackers
cheddar-chive scones
3 kinds of biscotti: anise-lemon, chocolate-hazelnut, ginger-pecan
3 kinds of cookies: Russian teacakes, espresso chip shortbread, ginger-molasses
homemade caramels (courtesy of a Fabulous Aunt)

And that's not including the water, the mulled cider, the bottle of Mon Ami pinot grigio, and selected homemade liqueurs for libations.

All in all, a lot of hard work (about a week's worth) went into the preparation for this feast, and I'd have to say, from all the compliments and contented faces around the house last night, it appears to have been more than worth the effort.

My extra special thanks go to the lovely Phoenix for help with the last preparations yesterday afternoon (and clean-up during the prep)... she has even volunteered to help out with future Dinner Club preparations since she enjoyed the experience so much. (And yes, I will be taking you up on that offer!) Thanks also to the Gentleman who made the last-minute grocery run for cheese and crackers and carrots (even if he did have to consult me by cell phone as to what would be acceptable; hey, it provided the entertainment for those of us doing prep!)... he definitely earned those extra pieces of baklava (was it four or five at the last count???).

And happily, it looks like I won't have to cook again until Christmas. Welllllllll, maybe not that long, but there are a lot of leftovers.

Anyone care for a little snack?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Chili Weather

Last Saturday morning, before running off on my whirlwind weekend adventures, I made a pot of chili. Nothing fancy... just onions and garlic and celery sauteed with chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, a dried chile; then with crushed tomatoes, ketchup, vegetable broth, a can of beans, and a little tamari, it simmered for about 1 1/2 hours. Didn't have time to eat any then, but tucked it away for these busy days of party preparation.

Today, with the weather turning chilly (you see the connection now) and damp, I knew it would be a good day to have a bowl of chili at home for lunch while I scurried around and laid out food and prepared more selections for tonight. I topped it with shredded cheddar cheese and had a handful of tortilla chips on the side, and once I had put enough things on the buffet table to have room to eat in the kitchen, I sat down and took a bite.

Oh my.
Oh my, yes.

What bliss it was to sink into that bowl of savory, spicy warm goodness. Wow. Even without a recipe and not knowing how I make my chili from one time to the next, that was still pretty terrific.

I rounded out the meal with the last shortbread crumbs and a couple ginger molasses cookies (well, they couldn't all fit on the buffet!). Happy!

And you know what? When I get home in a couple of hours, the house will be fragrant with the sweet smell of mulled cider, which is simmering away in the crock pot even as I type.

Now that's living.

Please, Sir, May I Have Samosa?

The witching hour (or is that Happy Hour?) is fast approaching, so I spent another three or so hours in the kitchen yesterday afternoon/evening. (And I fully expect the appreciation for my hard work and good food to be paid out in back rubs, just so you know.)

First off, the samosas. (trumpet fanfare)

The dough was a little wet from sitting in the fridge a couple of days (because yogurt has that wonderful tendency to separate out the whey when you're not looking), but with plenty of extra flour on the counter, I managed to make most of the pieces roll out smoothly. And I discovered that for pieces of dough that small (rolled out to maybe roughly 4" circles), it really did make more sense to pull out my teeny tiny rolling pin (a whopping 6" long) to do the deed. I also discovered that making 1 1/2 times the amount of dough perfectly fit the amount of filling I usually make (which always involves too many potatoes, not that that's a bad thing, I'm just saying).

So, now I have about 2 1/2 to 3 dozen happy little browned samosas, ready to reheat tonight and serve with homemade cilantro chutney and some store-bought tamarind chutney... and some yummy Indian spiced pecans.

If I were serving that alone, you would all probably be thrilled. But that's not all! (Stop me before I turn into a late-night infomercial.)

It's been a few years since I made a spicy tofu pate (recipe from an old friend of mine), but it's just as easy to make and, I hope, just as tasty. Take a pound of tofu, mix it with some flour and wheat germ and various seasonings and sauces, bake (steamed) for half an hour, serve with veggies and crackers, and you'll probably convert a lot of people to tofu, believe it or not. It ends up very rich and savory, and if you're not careful, the next thing you know you'll have an empty dish.

I also baked a small plate of mushrooms stuffed with mushroom (naturally), onion, spinach, salt, pepper, thyme, and bread crumbs. Now I'll have you know that I really don't like mushrooms (though I will sometimes be in the mood for a good portabella sandwich), and I really don't care for stuffed mushrooms. So I am making these especially for my guests, especially a couple of people who expressed a deep and abiding love for the darn things. That just goes to show you that (A) I'm a nut and (B) I love these guys. These folks keep me going (and my computer too) at work, and you gotta love good tech folks who work harder when you give them food. I love 'em all.

So bring on the back rubs, baby. Turnabout is fair play.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Fill 'Er Up

Last night I made the fillings for two of the stuffed appetizers: samosas and potstickers. Since I've gotten hooked on Indian food, I am awfully glad to have a good samosa recipe I can whip up at home, and after sampling various versions at different restaurants, I've modified the spices for the filling so that there's more cinnamon, which gives it that lovely rich flavor. Mmmmmmmmmm....

Oh, excuse me, I think I just drooled on the keyboard.

Anyway, I haven't made the potstickers in a number of years, so I was hoping that everything would turn out all right with those. The filling is pretty basic: garlic and ginger sauteed with shredded carrots and Chinese cabbage, with tofu (a nice lemon-pepper pressed tofu I found at Mustard Seed) and scallions and tamari added and cooked down. It was wonderfully fragrant and decidedly reminiscent of the filling in Sue-Min's potstickers, so I think we're on the right track.

Also done:

  • cilantro chutney, with plenty of fresh cilantro, a single dried chile pepper courtesy of my folks (currently camped out in Arizona), and a couple spoonfuls of plain yogurt to smooth it out and extend it

  • a layered Italian torta, which is a very fancy name for a tricolor cream cheese dip, with layers mixed respectively with pesto, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes

  • the white bean spread (blended with rosemary, orange peel, garlic) for the bruschette that I'll make just before the party

A satisfying evening's work! And on top of that, I laid out the "sideboard" for the cocktails (wine, dandelion wine, liqueurs) after polishing the lovely little silver liqueur cups that were a birthday present from THE Tech God Himself. (They look SO cool.) No, I didn't indulge in a nightcap... by that time, I was pretty well set to fall asleep no matter what!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Dough Re Mi

Friday night I started to tackle the more savory items on the party menu. First came the dough for the new favorite, lavash crackers... so quick to whip up (for a yeast dough, ridiculously quick!) and so satisfying to eat, especially with the dips and spreads that will get made over the next couple of days. Next, I made the whole wheat samosa dough (1 1/2 times the usual recipe, expecting certain stomachs to be bottomless pits on Wednesday eve), followed by delectably light and buttery cheddar-chive scones and, finally, the baking of the aforementioned lavash.

And even with all that, I was done in plenty of time to catch the Christmas choir concert. (I'm just that good.)

A few samples have, of course, been tested to guarantee the high quality of goods you've come to expect at one of my dinner parties, and have no fear... I left plenty for the rest of you.

I took a break on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy outside activities (and meals). One stop was at Mustard Seed Market, where I found some delicious looking organic eggplants and cilantro as well as two kinds of organic tofu for other appetizers, and a small slab of smoked Atlantic salmon (one of my very few digressions from vegetarianism... yum). They always have such tempting foods there, but at least on this visit I was more restrained in my pursuits.

Meals out included: a fine dinner at the Cleveland Grill with THE Tech God Himself, followed by decadent desserts (raspberry lemon tart and German chocolate torte) at Max's Deli (Saturday); late dinner with my wonderful Opera-Loving Friends at Cafe Tandoor, where we indulged in savory samosas, garlic naan, palak aloo, paneer makhani, and gobi masala, followed by homemade ice cream. Happy stomachs, and leftovers, too!

After a grocery run over lunch today, I'll be back in the kitchen this evening, working on fillings for some appetizers and condiments for others. Look for more mouth-watering information here tomorrow!

Friday, December 03, 2004

And That's Why She's the Baklava Queen

With the holiday party less than a week away, I'm spending most evenings cooking up a storm to get everything ready. Last night I tried a new spiced nut recipe: walnuts with rosemary (freshly picked from the pots on my windowsills... bliss!) and paprika, tossed with butter, oil, salt. My guests will be lucky if there are any left to try because it took a great effort of will power to keep myself from eating all of them. Wow.

On top of that, I made a pan of baklava, as is traditional for the holidays in my book. Now, I know a lot of people think making baklava must be really, really difficult with all those layers to create, but it's not that bad. As long as you let the dough thaw completely (so that the layers don't stick together and end up tearing) and be patient, it's no problem at all.

Oh right... I get it. Patience = difficult. Yeah, I'm down with that.

Either I've matured (yeah, right) or I've come to appreciate the meditative potential of making baklava, because I really do enjoy the slow layering of thin sheets of pastry and brushing them gently with lots of sweet melted butter, stopping periodically to scatter cups of finely chopped walnuts and pecans tossed with fragrant spices over the top. It makes me enormously happy while I'm doing this to think of all the people who will have the chance to sample this dessert over the holiday season, all those lucky souls who will take a bite and lean back with a honey-dripped rapturous smile on their lips, and know that I've made that happen.

But until that party next week, I'm keeping these babies under lock and key. Don't even try to wheedle any out of me.

And because I'm just such a sucker when it comes to baking for an appreciative crowd, I also whipped up a small batch of espresso-chocolate chip shortbread to add to the dessert platter.

You may start your worship of my fine culinary skills now. But don't kneel down in front of my stove just yet, because I've got a lot more cooking to do...

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Local Foods Series: Index

Starting June 2008, I hope to present three different series on sourcing, eating, and preserving local foods. Can't keep track of them all? Maybe this will help!:

Preserving the Seasons
(This series has been moved to a separate page so it's easier to find things!)

Independence Days

#1: May 15, 2009
#2: May 22, 2009
#3: May 29, 2009
#4: June 5, 2009
#5: June 12, 2009
#6: June 19, 2009
#7: June 26, 2009
#8: July 3, 2009
#9: July 10, 2009
#10: July 17, 2009
#11: July 24, 2009
#12: July 31, 2009
#13: August 7, 2009
#14: August 14, 2009
#15: August 21, 2009
#16: August 28, 2009
#17: September 4, 2009
#18: September 11, 2009
#19: September 18, 2009
#20: September 25, 2009
#21: October 2, 2009
#22: October 9, 2009
#23: October 16, 2009
#24: October 23, 2009
#25: October 30, 2009
#26: November 6, 2009
#27: November 13, 2009
#28: November 20, 2009
#29: November 27, 2009
#30: December 4, 2009
#31: December 25, 2009
#32: January 1, 2010
#33: January 8, 2010
#34: January 15, 2010
#35: January 22, 2010
#36: January 29, 2010
#37: February 5, 2010
#38: February 19, 2010

Market Reports (tales from the farmers' market)
June 7, 2008
June 14, 2008
June 21, 2008
June 28, 2008
July 5, 2008
July 12, 2008
July 19, 2008 (none)
July 26, 2008
August 2, 2008
August 9, 2008
August 16, 2008
August 23, 2008
August 30, 2008 (none)
September 6, 2008
September 13, 2008
September 20, 2008
September 27, 2008
October 4, 2008
October 11, 2008
October 18, 2008
October 25, 2008

Continued in 2009
June 6, 2009 (didn't make it)
June 13, 2009
June 20, 2009
June 27, 2009
July 4, 2009
July 11, 2009 (didn't make it)
July 18, 2009
July 25, 2009
August 1, 2009
August 8, 2009
August 15, 2009
August 22, 2009 (didn't make it)
August 29, 2009
September 5, 2009
September 12, 2009
September 19, 2009
September 26, 2009
October 3, 2009 (didn't make it)
October 10, 2009
October 17, 2009
October 24, 2009
October 31, 2009
November 7, 2009
November 14, 2009
November 21, 2009
November 28, 2009
December 5, 2009
December 12, 2009
December 19, 2009

On to 2010 at Local Roots
January 30, 2010
February 6, 2010
February 13, 2010 (didn't go)
February 20, 2010

Oh, Say Can You CSA? (or, What I Picked Up from My CSA This Week)
Week 1: June 4, 2008
Week 2: June 11, 2008
Week 3: June 18, 2008
Week 4: June 25, 2008
Week 5: July 2, 2008
Week 6: July 9, 2008
Week 7: July 16, 2008
Week 8: July 23, 2008
Week 9: July 30, 2008
Week 10: August 6, 2008
Week 11: August 13, 2008
Week 12: August 20, 2008
Week 13: August 27, 2008
Week 14: September 3, 2008
Week 15: September 10, 2008
Week 16: September 17, 2008
Week 17: September 24, 2008
Week 18: October 1, 2008
Week 19: October 8, 2008
Week 20: October 15, 2008
BONUS!: October 22, 2008 and October 29, 2008

Continued in 2009...

Week 1: May 27, 2009
Week 2: June 3, 2009
Week 3: June 10, 2009
Week 4: June 17, 2009
Week 5: June 24, 2009
Week 6: July 1, 2009
Week 7: July 8, 2009
Week 8: July 15, 2009
Week 9: July 22, 2009
Week 10: July 29, 2009
Week 11: August 5, 2009
Week 12: August 12, 2009
Week 13: August 19, 2009
Week 14: August 26, 2009
Week 15: September 2, 2009
Week 16: September 9, 2009
Week 17: September 16, 2009
Week 18: September 24, 2009 (a day late)
Week 19: September 30, 2009
Week 20: October 7, 2009

Eat Like You Live Here: A Year of Local Eating (2006)

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Preserving the Seasons: Series Index

From June 2008 through May 2009, I ran a weekly series about food preservation methods called "Preserving the Seasons." It included monthly spotlights on what's in season (here in Northeastern Ohio) and sample local meals that use fresh or preserved produce. Feel free to use these resources to plan your own food preservation activities!


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Quotes du Jour

So many times I read books that inspire me, and various quotes jump out to inspire me to keep improving my diet, to continue searching for local sources of food, and to live fully. This seems as good a place as any to compile those quotes and share them with you!

"Our diets should be spontaneous, flexible, and creative. Living a healthy life is about enjoying each moment and reveling in its magic. Hence, our relationship with food should not be burdensome."
--Bryant Terry, Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen

"The things most worth wanting are not available everywhere all the time."
--Alice Waters (found in This Organic Life by Joan Dye Gussow)

"I'm just a pastry chef... I don't know any better!" --Spicyflower

"Laughter is brightest where food is best" --Irish proverb

"Good recipes, like true love, are better given than bought." --Helen Nearing, Simple Food for the Good Life

"Cooking is a way to make sense of my days, and to make something beautiful of them." --Orangette

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." --J. R. R. Tolkien

"Cooking something thoughtfully is a way to celebrate both that species and our relation to it." --Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma, p.404

"The food industry has gazed upon nature and found it wanting – and has gotten to work improving it." --Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma, p.97

"Taste is a sense, but it is also a common sense." --Paul Hawken, from Center for Ecoliteracy

"... our culinary landscape has been so eviscerated by mindless industrialization... that people who love food have to obsess about it." --Tom Philpott, from Edible Media

"You will have to cook. To get the most out of your food dollar, you will have to use your kitchen. It doesn't mean the end of the world. Your rice can simmer while you watch American Idol. The beans can soak overnight, and then you can leave them bubbling in your slow cooker the next day while you're at work. The chicken stock can enrich itself while you're over there blogging. Give it a try." --Cookiecrumb on the Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge

“We could continue to decipher every far-flung product that appeared on our supermarket shelves. Or we could start fresh. We could immerse ourselves in the here and now, and the simple pleasures of eating would become a form of knowing.” --Alisa Smith, Plenty, p.33

"He told us that in India it's sometimes considered a purification ritual to go home and spend a year eating everything from one place -- ideally, even to grow it yourself. I liked this name for what we had done: a purification ritual, to cultivate health and gratitude. It sounds so much better than wackadoo." --Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, pp 338-339

"Real foods are health foods and do not need to be made functional to be good for you. They are functional just the way they are." -- Marion Nestle, What to Eat, p.480

"When I find a restaurant that tells me where the ingredients come from and whose land and labor are behind them, if I can tell how far things have traveled from the field to the plate, I know I am being served by people who understand that the best food begins on a good farm." -- Michael Ableman, Fields of Plenty, p.32

"...farming is an encounter, not with an idea but with a place." -- Wendell Berry

"Preparing a dish or a meal is not merely an effort to satisfy physical hunger but often a quest for the good life." -- Janet Theophano, Eat My Words, p.7

"Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should note be indulged in lightly." -- M. F. K. Fisher

"Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." --Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food
"Ate plants. A big heap. Still hungry." --A.K., winner of New York Times contest

"Everything we taste is snatched from death: our responsibility is to taste it completely." --John Tarrant

"...gardening offers the distinct personal satisfaction of knowing the whole story of food that you raise, gather, cook, and eat." --Ann Vileisis, Kitchen Literacy

"When we begin to heal the broken relationships in our food system, the nutrition of our food begins to improve." --
Jessica Prentice, Full Moon Feast

"By turning our food over to someone else's care, we have handed over much of the control of the rest of our lives as well."
--Paul Roberts, The End of Food

"...we need to wean the American food system off its heavy 20th-century diet of fossil fuel and put it back on a diet of contemporary sunshine." --Michael Pollan

"The first plant you want to get rooted in the earth is yourself."
--Gene Logsdon, Organic Orcharding

"When you grow some of your own food, you start to care more about all of your food."
--Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen, The Urban Homestead

"I teach people how to grow their own food, which is shockingly subversive. Yes, it's seditious. But it's peaceful sedition." --Bill Mollison

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Sweet Tooth: Index

There’s always room for dessert...

And That’s Why She’s the Baklava Queen (12/3/04)
Feeling Elfish (12/10/04)
To Coin a Phrase (12/13/04)
Delicious Trouble (12/16/04)
Mass Ap-peel (12/20/04)
(Not So) Instant Gratification (12/22/04)
Pie in the Sky (12/23/04)
Sweet Surrender (1/3/05)
Feeling My Oats (1/12/05)
Sweet Surrender, Pt. 2 (1/17/05)
Baking Up a Storm (1/24/05)
Sweet Success! (1/24/05)
A Date to Remember (3/4/05)
Good as Gold (4/4/05)
I Scream, You Scream... (4/7/05)
Flower Power (4/11/05)
Try, Try Again (4/15/05)
Piece of Cake! (4/25/05)
Play It Again, Sam (5/2/05)
Tastes of Summer (5/16/05)
Guilty Pleasures (5/18/05)
C is for Cookie (5/22/05)
You Sweet Talker (6/5/05)
Easy As... Pudding? (6/8/05)
Sugar and Spice (6/10/05)
If You’re Ever in a Jam (6/11/05)
Strawberry Pie Forever (6/15/05)
A Woman Sconed (6/28/05)
Queen of Tarts (7/6/05)
Berry Good! (7/10/05)
Getting Curried Away (7/12/05)
I Can't Say No (7/12/05)
Another Berry Good Idea (7/14/05)
The Spice of Life (7/20/05)
Donut Pass Go (7/22/05)
My Date's Got the Blues (7/23/05)
Feeling a Chill (7/25/05)
Pining Away (8/3/05)
Baker Madness (8/8/05)
Birthday Baking (8/18/05)
Nuts to You (8/25/05)
The Pumpkin That Turned Into a Cake (8/30/05)
Eighteen-Carrot (9/4/05)
Repeat Performance (9/9/05)
Torte Reform (9/23/05)
Apple of My Pie (10/1/05)
Sweets from the Sweet (10/9/05)
Crowd-Pleasing Cookies (10/11/05)
Only 63 More Baking Days Until Christmas! (10/23/05)
Too Much of a Good Thing (10/27/05)
Keeping the Doctor Away (11/2/05)
Orange You Jealous (Again)? (11/17/05)
You Are My Sunshine (11/26/05)
Beam Me Up, Biscotti (12/1/05)
Cookie Hooky (12/4/05)
Sun and C (12/5/05)
Time for More Layers! (12/7/05)
Sweet Relief (12/19/05)
Sweets to the Sweet (12/21/05)
Nothing But the Tooth (12/22/05)
The Return of Pie in the Sky (12/27/05)
Cute as a Pumpkin (1/7/06)
Sunshine of My Heart (1/18/06)
Sub-Lime (2/19/06)
A Perfect Pair (2/22/06)
Spicing Things Up (3/11/06)
Feeling a Little Chai? (3/18/06)
Pecan Pi (3/25/06)
Berry Nice Surprise! (4/25/06)
Feeling Just Peachy (5/3/06)
Gone Coconuts (5/28/06)
Blooms-berry (6/17/06)
What Curd I Do? (6/18/06)
Take Another Little Piece of My Tart (6/29/06)
Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue! (7/4/06)
The Truffle with Berries (7/8/06)
A Date for the Weekend (7/15/06)
Having My Cake and Eating It, Too (8/21/06)
Dates for the Perfect Pear (9/20/06)
The Frosting on the Cupcake (10/9/06)
Sweet Rewards (10/28/06)
Baking Love (11/4/06)
Let the Holiday Baking Commence! (11/19/06)
Slow as Molasses (11/20/06)
Bake and Break (11/25/06)
The Baklava Is Back in Town (12/1/06)
The Christmas Cookie Caper (12/17/06)
Special Delivery (12/21/06)
The Fabulous Baker Boys (12/23/06)
Pie Eyed (1/20/07)
Burfee's Law (2/2/07)
A Short(cake) Vacation (3/2/07)
Growing to Enjoy Spring (3/20/07)
Some Day My 'Prints Will Come (3/24/07)
There's No Accounting for Taste (3/27/07)
The Great American Flake-Off (4/11/07)
Pudding It Into Perspective (5/13/07)
Cashew Later (5/20/07)
Jam Session (6/2/07)
Tiramisu Pretty! (6/20/07)
Land of the Freeze (7/3/07)
Sweet Cherry-ty (7/8/07)
Cake Walk (7/26/07)
Peach Offering (8/14/07)
Ready to Cake Things Up? (8/21/07)
Plum Crazy (8/23/07)
A Plum Deal (8/30/07)
Grounding Myself (9/3/07)
The Rise and Fall of the Muffin Em-pear (9/13/07)
Time Oat for Dessert (9/18/07)
Tarte of Gold (9/23/07)
Time to Turnover a New Treat (9/29/07)
An Apple Pie a Day (10/7/07)
In the Garden of Eatin' (10/10/07)
It's Beginning to Smell a Lot Like Christmas (11/3/07)
Roll Out the Apple (11/5/07)
Let's Bake a Deal (11/12/07)
The Life of Pie (11/16/07)
Here Comes the Sunshine (11/17/07)
Layers of Meaning (12/9/07)
Sunshine and Sprinkles (12/22/07)
This Site Accepts Cookies (1/4/08)
Keeping the Stove Fires Burning (1/13/08)
I'm Pudding You On (1/24/08)
By Hook or By Cookie (2/2/08)
Pasta Imperfect (2/6/08)
Pista Packin' Mama (2/12/08)
Winter, Orange You Done Yet? (3/7/08)
A Dessert After My Own Tart (3/15/08)
Easter Basket Case (3/23/08)
Fool Me Once... (5/10/08)

Kitchen Garden: Index

Do you know where your food comes from? I'm grateful to say I do...

Digging In (4/5/05)
Flower Power (4/11/05)
First Harvest (4/19/05)
Sunshine in a Bottle (4/22/05)
Piece of Cake! (4/25/05)
Getting Out of the Kitchen (5/6/05)
Well-Laid Plans (5/9/05)
Getting to the Point (5/23/05)
You Look Radish-ing, Dahling! (5/26/05)
If You're Ever in a Jam (6/11/05)
Garden City (6/25/05)
Berry Good! (7/10/05)
Herb Mother (7/10/05)
I've Bean Thinking (7/11/05)
Get It While It's Hot? (7/13/05)
Another Berry Good Idea (7/14/05)
Full of Beans (7/15/05)
Market Report (7/18/05)
Am I Blue? (7/18/05)
Quiche Me Quick! (7/23/05)
My Soup Is Cold! (7/24/05)
Feeling a Chill (7/25/05)
Tricks and Treats (7/28/05)
In a Pickle (7/30/05)
To Market, To Market (7/31/05)
We Can Can the Beans and the Fruit (8/6/05)
Pop Goes the Kernel (8/6/05)
Oh, Oh, Okra! (8/7/05)
Eat Like You Live Here (8/13/05)
That's One Cute Tomato! (8/16/05)
A Midsummer Night's Feast (8/17/05)
Market Delights (8/20/05)
Purple Veggie Eater (8/23/05)
Family Heirlooms (8/26/05)
Have You Hugged a Farmer Today? (8/27/05)
To-may-to, To-mah-to (8/29/05)
The Pumpkin That Turned Into a Cake (8/30/05)
Celebrity Roast (9/1/05)
My Bhartha is Smarter (9/1/05)
Harvest Boon (9/3/05)
A Pear of Projects (9/4/05)
Feeling Saucy (9/5/05)
3, 2, 1, Let's Jam! (9/7/05)
The Bounty Hunter (9/10/05)
Roast and Two Veg Sunday (9/11/05)
An Organic Experience (9/16/05)
Packing It In (9/17/05)
Dollars and Sense (9/24/05)
Grape Expectations (9/25/05)
The Rest o' the Pesto (9/29/05)
Harvest Festival (10/1/05)
Letting Down My Chard (10/2/05)
A Souper Harvest (10/5/05)
Canned Applause (10/6/05)
Safely Gathered In (10/8/05)
Back to My Roots (10/20/05)
Broc On! (10/20/05)
Me and My Gal(ette) (10/21/05)
Delivering the Goods (10/22/05)
If You Carrot All... (10/23/05)
I Yam What I Eat (10/31/05)
International Harvest (11/11/05)
Sweet Dreams Are Made of This (11/13/05)
Home for the Holiday (11/24/05)
Tastes Grape, Less Filling (1/28/06)
To My Astonish-mint... (1/28/06)
Back to the Herb (2/25/06)
Feeling Squashed (3/11/06)
Pesto Change-o! (4/1/06)
A Sense of Impending Dum (4/5/06)
Backyard Brunch (4/9/06)
Leave No Scone Unturned (4/16/06)
Berry Nice Surprise! (4/25/06)
Feeling Just Peachy (5/3/06)
Mint to Be (5/27/06)
I Love Radish in the Springtime (6/3/06)
I Don't Have Mushroom to Talk (6/4/06)
A Midsummer Night's Tea (6/5/06)
Rolling Through Spring (6/6/06)
A Rose by Any Other Name (6/7/06)
Market Research (6/10/06)
A Growing Appreciation (6/17/06)
Blooms-berry (6/17/06)
They Can't Take That Away From Me (6/18/06)
Green Grocers (6/24/06)
The Pasta's Always Greener on the Other Side (6/25/06)
Cane You Tell the Difference? (6/26/06)
You Better Shop Around (7/1/06)
The Electric Blue Borage Acid Test (7/1/06)
Cold Cuts (7/2/06)
Fennel Way You Slice It (7/4/06)
Hooray for the Red, White, and Blue! (7/4/06)
Are You Getting Fresh With Me? (7/8/06)
Ripe for the Picking (7/8/06)
Kiss My Grits! (7/9/06)
Cabbage and Taters and Beans, Oh My! (7/15/06)
And All... That... Juice! (7/16/06)
Market Shares (7/22/06)
How Dry I Am (7/22/06)
The Salad Days of Summer (7/23/06)
Basket Case (7/29/06)
Fry Me to the Moon (7/29/06)
Chutney Be Good (7/30/06)
Gad-Zukes! (7/30/06)
Aw, Shucks! (8/5/06)
When the Gettin' Gets Good (8/12/06)
Fifty Ways to Eat Your Tomatoes (8/13/06)
Tomato or Not Tomato? (8/19/06)
Corn of Plenty (8/23/06)
Can a Lot (8/23/06)
Loads of Fun (8/26/06)
Edamame's Little Girl (8/26/06)
Bye Bye, Bhartha (8/26/06)
Rain or Shine (9/2/06)
Mind Your Peas (and Cute Carrots, Too) (9/4/06)
Chard Times at the Market (9/9/06)
Turn Up the Heat, I'm a Little Chile (9/9/06)
Market Go Round (9/17/06)
The Taming of the Stew (9/23/06)
Harvested Interests (10/7/06)
Beauty and the Feast (10/14/06)
Pesto Friends (10/15/06)
Diminishing Returns (10/21/06)
Priming the Pumpkin (10/22/06)
End of the Harvest (10/28/06)
Mission Impastable (11/4/06)
As the Worm Turns (11/15/06)
The Galette-ing Gourmet (1/22/07)
Feeling Seedy (1/25/07)
Another Berry Tasty Bread (1/27/07)
Going to Pot Pie (2/10/07)
Growing to Enjoy Spring (3/20/07)
Warming Up (4/14/07)
Swimming in the Polenta (4/16/07)
Pureed and Simple (5/8/07)
On Your Market, Get Set... (5/27/07)
My Market's Back, and There's Gonna Be Trouble (6/2/07)
Jam Session (6/2/07)
My Favorite Pasta-Time (6/2/07)
A Mystery Un-ravioli'd (6/3/07)
Persona Non Frittata (6/5/07)
There Must Be Something in the Square... (6/9/07)
Weed Eater (6/10/07)
Summertime Salads (6/18/07)
That's a Wrap! (6/25/07)
In a Pickle... Again (6/28/07)
The Dill Is Gone (6/30/07)
Wham, Jam, Thank You, Ma'am (7/1/07)
Squash Blossom Time (7/1/07)
Land of the Freeze (7/3/07)
Life in the Purslane (7/6/07)
The Super Market (7/7/07)
The Right Stuff (7/9/07)
A Raw Deal (7/10/07)
The Early Bird Gets the Work (7/14/07)
Cherry Busy (7/16/07)
Left Behind But Not Leftover (7/20/07)
A Full Plate (7/21/07)
Chopping Around (7/24/07)
The Labor Market (7/28/07)
Hot Stuff! (7/28/07)
Relish the Thought (8/1/07)
Heat Wave (8/4/07)
In the Sauce (8/6/07)
The Long and Rinding Road (8/7/07)
Life in the Feast Lane (8/11/07)
Blushing for No Grape Reason (8/12/07)
Too Many Tomatoes? (8/16/07)
The Market of Excellence (8/18/07)
Going Back to the Sauce (8/19/07)
Put Up and Shut Up (8/22/07)
Making the Rounds (8/25/07)
This Job Will Not Be Outsauced (8/26/07)
I Don't Stand a Roast of a Chance (8/28/07)
Peaching to the Choir (8/29/07)
The Uncommon Market (9/1/07)
The Grape Escape (9/2/07)
Labor Day (9/3/07)
Saucy Lady (9/5/07)
Fair Market Value (9/8/07)
Be Prepared (9/8/07)
Succumbing to Market Forces (9/15/07)
Fall: In Love With the Market (9/22/07)
Save the Last Jam for Me (9/23/07)
And Miles to Go Before I Eat (9/29/07)
Raisin Heaven (10/1/07)
Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Market Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile (10/6/07)
Spaced Out (10/11/07)
The Ins and Outs of Eating Out and In (10/20/07)
Time to Veg Out (10/21/07)
Three Bags Full (10/27/07)
Live Stock (10/27/07)
Stuffed Enough (10/29/07)
You Butternut Pout, You Butternut Cry (11/17/07)
Pizza on Earth (11/18/07)
Orchard Luck (12/8/07)
Going to Seed (1/7/08)
Feta Attraction (1/7/08)
The Spuddy System (1/15/08)
When Winter Hariras Its Ugly Head (1/20/08)
Can You Dig It? (1/22/08)
Gardening is School (1/24/08)
The Lists of Avalon (2/1/08)
Hello, Dal-i! (2/10/08)
Lettuce Hope For the Best (2/20/08)
First Seeds (3/28/08)
Jam-a-lot (3/29/08)
Corn to Be Wild (3/31/08)
Many Hands Make Light Work (4/8/08)
Forage Change of Pace (4/14/08)
Fine and Dandelion (4/15/08)
Hello Muddah, Hello Fava (4/19/08)
Wining About the Lawn? (4/22/08)
Dig In, Everyone! (4/24/08)
Whatcha Gonna Stew? (5/4/08)
Stalk This Way (5/6/08)