Puff Pastry

This past weekend, we headed out to the farm. While it’s not our farm, it is the farm where most of our food is grown, and, once a year, the farmer holds an open house so that CSA members can see the fields, talk with the people who do all the hard work, learn a bit more about how their food is grown, and even try their hand at harvesting. We try to go to every open house, primarily to thank the people who work so hard so that we can eat.

In terms of harvesting, we headed out to the fields to do some ourselves. At the time we visited, there was Swiss chard, spinach, fennel, cilantro, and perhaps one or two other items that we could harvest. Since they’re some of our favorite greens, we went for the chard and spinach and soon had two large bags full. [Aside: We’re sure you’re wondering how this is leading into puff pastry — patience.] So what to do with all these greens? Yep, spanikopita. We just made it the other week for a potluck dinner, and it was so tasty we wanted to do up a small batch for ourselves. Of course, that means we need phyllo dough, but we only had 5 sheets left. Not enough. We could run out and buy more, or we could do without. Or we could try using puff pastry, instead. We went with the third choice. Continue reading Puff Pastry

Worth the trouble?

Potatoes!

Potatoes! Yum!
Potatoes! Yum!

Look! Potatoes!

Potatoes are one of our favorites and we love seeing them in the produce line. Of course, we love them even more when they end up in our produce bags. This week there was even some in the trading baskets, so we picked up an additional six for a bunch of mustard (great trading skills, huh?).

So this week we’ll be eating:

  • Red Russian Kale (1 bunch)
  • Spinach (1 bunch)
  • Mizuna (1 bunch) — it’s a mild Japanese variety of mustard
  • Tangeloes (4)
  • Red Potatoes (an even dozen)
  • Dill (1 bunch)
  • French Breakfast radishes (1 bunch)

Hmm. We think some sort of kale might end up in an Indian lentil soup, but we’ll be figuring out a dish for everything as the week goes on.

Update 3 March: The spinach we had as a simple steamed side, the kale went into a greens pastry crust, radishes were munched, and the dill is currently drying in the oven. The tangeloes we’ll just eat, and we still haven’t decided on the potatoes.

Lemon-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Just the name sounds good: Lemon-Glazed Sweet Potatoes. Imagining the tartness of the lemon meshing just perfectly with the sweetness of the potato, all the while covered in a slightly sticky glaze, this recipe immediately appealed to us. We’d avoid having that nasty, too-sweet, glaze that people apparently use to ruin perfectly good sweet potatoes. If you like sweet potatoes cooked like that, well, we aren’t going for it.

So, one of us accidentally stole Simple, Fresh, Southern by Matt Lee and Ted Lee from the public library the other day (we returned it as soon as possible). We really thought that we had checked it out at the self-serve checkout — honest — but when we got home we noticed it wasn’t on our list of books. Oops! Well, we had it available, and, as this recipe sounded good, we figured that if we were going to jail for stealing public property, we might as well have a good meal before we go up the river. Continue reading Lemon-Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Worth the trouble?

White Wine Mustard

We’ve wanted to try our hand at making home-scratched mustard for months. Looking at it in the store, it seems daunting somehow, kind of like some exotic elixir that only certified mustard makers should even attempt. All the varieties of mustard make it seem as though it must involve secret recipes, difficult-to-find ingredients, and long, involved mixing and cooking rituals; basically, mustard- making is beyond the abilities of mere mortals.

Nope! It turns out that the reason there are some many varieties of mustard on the shelf is that it is easy to make, allowing everyone to make a variety. Really — we’ll show you. Continue reading White Wine Mustard

Worth the trouble?

Whole Wheat Walnut Bread

Once you have the Basic Bread recipe under your belt, you can start branching out and trying new types of bread. Some will turn out great, and some will just be good, but we can pretty much guarantee that it’ll be better than store-bought.

We’re still under the weather a bit, so we really didn’t feel up to making a full batch of bread; however, the starter needed to be fed, so our choices were: feed the starter and discard some perfectly good starter (a waste), or feed the starter and make sour dough pancakes (uh, not this week), or feed the starter and make up an experimental loaf (yeah, that’ll work).  And, with the experimental loaf, we can so you how we figured out the new recipe. Continue reading Whole Wheat Walnut Bread

Worth the trouble?

Lentil Soup

As we mentioned the other day, with our colds we are having a lot of soup. It’s easy to eat, warming, not too filling, and even a bit soothing on the throat. We’re sure that soup was invented just to feed people with colds. Naturally, we scratch up our soups (the last time we had a can of soup was several years ago, again when one of us was sick, and it wasn’t that good), and, while it might seem like too much trouble to make up soup, it’s not. It takes us about 5 minutes of chopping vegetables, a few minutes of sautéing, a few minutes to bring the soup to a boil, and then we let it simmer for about an hour. Done. Continue reading Lentil Soup

Worth the trouble?

Lavash Crackers

As it happens, both of us have suffered through colds, which means that we are less likely to make up something exotic — why make something really special if you can’t taste it? — and have stuck to simple basics, such as soup and crackers. Now, we normally don’t buy crackers at the store (all right, to be completely honest, sometimes we do, but it’s not too often), since we have a recipe for a nice light cracker that’s pretty easy to make up. Forgive the photos; in our sinus-congested, shivering state, we initially had the camera on the wrong setting. Continue reading Lavash Crackers

Worth the trouble?