Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mills Coffee

Every good insomniac needs a great source of coffee! Mills Coffee Roasting Company of South Providence is a great place and the best kept secret in RI. Mills is a family owned and operated business that roasts coffee for all of the area restaurants and coffee shops in RI and has been doing so for over a century. The place smells great. You can smell roasting coffee a block away. Mills has a coffee roasting machine that is huge, the size of two Subaru station wagons. Although it's loud it draws you in. It looks like a gigantic version of my food mill with the metal mesh where the hot air is pushed through the jumping beans. There are large tubes the diameter of dinner plates running in and out of the machine, probably running the beans up and down. Right beside the machine is a dumb waiter to send orders up and down to the office. This is not a store front this is a mill space. There are hundreds of burlap bags of green coffee beans piled to the ceiling and the beans come from all over the world. The best part of all is Mike-the-roaster knows what he's doing. He loves his work and loves to talk about coffee and he loves people. All of the people that work in the office are great too. I had an art show at Julian's Restaurant and they gave me a cup of coffee and I said wow this is good coffee and they told me all about Mills Coffee and how nice they were. So I went there and met Mike and went back a few times with my husband and my dog to buy coffee, sniff the aromas of fresh roasting coffee and hear great stories from Mike. Wherever Mike goes people smell the roasting coffee! I'd like to drop off my clothes there for a day so they too can soak up the aroma of roasting beans.

Morning Banana

Ever since former opera singer Kumiko Mori announced she had lost 15 pounds on the "Morning Banana" diet, there has been a shortage of bananas in Japan.

I saw this sentence published in the Web MD newsletter today.

Pommes De Terre

When I was in college I met an authentic French-from-France person. I was so excited I invited her to my apartment for supper and when she walked in I tried out my French. I offered her pommes de terre! She laughed so hard because I had just offered her potato juice when I thought I was offering her apple juice. Pommes de terre translated are apples of the earth. Perhaps I should have given her vodka.

Kalamata Olives

My pal Gary McLaughlin is a cook and a caterer with the greatest laugh in the world. Gary finds me Kalamata olives for a sinfully cheap wholesale price. It's great to have friends in high places. He orders me the five pound black plastic screw top tub from his restaurant supplier and it lasts me a year, occupying valuable real estate in my fridge! Olives, olives, olives, mashed with fresh garlic spooned onto my sourdough whole wheat bread or just eaten as they are is divinity itself. Olives baked inside my sourdough bread with a little bit of mint is great too. You don't taste the mint as mint but it does magic to the flavors. I learned that from a great book called The Book Of Bread By Judith and Evan Jones. Mangia!

Chocolate For Breakfast

This morning I ate Cadbury Fingers with coffee for breakfast while saying to my husband "In Spain chocolate is considered a breakfast food!" He said You don't need to justify it.
Yes I do!! I shouted, grabbing a few more fingers and heading upstairs with my second coffee mug.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Cold House, Warm Oven

This is the agonizing season in our home. The house is cold but not quite cold enough to justify turning on the heat. So I turn on the little electric radiator at my desk, and I turn on the oven and I bake the house warm.

Kale Soup

I bought two heads of kale, rinsed them and chopped them up simmering them in my Dutch oven with my home made chicken stock. I added freshly chopped garlic, freshly grated ginger root, soy sauce, olive oil and salt. It was so good I ate it for breakfast! I baked my overnight soaked kidney beans and added millet to the soupy bean liquid. When it all baked it was polka dotted mush. Delicious with the kale soup.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


My philosophy is the body is sacred, food is sacred, feeding others is sacred, so make it wholesome!

Lazy Man's Pizza

There isn't a vegetable I don't like. I took my pumpkin shaped eggplant and sliced it, salted it, let it bleed for an hour... and then rinsed it and patted it dry and chopped it in cubes and cooked it in olive oil and added diced tomatoes, fresh cored and chopped garlic, oregano, parsley, basil, a bay leaf, chopped celery and Job Lot capers. I simmered it overnight in my Presto crock pot and when I woke up my kitchen had the aroma of a pizzeria. What's not to like? I spooned it onto toast and grated fresh local Asiago and Parmesan cheese...on top. I call it Lazy Man's Pizza!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Schmaltz is the golden goo that sits on top of congealed chicken soup stock.

Homage to the Potato

Roast it, boil it, bake it, fry it, grate it, mash it, pressure cook it! The potato is loaded with potassium, fiber, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, B6, iron, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, vitamin C, and zinc. Why is it so surprising to discover that the potato is full of vitamin C?
Potatoes, whole grain pasta, beans! Don't give them a bad name! They are the staff of life!

Millet Appreciation

I am baking the leftover chicken carcass with bones and skin in four quarts of water in my covered cast iron Dutch oven. I feel safer baking in a 350 degree oven than on my stove top. Because I am often working upstairs while cooking downstairs and running in and out with my dog it is safer for me to use my oven. This will make a great chicken stock when I strain out the bones and fat. I've just added a whole bulb of garlic, some fresh cilantro, and a few teaspoons of Kosher salt. On the top shelf of my oven I baked a pot of millet in my baby dutch oven. Both smell amazing and I have already eaten a few bowls of the millet salted and buttered. It's soooo good!! Millet is loaded with important vitamins; B1 and B2, niacin, vitamin E, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. I found this out from reading the chart in my Nutrition Almanac by Lavon J.Dunne published by Mcgraw Hill. Why isn't there a millet appreciation day! For the grain and the painter.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yiddish Lessons

At one thirty am the neighbor kids were getting dropped off from a party and were talking in the street. I woke up. I noticed that I had a song stuck in my head. So I got out of bed and went to my writing desk. I started thinking about my pal Steve Subotnick's 94 year old friend Esther who is teaching him Yiddish! I wish I could be part of this because I LOVE the sound of Yiddish words, they are juicy and often sound like what they mean. I met Esther at Steve's daughters Bat Mitzvah party a few years ago in Steve and Amy's kitchen. Esther is sparkly and wrinkly with wild white hair. She's a great story teller. She is about four feet nine inches tall. I had to bend over to hear her. When she was ready to leave the party I offered to walk her out to her car. She locked arms with me as we descended the porch stairs in the dark carefully navigating the stones and leaves. She was parked at the opposite side of the street at the intersection so I crossed with her and waited until she got into her car. She got in, put on her seat belt, started up the engine and screeched away like Mario Andretti!

Friday, October 24, 2008


I love washing dishes. I immediately relax when my hands are in warm water as if my whole body is immersed. People never believe me unless they get to know me. I tell them it's like a swimming pool for my hands. One of my favorite jobs was washing dishes for a fancy Italian restarant in Providence. I loved my job! I remember excitedly phoning my mother in New York to tell her but she was not pleased.
"You'll never amount to anything if you like washing dishes!" She screamed. I have found this to be the contrary. I get my best ideas while washing dishes and so did Virginia Wolf. I feel sorry for the people who miss out on this sacred time. I am also obsessed with scents and soaps; both mine and other peoples. I am like a bloodhound; a smell is a universe to me. I can identify laundry soaps of strangers who walk by me on the street. Recently we ran out of the soap we had bought years ago in gallon jugs by the case from our food co-op. I was both panicked and excited to know I would be shopping for a new scent of soap.

Recipes Aloud

When my father in law had a stroke my husband and I visited him in the hospital. After a few minutes I started to feel dizzy as I stood leaning against the wall. A nurse walked in the room and spotted my blanching and she immediately locked her arm in mine and cheerfully escorted me outside into the fresh air. There I sat in the back seat of our car in the hospital parking lot with all of our silver Subaru station wagon doors wide open. It was a cold sunny February day and I was comforted by reading Joan Nathan's Jewish Holiday Cookbook aloud which I just happened to have with me. I recited the recipe for rugelach over and over as a comfort to me and it brought me back. Moral of the story; always carry a cookbook in your glove compartment. It may help bring you back.

Autumn Cookery

This morning I baked blackstrap molasses gingerbread with all the remaining flour in the house; a blend of buckwheat, whole wheat, and barley flours. I found a recipe in my Old Sturbridge Village Cookbook and adapted it. It's good with tea and coffee. Now I'm baking a chicken Laurie Colwin style; at 350 degrees, slow , slow, slow, and baste, baste, baste, with a whole lime in the chest cavity. Laurie Colwin wrote two of my favorite cookbooks; Home Cooking and More Home Cooking. I love to read them at bedtime because I find her writing soothing. I bought my big chicken today at the Asian American Store. I hadn't planned on chicken in fact I went in to buy tofu and bean sprouts and instead I bought a chicken and a fresh pineapple! I'm baking my chicken sprinkled with paprika and Kosher salt and black pepper with a lime and four whole bulbs of garlic all jammed into my covered Dutch Oven. I'm baking pumpkins; seeded, sliced in half, face down on my cast iron skillet on the top shelf. And now that they're done I'm roasting the pumpkin seeds.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Empty Table

Years ago a friend of mine sent me a postcard. It was a painting of an empty table. She loved it and wanted me to see it. That was when I realized our philosphies of life were profoundly different. I love photo postcards of paintings too; overflowing tables, banquets full of buxom women wearing dirndles, men and women laughing, eating grapes, playing music and dancing.

Pumpkin in the Sky

I slept eleven hours the past two nights. I'm catching up after a week of performance excitement, joie de vivre, and allergy induced insomnia.

I have turned my desk around 180 degrees to better face my pumpkin colored Maple tree! I wish I could spray shellac on it to keep the leaves on it all winter. It's especially gorgeous on a gray day like today.

I just sauteed in olive oil in my Dutch oven, freshly peeled and chopped garlic, a bag of rinsed fresh spinach, sliced white onions, about a cup of dark raisins, dried red chili peppers, and soy sauce. It was a fabulous, tasty, and quick, lunch! Good with slices of toasted (of course) sourdough bread. Now there's an exotic yet simple mix of cultures and flavors!

Golden Gut

As a child all of my emotions went to my gut, and still do. The good part is that I've discovered that all of my color sense for painting, courage and intuition comes from my gut too. My father in law called it The Golden Gut. He had it too. It was was both a curse and a blessing. He would say "Find the gift" within the curse.

Call me Kellogg but I do think keeping our grains intact would keep our world intact. I think people should not peel their apples, carrots, potatoes, or hull their sesame seeds or strip the nutritious bran and germ from their wheat. Maybe we'd have a happier and healthier society.

I am loving reading my Shaker Cookbook a friend gave me.

Solo Sourdough

I have finally done it! My sourdough starter has been alive and kicking for ten years and I no longer use the Fleishmann's jars of yeast as back up. They have become crazy expensive anyway at eight bucks a jar! I just use a blob of my starter mixed with 6 cups of medium grind whole wheat flour which I buy in 50 pound bags at JAR the bakers supply in Lincon RI, and a scant quart of water and a tablespoon of Kosher salt. I also throw in oats and corn meal...and any other grain lying around and sometimes a tablespoon or two of blackstrap molasses but any sweetener will do, and sometimes I use potato water leftover from cooking potatoes! Have fun. Bread is your friend.

Insomniacs Kitchen

A few times I year I don't sleep due to excitement, joy, and allergies. I wake up, get up and bake and cook through dawn. Last night was one of those nights after 2 hours of sleep I made pumpkin + squash glop from actual pumpkins and squashes and turned it into a pumpkin banana pudding cake. I made collard greens with garlic olive oil and red hot chili peppers, I roasted all of the pumpkin and squash seeds. I made pita breads, I made yogurt cheese, I made lime peanut hummus. Luckily Jenny Debell and her two daughters Rozie and Pearl had plans to come at noon and eat with us and Bill joined us! I should just put a flag out front that says come n' eat! Barbara of Barbara's diner in Woonsocket sees me all the time walking Honey. She opens at five AM but she said the seniors are at her diner door waiting to be let in at three thirty am! Do you believe it? Have a great Indian summer night. I'll probably be up cooking again!


I love cookbooks. Laurie Colwin said they tell us how to live. Today the air and light and temps feels like Martha's Vineyard. I haven't been there since I was a kid when I ran away at 16 and got a job at The Black Dog Bakery and the neighboring Back Dog Restaurant baking by day and mopping at night. I got two jobs in three days and lived there for ten days! Today I was looking at cookbook I found for 25 cents at Woonsocket's junk store on Main Street. I found a recipe for baked potato chips. Just what I needed after marching jamming and dancing in two three mile parades playing my baritone sax. "I'm hungry!!" I love the down home recipes based on fresh local ingredients. The authors are clever, resourceful and appreciative. All you need to make these is an oven, a cast iron pot, potatoes, olive oil, and Kosher salt.


I eat illegal amounts of garlic! Especially now that I have found a stash; five heads for a dollar at the Asian market. They are from China. I slam them with the side of my cleaver and peel them like squished cockroaches. When I hear the bang at my door I'll know it's the garlic police in hazmat suits with cloves on their lapels. Garlic Devo! I was just telling Schnig and Jenny's daughters escape stories about my Uncle Peter who is not my blood-related uncle but my step father's best friend; a NYC bachelor and fashion photographer who was a Jew raised in Holland. He escaped the Nazis six times! He was hiding in ceilings and floors! But back to garlic. Perhaps it does keep the vampires and the Nazis away.

I wished I was Chinese

One of my first memories was sleeping over at my grandparents apartment on Brighton Beach above the boardwalk in Brookyln. My sister and I would horse around and tease eachother making faces. I remember Grandma telling us "Don't make faces, they'll freeze that way." I immediately thought "Oh goodie!" And when my sister wasn't looking I stretched my eye lids to look Asian and held them for a long time because I wanted them to freeze. I wanted to become Chinese! At bedtime I tried again. I stretched my eye lids in the dark until the voices on the boardwalk below faded and I finally fell asleep. I woke up and raced to the bathroom mirror. I was still Jewish.

My beloved Brighton beach Grandparents Nat and Sophie ate at the Chinese restaurant on Coney Island Avenue every night of the week. My grandfather could afford to do that! Grandma only cooked once in a while and she made roasted chicken. Grandpa had a little store called United Blower that sold fans and motors on Center Street in NYC on the lower East Side off of Canal Street next to Off Track Betting. When Grandpa visited us in his beige 1969 Buick Skylark the trunk was always filled with cases of Wrigley's Spearmint Gum, and new boxes of sneakers, all of them in his size. In the back seat grandma had shopping bags filled to the top with potato knishes, bagels, rye bread, and honeycake from "The Avenue".

Today I was thinking again about wishing I was Chinese. I made an amazing peapod, mushroom, mung beansprout, ground pork, red pepper, garlic, wine, mushroom, celery, carrot, whole wheat noodle dish that my Chinese friends would swear was made by their mothers! Will I ever kugel my way to Bejing? I love making semolina pasta in my hand cranked Atlas machine clamped to my turquoise kitchen counter. I add lemon zest and thyme to the dough. I have to fend off my dog from eating the noodles as they dry on the wooden clothes rack! The noodle is at the heart of so many amazing cultures and cuisines; The Italian cuisine the Jewish cuisine and the Asian cuisines. I would love to teach people how to enjoy feeding themselves. The noodle is the soul food of all nations!

Culinary Secret

My pal Armand the gardener and avid canner told me to wet the sealing ring of my Presto Pressure Cooker before each use and I won't have to ever replace it! It works! And I used to have to replace my sealing ring every year. Thank you Armand! By the way in case you haven't tried it, cooking under pressure rocks!!

Trash Picker

I've become like Ray my pal in my neighborhood with silver hair and bushy black eyebrows who walks around and picks up glass. But I pick up trash. Yesterday Ray and Honey and I were walking in the neighborhood and Ray found an eyelash curler in the parking lot of the baseball field. He said "what's this?" in his loud slow leaning voice. There was something perfect about finding an eyelash curler in a baseball field like the balancing of yin and yang. Ray wanted to know what it was. I said you won't believe it, Ray. I explained and he laughed. "I don't need that, you have it." He said and I thanked him and put it in my bag. Although Ray's hair is silver his eyebrows are jet black and his black eyelashes are the longest eyelashes I have ever seen on a human being.


It is a miracle that I am not a million pounds! It's true! Right now I ate a bowl of home made french fries and ketchup. I baked about two and a half pounds of potatoes (about 12 potatoes) cut into thick wedges drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with Kosher salt. I baked them at 400 for 120 minutes stirring every 15-30 minutes. They are delicious and healthy. Next I will bake carrots with freshly grated ginger...basically I eat all day long when I am post parade! Six miles of dancing and honking my horn brings on my appetite! Somedays I'll eat a double lunch, a double breakfast, snacks constantly, a double dinner, but I write it down to see the patterns and it seems I eat every 2-3 hours!

Weight Loss Glasses

I am no longer a member of the YMCA pool. Even my favorite red lifeguard bathing suit has rotted after hanging in there for eight years! We're trimming all extraneous expenses out of our life so swim memberships are considered a luxury. But I walk Honey and jog with her, and I dance madly to my favorite band BRAVE COMBO in the full length mirrors our pal Schnig got us from the TV show he worked on. I'm continually leaving my eye glasses in the kitchen and I have to run down stairs from my office and back up again about ten million times a day which is why I call them my weight loss glasses. I probably have kept ten pounds off chasing up and down after them!

The Cow Lady of Tiverton

I want to meet Jeanne Moniz the cow lady of Tiverton RI. Rob Armstrong, the head of Munroe Dairy told me about her. The Providence Journal did a story on her too. She takes care of 350 cows and sells the milk to Garelick farm. I want to meet her because she is 65 and vibrant and runs this farm herself. I am obsessed with meeting vibrant women who are not scared off by becoming older. And I am obsessed with seeing dairy farms on the ocean. It's a wild backdrop, cows and ocean like pictures I've seen of Ireland. And all right here in Little Rhody! But you have to drive through Massachusetts twice to get there from here!

Barbeque Men

There's a bunch of guys in the nearby Blackstone neighborhood hanging out outside barbecuing with three TV's going and an outdoor fire while they watch the game bundled up in sweatshirts! I wish they would invite me. There's a few households of guys nearby that do this every time there's a big football game. I see them when I walk Honey. Maybe this weekend I'll drop in with some fresh meat and cigars.

Anniversary Toast

Today is my two year anniversary of my Urban Mermaid Blog. To celebrate I am making toast! Also as part of my celebration I have started this blog; The Insomniac's Kitchen, launched a few days ago. I have been more of an Urban Milkmaid than a Mermaid these days but that's another matter.

We finally solved the toaster mystery! Someone had sent us an amazing restaurant quality brand new toaster but there was no name or message with it. So for weeks I e-mailed everyone I know asking and thanking them simultaneously but had no luck finding out who sent it. I was exhausted! Then I got the bright idea of calling the various company names on the boxs UPS label. So I fished the torn cardboard top of the box out of the recycle bin to read the names. One was a kitchen store in Hilton Head NC and the other turned out to be in Brooklyn NY. The NC lady sent me to the sweet lady at the Brooklyn store and she helped us trace who it was. She also gave us the kind message that was intended for us. Mystery solved! It was our pal and blog fan Hugh Everett who sent us the Viking brushed stainless steel toaster! We never would have guessed it because last we heard he was living in Belgium. This toaster is amazing and it has four slots and is hydraulic. Hydraulic descending toast! We toast four slices a at a time at the maximum time; number six on the big black knob, and then a bit more at number three is needed to handle my heartiest sourdough. Thank you Hugh!

I have stopped buying commercial yeast so my bread is truly authentic wholegrain sourdough rising from just my Woonsocket sourdough starter which is now ten years old and alive and well thriving in a widemouth jar on the inside door of my fridge! I bought the yeast in San Francisco when visiting and baking a supper banquet for my clown friends who had a gig performing on Geary Street. They had fully equipped kitchens in their hotel rooms!

My next trip I plan to go to Texas to eat a cactus for breakfast and cook and bake for my musician friends and travel all the way across the state. I think we could fit 100 Rhode Islands into Texas but I'm not going to try it.

We have been crazy busy with musical performances and art shows since May and the Urban Mermaid blog has taken a back seat. But I am hoping to post some of my longer pieces on the Urban Mermaid blog, ones that I've been submitting to magazines.

Raisin Bran Muffin Cake

These days most muffins are really cake. This is a cake that's really a muffin! I bake it in my cast iron Lodge Bundt Cake pan. I also call it travel cake because it is the perfect thing to take traveling by car, train or bicycle! It stays moist and it's wholesome providing vitamins and energy without being too sweet. In fact the only sweetness is from the raisins and carrots. Once in a while I add semi sweet chocolate chips. The only fats are from the eggs and the peanut butter and the occasional semi sweet chocolate chips. You can exchange any number of fruits or vegetables for the main body of the cake. I have used bananas, pumpkin, applesauce, chopped apples, zucchini, prunes, grated carrots. Anything is possible. Just mix it all the ingredients together in a big bowl. Or if you are feeling crazy like me, mix with it all with your hands! Taste the batter and make adjustments that suit you. Beware that the bran does taste bitter before it is baked but other than that the flavors reflect what will become the final product. The peanut butter makes this cake taste EARTHY like delicious dirt.

Mix all ingredients in a big bowl and then stir it up!
2-3 eggs depending on how large.
two teaspoons of vanilla or almond extract (optional)
2 cups of home made unsweetened applesauce or grated carrots or two or three ripe bananas or two cups of pumpkin or zucchini. (you can even use combinations)
1-2 cups of raisins
3/4 to a cup of salted smooth or crunchy natural peanut butter
sunflower seeds (optional)
2 and 1/2 to three cups whole wheat flour
1 cup of wheat bran (can mix with rolled oats and cornmeal if you wish)
2 teaspoons cinnamon (optional)
2 teaspoons powdered ginger (optional)
sprinkles of ground cloves or ground cardamom (optional)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt

If you need to moisten the batter add vegetable stock or yogurt, milk, or orange or apple juice. It should be gloppy but not too soupy, like spoon bread batter.

Grease cast iron Bundt pan (or pan of your choice) with Crisco and preheat oven to 425. You can also bake it at 350 but I prefer hotter! I heat up my pan and pour batter into hot cast iron. Be careful of the hot pan, have your pot holders handy. Bake for an hour. Let cool for 15 minutes then poke the edges with a sharp knife and turn out onto a cutting board and place on a rack to cool. I like to keep mine displayed on glass pedestal cake dish with a glass see through cover. It's healthy and delicious excellent with tea or coffee. Your family and friends will love it.
Enjoy! Eat and dance a polka!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An Experiment

Some people immediately put on the radio when they are alone but I turn on the oven! Last night I salvaged leftover ribs from our big 2004 BRAVE COMBO dance party! I dug them out of the bottom of our gigantic chest freezer. I have no shame about poverty. I just added a few quarts of tap water, fresh collard greens, whole garlic cloves from the Asian American market on North Main Street Woonsocket where you can get five garlic bulbs for a dollar, slices of fresh ginger root, which I eat like candy once they've cooked, a few quartered white onions and four dried red chilis, and a few splashes of soy sauce. I also threw in two cups of frozen yellow corn. I baked it all in my covered cast iron Dutch oven. It was an experiment and guess what? It came out GREAT!!!

Segmented Sleep

There's hope for those of us excitable insomniacs! Segmented sleep. There's first sleep; for five hours and second sleep; for two to three hours. It's a real thing customary in other parts of the non industrial world. Read about it on Wikipedia.

Cast Iron Maiden

Go ahead, call me the Cast Iron Maiden! I'll never stop singing its praises. Many women enjoy decorating and powdering themselves with cosmetics and lotions in the bathroom. I hang around the kitchen greasing up and seasoning my black cast iron pots and skillets. There's a foundry on my street Friends Foundry with a cool logo; a painted illustration of a man pouring molten steel making an anvil. I tip my head into the open garage doors once in a while walking by with Honey and I immediately think of the photographs of Margaret Bourke-White. I see guys covered in black soot and grease working in the sweltering heat, pouring molten lava or sitting out front having a cigarette break. I wonder if they make cast iron muffin pans.

Monday, October 20, 2008


This Thanksgiving I am celebrating 30 years of living in Rhode Island and 20 years of living in Woonsocket and 10 years of keeping my sourdough starter alive!

Blue Hubbard in the Cupboard

Our band mate Rodney Maxwell gave us a silvery blue hubbard squash the size of a basketball. It looks like it was harvested from the bottom of the sea! He has Rhode Island Red chickens and he gave us 16 very oval brown eggs. They are so good.

Quote of The Day

Sticking together, none of us will starve. Besides, we can always grow enough zucchini for everyone, can’t we?

- Granny D

Nap Soup

I took my Dutch oven and put chopped fresh collard greens, leftover stock and water, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, dried red chili, coarsely chopped white onions, and leftover smoked salty turkey, in the pot. I covered it with the tight fitting lid and put it into in a 350 degree oven and then went upstairs to nap. I awoke from my 45 minute sleep to the fabulous scent of turkey and greens stew. Then I added frozen yellow corn niblets. I added quarter sized slices of fresh ginger root and a few whole peeled garlic cloves! I cooked it 30 minutes more. It was fabulous!

Cream Is Lighter Than Milk

My milkman brother-in-law Jeffrey told me a crate of heavy cream is lighter than a crate of milk when you lift it. It makes sense when you think about it. My pal Julie gave up going to the gym after working out for a week because she weighed more! I told her hey don't give up; muscle is heavier than fat!

Smashed Garlic Collard Greens

Smashed Garlic Greens: a three headed soul food.

Collards and kale are less than a buck a pound and even cheaper, healthier and heartier than spinach.
I use these tools:
an Asian cleaver or a sharp knife,
a cutting board,
an eight quart Presto Pressure Cooker,
a 12" cast iron skillet.

Get a fresh head of garlic and smash the cloves a few at a time pounding sideways on the cleaver using fist while yelling joyfully yes, yes, yes!

Heat the cast iron skillet, pour in bloops of extra virgin olive oil purchased for a bargain from Job Lot, sprinkle in dried red chili pepper flakes from Asian American market. Rinse the three heads of kale or collards a few times in water to get out any sand (or bugs!) Chop the heads into one to two inch pieces and then pressure cook those gorgeous greens for three minutes in a quart of water if it's an eight quart pressure cooker, less if it's a smaller cooker. Save the quart of leftover green translucent syrupy liquid remaining in the pressure cooker and transfer into a glass canning jar. Label the liquid and date it with a sharpie marker so you don't mistake it for tea! Vegetable stock is money in the bank! Use it to replace water in soup or bread recipes, muffins or waffles or cake recipes. Or anything else you think of! Sometimes I'll salt it and add a tiny dash of olive oil and drink it as a delicious hot broth.

Then add soy sauce, kosher salt, and Job Lot balsamic vinegar to your greens to taste! It's impossible not to eat this's even better than potato chips. I crave dark greens and I bet once you eat these you will too. It's also fun to grate fresh ginger root into the frying pan with the olive oil chili and garlic. Sometimes I add frozen corn niblets to brighten the color with yellow polka dots, and sweeten the taste. Enjoy!

Quote Of The Day

When we Americans learn the great lesson that all Life is a Unit; that the physical, intellectual and spiritual are all One Life and that whatever mars one phase of it mars the whole - we will be better off.

- Shaker Manifesto

Nebraska Spider Bread

There’s an International Dutch Oven Society.

My mother got this recipe from Avi when they first moved to Massachusetts in 1975. I found this written out on a lined yellow recipe card the other day. Nebraska Spider Bread named after the cast iron spider pan. Which was a cast iron Dutch oven pot with legs.
serves 5-6 preheat oven to 375
1 and 1/4 cups coarse corn meal
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1 teasp salt
1 teasp baking soda
3 Tablespoon melted butter or corn oil or bacon fat
5 eggs beaten
2 and 1/2 cup buttermilk or 2 and 1/2 cups of milk and a half teaspoon of white vinegar or yogurt diluted with milk to make one and a half cups
3 Tablespoons butter or oil
Mix dry ingredients + add to the mixed liquids. Melt butter in 10" Spider pan or cast iron Dutch oven. Tip grease all over, then add batter. bake 30 minutes in preheated 375 oven. Serve hot with butter maple syrup or honey. Do not overcook the eggs they set a bit after your remove the pot from the oven.