Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I just sliced a handful of asparagus out of the backyard and ate it with bread and mustard and green olives. Fabulous!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Quote of the Day

A significant part of the pleasure of eating is in one's accurate
consciousness of the lives and the world from which the food comes.

-Wendell Berry

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Supper Pie

Last night I made a vegetable pie and it came out great! First I made the quick press-in oil crust using one cup of whole wheat flour, 1/4 cup corn oil, 1/4 cup cold water, salt to taste, 1/4 cup sugar (acts like glue) then I stirred it all with a fork and pressed into my clay pie dish. Then I sauteed, in olive oil, three onions and two stalks of celery with their top greens. I added a cup of leftover pumpkin puree and a leftover boiled potato that I sliced. I added salt and dried red chili pepper and then I grated cheddar cheese to cover the whole top of the pie and baked it at a preheated 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Delicious.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bake Barter

I'm looking to give one of my sourdough breads or homemade cakes to anyone who can help me transport a few box loads of free cow manure from the nearby dairy farm. Pickup trucks work best!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wheat Pimp

My friend Brittin Eustis, whom I affectionately call the Wheat Pimp, supervises and cultivates the growth of organic wheat and other grains in the United States. I asked him why whole wheat flour + whole wheat pasta taste so much better than I remember it tasting when I was first starting to bake bread in the 1970's.
To answer your question about the changes to organic whole wheat pasta, in the 70's the pasta was largely made from organic hard red spring wheat which originated from Ukrainian Steppes. The traditional pasta is made from semolina which is milled from durum wheat, and that wheat came from North Africa and Mesopotamia. Hard red spring wheat is mostly for bread making and has strong gluten characteristics as well as high protein. It is not necessarily suited for sourdough fermented breads unless it meets certain characteristics. It is great for making bagels. Durum is suited for pasta, is yellow in color, and has a translucent endosperm. Semolina is a granular meal that is milled from the endosperm of the durum kernel. When it comes to whole wheat products made from these grains, the taste difference is largely due to the ratio of bran to endosperm. Hard red spring wheat has a larger proportion of bran to endosperm because the kernels are smaller. The flavor of the hard red spring wheat is distinctly more "grain like" because of tannins and phenolic acid in the bran layers. Whole wheat durum flour is much lighter in color and taste due to the higher ratio of endosperm to bran. It also has lower levels of tannins.

The best flour for making whole wheat pasta is made from kamut, a grain that is actually a precursor to modern day durum. The kernel is very large, and it has strong gluten and protein. I understand from my friend Bob Quinn, who started the breeding program in the US for this variety of wheat, that kamut makes a really nice sourdough bread, and it is very popular in Europe.

Here are some references for you:
North Dakota Wheat Commission
Kamut Korasan Wheat

Best regards,
The Wheat Pimp

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sally Sampson

When my friend Jenny turned me onto Sally Sampson's books I immediately fell in love with her writing. Her voice is intimate, poetic and honest in the tradition of my favorite food writers; Marion Cunningham, Laurie Colwin, MFK Fisher. She lives in New England and has published over a dozen cookbooks. Have a peek, and enjoy! Sally's website

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Wood Flour

I went on a tour of the mill in Groveton and they made this stuff called wood flour. Now I thought it was pulp for paper and I asked the manager and he said no, our biggest client for this stuff is McDonalds. And he said what do you think they put it in? And I thought oh my goodness, the bread, the meat? He said non-dairy shakes. He said why do you think they're nondairy?
-Jack McEnany

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits.
-Carl Sandburg


What I say is that, if a fellow really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.
-A. A. Milne

Simple Sweet Rice

Rinse two cups of short grain brown rice, cook in salted water in a heavy iron pot for an hour simmering on low. Enjoy with honey and cinnamon.


According to the Spanish proverb, four persons are wanted to make a good salad: a spendthrift (for oil), a miser for vinegar, a counselor for salt and a madman to stir it all up.
-John Gerard, Jesuit Priest (1564-1637)


Life is a combination of magic and pasta.
-Federico Fellini

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


On my walk to the dairy farm the other day I saw a garden with upside down clear plastic liter soda bottles strategically placed in rows in the soil. The bottles were serving as miniature greenhouses each one was covering a seed for growing peas.


Ceviche (also spelled as cebiche or seviche) is a citrus-marinated seafood dish, popular mainly in Latin American countries. Every so often I get a craving for the clean fresh taste of Cod!
Try this recipe! You'll love it.

1 to 2 lbs. firm, fresh white fish such as Cod, cut in 1/2 inch chunks.
Juice of 12-15 limes freshly squeezed, enough to cover the fish!
1-10 cloves garlic, minced
2 to 3 teaspoons salt (to taste)
1 small hot pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1-2 large red onions, thinly sliced or chopped
serve with toast, home made crackers, popcorn or slices of cold cooked sweet potato, or fried green plantains.

Layer the fish, salt, onion, pepper, and garlic in several layers in a glass bowl or empty quart canning jars. Pour the lime juice over mixture to cover. Refrigerate for three hours or overnight. The lime juice cooks the fish. Keeps well. Serve at room temperature on crackers, with popcorn, corn nuts, sliced cold sweet potato, or fried green plantains. Very colorful!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Colorful Quiche

Last night I started out making a whole wheat oil crust for an apple pie but changed my mind and made an onion quiche! For the crust take three tablespoons of water and whisk with 1/4 cup of corn oil. Add salt to taste. Add a cup of whole wheat flour and mix it gently with a spoon or your fingers, and then press it into a clay pie dish. Done! It's that easy! Look in your fridge to see if there are any leftover vegetables and cheeses and meats to use.
I chopped four onions and placed on the unbaked crust. Then I whisked 8 eggs and added Adobo seasoning. I poured egg mixture over the onions. Threw in a handful of pitted green olives (with pimentos) and a handful of chopped carrots for color! I baked it for 45 minutes in preheated 375 degree oven. Play! Have fun! Invent! Enjoy!

Eggplant Tomato Sauce

This sauce tastes meaty! Cube one average-sized eggplant, salt it, and let it sit in colander while you get started on everything else. Chop two ribs of celery, a few white onions, and a few cloves of garlic and saute in a big pot with olive oil and some dried red chili peppers crumbled. Then rinse the eggplant, shake it dry and add it to the pot. Cook it all a bit then add three cans of diced tomatoes and a splash of cheap port or leftover red wine for sweetness and flavor. Add dried or fresh oregano, a bay leaf, and some fresh basil and parsley if you have it. If you like capers you can add them too. Chop up some pitted black olives. This sauce will be fabulous on whole wheat pasta and even better the next day and progressively better through the week! So when you make a lot of it you'll be glad you did! Grate Asiago, Romano or Parmesan cheese on top. I like the sauce at room temperature eaten on a cracker or eaten on a slice of toast with grated cheese on top as bruschetta!