Monday, December 13, 2010

Eating Poetry

Ink runs from the corners of my mouth
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.
-Mark Strand, "Eating Poetry," Reasons for Moving

Confetti Meat Loaf

This dish is colorful crumbly and relaxed. It looks like Thanksgiving stuffing and tastes equally good. First preheat oven to 350 degrees f. Saute in olive oil in large cast iron skillet one orange-sized onion, 4-6 carrots, 3-4 ribs of celery, two red bell peppers, two green bell peppers, when onions are translucent turn off heat and add about four dashes of Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 to 1/2 cup ketchup, 3-4 cups rolled oats, sprinkles of yellow cornmeal, and dash of leftover wine. Then gently mix in a pound of ground beef and half pound pork, a sprinkle of cayenne, a sprinkle of nutmeg, black pepper and salt. Gently pat the whole mess slightly (in the skillet) and bake for fifty minutes to an hour. You can also use a blend of leftover grains or whole grain porridge (wheat, millet, rice, barley, rye, etc.) in place of the rolled oats and cornmeal. Have fun!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


My step-father drank coffee from a gigantic shiny percolator. The pot would sit between us at the breakfast table, and I would stare into its stainless-steel fun-house mirror. I loved the distortions of my reflected face and fingers, the breakfast dishes and tableware. My fingers were elongated when vertical and stubby when horizontal. It was never-ending fun.

One day I visited my biological father and his new wife and their two newly adopted children in Hartsdale NY. He and I were sitting in the sun in the backyard of his new house. For some reason he was trying to explain reincarnation to me. I was seven. My first thought was that after I die I wanted to come back as a coffee pot, identical to the one my step-father drank from every morning.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Loving Leftovers

I love leftovers more than the original Thanksgiving meal. The past few days I have enjoyed leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast with my toasted molasses sourdough oat, cornmeal whole wheat bread spiked with cashews and raisins.

For lunch we've been eating slices of leftover turkey on toasted whole wheat sourdough bread topped with horseradish, mayo, and Bob's home made cranberry chutney.

I'm fantasizing about making a Frank Lloyd Wright gingerbread house!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Frances Moore Lappé

I've grown certain that the root of all fear is that we've been forced to deny who we are.
-Frances Moore Lappé

My whole mission in life is to help us find the power we lack to create the world we want.
-Frances Moore Lappé

The act of putting into your mouth what the earth has grown is perhaps your most direct interaction with the earth.
-Frances Moore Lappé

Hope is not what we find in evidence. It is what we become in action.
-Frances Moore Lappé

Recent science shows that when we observe an action it affects our brains, via "mirror neurons," as if we ourselves were acting. It literally changes us. So, in a basic sense, seeing courage in action can actually makes us braver . . . one person's courage has such unpredictable power.
-Frances Moore Lappé

Loretta LaRoche

This Thanksgiving celebrate the now of chow! Lets take ourselves a little less seriously and lighten up!

-Loretta LaRoche

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Woonsocket Dynamite Recipe

Woonsocket's Winning Dynamite Recipe 2008

By Lynne Leroux and Michelle Marcotte

Brown: 5 lbs. of Hamburger (70/30); drain fat

Add: 12 cups of diced green peppers
12 cups diced onions

Cook: 15 minutes

Add: 1/8 cup oregano
1/8 cup basil
1/8 cup Italian seasoning
¼ cup granulated garlic powder
1½ tablespoons of salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
¾ tablespoon crushed red pepper
1½ tablespoon of hot sauce
2½ cups tomato sauce
2½ cups tomato paste
2½ cups crushed and concentrate tomatoes
½ cup of sugar

Simmer until peppers are tender
(Do not cover)

I found this recipe for Woonsocket's most famous food and used it as a guide for making a smaller quantity. I added celery because I had some on hand, and skipped the sugar and added leftover red wine in it's place. I also added more red chili flakes. You can't go wrong with this universal soul food. Make a pot of pinto beans to add mid week and turn the leftovers into a chili. Enjoy and consider sharing with your neighbors. World peace happens one meal, one song and one story at a time.


I've discovered I LOVE generic coffee! Stop and Shop breakfast blend for 2.99 a can, the Tetley Tea equivalent of coffee. Sadly, I can't enjoy tea anymore. For some reason (histamine allergies?) it tumbles my tummy. But I am lovin' simple coffee - no sugar and skim milk so you can taste the coffee. I told Bill it's the kind they make at McDonald's, Burger King, all gas stations, and all the Cub Scout & PTA & AA meetings. What some people call bad boring coffee I love!!! To me it tastes like hot cocoa but better because it's not sugary.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and as sweet as love.
-Turkish Proverb

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gerardo's Espresso

Our pal Gerardo showed us how he lovingly makes espresso every day using Israeli Turkish coffee he found at Job Lot. Now I am making one tiny cup of it each day too. I mix the hot coffee with a cup of hot milk in a big white ceramic mug. To me, it tastes like hot cocoa.

Apple Butter

When I was sixteen I had this fantasy of making apple butter for Bob Dylan. I loved his music and imagined making him this gift. Last night I fell asleep with a vat of apples simmering on the stove top. When I got up I added cloves, ginger, sugar and a bit of apple cider. Then a few hours later when all the liquid was gone, I strained the reduced apple mush through the ricer. I filled four small jars with apple butter!

Farm Life

There’s nothing better than raising your family on a farm. The kids develop a love of the land; they all have responsibilities; and they learn first hand about life and death with the animals. It prepares them for things to come.
-Ed LaPrise, Rhode Island

Gingerbread Hermit Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all of the dry ingredients ingredients together in a big bowl. Mix the wet ingredients together and then combine them. You can test the batter by tasting it before baking. I decided to bake these gingerbread hermits like brownies - I spread the batter into one greased 9 by 12 inch Pyrex baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a test skewer comes out clean. Let cool. They taste even better the next day.

1/2 cup shortening or oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses (not blackstrap)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup warm coffee
1 egg
3 cups whole wheat or white flour (add more if needed)
1 and 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (less salt if using white flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cloves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 tablespoon of cocoa (optional)
1 cup raisins (add more if desired)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Soup Season

This time of year I love to get out my vat-sized stainless-steel soup pot. Last week I combined two bunches of chopped kale, four chopped sweet potatoes, chopped stalks of celery, a few gigantic chopped onions, chopped cloves of fresh garlic, and a pound of precooked beans. It all went into the pot along with water, extra virgin olive oil, salt, my neighbor Armand's dried oregano, freshly ground pepper, and cumin. I simmered the chopped vegetables for a few hours. We lived on this fabulous soup all week, accompanying it with cooked brown rice on some nights, and serving it with corn muffins or sourdough wholegrain bread on other nights!

Friday, November 12, 2010


Last night my painting "Eggs" sold at the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative Ten by Ten show.

You can view this painting here.

Corn Muffins

I've been on a corn muffin bender baking these muffins every morning to warm the kitchen. They are fast, wholesome and delicious and a great lunch box food. I have a love of baking in cast iron pans but any muffin tins will do.

Preheat oven to 350 or 400 degrees. Mix up all ingredients into a batter in a big bowl and pour into greased muffin tins. Fill the muffin cups half way to allow room for expansion.

2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4 cup corn oil
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoons baking powder

Bake muffins for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 or 400 degrees.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Broached Chicken

Where I live there are a few restaurants famous for something called broasted chicken, which as far as I can tell is a word invented to mean boiled and roasted (till-it-falls-off-the-bone) chicken. It's also called family style chicken. Wright's Farm and a place that used to exist called Ma Glockner's were the two most popular places to sample this down-home delicacy. River Falls has been recently advertising on billboards around the city that they now serve Ma Glockner's berched chicken, which is chicken boiled then seared with a heavy weight on it (heavy like a building, says my friend). This morning I was talking to Bill and I confused the chicken names in the exact way that my Grandma Sophie always scrambled words. I asked Bill, "What exactly is broached chicken?" When I realized what I had said I laughed, and decided to define it myself. Broached chicken is chicken that the chef has sampled before it's served. Or maybe it's the chicken left over that a mother eats off of her children's plates.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Absolutely Right

A downstate Illinois boy loves the Steak ’n Shake as a Puerto Rican loves rice and beans, an Egyptian loves falafel, a Brit loves banger and mash, an Indian loves tikki ki chaat, a Swede loves herring, a Finn loves reindeer jerky, and a Canadian loves bran muffins. These matters do not involve taste. They involve a deep-seated conviction that a food is absolutely right, and always has been, and always will be.
-Roger Ebert

Monday, August 30, 2010


Tamara the gypsy,
My birth father's grandmother,
is dark and round and looks Russian Indian Eastern European Eskimo
in the photo.
She must be the one I have been longing to meet.
She has been speaking to me for years through cabbages and onions
in the root cellar.
I always make her homemade yogurt and rustic loaves of sourdough.
I chop her beets for soup, bloodying the board magenta
while dreaming of sauerkraut, sausage, and mustard.

Morning Coffee

The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.
-Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Half-Rack at the Rendezvouz

by William Notter

She had a truck, red hair,
and freckled knees and took me all the way
to Memphis after work for barbecue.
We moaned and grunted over plates of ribs
and sweet iced tea, even in a room of strangers,
gnawing the hickory char, the slow
smoked meat peeling off the bones,
and finally the bones. We slurped
grease and dry-rub spice from our fingers,
then finished with blackberry cobbler
that stained her lips and tongue.

All the trees were throwing fireworks
of blossom, the air was thick
with pollen and the brand-new smell of leaves.
We drove back roads in the watermelon dusk,
then tangled around each other, delirious
as honeybees working wisteria.
I could blame it all on cinnamon hair,
or the sap rising, the overflow of spring,
but it was those ribs that started everything.

-William Notter, Holding Everything Down

Saturday, August 28, 2010


We were out of apples and I wanted one. I remembered the big apple tree across the street from the library, on the grounds of the former Marquette Credit Union Building. I had to pick up my library books anyway. So I went with Lily to the apple tree. All of the apples had been scooped off the ground and the good ones were out of my reach. I picked up a stick and tried to knock one down. Then I saw the maintenance man unloading bags of wood chips in the building next door. I could see into the garage. There were barrels full of rakes and shovels. I asked him if I could borrow a rake to reach an apple on the tree. He handed me a real iron rake, not the flimsy leaf-raking kind, and I was able to reach three gigantic juicy red apples, and a few little ones for Lily. I returned the rake, thanked the man, and nibbled my way home. Lily and I were in heaven! I love living in a city where the apples grow on trees!


by Mark Strand

A man leaves for the next town to pick up a cake.
On the way, he gets lost in a dense woods
and the cake is never picked up. Years later,
The man appears on a beach, staring at the sea.
"I'm standing on this beach," he thinks, "And I am lost
in thought." He does not move. The heaving sea
turns black, its waves curl and crash. "Soon
I will leave," he continues. "Soon I will go
to a nearby town to pick up a cake. I will walk
in a brown and endless woods, and far away
the heaving sea will turn to black, and the waves -
I can see them now - will curl and crash."

-Mark Strand

Implications for Modern Life

by Matthea Harvey

The ham flowers have veins and are rimmed in rind, each petal a little meat sunset. I deny all connection with the ham flowers, the barge floating by loaded with lard, the white flagstones like platelets in the blood-red road. I’ll put the calves in coats so the ravens can’t gore them, bandage up the cut gate and when the wind rustles its muscles, I’ll gather the seeds and burn them. But then I see a horse lying on the side of the road and think You are sleeping, you are sleeping, I will make you be sleeping. But if I didn’t make the ham flowers, how can I make him get up? I made the ham flowers. Get up, dear animal. Here is you pasture flecked with pink, your oily river, your bleeding barn. Decide what to look at and how. If you lower your lashes, the blood looks like mud. If you stay, I will find you fresh hay.

-Matthea Harvey, Modern Life

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Café Paradiso

by Charles Simic

My chicken soup thickened with pounded young almonds
My blend of winter greens.
Dearest tagliatelle with mushrooms, fennel, anchovies,
Tomatoes and vermouth sauce.
Beloved monkfish braised with onions, capers
And green olives.
Give me your tongue tasting of white beans and garlic,
Sexy little assortment of formaggi and frutta!
I want to drown with you in red wine like a pear,
Then sleep in a macédoine of wild berries with cream.

-Charles Simic, Walking the Black Cat

Monday, August 23, 2010

Roasted Pignoli Nuts

Roasted pignoli nuts taste like bacon!

Glass Blowing

Learn glass blowing with master artist in glass NEAL DROBNIS for October Weekend Workshops at his Scituate Rhode Island Studio.

Rousseau's Paradox

by Marion Cunningham, The Supper Book

Jean-Jaques Rousseau observed that civilized man has become more and more separated from the world of home and family, orchards and farms, and all our deep human links with life. He believed that sophistication, modernization, and urban life tend to corrupt the ideal integrity of the rural, simple, and traditional.

"In every city dweller there is a displaced yearning for the rustic farm land, the taste of the homegrown, all the natural foods. The paradox is that we do want authentic country flavors and integrity, but we do not seek the discomforts of the simple life, so we rediscover regionalism vicariously amid modern convenience and luxury."

It is somehow both alarming and consoling to know that Rousseau wrote these words over two hundred years ago.

I think the best cure for this separation is home cooking. Looking for and buying raw ingredients, handling and preparing them in your familiar kitchen, and then eating at your own kitchen table will daily restore a feeling of connection with the natural world.

-Marion Cunningham, The Supper Book

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Charles Simic

The Garden of Eden needs weeding
And the soda machines don't work.

-Charles Simic
from the poem The Emperor, Walking the Black Cat

Indoor Thumb

I am no gardener. As much as I like the idea of growing fruits and vegetables myself I can't be outside under the broiling sun. I'd rather do anything but that. Perhaps I could try gardening at night, under the full moon. Frankly I'd still rather be inside baking breads. I prefer the oven to the sun any day. For my readers. . . I'd gladly trade my sourdough whole wheat loaves or home made yogurt for fresh vegetables and farm-fresh eggs any day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Last night I had a craving for meatloaf. I was embarrassed, thinking "Who makes meatloaf in August?" I pulled out my favorite cookbook, Marion Cunningham's Supper Book, and read her meatloaf recipe. At the last minute I discovered we were out of carrots and celery so I substituted red potatoes, and the meatloaf came out great. We never have breadcrumbs because we eat all of our bread! So I substituted rolled oats in place of breadcrumbs. I also didn't use garlic, instead I used about a teaspoon or so of Adobo seasoning.

adapted from Marion Cunningham's Supper Book
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
5-6 medium sized potatoes
1 pound ground beef (chuck or round)
1/2 pound pork
1 teaspoon or so of Adobo seasoning
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
a dash of salt
fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
(or 2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce - we use Cholula)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2/3 cup water or beer or a little of both

Preheat oven to 350
Grate the potatoes, chop the onion. Heat oil in a large skillet and fry the onion and potatoes. When everything starts to stick add the water and/or beer. Saute for about ten minutes until soft. Don't be afraid to incorporate the blackened crust that forms from the potatoes sticking to the bottom of the skillet. It's delicious! In a large bowl put the meat and all the other ingredients. When the potatoes and onions cool off a bit, put them in with the other ingredients in the big bowl. Mix everything together with your hands and gently pat into a mound on a 11x17 baking dish. (If pressed together too firmly the meatloaf won't remain moist and tender). Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Pot Roast

by Mark Strand

I gaze upon the roast,
that is sliced and laid out
on my plate
and over it
I spoon the juices
of carrot and onion.
And for once I do not regret
The passage of time.

I sit by a window
that looks
on the soot-stained brick of buildings
and do not care that I see
no living thing - not a bird,
not a branch in bloom,
not a soul moving
in the rooms
behind the dark panes.
These days when there is little
to love or to praise
one could do worse
than yield
to the power of food.
So I bend

to inhale
the steam that rises
from my plate, and I think
of the first time
I tasted a roast
like this.
It was years ago
in Seabright,
Nova Scotia;
my mother leaned
over my dish and filled it
and when I finished
filled it again.
I remember the gravy,
its odor of garlic and celery,
and sopping it up
with pieces of bread.

And now
I taste it again.
The meat of memory.
The meat of no change.
I raise my fork in praise,
and I eat.

-Mark Strand, from Selected Poems

Sunday, August 15, 2010

When Meals Were More Like Carpentry

I woke up completely awake at five AM to a brightening cobalt sky raked with clouds. I had been dreaming that I was walking in New York City through the dark slums of the lower East Side, arms locked with a friend. "My heritage," I had said, walking slowly, imagining my ancestors living here.

I punch the robotic start button on my rescued coffee machine. It still smells like cigarettes from the previous owner but the coffee tastes great. I drink it halved with milk. I set up cornbread batter for baking.

The design of our coffee machines and cars and can openers reflects what haunts our minds - speed, European sophistication, Martians and robots, military tanks. "Watch out for the machines," my grandmother would say as we ran out to play in the city street.

She'd also say "Put the tools on the table" as she prepared supper. Those were the days when making a meal was more like carpentry than pushing elevator buttons. Breads, cakes, apple pies all were planned out and built like small cottages, and Grandma drank her tea clear though a sugar cube.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Roald Dahl

Do you know what breakfast cereal is made of? It's made of all those little curly wooden shavings you find in pencil sharpeners!
-Roald Dahl

So, please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place you can install, a lovely bookcase on the wall.
- Roald Dahl

Rugelah, 5 A.M.

by Sondra Gash

The house is dark and breathing
deep under the covers.
I tiptoe to the kitchen,
lift bowls from the shelf,
mix cream cheese and butter.
Flour dusts my fingers
as I roll dough into a circle,
spread blackberry jam
with the back of a spoon
the way Mama taught me.
I work quickly, leaning over,
sprinkling nuts and raisins
on top, my hands
shaping ovals, folding,
crimping edges.

Lights sifts through the windows
And I think of Mama, coming
home after so many months,
how we baked before dawn,
I, barefoot, she in nightgown
and slippers. Now I slide
the tray into the oven
and glide through the quiet
to wait for the raising.

-Sondra Gash, Silk Elegy

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Heat Wave

Trying to sleep in a heat wave can be tough. Last night I tried this: I put a plastic bottle of water in the freezer. After it froze, I took it out and wrapped it in a damp washcloth. I rested the wrapped bottle on me as I lay on my back, placing it on my neck, chest, and abdomen, while the window fan blew air over me. It really cooled me down, allowing for a good night's sleep. During the day it helped to put a refrigerated damp washcloth on my neck, too. I have been simply hosing Lily down. After I towel her off a bit, she seems very comfortable lying on the cool linoleum floor in front of the fan.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Perishables and Tangibles

My painting Perishables and Tangibles has just sold!

View the painting on my painting blog.

Instructions To The Cook

It's very important to remember that we have to take care of our own life. We have to cook for ourselves before we can really invite guests to join us for dinner. We have to nourish ourselves first.
-Bernard Glassman, Instructions To The Cook

When we learn how to cook for ourselves, though, we find that our vision and understanding of the self grows and expands. The smell of the food cooking and the warmth of the kitchen always invites people in. Even though it may seem as if we're cooking for ourselves, we're always cooking for everybody at the same time. This is because we are all interconnected. We are actually one body.
-Bernard Glassman, Instructions To The Cook

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oven-Roasted Beets

Today I thinly sliced a bunch of large fresh beets and roasted them in the 400 degree oven for 35 minutes doused with a mixture of olive oil, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. They caramelized and tasted great in my lunchtime salad. I dipped slices of my fresh bread in the flavorful olive oil leftover in the pan.

Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette

This is my new fast and easy salad dressing. In a glass liquid measuring cup add equal parts olive oil and wine vinegar. Then, add equal parts mustard and honey. Add salt or your favorite seasoning. I like Adobo seasoning. Mix it vigorously with a fork to thicken, and then taste test. When you're ready to eat pour the dressing over fresh spinach. I like to include thinly-sliced red onions, Kalamata olives and roasted red peppers, and raw sunflower seeds in my salad. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Plum Trees!

Friday night we walked to the North End of Woonsocket and found two plum trees dropping plums onto the sidewalk. We had no shame, we picked a few and ate them, and even ate a few off the sidewalk! One of the neighbors pulled in and we chatted about the plums. He said "Help yourself". I started dreaming of plum pie. I love living in a city where plums grow on trees.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Emily Stamps

I have made six stamps of my paintings so far.

Cactus Flower
Robot with Green Ball
Perishables and Tangibles

You can see and purchase the stamps at:
View the paintings at

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dr. Seuss

You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
-Dr. Seuss

Summer Smoothies

Summer yogurt making is rewarding because then you can make a smoothie with banana, berries, yogurt, ice, and orange juice buzzed in the blender. It is a delicious and refreshing breakfast!

How to make your own home-incubated yogurt--very easy recipe on my blog under HOME MADE YOGURT.

Janice Taylor's Watermelon Gazpacho

Watermelon Gazpacho
Serves: 4 to 6

8 cups cubed seeded watermelon (make sure it's sweet - the sweeter the better tasting the gazpacho)
1 green apple, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion, Vidalia (sweet onion)
1/2 cup finely chopped green pepper
2 teaspoons fresh (if at all possible) basil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

In blender, puree watermelon with 1/4 cup of onion, pepper and 1/2 apple; pour into large mixing bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients (the other 1/4 cup of onion, pepper and apple). Refrigerate, covered, at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

-Janice Taylor

Mead Moon

Tonight is Midsummer Night's Eve, also called St. John's Eve. St. John is the patron saint of beekeepers. It's a time when the hives are full of honey. The full moon that occurs this month was called the Mead Moon, because honey was fermented to make mead. That's where the word "honeymoon" comes from, because it's also a time for lovers. An old Swedish proverb says, "Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking." Midsummer dew was said to have special healing powers. In Mexico, people decorate wells and fountains with flowers, candles, and paper garlands. They go out at midnight and bathe in the lakes and streams. Midsummer Eve is also known as Herb Evening. Legend says that this is the best night for gathering magical herbs. Supposedly, a special plant flowers only on this night, and the person who picks it can understand the language of the trees. Flowers were placed under a pillow with the hope of important dreams about future lovers.
-The Writer's Almanac

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Lily and I swam with an otter last night. This morning I harvested berries from our mulberry tree and raspberries from our bushes to eat for breakfast. Summer has arrived!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Anthony Bourdain

Bad food is made without pride, by cooks who have no pride, and no love. Bad food is made by chefs who are indifferent, or who are trying to be everything to everybody, who are trying to please everyone ... Bad food is fake food ... food that shows fear and lack of confidence in people’s ability to discern or to make decisions about their lives. Food that’s too safe, too pasteurized, too healthy – it’s bad! There should be some risk, like unpasteurized cheese. Food is about rot, and decay, and fermentation….as much as it is also about freshness.
-Anthony Bourdain

Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life.
-Anthony Bourdain

Asian Style Spinach Pizza

I made this by accident and loved it and made it again!
Saute fresh chopped cloves of garlic in generous amount of olive oil, about 1/4 to 1/2 cup and a sprinkle of toasted sesame oil if you have it. Then, add two bags (8oz) of fresh spinach, rinsed. Steam. The spinach shrinks down to about three cups. Sprinkle on some soy sauce, then add 4 or 5 beaten eggs with a dash of milk or tablespoon of yogurt. Pour everything into a Pyrex dish fitted with a cover. Place in microwave on high for a few minutes to set the eggs. Serve on your favorite bread toasted. It's like an Asian pizza! I love that it is fast, delicious, and easy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Need Stamps?

I made stamps of my painting Perishables and Tangibles!

They are public and you can order any size, and any postage amount!

Click here:

Warm Raspberries

This morning I picked and ate two raspberries warmed by the sun.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mulberry Season

Every morning we wake up to birdsong. Our mulberry tree is loaded with delicious juicy purple mulberries. The birds are ecstatic. I can hear cardinals high pitched chirps from the open window. Euell Gibbons says in his book Stalking The Wild Asparagus, to shake the mulberries off the branches of the Mulberry tree onto a large sheet. My cream-colored Labrador has purple spots on her paws and belly from lying down on the berries. She loves them too but I have to stop her before she eats herself sick. We have blackberries and raspberries too, all in our urban backyard.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Canine Horse

On my way home from the library today I saw the head farmer working on Woonsocket's Community Garden. He was wearing a straw hat walking around watering the plants and working the soil with his hoe. I watched him for a minute and then walked over to North Main Street to Jamie Sullivan's butcher shop and tied up my canine horse out back. I bought beans, tofu and milk. My butcher's shop is now a little bit of everything grocery shop. Now I can do even more of my food shopping by dog!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bean Sandwich

Years ago an Irish musician friend of mine traveled to Egypt with his buddy. I told him I have always wanted to go to Egypt. I asked him what his trip was like. He told me they rented bicycles and traveled to see the pyramids and that they lived on bean sandwiches they bought from vendors. I was fascinated and never forgot it. Today I made my imagined version of the bean sandwich and I can't believe it took me 30 years to try it.

Toast 2 slices of home made pumpernickel bread. Paint one slice with mayonnaise and sprinkle with red chili flakes, add a slice of purple onion, roasted red pepper and 1/4 to 1/2 cup of mashed home made chic peas piled on top. Add a dash of Cholula hot sauce. It was the best hot day sandwich I have ever eaten!

This sandwich works with any kind of bean and is best when the sandwich is warmed to room temperature. I've been eating these sandwiches with fresh basil leaves added too.

Take thin slices of tofu and sprinkle with soy and cider vinegar and warm them in the microwave for 30 seconds. Place them on toast painted with mayonnaise along with roasted red peppers and red onion and Cholula hot sauce.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Green Air

We like to open windows at night and then in the morning close them to trap the cooler air inside. We use fans to push the cooler air around, trying for a greener version of air conditioning.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Take two ripe bananas, orange juice, and plain yogurt and buzz in blender. Then pour into popsicle molds and enjoy when frozen. Try making a few with lemonade, fresh mint leaves, and black or green tea.

Spicy Popcorn

I love to pop my popcorn in corn oil. Then I add kosher salt and chili powder for a spicy bite and I enjoy it with sweet tea.

Sweet Tea Season

It's 88 degrees today. I am barefoot with my fan blowing at my feet while sipping Georgia style sweet tea. To make the tea brew strong black tea cool and then poured into a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Enjoy!

Anne Raver

My sister, Martha, who lives in New Hampshire, likes to torture me with stories of canoeing on crystal-clear lakes, where the wild high-bush blueberries hang down over the water and you scoop them into your mouth until your lips turn purple.
-Anne Raver, NYT

Susan Dominus

I just enjoyed a fabulous article in the New York Times today called Looking Past the Children's Menu written by Susan Dominus. Check it out!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Roasted Sunfower Seeds

This is a shortcut method to achieve home-roasted sunflower seeds. Pour some raw sunflower seeds into cast iron skillet (but not too full!) and stir over medium heat while the seeds gently toast. Then, pour a splash of soy sauce or tamari over the hot toasting seeds and stir. Continue roasting and stirring until toasted and dry. These are delicious, crunchy and nutritious. I love to eat them in salads or just enjoy as a portable snack.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Justin Richardson

About asparagus my only quip
Is that, though dear, it does include the tip.
-Justin Richardson

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Love Candy Corn

I love candy corn,
once a year, at Halloween,
delicious colorful witches fangs;
it can go stale, you know.

I once kept it
in a square squat
glass jar
on my shelf,
for color.

Years later I took a bite;
a rock that could break your teeth!

I love People magazine
once a year at the dentist.
Dramas of peoples' lives,
with glossy photographs.
The stories always pull me in

away from my own pain,
while in the other room
my dentist is mending teeth.

-Emily Lisker 10/21/09

I Love Cauliflower

I love cauliflower
more than whipped cream!

Poor abandoned misunderstood
vegetables, always being upstaged
by other foods.

I'd love to lay down
on a bed of shiny black

I'd gladly walk down the aisle
with a bouquet of purple kale.

I'd wear a bodice
made of cabbage leaves,
and toss bean sprouts to the crowd.

-Emily Lisker 1/5/06

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pesto Tortilla

I made flour tortillas tonight and used a few tablespoons of leftover cilantro pesto in the dough. I pressed them in the tortilla press and then cooked them in a cast iron skillet on both sides. They came out great. Then I made a simple marinara sauce with wine olive oil and garlic and poured on the tortilla and topped it with some freshly grated cheese and splashes of hot sauce. It was delicious. It was like a plate of spaghetti run over by a truck.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Flour Tortillas by Sarah Pachev

I love tortillas but don't always have masa harina on hand but I always have whole wheat flour. We buy it wholesale at JAR Baker's Supply in Lincoln RI, 100 pounds at a time in 50 pound bags.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 T olive oil
1/2 cup warm tap water

Combine flour, Baking powder and salt. Add olive oil and stir until well combined. Put in warm tap water 1 T at a time until dough can be gathered into a ball. Add more water if needed 1 T at a time. Knead on floured surface 15-20 times. Let dough rest for 15 minutes (when I'm pregnant and making it I rest too!!) Divide dough into 10-12 equal portions and shape into balls. On floured surface roll out ball from center into a circle. Cook on ungreased skillet over medium-high heat on each side about 30 seconds or until puffy. You can cook them longer until they are crisp like a big chip. My daughter loves the crispy ones. Wrap them in a towel to stay warm. Great with Refried Beans and Spanish Rice. I also love them as a dessert with honey and butter on them...yum I want some right now.
-Sarah Pachev

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mom and Popsicles

Popsicle molds 2.99 at Walmart! Perfect for making fudgicles, creamsicles, rhubarbsicles, and peanut butter + yogurt dogcicles!

Raspberries and Rhubarb

This morning I made a raisin rhubarb cardamom cake from Robert's rhubarb. While it was baking I transplanted raspberry bushes, dill weed, cilantro, lemon balm, and tarragon, all gifts from Armand's garden.


I met Robert the rhubarb farmer last night when walking by his garden with Lily on the way to Cass Park. His family has lived in the same house for three generations. He told me it was built before any of the neighborhood houses were built. He picked 33 stalks of red ripe rhubarb for me! I carried it home, chopped it up and boiled it. It's delicious with a bit of sugar.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Quoted From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid that is a psychoactive stimulant drug. Caffeine was discovered by a German chemist, Friedrich Ferdinand Runge, in 1819. He coined the term kaffein, a chemical compound in coffee (the German word for which is Kaffee), which in English became caffeine.

Caffeine is found in varying quantities in the beans, leaves, and fruit of some plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills certain insects feeding on the plants. It is most commonly consumed by humans in infusions extracted from the cherries of the coffee plant and the leaves of the tea bush, as well as from various foods and drinks containing products derived from the kola nut. Other sources include yerba mate, guarana berries, and the Yaupon Holly.

In humans, caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant, having the effect of temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. Beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks, enjoy great popularity. Caffeine is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive substance, but, unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all jurisdictions. In North America, 90% of adults consume caffeine daily. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration lists caffeine as a "multiple purpose generally recognized as safe food substance".

Caffeine has diuretic properties when administered in sufficient doses to subjects that do not have a tolerance for it. Regular users, however, develop a strong tolerance to this effect, and studies have generally failed to support the common notion that ordinary consumption of caffeinated beverages contributes significantly to dehydration.


Take plain yogurt and natural peanut butter and buzz in blender. Pour into a designated ice cube tray and freeze. You can also use a small paper cup or plastic container. Pop them out one at a time as a treat for your puppy on a hot day.

Iced Coffee

This is the season of iced coffee! I had my first one of the year yesterday afternoon when I broke out my purple flip-flops. The secret to great iced coffee is making coffee ice cubes. It's best to have a designated ice cube tray exclusively for coffee cubes. With coffee ice cubes, if you sip the coffee slowly like I do, it doesn't get watery, it tastes good all the way through.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Try This

Take a slice of raisin bran banana cake (recipe below) and spread a melted square of bittersweet chocolate on top. Fabulous!

Spring Sandwich

This is the season of backyard asparagus, Vidalia onion, and roasted red pepper on my bread, toasted. It's the perfect spring sandwich!

For dessert I want to eat homemade ice cream bars: fudgicles made with local chocolate milk, and creamsicles made with yogurt and orange juice. I'll need to get paper cups and popsicle sticks!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

John Thorne

Traditionally, Matt and I get Chinese takeout for Thanksgiving, a holiday I actively dislike. Despite its name, Thanksgiving is really the Family Holiday. Even Christmas pales beside it: that day's focus is on giving and receiving even more than togetherness. Strangely though, being alone on Christmas is to be almost hauntingly empty; you feel like a ghost. But being alone on Thanksgiving is rather wonderful, like not attending a party that you didn't want to go to and where no one will realize you're not there. At Thanksgiving, you gather with your family and stuff yourself with food as if it were love—or the next best thing —then stagger back to your regular life, oversatiated and wrung out. Christmas, however, creates expectations that are never met, so you leave hungry and depressed, with an armload of things you didn't want and can't imagine why anyone would think you did.
-John Thorne

Midnight Biscotti

Last night at midnight I made wine biscotti. There's nothing like 'em with a mug of hot tea! My wine biscotti recipe is from Nancy Verde Barr's book We Called It Macaroni. This is a must have cookbook; it's part history, part photo album and the best Italian-American Cookbook around.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Traveling By Dog

I love to do my chores on foot, traveling by dog. Today I walked to the butcher shop and tied Lily up and ran in and bought a half-pound of Provolone. Then I walked to the produce market but they were closed. So I walked a few miles to the Bellingham Shop 'n' Save and tied Lily up outside in front of the service desk window. I pointed Lily out to the woman at the desk and then ran in quick and got a package of spinach. I thanked the lady for keeping an eye on Lily and then I walked home, admiring the colorful gardens and historic and ornate homes of Woonsocket's North End. As we walked down East School Street Lily pulled me towards the pollywog pond. There were no sticks but I found a wooden board and she dove in after it a few times, attached to the extra long leash. Having had her swim and her drink of water, Lily was fully satisfied. Now she's tired, lying on the floor of the kitchen, and I am baking the spinach and provolone into "spinach brownies". The recipe is a few posts below.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I passed my favorite garden off of Cass Avenue that has freshly-planted vegetables and a row of rhubarb growing. This family grows so many vegetables it looks like a small farm nestled into the packed-in city neighborhood. I am tempted to leave a note asking if they would trade their rhubarb stalks for my fresh bread. Steamed rhubarb with honey is so good and it makes your teeth itch like spinach does from the oxalic acid.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Banana Bran Muffin Cake

Adapted from a recipe for bran muffins in the Breakfast Book by Marion Cunningham.


1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup honey
2 ripe bananas
2/3 buttermilk or yogurt or mixture of yogurt and milk
2 eggs

1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 cups wheat bran
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup raisins

Add more milk to moisten batter if necessary. You can also substitute pumpkin puree for bananas and add cinnamon and ginger.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease Bundt pan.
Mix wet ingredients in a bowl. Beat until creamy and smooth.
Whisk the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and fold carefully with a rubber spatula until just blended. Bake for 50 minutes at 350 or until cake tester comes out clean.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Green Food Bank

Next Saturday, May 15th, 9 AM until 2 PM, people will be planting at the community garden in Woonsocket (located next to the Woonsocket Harris Public Library). Vegetables are being grown for the RI Community Food Bank.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spinach & Cheese Brownie or Burgers

I love spinach, corn, egg, and onion together with garlic and wine. This recipe has it all.

1 (10 ounce) package of fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup corn meal
1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup milk or leftover red wine
1/2 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped (optional)
1/2 cup chopped black olives (optional)
1 (8 ounce) package of mozzarella cheese grated or blend of Romano, Parmesan, Asiago Provolone or mozzarella.
some crushed red chili pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Rinse spinach and then steam for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix flour, cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Stir in eggs, milk (or wine) and olive oil. Mix in spinach, onion, garlic, olives and grated cheeses.
Pour into baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before serving.

Cut into brownie size squares and eat them cold or have them warmed as square burgers between toast with Cholula Mexican hot sauce. Great party food.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Grow Your Own Soufflé

Mike the locksmith on my street just gave me a dozen eggs. He has 12 chickens and they lay a dozen eggs a day. I can see why people are growing their own soufflés.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Chocolate Covered Raisins

I have always loved chocolate-covered raisins. Now I make them at home and they are even better than the kind you buy. First melt three or four one-inch squares of your favorite dark chocolate in a bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler. When the chocolate is just melted and still hot add a cup of room-temperature raisins and stir to completely coat them. Let the raisins cool off, then transfer to a glass jar. They are a delicious snack and they keep well.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mother of Invention Supper

How to make spaghetti and meatball supper when you don't have spaghetti and meatballs.
First, make the pasta sauce. While that's cooking boil or pressure cook the chick peas in water with a dollop of oil. Then make the polenta from corn meal water and salt. Enjoy slices of polenta topped with red sauce and freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese or Asiago on top and enjoy the garbanzos as mini meatballs! Delicious, colorful and filling.

Friday, April 23, 2010


When I eat something that I like, I always try to duplicate it myself. I have always loved Carr's Biscuits, and Hob Nobs those British cookies that are very wheaty and oaty and not too sweet.

Yesterday I made bannocks. I got the recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks: Marion Cunningham's The Breakfast Book. I used my food processor to grind the oats into flour and proceeded to follow the recipe using the machine for the whole recipe. I cut them with my two inch, scalloped-edged cookie cutter. They came out well and have a simple butter oat flavor. I sprinkled one with sugar, painted one with honey, one with melted bittersweet chocolate, and I had a few plain. They were all delicious and my husband loved them too. Marion suggests making them with cheddar cheese. I will have to try that--it would be like a healthy version of Cheez-its. Next time I make them I will try half wheat meal and a pinch of sugar to aim towards the Carr's Biscuits taste. I love anything that is wholesome and not too sweet, and goes well with good strong tea. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Geneen Roth

Our relationship to food is an exact microcosm of our relationship to life itself. I believe we are walking, talking expressions of our deepest convictions; everything we believe about love, fear, transformation and God is revealed in how, when and what we eat... If we are interested in finding out what we actually believe - not what we think, not what we say, but what our souls are convinced is the bottom-line truth about life and afterlife - we need go no further than the food on our plates. God is not just in the details; God is also in the muffins, the sweet potatoes and the tomato vegetable soup. God - however we define him or her - is on our plates.
-Geneen Roth, Women, Food and God

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a favorite dish of mine. I have tried to reproduce it on my own based on the restaurant that was here in my neighborhood 13 years ago. I found a fabulous recipe for it in the New York Times today.


4 ounces fettuccine-width rice stick noodles
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup tamarind paste
1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, minced
2 eggs
1 small head Napa cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/2 pound peeled shrimp, pressed tofu or a combination
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, quartered.

1. Put noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let sit until noodles are just tender; check every 5 minutes or so to make sure they do not get too soft. Drain, drizzle with one tablespoon peanut oil to keep from sticking and set aside. Meanwhile, put tamarind paste, fish sauce, honey and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring just to a simmer. Stir in red pepper flakes and set aside.

2. Put remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when oil shimmers, add scallions and garlic and cook for about a minute. Add eggs to pan; once they begin to set, scramble them until just done. Add cabbage and bean sprouts and continue to cook until cabbage begins to wilt, then add shrimp or tofu (or both).

3. When shrimp begin to turn pink and tofu begins to brown, add drained noodles to pan along with sauce. Toss everything together to coat with tamarind sauce and combine well. When noodles are warmed through, serve, sprinkling each dish with peanuts and garnishing with cilantro and lime wedges.

Yield: 4 servings.
New York Times April 12, 2010

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Carpeted Supermarket

Its called Shop and Save. It's a former Almacs that sells beer and wine as well as groceries. I only go there once a year when I want variety, or to feel like I am grocery shopping in a horror movie with all of my former kindergarten teachers. I'm not sure why it feels like that, maybe it's that I don't recognize the brand names or that there's a brown carpet and low ceilings. It's cozy compared to the gigantic supermarkets we are used to but it's not exactly cuddly. I usually go there for just one or two things, like bananas and beer. I love grocery stores and loathe liquor stores, so I'll buy my beer at Stop and Shave and go up and down the aisles looking at the dusty boxes of wild rice and cubes of orange cheese and pre-sliced pepperoni on plastic party trays. Perhaps I don't get out enough. This time I needed to buy pasta. There was no angel hair so I bought linguini. I also had to buy a jar of spaghetti sauce, something I always feel is sacreligious but on this occasion a necessity. So I had a meal of linguine with generic spaghetti sauce, along with a bottle of beer - what fun! It was a delight. As much fun as a carpeted supermarket after a year of my regular grocery store.

Spaghetti Sauce

For as long as I can remember my mother made pasta sauce as procrastination whenever she was supposed to be working on her book. She made it in her yellow enameled Dansk pot she got from my stepfather Tony. He had these pots in the 50's when he was a bachelor with his own apartment in NYC. Pasta sauce making as procrastination is a family trait now spanning three generations. The results are delicious if not literary.

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (cheap at Job Lot)
2-4 small onions, chopped
2-6 garlic cloves, chopped
2-4 stalks celery, chopped
2-4 carrots, chopped
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed (or diced!) tomatoes
2-4 dried bay leaves
a bunch of freshly chopped flat parsley
a few sprigs of freshly chopped basil
a few leaves of fresh or dried oregano
a cup of sliced mushrooms
a cup or two of cubed eggplant with the skin left on
I also like to add a can of pitted black olives, chopped and some diced capers and a small tin of tomato paste. I also add a splash of leftover red wine.

In a large heavy pot, heat the oil. Add the onions and garlic and the celery, and carrots. Saute until all the vegetables are brightly colored, about 10-15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and bay leaves, and any other ingredients from this list that you have. Simmer uncovered. Enjoy!

quick tomato sauce

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes or diced
4 to 6 fresh or dried basil leaves
pinch of dried or fresh oregano leaves
2 dried bay leaves

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mr. Ashangi

In fifth grade my African dance teacher Mr. Ashangi from Kenya, came to our Social Studies class as a guest. He said dancing is as important as not dancing. Being still is as important as moving. Forty years later, I am still thinking about the importance of his message.


Lily just had her first swim in Harris Pond and on my way home I told my gardener friend Armand that I was turning over my garden this weekend. He said he just harvested his first crop of asparagus. I realized we probably have some too. So when I returned home I raced into the backyard and found a dozen stalks. I cut them, rinsed them, and ate them standing over the kitchen sink.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Galettes Bretonnes au Sarrasin

Breton Buckwheat Galettes
from: The Country Cooking of France
by Anne Willan

Makes twelve 12-inch/30-cm
or twenty-four 7-inch/18-cm gallettes to serve 6

The filling for a paper-thin Breton galette is always simple. The most popular, called a complet, includes ham and egg and often a spoonful of fresh cheese. You can ask for the egg to be brouille, briskly scrambled on the hot galette, or miroir, left untouched to bake on top. When the galette is pleated, the golden egg yolk peeps out of the crisp brown folds. One galette is a modest serving; most people eat two, sometimes even three. (If you use the smaller crêpe pan when making this recipe, four galettes is an average serving.) They go down well indeed with a pitcher of the local demi-sec cider.

1-3/4 cups/225 g buckwheat flour
1-3/4 cups/225 g unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups/500 ml milk, more if needed
2 cups/500 ml water
1/2/110 g butter, clarified (see note below)
Fillings (recipes follow)
12-inch/30-cm flat, round griddle pan or 7-inch/18-cm crepe pan
(see note below)
For the batter, sift the 2 flours into a bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the center and pour 1 cup/250 ml of the milk into the well. Whisk the milk into the flour, forming a smooth paste. Whisk well for 1 minute, then add the remaining 1 cup milk in 2 batches, stirring well after each addition. Cover and let the batter rest at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in the water and beat again for 1 minute. If necessary, beat in more milk until the batter is the consistency of light cream. Stir in half of the clarified butter.

Warm the griddle pan or crepe pan over medium heat until very hot, at least 5 minutes. Dip a wad of paper towel into the remaining butter and rub it over the griddle. Heat the griddle 2 minutes longer, then test the heat with a few drops of batter; they should set at once. Wipe the griddle clean with the paper towel wad, and then rub it again with butter. Ladle batter onto the center of the hot griddle pan. Using a palette knife or pastry scraper, spread it with a turn of your wrist so the griddle is thinly and completely covered, tipping the griddle to discard excess batter into a bowl. Cook the galette quickly until lightly browned on the bottom, 30 to 60 seconds. Peel the galette off the griddle and flip it to color the other side. Note that a galette should not be browned too much, as it will be reheated with the filling. Transfer it to a plate.

If the first galette seems heavy, thin the batter with a little milk. Continue to cook the galettes, wiping the griddle clean with paper towels and rubbing it with butter as necessary to prevent sticking. Pile the finished galettes on top of one another to keep them warm. They may be tightly wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Fillings for Galettes
Galette a L'Oeuf (Egg Galette)
Heat the griddle for at least 5 minutes, then rub it with clarified butter. Spread a galette on the griddle, browner side down. Break an egg in the center. For a scrambled egg: Quickly mix and spread the egg over the galette with a spatula, leaving a border at the edge. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and leave over the heat just long enough to cook the egg slightly, about 30 seconds. Fold in the edges of the galette on 4 sides to make a square with a gap in the center showing the egg. Slide it onto a warmed plate, top with a pat of salted butter, and serve hot. For an unbroken egg: Spread only the egg white on the galette and leave the yolk whole. When the egg yolk is starting to set, fold the galette up around the yolk so it is still visible, and slide the galette onto a warmed plate. Serve at once.

Galette au Fromage (Cheese Galette)
Heat the griddle for at least 5 minutes, and then rub it with clarified butter. Spread a galette on the griddle, browner side down. Brush it lightly with butter and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons grated Gruyere cheese. Leave for a few seconds to heat the galette and melt the cheese, and then fold the galette as for the egg galette and slide it onto a warmed plate. Serve at once.

Galette au Jambon (Ham Galette)
Heat the griddle for at least 5 minutes, then rub it with clarified butter. Spread a galette on the griddle, browner side down. Brush lightly with melted butter and spread a thin slice of cooked ham in the center. Leave for a few seconds to heat the galette and the ham, and then fold the galette as for the egg galette. Top it with a pat of butter, and slide it onto a warmed plate. Serve at once.

Clarifying Butter
Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, skim the froth from the surface, and let cool to tepid. Pour the yellow, melted butterfat into a bowl, leaving the milky sediment at the bottom of the saucepan. When chilled, clarified butter will solidify; it may be refrigerated for up to 2 months.

Crêpe Pan
This small, round frying pan has shallow sides, which makes crêpes easy to flip or turn. Traditional crêpe pans are made of steel; they must be seasoned when new, and should be wiped with a damp cloth, not washed. Nonstick crêpe pans are easy to use, but crêpes cooked in them are thicker and do not brown as well.

-from The Country Cooking of France
by Anne Willan

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Buckwheat Waffles

I love buckwheat! One Christmas when our family said what would you like? I said buckwheat flour! Everyone gave me a bag. I stashed them in the freezer. I am still using it!

Buckwheat Waffles
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour (I used organic Arrowhead Mills)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg
1 1/2 cups milk (skim or whole)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup oil (I used corn oil)
1 teaspoon real vanilla (RI Job Lot sells it inexpensively)

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately then combine.
Preheat waffle iron and brush on a teaspoon of corn oil. Pour batter into waffle iron-depending on the size of your waffle iron. My 1950's waffle iron waffles use about 1/2 cup of batter and bake for four minutes. These are so good as is, hot or cold. They don't even need butter and jam. You can freeze a bunch if you have leftovers and drop them in the toaster when you want a fast snack.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pyrex Rocks!

Pyrex rocks! Pyrex glassware that we find it all the time at yard sales, now holds our leftovers and the beauty is these dishes can go right into the microwave for easy warming.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Farm Fresh

I just went to Wright's Dairy Farm on Woonsocket Hill Road and pet the big mama Holsteins that were lying down on the cold gray clay in their stalls in the barn. Their heads were poking out of the bottom of the stalls. In the maternity barn there were five pregnant cows standing at the fence eating hay from the wooden trough. A few chickens with colorful plumage walking around pecking at the dirt and warbling. I went inside the bakery and bought some fresh milk and a dozen brown eggs.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lindsay Sterling

Chef Lindsay Sterling has a great blog.

Check it out.

Chocolate for Breakfast

Spain has taught me to eat chocolate for breakfast. The Spanish go out at night until the wee hours of the morning, and then have a cup of chocolate for breakfast on their way home, before going to sleep.
-Alejandra Garcia

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Genevieve's Southwestern Warm Freekeh Salad

2 cups of cracked freekeh
Simmer w/5 c. filtered water until liquid is completely absorbed

2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
2 medium sized shallots chopped
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1c. frozen corn or fresh corn sliced off the cob
1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 handful chopped cilantro
juice from 1 lime
salt to taste, (Genevieve likes to use smoked salt as well as sea salt)

In a large skillet toast the cumin seeds in the olive oil until they become golden brown and fragrant
Add coriander powder and toast for 5 more seconds
Add shallots, jalapenos, bell peppers, corn, black beans, 1/2 tsp smoked salt, (optional) and sauté for 10 minutes or until shallots are translucent and beans have absorbed the spice flavor.

Combine freekeh with bean and corn mixture.

Toss with lime juice and cilantro, salt to taste.
serve warm.

Genevieve's Freekeh Salad with Apricot and Almonds

1 cup cracked freekeh
Simmer w/2.5 c. filtered water until liquid is completely absorbed
Allow freekeh to cool completely before adding other ingredients (you can add thechopped dried apricots and they will absorb some of the moisture while the grain cools)

1/2 cup sliced almonds – roasted in a frying pan until lightly brown
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup chopped chives

for dressing:
1/8 cup good quality apple cider vinegar
½ tbsp grade B maple syrup (1 ½ teaspoons)
½ tbsp powdered ginger (1 ½ teaspoons)
1/4 cup grape seed oil (you can substitute olive oil)
Salt to taste

Dress salad and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes so that it can be absorbed

Serve on a bed of lettuce or on top of endive leaves (freekeh salad boats).


My pal Brittin Eustis "The Wheat Pimp" sent me this about freekah
A bit of history on freekeh: It is a process for harvesting and preserving green wheat that is cut when the kernel is still green and soft in the head. It is fire roasted to dry it and preserve it as a precooked product. Freekeh has been around for a few thousand years. The freekeh that I have tried from Turkey has very smoky flavor – so much so that you have to cut it with bulgur. The freekeh that we are importing from Australia has a less smoky, milder flavor that is very unique.

Here are some sites for more info on freekeh.

Spinach Pie

My life's goal is to make spinach pies as good as Jeanette's Bakery on Branch Ave in Providence. If you go, be sure to plan to get there early because they sell out every day by noon!
A Little Taste of ltaly Spinach Pie

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for the dough
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 bunches spinach, steamed, or 3 boxes frozen whole leaf spinach, defrosted, squeezed of any excess water
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoon golden raisins, soaked in water to cover (optional)
2 tablespoon pine nuts (optional)
1 recipe Pizza Dough

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach, salt and pepper to taste, raisins and pine nuts, if desired, and toss until the spinach is thoroughly coated and flavorful. Transfer the spinach mixture to a colander and let drain.

To make 2 large pies, divide the pizza dough into two equal rounds. Roll out one round into a 14-inch circle. Spread 1 tablespoon of the oil over the dough and place half the spinach mixture onto half of the rolled out dough. Fold the dough over the mixture to form a half moon, and seal the edges with the tines of a fork. Repeat with the remaining ball of dough. To make 8 small pies, divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, rolling them each into a 4- to 5-inch circle and dividing the spinach mixture equally among them. Fold and seal as directed above.

Transfer the pies to an oiled rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is lightly golden. Remove from the oven, cut into slices, and serve.

Makes 2 large pies or 8 small pies

Pizza Dough
4 cups all purpose unbleached flour, plus additional flour for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 package rapid rise yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil

Oil the inside of a large bowl and set aside. Combine the flour and salt in another large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup of the warm water, the yeast, and the sugar and let the mixture stand for 5 to 10 minutes until the yeast blooms and bubbles appear. Gradually add the yeast mixture to the flour, mixing with your hands to combine. Gradually add the remaining water and finally the oil, mixing until the dough is soft and sticky. You may need a little more water to make the dough soft and elastic.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, working in more flour as needed. Or use an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in the oiled bowl. Turn it to coat with the oil, cover it with a damp towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise for about an hour, until it is one and a half times its original size. Punch down the dough and let it rest for about 1 hour.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out with a rolling pin to the size and shape to fill your pizza pan. Let it rise in the pan approximately 20 minutes before adding toppings and cooking.

Makes enough dough for two 16-inch pies, or one 12 x 18 inch Sicilian pie.

Mashed Potato Bender

I've been on a mashed potato bender ever since I discovered my microwave has a self cooking potato sensor. I rinse about six Maine or Idaho potatoes and place them on a plate and walk back upstairs into my office, after I've hit the potato button. After about a few minutes I smell the potatoes cooking. When I come back I put them in a glass bowl and mash them with my 1930's potato masher which looks like a monster movie robot ray gun. I add milk and butter or olive oil salt and freshly ground pepper and voila. I keep their jackets on. I eat this potato mash with fried eggs for breakfast or by itself for lunch or supper.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

John Thorne

When I dropped out of college in 1961, I ended up in a tenement apartment on the Lower East Side, with the bathtub next to the kitchen sink. But this was still a time when cooking seemed relatively obvious, and when it wasn't, you looked at the directions on the package. My problems came about when I bought food that was not part of the family repertoire, chicken gizzards, for example. I had no idea what to expect from them, so I had no idea as to whether I had cooked them properly. It reminds me of the time my mother encountered an avocado but confused it with an artichoke. Close, in a way, no? Still, the results were not a success. I ate a lot of scrambled eggs at first, then branched out to cooking hamburger and chopped onion, then stirring in frozen peas. And on and on. Anyone for more kasha and chicken gizzards?
-John Thorne

John Thorne

Perfection is as false an economy in cooking as it is in love, since, with carrots or potatoes as with lovers, the perfectly beautiful are all the same; the imperfect, different in their beauty, every one.
-John Thorne, Simple Cooking

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Japanese pancakes made with vegetables (and meat), can be served as midnight meal with warm reults. Americans put butter on everything; Japanese prefer soy sauce, but syrup no.
(For about 5 people)

1/2 cabbage: Chinese, green or red
1 large carrot
1/2 onion: yellow or purple
3 celery stalks
(1/2 c meat or fish pieces, if desired, or whatever you have around)
2 c (or more) flour: whole wheat and unbleached white
1 egg, beaten
2 T brown sugar
1 t salt
1 tall can evaporated milk
Enough water to make batter

Chop, shred, dice or thinly slice vegetables and meat. Mix together remaining ingredients to form batter. Fold vegetables into batter and grill. May be eaten cold on the beach.

-Edward Espe Brown, The Tassajara Bread Book

Monday, March 29, 2010

Manure Time

Shovel your own cow manure for free at Wright's Dairy Farm on 200 Woonsocket Hill road in North Smithfield Rhode Island. And while you're there visit the cows and calfs. Bring your own shovel and be prepared to get messy and stinky. Scoop from the mountains of manure into cardbard boxes and haul it away in a pick up truck bed. Beware the boxes are very heavy when filled. Try to let the manure season and dry out in the sun so the acidity won't burn your seedlings and plants. I love to roto-till my vegetable garden using a hoe and a pitch fork. It's really satisfying work when you are feeling energetic or angry.

Crock Pots

Crock pots are great for distractible people. And this time of year I am always running a bit too fast for myself. I try not to have kitchen disasters! My office is upstairs from my kitchen which luckily is close enough to smell when things are burning and hear when things are boiling over. I have a very simple thin black Teflon crock pot made by Presto and I use it all the time for popping popcorn. I think it cost about 12 dollars and I've had it for 15 years. My popcorn recipe is perfected: heat 1/4 cup of corn oil at 400 degrees and add 6 kernels. When they pop add 1 measured cup of popcorn. Halfway through the popping session I take off the lid to let steam escape or use a lid that has a steam vent.. My dog loves to sit under the popcorn pot and catch the strays. This morning I made slow cooked wheatena in our crock pot and I made vegetarian chili over the weekend using wheat berries in place of meat.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Marion Cunningham

When I cook for myself and I'm not feeling so well, I make spaghetti. With only a bit of garlic and some good olive oil. In Italy it's called aglio-olio, which is the batchelor's pasta because it's so easy to throw together.
-Marion Cunningham

Monday, March 22, 2010


I love cabbage and last night when I made coleslaw I put in too much raw onion!! (always a hazard with me) So I warmed the whole salad in the microwave for just enough time to take the shock out of the onion. Then I added freshly made chic peas and refrigerated it but it was good warm too. A new variation.

coleslaw recipe:

cabbage chopped
carrots chopped or grated (I never peel mine!)
onion chopped
home-cooked chic peas (optional)
I make a dressing made of mayonnaise, milk (optional), red-wine vinegar, mustard (optional), salt, pepper, and sugar.

Carrot Raisin Wheat Berry Salad

Soak 2 cups of wheat berries and then boil until tender. Then add salt to taste. When cool toss like a salad using a dressing made of olive oil and wine vinegar. Add chopped carrots. Then, chop a large onion and microwave it for a few minutes until translucent. Then add it to the wheat berry mixture. Add a cup of raisins. Enjoy. Make your own variations! Try these ingredients; fresh tomatoes, celery, parsley, fresh mint leaves, chopped garlic, toasted walnuts, raw sunflower seeds, cooked chic peas, few drops of toasted sesame oil.

Apple, Banana, Pumpkin, or Carrot Bundt Cake

I am crazy about cast iron and 17 years ago I bought a cast iron Bundt pan made by Lodge. It is well seasoned now and I love it because it is like making a gigantic muffin but it's even better than a muffin because the cake stays moist longer.

Preheat oven to 350. Grease the pan.

2 eggs,
3/4 cup oil, (I use corn oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla (or more)
1 cup of sugar (or less if the applesauce is sweetened)
2 cups of applesauce (or 2 cups of mashed bananas or 2 cups of canned pumpkin or pound of cooked carrots.)
3 cups of whole wheat flour (or 2 cups ww flour and 1.5 cups rolled oats)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of raisins, dried cranberries, walnuts, or raw sunflower seeds
sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of any of these ground spices; cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, allspice

Mix eggs sugar oil and vanilla until creamy. Stir in dry ingredients pour into hot preheated greased pan. You can also bake in large or small loaf pans or even muffin tins. For the bundt cake bake for one hour or until broom straw comes out clean.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lamb Bone and Lentil Soup

We had a bag of frozen bones in the freezer our butcher gave us at Christmas time. In a huge pot I boiled a pound of lentils, with the lamb bones. I added four large carrots, a handful of raisins, a huge chopped onion, four small chopped potatoes unpeeled, two heads of fresh kale, chopped, a few peeled cloves of garlic, and spices; cloves, cardamom, coriander, paprika, chili flakes, fennel seeds, salt, pepper. Simmer for a few hours.

I love making a soup this way, even though afterward I have to fish out all the inedible parts, and skim the excess fat after the soup has cooled in the fridge. I usually have a least one bowl right out of the pot before doing all this.

Enjoy with bread, or on rice or wheat berries.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Noodles In A Puddle

This is warm cozy lunch on a rainy day. Break a half pound of whole wheat angel hair noodles in half and put in a small pot with a few teaspoons of olive oil. Add 3-4 cups of water to cover and set to boil. Meanwhile chop one huge onion and add it to the water and noodles. Add half a cup of fresh spinach leaves, or grated carrots if you have them. Toss in a few leftover cooked wheat berries if you have them. Simmer for five minutes. Enjoy with soy sauce and red chili flakes sprinkled on top.

Nithya Praveen's Pancakes

You can also make this recipe with cooked wheat berries in place of fruit.
Making pancakes always makes me happy, they are so simple to make and so lovely to taste.
-Nithya Praveen

whole wheat flour – 1 ½ cup
baking powder – 1 tsp
salt – a pinch- (to taste)
sugar – 2 tsp
egg – 1
milk – ½ cup
blueberries/strawberries, ½ cup (apples, bananas, corn, wheat berries) - (only strawberries to be chopped)
water – as required
cooking spray/canola oil – for cooking.

Whisk egg and sugar together. Mix all the dry ingredients together.Add the wet ingredients to this and mix well. Add water, just enough to get a thin batter. Heat a pan, spray with cooking spray (you may use oil too), pour ¼ cup of the batter on the pan and cook on both sides just like Dosas. Serve hot along with any syrup (maple syrup or any fruit syrup will do good).
-Nithya Praveen

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Boiled Wheat Berries

Boiled and salted wheat berries have a boingy texture that is fun to eat! Enjoy a bowl of them salted and buttered as a hot breakfast cereal or use like rice sprinkled with salt and pepper accompanying your favorite vegetables.

Friday, March 12, 2010


If you are cold, tea will warm you; If you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are excited, it will calm you.

-William Gladstone 1865 Victorian British Prime Minister

My experience...convinced me that tea was better than brandy, and during the last six months in Africa I took no brandy, even when sick taking tea instead.

-Theodore Roosevelt Letter, 1912

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Black and Blue Tea

We've been missing our peach-flavored herb tea, a favorite for many years. We would add it to our morning black tea. Celestial Seasonings changed the peach tea formula a year ago, adding too much citrus (orange peel) for us to make our beloved milk and honey black tea beverage. Today I found a sample of Celestial Seasonings blueberry-flavored tea in the cupboard, so I made a big pot of Red Rose tea using one bag of the blueberry tea to add fruitiness. It was delicious with milk and honey.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cold Slow-Rising Sourdough

Sometimes my schedule is busy, and I need to keep my bread dough from getting ahead of me! I have a room that in the winter stays between 50 and 55 degrees. If I keep my dough there, it still rises, but very slowly, which can be the right thing sometimes.

On Saturday I mixed a batch of bread dough (whole wheat sourdough) at 2PM and set it aside, covered, in the cold room. By 1 PM Sunday (23 hours later) the dough had risen to the top of the bowl, but I had to leave again, so I punched it down and left it. By 11 PM (10 hours later) I was back, and the dough had risen to the top of the bowl again, but it was time for me to go to sleep, so I greased the loaf pans, cut and shaped the dough, place it in the pans, covered the pans with a towel, and left them in the cold room. By the next morning (Monday) the bread had risen beautifully once again. I preheated the oven to 450 degrees, slashed the tops of the loaves, and finally baked the breads at ten AM (11 hours after having formed the loaves). They baked for 35 minutes.

Oatmeal Raisin Crumble

6 cups rolled oats, 1/4 cup corn oil, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 cup or so of raisins, 1 cup of milk to moisten, vanilla, salt, and sugar to taste. Melt 1/4 cup of the sugar in the oil. Then toss all ingredients in a big bowl like a salad and adjust the salt-sugar-vanilla balance to suit your taste. Add a bit more liquid (I actually used a bit of tea from the morning's teapot!) if the ingredients seem dry. Pour the mixture into an oblong greased pyrex dish and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 35 minutes, or until it starts to brown at the corners. It will be crumbly on top but it holds together.

Another One Pot Meal

Rice and beans are a classic combination, and both take some time to cook. I love to find ways to cook them at the same time. Here's one way: rinse and then soak two cups (1 pound) of dried kidney beans in water overnight. Put the soaked beans and water in a crock pot with a dollop of olive oil. The beans will stay starchy if cooked with salt, so leave the salt out for now. Simmer until beans begin to be tender (about an hour). Now you can add rice and whatever else you'd like - improvise! I added a cup of uncooked brown rice, two cans of diced tomatoes, dried oregano, chopped fresh garlic, three crumbled dried mushrooms, chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil, and a bag of frozen corn. Simmer until the rice becomes tender (about an hour). Keep the temperature low and keep an eye on it so it won't overflow or burn. A delicious one pot meal. This dish is excellent with Cholula Mexican hot sauce and sharp cheddar cheese sprinkled on top.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

One Pot Supper

Soak dried chic peas overnight, and then simmer covered in water and with a tablespoon of olive oil for about 2 hours (or pressure cook for 20 minutes) Don't add salt until beans are tender. Then add can of diced tomatoes, fresh chopped garlic, dried Chinese mushrooms cut into chunks with scissors, chopped celery, 1/2 pound whole wheat angel hair pasta broken into 2 inch bits. Add enough water to cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add more olive oil and basil and oregano as desired.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Wicked Lazy

I love corn and I love greens. The past week I made this fast lazy supper twice; once with collard greens and once with kale.

Throw the contents of a large bag of frozen corn into a dutch oven. Chop a bunch of fresh kale or collard greens into small bits and add it to the pot. Then add 3 cups of cold water, 1/4 cup olive oil and about the same amount of soy sauce. Cover the pot with the tight fitting lid and turn up the heat. Set the timer for ten minutes and when the bell rings check on the food. Add a few more minutes if the greens are not thoroughly cooked. You will have a fabulously easy and delicious supper.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Under Ripe Banana

Zap a peeled under-ripe banana in the microwave for a minute. This will cook it. Slice it and enjoy with a 1/2 teaspoon of honey drizzled on top. Delicious. Especially for the impatient banana lovers.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

No Fuss

I find that with cooking and baking the no-fuss methods are the ones I repeatedly return to. And that is the point, right? How to make home-cooking a regular part of one's life. Some folks like a recipe with a million steps and they love the craft of it. Those folks enjoy approaching most cooking and baking as if they were sewing a blouse or designing a house. But I like to assemble ingredients that essentially cook themselves; marinades, soups, stews, bread.


Recently I taught a bread-baking class in a friend's kitchen. I didn't realize that I had never posted my bread recipe, so here it is.

I use my own leavening. It was originally a San Francisco sourdough starter, but after ten years it has become Woonsocket Rhode Island sourdough starter! Sourdough is flavorful and also a natural preservative. At first I used Fleischmann's yeast with my blob of sourdough because I was too afraid to rely on the sourdough. When the price of yeast skyrocketed to eight dollars a jar, I took the plunge and now I only use my sourdough as leavening! I'm convinced that keeping the starter culture alive and healthy is what keeps me baking.

If you are going to use commercial yeast I recommend using Fleischmann's brand yeast. (Not the quick rise! Not the bread machine yeast, and not Red Star brand yeast!) In my experience dough made with any other yeast doesn't spring back for the multiple risings which are crucial to the flexibility in my baking schedule. Yeast needs to be fresh, so make sure the expiration date is not past.

I use medium-grind whole-wheat flour which I buy in 50 pound bags from JAR Baker's Supply in Lincoln RI. The 50 pound bag is about 12 dollars!

Here's the basic recipe:

6 cups flour
3 cups wrist-temperature water
one tablespoon of kosher salt (less for fine grain salt)
one teaspoon of yeast (or a blob of sourdough starter)

Mix all the ingredients and set the dough aside to rise until doubled in bulk. You don't even need to proof the yeast or knead the dough, just gather the dough into a ball, place it in a bowl or container, and let it sit, covered. Time does the work of kneading and developing flavor! This rising takes 8-20 hours depending on whether you use sourdough starter or yeast, and depending on how cold or warm your rising spot is. Have faith!

Punch the risen dough down and shape the dough into two loaves or boules, then let it rise again on pans under a cloth. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. When the loaves have risen significantly, slash the tops (so the dough has room to expand in the oven), place them in the oven, and bake for 35 minutes. To check for doneness, tap the bottom of the loaf. It should sound hollow.

Note: If you want to add molasses to the dough, lower the baking temperature to 400 degrees and be prepared to increase the baking time ten minutes.