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.