Sunday, September 30, 2012

Surprises or Dumpster Diving

I was just telling Bill how when I find food on my walks I eat it, provided it is unopened. It is a fun pleasure like eating food in other people's kitchens when I was 12 and baby sitting the kids on my street. I have found beverages, Coca Cola last week, Mountain Dew last winter, Red Bull; I still have that one unopened, Gummy Bears that were run over, they were fun. Once years ago we found two number ten cans of canned beans and canned corn on the dirt road behind our studio. They were just labeled BEANS, CORN bold black type all capital letters, without any brand name just like government issued food. We took them home and ate them with enthusiasm. Last week I found a whole bag of canned veggies and canned fruits next to the local diner's dumpster - the cans are expired but who cares! I brought them home and stored them in the cellar cupboard for blizzard weather. (I haven't told Bill about those cans yet!)

Last night I made little round banana breads the size of hamburger buns from six over-ripe bananas. We slice them sideways and they are round in the toaster, very good with yogurt cheese. Squash pie for breakfast with yogurt cheese was very good too.

I love making coleslaw using buttermilk. I am crazy for cabbage!! Proof that I was adopted.

Our dairy band of nine musicians will be the Moonlight House of Wieners Marching Band this Monday morning October 8 9:30 AM at the Autumnfest Parade right here on our street.

Shortcut Cheesecake

This morning I cut a slice of my home made squash pie and warmed it a bit and added a blob of my home made yogurt cheese on top adding a delicate drizzle of honey. It was excellent eaten with piping hot black coffee.

Marion Cunningham

reposted from Orangette blog
And try to be cheerful
Okay. This year, I’ve decided, is going to be the year of The Breakfast Book. I’m allergic to resolutions, so let’s not use that word. Let’s just say that if I do nothing else in 2011, I would like to spend more time with one of the worthiest books on my shelf, one that has never done me wrong, one authored by she of the famous yeasted waffle, the esteemed Ms. Marion Cunningham. There is no one I trust more on the matter of breakfast. There is also no one else that I know of who has managed to wedge a treatise on manners into a chapter on quick breads. Witness a selection from “Breakfast Table Civility and Deportment” (page 53):

3. Clean fingernails, please.
5. Sit up straight and try to be cheerful.
7. Because everyone is defenseless at breakfast, there should be no contentiousness or crossness.
13. And don’t answer questions in a saucy manner.

I’m hoping to master #13 within the year.

Marion Cunningham

People are living like they are in motels. They get fast food and take it home and turn on the TV. Schools and sports groups have soccer practice or what have you during what used to be called the dinner hour. We don’t need more competitive sports. We need to sit facing people with great regularity, so we are making an exchange and we are learning to be civilized.
-Marion Cunningham

Black Pepper Toast

Morning toast with butter and freshly ground black pepper!

Marion Cunningham

One of the most blissful escapes is breakfast in bed with something good to read. Breakfast in bed is cozy, quiet, and private. I instantly forget that it was I who fixed the tray.
-Marion Cunningham, The Breakfast Book

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Butter for Bob

When I was 13 I made apple butter hoping to give it to Bob Dylan!
His music made me feel like he was my close friend.

John Shaefer

I never understood why people would ask, “how can you like so many different types of music?” when most of them would never think of asking, “how can you like so many different types of food?”
-John Shaefer

Friday, September 28, 2012

An Ode to Drinking Coffee in the Shower

reposted from here.
An Ode to Drinking Coffee in the Shower
by Tim Kane

Chocolate colored, steaming, so hot it burns your lips. Yup, I’m talking java. The liquid accelerant that slaps your mind every morning. Just the scent will get me out of bed.

Here’s the problem. Time. I like to indulge my coffee goodness. Gulping wastes the tawny-colored libation. Plus it’s liable to scorch the tongue. I typically brew up a liter to slurp in the am hours. So how do you have your proverbial cake and drink it too? The answer is combining tasks.

My second love is the shower. My wife says I swim in there. Truthfully I do my best problem solving under a piping-hot drenching. I’ve considered buying waterproof paper and pen, but that’d probably ruin the experience. It’s the fact that this is the one place I can’t write anything down which makes it the very reason so many ideas germinate there. So yeah, I take my time, swimming through my thoughts.

I used to slurp some coffee just before heading into the shower, only to return to a cooled cup. (Microwaves are none too kind to the brew.) One morning, I just took the mug o’joe in with me.

Now I’ve had plenty of people interrogate me on the logistics of this feat. Frankly, I hardly gave it much thought. My shower has sliding doors, so I simply set the cup on top, hooking the mug when I need a java boost. The whole experience reminds me of that episode where George Costanza eats his pastrami sandwich, watches TV, all while in bed (the perfect combination of three worlds). As to the logistics, it’s not like I face the water stream while I drink. That would dilute the coffee with water. I just sip now and then, enjoying the shower.

For all of you wanting a little slice of heaven, join us coffee shower drinkers (though at this point I might be the only one).

-Tim Kane

A Savory Joy

Chopped fresh scallions, sesame seeds, chopped fresh garlic, red hot chili peppers, soy sauce, olive oil, salt. Saute it all in a small iron pan enjoy on top of everything. Use a splash of wine to deglaze the pan.

Bubble Gum Migraine

The other day on a whim I bought a few packs of gum at the dollar store. I was six years old again. I bought cinnamon, watermelon and spicy hot flavored packs of gum. I chewed three pieces at once rotating, sampling each flavor as I walked with Lily to the pond. By dinner time I had a massive headache from my gum-chewing muscles. A gum chewing migraine!


Tom and Jocelyn Seiter have opened their own place!!

Open daily from noon-10pm until Christmas.

Farm fresh ice cream made from scratch at the Ice Cream Barn on Baker Farm in Swansea, MA. Many flavors made with locally-grown ingredients.

289 Locust Street, Swansea, Massachusetts 02777

OPEN Mon - Sun: 12:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Walk-Ins Welcome
Good For Kids
Take Out
Outdoor Seating
Culinary Team Jocelyn and Tom Seiter

Cash Only

Phone (508) 567-6278

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Harvesting in the 'Hood

My Cambodian-Chinese neighbors just gave me hot chili and crab apples from their front yard garden. The husband told me to chop the crab apples and chilies together and add salt and enjoy with beer.

Sounds like a plan!

Won't you be My Neighbor?

Do you know a good soul who wants to live here. The Victorian house on our street--217 Rathbun Street is very pretty inside and its for sale. It's a two family but could easily become a one family as it was 1900.
Our fabulous realtor Marilyn Salzberg Bennett of Salzberg is carrying it.
It has a Woonsocket porch!!
photos here

I Love Oatmeal

I love oatmeal with raisins and a dash of cream and salt for breakfast. I cook it in my little cast iron pot. We buy it in the 100 pound bag every six years and store it in our

Obesity Prevention



Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I have a love hate with gardening since I am usually indoors baking all summer rather than playing in the dirt. Now that the weather has broken and the neighborhood is quiet and the sun is not so hot, I am ready to tend my garden. Yesterday I dumped four ten gallon buckets of fresh (and free) cow manure on my garden. If nothing else my maple tree will smile in gratitude. I harvested sage basil and onions. The apples are so delicious I eat three a day!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Eat, Sleep and be Merry


An Ecological Kitchen

I am having a lot of fun making multi-grain breads using wheat, oats, cornmeal, soy meal, and a variety of seeds. I have also been culturing local low fat milk from Wright's Dairy farm and making yogurt. I strain the cultured yogurt through a coffee filter making yogurt cheese and I use the leftover whey in my bread. I season the yogurt cheese with all kinds of things: fresh black pepper, raw garlic, red onions, mint, basil, dill, scallions, and green olives. You can make the cheese sweet too, by adding raisins honey or apples and peaches. Play around, have fun!

Dawn Lerman

Read here.

and here.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mae Wests' Breasts or Spherical Toast

Normally I only bake bread - 4 standard-sized loaves - twice a week but I have baked round breads every day since the weather broke. Today's breads are mixed grain combo of dry Fleishmann's instant yeast and my wet sourdough starter, kosher salt, and whole wheat flour, rolled oats, cornmeal, and dark molasses. These are smaller breads so I can share them without frightening people. After the first rising I roll the dough to blobs which will grow to the size of Mae Wests' breasts. I bake them hot in a preheated (400 degree Fahrenheit) oven. When they are cool I slice them sideways so my bread and toast is spherical!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Jan Brown's Buttermilk Salad Dressing

This is delicious!

When I asked Jan for her amazing salad dressing recipe I tasted at our friends wedding party she said:

I am happy to share the salad dressing directions. I seldom use recipes, so this is approximations:

1/2 cup oil (I used canola for last night's, but olive also delicious)
3 smallish cloves garlic (or 2 large ones)
fresh dill to taste (in Winter I use dry, and that is fine--- sometimes I let is sit in the oil for an hour or so)
2 cups of buttermilk
8 oz (or more, to taste) of feta cheese

It comes out creamier if one emulsifies the oil a bit before adding the other ingredients, but not necessary.
I like to make at least a few hours before serving so that the flavor can settle.
-Jan Brown

Friday, September 14, 2012

She Bathes in Buttermilk

Loved this photo and article on buttermilk.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Diner's Journal


David Byrne's Shrimp Tacos!

I am reposting this from David Byrne's Journal
08.13.2012: Shrimp Tacos!

I made shrimp tacos the other night for dinner—mostly from scratch—and they were good.

With this meal, there are a lot of pans going all at once. One has to pay close attention, but it all comes together really quickly. Once everything is prepped, it only takes about 15 minutes to cook and assemble—there’s nothing tricky to it.

This recipe serves 3 people.

Here are the ingredients:

1 lb. of shrimp, peeled and deveined, chopped into ¾ inch chunks

A couple of poblano chilies, seeds removed and sliced into strips. (poblano chilies are a little bit spicy, but not much. When cooked, they have more flavor than a bell pepper.)

½ of a large onion, sliced—but not too thin

A few cloves of garlic, sliced

Fresh cilantro*

Store bought white-corn tortillas (I bought the Tortilla Factory brand—they’re corn, but flexible like wheat tortillas.)

Store bought fresh mango, pineapple and jicama salsa*

Queso fresco (a type of fresh, Mexican cheese—white and crumbly.)*

*Note: The salsa, cilantro and queso fresco are quite perishable. They’ll keep for a few days in the fridge—but once they are opened, they don’t last long.

Here’s how I prepared them:

First, I sautéed the poblano pepper strips, onion and some garlic in oil, with a little salt and pepper. I cooked this over a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes—I learned that peppers burn if cooked too quickly.

While the pepper/onion mix was cooking, I tossed the shrimp in a separate pan with the rest of the garlic. I let this cook for about 4 minutes.

Then, I got the third burner going and tossed the tortillas one by one in a dry frying pan, flipping each after about a minute—just enough to warm them up.

I put some shrimp and the pepper/onion mix on each tortilla, added the salsa, some crumbled queso fresco and a sprinkle of cilantro on top. I had some other salsas available as well, but the mango salsa was the most fun.

That’s it. I will take a picture next time.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Charles Simic

A “truth” detached and purified of pleasures of ordinary life is not worth a damn in my view. Every grand theory and noble sentiment ought to be first tested in the kitchen — and then in bed, of course.

-Charles Simic, Paris Review interview

Watermelons by Charles Simic

Green Buddhas
On the fruit stand.
We eat the smile
And spit out the teeth.

-Charles Simic

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Jane Brody

I walk three miles daily, or bike ten miles and swim three-quarters of a mile. If you ask me why, weight control may be my first answer, followed by a desire to live long and well. But that’s not what gets me out of bed before dawn to join friends on a morning walk and then bike to the Y for my swim.

It’s how these activities make me feel: more energized, less stressed, more productive, more engaged and, yes, happier — better able to smell the roses and cope with the inevitable frustrations of daily life.

-Jane Brody, NYT

Wholesale Flour

When our food coop closed we didn't want to stop buying our favorite items in bulk. We now buy our flour in 50-pound bags from JAR Bakers Supply in Lincoln RI. They sell many other useful ingredients for the professional and home baker.
Link here.

They sell an amazing whole-wheat flour that is from North Dakota Mill. We love their medium-grind whole-wheat flour.
Link here to see the mill.
The North Dakota Mill’s high protein whole-wheat flours are milled from the best hard red spring wheat. They are ideal for use in whole wheat breads and rolls or, when blended, for variety breads. Our whole-wheat flours are available in fine, medium, and coarse granulations, in 50 pound and 100 pound bags.

Fleischmann's Instant Yeast

I met a lovely lady recently while walking Lily. We started chatting about our dogs and ended up chatting about baking bread. She gave me a one-pound package of Fleischmann's instant yeast (no proofing necessary and guaranteed to rise twice). She said they come as a pair of one-pound foil packages at BJ's wholesale club. Thought I'd pass this along. King Arthur Flour sells them too.

The Big Apple

We've been feasting on a half-bushel of ripe tomatoes (making tomato mayo horseradish sandwiches on my toasted bread) and enjoying the half-bushel of apples and half-bushel of ripe peaches we bought at The Big Apple orchard in Wrentham Massachusetts. It's a great place to visit.

Sharing the Bounty

Last night on our walk with Lily we dropped off one of my breads at a neighbor's house. She was thrilled and gave us fresh eggs from her chickens and her home-grown summer squash. Then she ran back into her house and came out with an Italian specialty her husband had made the night before. He came out and explained how he made it - a thin layer of dough with slices of Provolone cheese and Genoa salami layered on top. Everything was rolled up tightly into a small loaf brushed with an egg wash and bread crumbs and baked at 425 for twenty minutes. We thanked them and when we got home we ate warmed slices of the Italian loaf with red ripe local tomatoes. We steamed the summer squash with broccoli and ate it with olive oil, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. It was a colorful supper topped off with a ripe peach for dessert.

Neighborhood Coffee

Lately I am making my coffee 4 parts Folger's and one part Goya espresso. A blend just like my neighborhood.