Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Jacques Pépin

I saw Jacques Pépin making this on TV and was captivated. I made it tonight from memory. I realize now that I forgot the onion and the sausage and I had only regular broccoli but it was still good. Also Jaques also added a small can of clams with the liquid and I did too. Now I want to make it again with fresh clams and home made beans.
Ragout of Broccolini, Beans, and Sausage

White beans, sausage, and broccoli are a classic Mediterranean combination. Instead of broccoli, I use broccolini, because it is more tender and the stems don't need peeling. Preparing the dish with canned cannellini beans makes it a cinch.

4 servings

2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus more for drizzling (optional)
1/2 cup chopped onion
6 ounces hot Italian sausage meat
1 can (15.5 ounces) cannellini beans
1 small bunch (8–10 ounces) broccolini
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more if needed
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Pour the oil into a large skillet or saucepan and add the onion and sausage. Cook over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, breaking the sausage meat into small pieces with a fork or spoon. Add the liquid from the can of beans and bring to a boil.

Meanwhile, wash and cut the broccolini tops into 1-inch pieces and the stems into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to the pan with the garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes and return to a boil. Cover and boil gently for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the broccolini is tender but still a little crunchy.

Add the beans, mix well, and return to a boil. Boil, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes to blend the flavors together. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve as is, or sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and extra oil.

Honoré de Balzac

This coffee falls into your stomach, and straightway there is a general commotion. Ideas begin to move like the battalions of the Grand Army of the battlefield, and the battle takes place. Things remembered arrive at full gallop, ensuing to the wind. The light cavalry of comparisons deliver a magnificent deploying charge, the artillery of logic hurry up with their train and ammunition, the shafts of with start up like sharpshooters. Similes arise, the paper is covered with ink; for the struggle commences and is concluded with torrents of black water, just as a battle with powder.
-Honoré de Balzac

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snow Moon

February's full Moon is traditionally called the Snow Moon because usually the heaviest snows fall in February.

Hunting becomes very difficult, and so some Native American tribes called this the Hunger Moon.

Other Native American tribes called this Moon the "Shoulder to Shoulder Around the Fire Moon" (Wishram Native Americans), the "No Snow in the Trails Moon" (Zuni Native Americans), and the "Bone Moon" (Cherokee Native Americans). The Bone Moon meant that there was so little food that people gnawed on bones and ate bone marrow soup.

Friday, February 22, 2013

John Muir

Bread without butter or coffee without milk is an awful calamity, as if everything before being put in our mouth must first be held under a cow.
-John Muir

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Banana Dilemma

Our local market often has bananas that are so green it is hard to know when they are ripe. It becomes a gamble in a peel. I have discovered a trick for the under-ripe banana:
peel it and zap it in the microwave. The slight cooking of it sweetens and ripens it.

Peanut Butter and Chili

Today I sprinkled red chili flakes on my peanut butter sandwich. It was delicious. I was curious if others have tried this and I found a more involved recipe here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Simple Spaghetti Supper

As soon as I hit the cold air I knew what to make for supper tonight: spaghetti with spicy garlic broccoli and grated Parmesan cheese. It was so good but I steamed the broccoli first and ate a bunch of it while waiting for the spaghetti water to boil.

Ingredients: broccoli, spaghetti, fresh garlic, olive oil, kosher salt, red chili flakes, Parmesan cheese, black pepper.

Dolly Parton

I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren't in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.
-Dolly Parton

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Teddi's Baked Beans

The beans are a super back to roots and simplicity thing. I used to add all manner of things in...and all not bad. Curry powder. Beer.
Hot sauce. Anything is game.
This is in order of volume. A wing it situation.

small white beans. labeled as such. Not great northerns.
chopped onion
chunk of salt pork.
dark molasses
maple syrup
Worcestershire sauce/ketchup. They get equal billing.
dried mustard
soy sauce (afterthought added in the morning...good call.)

Soaked beans overnight. Boiled with a bay leaf until al dente side of soft but it doesn't matter.
Mixed everything else in the beanpot.
Baked at 225 all night.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baked Sweet Potatoes

The other night we were eating baked sweet potatoes and Bill asked me what vitamin is in them. I said B flat minor and F sharp.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


I dreamed I was making pancakes in cast iron decorative molds over a fireplace - an open hearth fireplace. I was thinking I should move my easel here. When I visited our painter friend Jacob his easel and bed were right beside the fireplace. I was thinking this morning about Carl Jung's meditative stone tower he built with an open hearth for cooking.

Today we are thinking we ought to shovel the roof of garage so rain expected tomorrow doesn't cause disaster.

The sourdough I baked last night had a 30 hour incubation. It is sour and good.

Friday, February 8, 2013


I dreamed that Munroe Dairy was making its own beer called LOVE COWS. The milk tanks had to get washed out to make beer by night and process milk by day. I was dreaming up a label.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Delicious Doorstops

Last night the boiler room was colder than usual, and my breads didn't rise. The oven was already hot and I was tired so I baked them anyway. Delicious doorstops.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Favored a Village

In Japanese folklore when the gods favored a village they would shit gold in its fields and piss sake in its well.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dinner at Noon

Back when dinner was at noon - people had it right!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Frank Zappa

Tobacco is my favorite vegetable.
-Frank Zappa

J.D. Salinger

I was six when I saw that everything was God, and my hair stood up, and all, Teddy said. It was on a Sunday, I remember. My sister was a tiny child then, and she was drinking her milk, and all of a sudden I saw that she was God and the milk was God. I mean, all she was doing was pouring God into God, if you know what I mean.

-J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

Friday, February 1, 2013

Marya Hornbacher

We turn skeletons into goddesses and look to them as if they might teach us how not to need.
-Marya Hornbacher, Wasted: A Memoir

Lentil Gloup

I made a simple soup last night and it was so delicious. I rinsed a pound of lentils and put them in my crock pot with water and olive oil. Then I coarsely-chopped onions, carrots, celery and I added a can of crushed tomatoes. I peeled a bunch of fresh garlic and threw it in halved, and cored. I added dried basil from my garden, Adobo, red chili flakes and freshly ground black pepper. I threw in a few leaves of cabbage (chopped) and chopped fresh kale and three bay leaves. I found some cooked leftover barley and wheat berries in the fridge and threw them in. I covered the pot with a vented lid and let it simmer for a few hours. I added some more water when it needed it. It was more of a gloup than a soup. It was amazing. Tonight we ate it with pepper jack cheese on top.

Laurie Colwin

To feel safe and warm on a cold wet night, all you really need is soup.
-Laurie Colwin

There is nothing like soup. It is by nature eccentric: no two are
ever alike, unless of course you get your soup in a can.
-Laurie Colwin

Galway Kinnell

When a group of people get up from a table, the table doesn't know which way any of them will go.
-Galway Kinnell