UH-OH. MY HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS (a.k.a. pumpkins) are frozen solid to the front steps, and at the next thaw will become orangey puddles, I suspect. Christmas lights? Similarly a bit behind schedule—and I haven’t even pondered any holiday shopping. But I saw that my crafty gardening friend Gayla Trail had once again outshone me with a roundup of homemade gift ideas, including lavender-laced caramels, herbed salts, bath “tea bags” and more. She visited with me on this week’s radio show to give us the details (including a chance to win one of the fun garden T-shirts she designed). [read more…]
recipes & cooking
"Margaret lets the garden tell her what to eat," a food-blogger friend said recently, and that is true, since I grow edibles to eat fresh in season and also can, freeze and store for offseason use. From heirloom baked beans to refrigerator pickles and peach clafoutis, some of my favorites--along with preserving and storage tips--can be found here.
MY TINY FAMILY’S GIANT TRADITION: Brussels sprouts! I bring over the homegrown, still-on-the-stalk, bigger-is-better sprouts to my sister’s each Thanksgiving, and we have at them, assisted enthusiastically by my brother-in-law (and pushed around the plate by my niece). That’s baby-sister Marion and a mock-terrified me showing off a recent holiday harvest–just one image of many in another long family tradition: taking crazy photos. Individual crustless pumpkin pies and pureed sweet-potato soup with greens might be on the menu, too: [read more…]
I COULDN’T RESIST the soft polenta on the menu one recent cold night at a local restaurant—creamy-style, and laced with cheese. With that warming, cozy meal’s memory in mind, I bought a pound of organic cornmeal for the pantry the next day, imagining simple, filling suppers-to-be. Apparently I’m now officially on a cornmeal bender, from soupy-style farinata with greens and garlic, to crispy cakes for supper, and even biscotti laced with coconut for dessert. A batch of polenta “fries” is coming up next. Things could be worse. [read more…]
THE ADVENTURE IN Mollie Katzen’s “The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation,” begins even before the first recipe page. It starts in the delicious, intimate endpapers—which came from illustrated journals that the author has been keeping since she was a teenager, which were also the origin of her beloved, bestselling “Moosewood Cookbook.” The musings (that’s one in the photo above), in drawings and hand-lettered words, speak to how Mollie—a keen gardener, and the guest on my latest radio show—approaches food today. Learn how she suggests we re-define “vegetarian;” how she “paints [her] rice,” and makes her simplest, most delicious tomato sauce. And maybe win her newest book, too. [read more…]