Food and garden talk

Sunday, January 31, 2010

We've been cooking like crazy lately and haven't eaten much at all that we didn't make ourselves. It's sort of a goal of mine. I say sort of because I know it isn't realistic to do that 100% of the time. With my lazy schedule this semester, I do have plenty of time through the week to do stuff like make bread or peanut butter. How can you not feel good about having a piece of homemade bread with homemade peanut butter as a snack? I've felt really good about our diet the last few weeks, just by virtue of eating better food.

Speaking of cooking, I am IN LOVE with my new cookbook, All About Braising by Molly Stevens. Please get this book and be as happy as me! It is beautiful. There are plenty of recipes with everyday ingredients, and some with special ingredients if you want to try something new. Here is a sampling of recipes from the book that I found online.

This is a boneless leg of lamb I'm probably making for Valentine's Day:

Creamy Braised Brussels Sprouts:

Vietnamese Braised Scallops:

Whole chicken braised with pears and rosemary

Short Ribs braised in porter ale with maple rosemary glaze:

Heather, this goes out to you: have I been doing any gardening lately? Not really! My last garden was LAST winter, when we did cabbages, brussels sprouts, and broccoli. It was pretty late yielding, and we didn't start eating much of it until March. Then, Tom's accident happened, and I hadn't touched the beds at all until earlier this month. We finally got out there and cleaned out the beds, uprooting the old fall veggies from last year. The word "cabbage patch" only begins to describe what we experienced. That stuff was so overgrown and intertwined. But now the beds are cleaned, and in March, we'll replace the weed barrier and plant some spring veggies. This year, we are sticking with what we know we can grow easily: peppers (bells and jalapenos), tomatoes (will grow them in 5 gallon buckets), and okra. Maybe some garlic and onions.

Next fall, I want some blueberries!

One more book recommendation for the road: In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. I just started it this weekend, and I also have The Omnivore's Dilemma waiting for me, but so far I like it. So far, it's about how most of what is marketed as "food" really isn't food. Interesting read.


Tammy Benson-O'Brien said...

I've gotta take a look at that book. What exactly is braising, I keep asking myself.....

I can't wait to get my yard & beds back in order - go away cold weather & bring on spring!

Lady Blachly said...

I've been waiting for a good garden blog or email! I know I keep saying it, but I really want to do SOMETHING this year. I think I just need to draw up some plans for a raised bed and go for it, already. I'd really like one with tiers though, not a one level JUST DO IT! If I get the bed done soon - with some nice weather - then it'll be ready for after our last frost. Hooray Spring!

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