The massive egg recall has made many of us stop and think about how many eggs we use and, for some, questioning our use of them at all. According to the New York Times, “A Hen’s Space to Roost” Sunday August 15; 97 per cent of all eggs consumed in the USA are from hens raised in battery cages, six birds to a cage allowing 67 square inches for each hen for her entire life.
Fall vegetables bring to mind the hearth, coziness, beautiful autumn colors, hearty food and interesting one dish and multi-dish menus. We think about roasting, caramelizing, thick rich stocks, braising and sautéing when we think about the preparation of root vegetables and the other succulent vegetables which brighten up farm stands and markets all over the country at this time of the year.
I hope that all of you enjoy Fall Vegetables as much as I do. What’s fun about the change of seasons is that we are forced into creative ways to cook with the new bounty of the season. In this way, your food is never boring and you don’t get stuck eating the same foods day in and day out.
“I know it’s your day, but it’s not all about you…Why have a wedding if you’re going to be like that [serve only vegetarian options]? Just print a bumper sticker.”
Did this article that concluded with this choice comment in today’s NY Times Sunday Styles section annoy others as much as it annoyed me? Of course weddings should reflect one’s values, so if you’re kosher, or vegan, or vegetarian, why wouldn’t you serve kosher, vegan, or vegetarian food? As the vegan Kathleen Mink quoted in the article said, it was a “no brainer” to have a vegan menu at her and her husband’s wedding. But another vegan pastry chef served meat at her wedding because she was afraid celebrity chefs like Eric Ripert and Daniel Boulud would think she and her husband “were crazy” if they didn’t serve meat.
This entry is cross-posted at http://yourhealthisonyourplate.com .
I spent most of the day yesterday on Orchard Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Not literally. I was reading Jane Ziegelman’s new book, 97 Orchard: An Edible History of Five Immigrant Families in One New York Tenement. I wanted to know what they ate in the days before Crisco, Cool Whip, corn syrup, and Cocoa Puffs.
This is cross-posted at The Fink Farms Dirt.
A cabbage harvest in July?
In California, it works. (We planted late in a mild winter.)
That means just in time for outdoor Shabbes dinners, we have the basic ingredient for coleslaw.
But with this gem-like vegetable sitting on my kitchen counter, I couldn’t bear the thought of traditional coleslaw: cabbage shreds drowned in mayonnaise and sugar. I decided to celebrate the color. The following recipe is adapted from several sources.
This is a wonderful Parve side dish that I’ve been making for the past five years. Ask anyone in my family and they’ll tell you it’s a favorite at home. (My dad especially loves it). This recipe is simple and delicious and can be made up to a day in advance.
This entry is cross-posted at http://yourhealthisonyourplate.com
Some time ago I wrote a post about store-bought, flavored yogurt and the absurd amounts of sugar contained therein, called Everything You Wanted to Know About Yogurt but Were Afraid To Ask. But the truth is there’s a lot more to know about yogurt, and don’t worry — it’s all good.
The first step to restoring yogurt to its healthful place in smart eating is to buy it plain. You can try your hand at making your own yogurt, but you’ll still need some plain yogurt to get started. “Plain,” by the way, is what I would have called yogurt if I wanted consumers to be more interested in other, fancier options, especially if I could increase profits by doing so. But that’s not what I want for you, so I would call it “pure” yogurt. So the first step is to buy plain, whole-milk yogurt. Now, if you aren’t ready to switch from low-fat to whole fat, we can compromise for now. Just please make sure it’s plain yogurt, with live, active cultures (check the label).
I recently headed back to the office after being at home for nearly 18 months. During that year and a half, I renewed my relationships with my children, husband, self, and…my kitchen. I have always been one to cook and entertain, but being at home upped the ante. I turned play dates into dinner dates. Every Friday was a complete Shabbat dinner. There was usually a homemade something or other for dessert. And we had so many leftovers, we had to literally give them away to the neighbors. During this time, I shopped at my leisure, stopping into boutique markets and buying direct from the farms. I founded a CSA. In short, I found a great deal of happiness and comfort in cooking, especially for those I love. It became more than a hobby; it became a passion.
Cross-posted to Orange Ideal
For my first recipe post on The Jew and the Carrot, I thought I’d start off with something versatile. I sampled a version of this quinoa recipe while browsing at my local Whole Foods and then came home and made my own version. It’s great served as a cold salad or as a warm side dish and it is ideal for all of those summer picnics and pot lucks you have on your calendar. Quinoa packs up really easily and this one is so full of veggies, colors, and flavors that it’s sure to be a hit!
“But how can you be sure it’s safe”
“I guess I won’t be eating that from now on.”
I’ve received all of these reactions and more from friends when they’ve heard me explain that my wife and I make our own sourdough bread, yogurt and buttermilk. The products aren’t so distressing, but the processes, which are fundamentally the same, go against some deeply ingrained habits of thought: if germs are so bad, who in their right mind would deliberately cultivate germs and then eat the culturing medium?
This entry has been cross-posted at http://yourhealthisonyourplate.com.
Right now, the dill is taking over my herb garden in its lovely, flavorful and feathery bloom. My attempts to use it don’t usually make a dent in the amount growing, even as I leave plenty to seed next year’s crop, or to share with the next interested gardener. Mostly, I have been cutting it into salads. I could also add it to butter, or make pickles, or hang some upside down to dry. The dill is everywhere, self seeding from beautiful, zebra-colored seeds given to me a few years ago by a patient who also grows startlingly lovely lavender roses.
As Shavuot approaches, I’m sure many people are contemplating cheesecake recipes. Chocolate with an Oreo crust; pumpkin with a caramel swirl; lemon or key lime; peanut butter chip; or just pure, unadulterated cheesecake.
It’s not so much the dilemma over recipe that irks me every Shavuot, it’s the huge crack (or 3) down the middle of the cheesecake when all I want is a smooth, beautiful top I don’t have to cover with fruit to hide the imperfections.
After doing some reading on the chemistry of baking cheesecake (and lots of failed experiments [in appearance, not taste ]), I found the perfect technique for making a smooth, creamy cheesecake. It freaked me out the first time I did it, but it was the most amazing cheesecake I’ve ever made.
“This is the bread of affliction”, my father would drone every Passover as he opened the familiar blue square box. “Matzah is tasteless and dry, not meant to be enjoyed. Eating it should remind you of the sufferings of our people.” As he went on and on and on with his yearly lecture on the harshness of slavery and unleavened bread I sat there slathering on salted butter, devouring sheet after sheet of crispy goodness. Although bland and stomach binding, this so-called ‘bread of affliction’ was a welcome change to the squishy, faintly chemical smelling Wonder loaves my mother bought the rest of the year. Despite the family mandate that matzah eating required a certain degree of complaining to make it religiously significant, my appreciation for the magical combination of flour, water, and fire was born.
Where I grew up in the Midwest during the 1970’s there were only two kinds of matzah available. Manishewitz and Streit’s. Both perfectly square and almost identical in taste, matzah was matzah; or so I thought. It was not until decades later at a community Seder that I discovered that matzah could be round, organic or made from non-white flour.