followup on “saving slow food for retirement?”

Yesterday I responded to a DoubleX piece that called home cooking a waste of time and which suggested that people like me should be spending all our time on our careers instead of in our kitchens.  Today, another writer at DoubleX tackled the issue.  While Meredith Simons at least allows that for some, cooking can be as enjoyable a hobby as curling up with a good book (I happen to love both cooking and good books), she still misses the point. Continue reading “followup on “saving slow food for retirement?””

save slow food for retirement?

I’ve blogged a LOT about my forays into the slow food movement.  From giving up most of the meat I had been eating to  joining a CSA and all the adventures that entailed to starting to bake my own bread, the way I eat has changed a lot in the past year.  Apparently, according to a DoubleX writer, I’ve been wasting my time.  Margaret Wheeler Johnson writes, responding to the New York Times’ recent followups to their hugely successful No Knead Bread recipe:

The truth is that unless you are a chef by profession or truly love cooking, spending a minimum of seven hours a week in the kitchen—and that’s just making dinner—is not the best use of an ambitious youngish person’s time. Wouldn’t the energy we expend making the meatloaf our mothers never did, or feeling guilty that we don’t, be better spent connecting with peers, putting in extra hours at work, or pursuing personal projects? If you want an Amy’s loaf, get it from Amy’s. Otherwise buy a sleeve of Nature’s Own, and leave the no-need bread for retirement.

Continue reading “save slow food for retirement?”

CSA: Charleston– the season ends

Almost two weeks ago, we got our final Pinckney’s Produce CSA box of the fall season.  It has taken me this long to get a post up about it because without another box’s arrival to give us a deadline, we had the opportunity to eat the last shipment of veggies at our leisure, which, though I did freeze a little bit of it, proved my theory that each box was at least two weeks’ food for us.  Here’s what we got:

  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 bunch collards
  • 3 bunches spinach
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 eggplant
  • lots of green beans
  • lots of tomatoes

The first night I made a variation on one of our favorite dishes, Rachael Ray’s Italian Tuna Casserole (I have the cook book this recipe is from, but someone recreated it here).  Tuna casserole is one of my comfort foods, and I’m a big fan of this recipe.  Jon suggested adding in one of the heads of broccoli, and so this recipe used up one of those as well as two of the bunches of spinach.  This recipe fed us for a couple of days, plus at least one lunch for me.

The kale was used up another night in this pasta with sausage and kale, which was almost as good as the bacon and collard linguine we’ve loved this season. Continue reading “CSA: Charleston– the season ends”

CSA Charleston: sometimes even i get overwhelmed

Another delicious week with our Pinckney’s Produce CSA!

DSC05663Another great haul this week! Here’s the breakdown:

  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 1 large head cabbage
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch collards
  • 4 small heads broccoli
  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • lots of various tomatoes

This was our next to last CSA box! I’m already getting sad about the season ending, and will do more of a retrospective on the experience next week.  I’ll also post a picture of the stock of food we’ve now accumulated in our freezer– at least one friend seems to be unable to believe everything I’ve said is in there fits! Continue reading “CSA Charleston: sometimes even i get overwhelmed”

CSA Charleston: think it’s possible to eat too much soup?

Another week, another CSA post about our Pinckney’s Produce CSA share! Now that we’re into November, I’m actually pretty sad that we’ve only got two more boxes left, one we receive today and one we receive next week!

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Food styling by Jon this week. I came home from work and he had everything all laid out on the table, ready to be photographed.

This is what we got:

  • 1 head cabbage
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bunch collards
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 4 small heads broccoli
  • 5 sweet potatoes
  • 2 bell peppers
  • lots of tomatoes
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 rutabagas
  • green beans

The first night (Tuesday) Jon and I made two batches of soup AND dinner (and I managed to write a presentation for class the next day AND watch So You Think You Can Dance, because I am just that awesome, or, more honestly, because I can get a lot more done more quickly in the kitchen when Jon is helping). With the sweet potatoes and rutabagas we made another batch of the curried soup we so enjoyed last week, and we froze about 4 quarts of it. We also made broccoli cheddar soup (loosely following this recipe, except I just put the cheddar IN the soup– didn’t melt too well but it was delicious) with the broccoli and cauliflower.  We froze most of the soup, saving two servings to have for dinner the next night.  And for dinner, with half the mustard greens and half the collards, we made a batch of smoky beans and greens, which I also enjoyed for lunch at work the next couple of days. Continue reading “CSA Charleston: think it’s possible to eat too much soup?”

CSA Charleston: attack of the killer sweet potatoes

Another week, another post about what we got and what we did with our CSA box from Pinckney’s Produce! DSC05657This week’s haul:

  • 4 sweet potatoes, one of which was the size of a football
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 2 bunches collards
  • 2 turnips with greens
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 1 bag field peas/black eyed peas/bean-type things
  • 4 rutabagas
  • 4 slicing tomatoes
  • 6 small tomatoes
  • 4 peppers

When I went to pick up this week’s bounty, I was most impressed by one item in particular.  A sweet potato the size of a football. I held it up in astonishment and showed it off to the folks at the Glass Onion, one of my favorite local restaurants right by our house which happens to be our CSA pick up point. No one could believe the size of the monster sweet potato. In case you think I’m kidding, this is the beast both in my hand and on a dinner plate:DSC05658

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Insane, right? Continue reading “CSA Charleston: attack of the killer sweet potatoes”

CSA Charleston: we used it all this week!

Another delicious week with our Pinckney’s Produce CSA!

DSC05656This week our box included:

  • 2 heads lettuce
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch collards
  • 5 gigantic carrots
  • 1 bag field peas
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • 5 radishes
  • 5 ears corn
  • 2 acorn squash
  • 4 bell peppers
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 pie pumpkin
  • 3 ears decorative corn

Click on through to see what we did with it all! Continue reading “CSA Charleston: we used it all this week!”

CSA Charleston: BEETSFAIL and collards FTW

another bounteous harvest
another bounteous harvest

Yet another gorgeous week’s worth of deliciousness from our Pinckney’s Produce CSA!  Here’s the breakdown:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 bunch collards
  • 1 bunch lettuce
  • 5 ears corn
  • 5 large carrots
  • 4 bell peppers
  • 3 turnips
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 5 radishes
  • 2 winter squash
  • 3 ears decorative red corn

The first night I used the tomatoes and bell peppers to make a variation on shakshuka (which involved some canned tomatoes, an onion, and garlic which I had on had), which was served with a salad made from the lettuce, some of the radishes, and a carrot, and some Shorter No Knead Bread.  Jon has now taken to calling shakshuka his “favorite.”  We had the leftovers the next day. SO GOOD. Continue reading “CSA Charleston: BEETSFAIL and collards FTW”

food rules

If I had to name the top three people who have changed my life the past few years, they’d be Rob Bell, No Impact Man/Colin Beavan, and Michael Pollan.  All have significantly shaped the way I think about my life and my choices and my raison d’etre.  This post is only about one of them.

Michael Pollan created a famous tagline: Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants.

It’s the tagline for his book In Defense of Food, which I have not yet read, but hope to. The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I have read, is excellent.

Anyway, a while back Pollan started soliciting others’ food rules in the vein of his famous maxim, and today the results of this search are presented in a slide show over at the New York Times.  I thought I’d share some of the ones that interested me, and maybe muse a little on my food rules.

Picture 1I rather agree with this one, perhaps because my father (a physician, though this is probably not a medical opinion) was a big believer in eating real butter.  He reasoned that it tastes so much better that you only eat a little of it, and the increased pleasure is worth it.  I tend to agree.  I use real butter, drink 2% milk, put actual half and half in my coffee which is sweetened with real cane sugar, and tend to like tofu best when it’s not pretending to be something else.  My one hangup is turkey bacon.  I do love real bacon, and often use it in my cooking, particularly now that I’m cooking mostly veggie food, just using the bacon for flavor.  BUT.  If eaten alone as a breakfast food, turkey bacon is my choice over real bacon most of the time.  I think it goes back to texture issues related to a childhood refusal to eat anything with actual fat attached, because I hate the gummy squishy way fat feels in my mouth.  So, turkey bacon excluded, I’m all about eating real food. Continue reading “food rules”

CSA Charleston: mustard greens SUCCESS!

Another delicious week with our Pinckney’s Produce CSA!

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This week we received:

  • 1 cantaloupe
  • 3 winter squash
  • 1 bunch kale
  • 3 turnips and greens (in addition to 3 large turnips left over from last week)
  • 1 bunch mustard greens
  • 5 ears corn
  • 5 tomatoes
  • lots of little okra
  • 4 large carrots
  • 4 radishes
  • 6 banana peppers
  • 1 bunch lettuce

The first night I roasted the squash, and made them into a puree, which I added to last week’s saved squash puree and made into a soup (no real recipe, I sort of made it up, but leave me a comment if you want me to detail the process).  I served the soup with a salad made from the bunch of lettuce, 1 banana pepper, 1 carrot, 1 radish, and 1 tomato, along with some No Knead Bread.  I also saved the seeds from all the squash, rinsing them and getting all the squash gunk off, and I tossed them in olive oil with some Greek seasoning and toasted them in the oven.  Never knew you could toast and eat winter squash seeds just like pumpkin seeds, but you can! They made a nice snack for a couple of days!

The next night, still smarting from last week’s mustard greens FAIL, I decided to attempt this frittata recipe.  I figured I can eat anything if it’s covered in yummy fontina cheese, and I was right.  It was delicious served with some homemade No Knead Bread toasts.  It was also a super quick meal on a night when I volunteer and don’t get home until after 7:00.  I am so happy to know that there is at least one way I will eat mustard greens, and I imagine the recipe would work well with other greens too. Continue reading “CSA Charleston: mustard greens SUCCESS!”

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