My Week in Food
What we cooked this week was dictated largely by the fact that we harvested the remains of the garden for the season, starting with these French red pumpkins, which I believe are bound for a soup pot. I have a few sugar pie pumkins too, which I’ll roast for pie like this. or this
There was a bounty of figs as well, which came in handy when I had to bring an appetizer to a school function. I roasted them whole in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until tender. Spread a thin shmear (is that how you spell it?) of Gorgonzola on baguette slices (a little goes a long way), drizzled on honey, and topped each one with a quarter of a roasted fig.
The fact that I ate all three of threse the minute I snapped the photo is testament to how delicious they were. Some did make it tothe school function, you’ll be relieved to know.
A small harvest of padron peppers went into a pickling jar. I first blanched them in boiling water for about 1 minute. I had to rest a lid on top since they are quite boyant (who knew). Once they were tucked in the jar, I boiled 2/3 parts vinegar to 1/3 part water with a few cloves of garlic and a bay leaf. Poured that over and stowed it in the fridge. Padron pickled grilled cheese sandwich, anyone?
My eggplants weren’t a roaring success this year, but I did manage to get one fat one off of the plant. I roasted it whole at 350 degrees until very very soft. I peeled and chopped that up and mixed it with ground lamb, cilantro, and some Middle Eastern spices. Served those mini burgers straight up with yogurt and diced cucumbers on the side. That’s a recipe I need to write down.
This was also homegrown, by my youngest, in a crafting class where, not surprisingly, she was the only young artist to portray a vegetable. Apparently the apple (or in this case, the carrot) doesn’t fall far from the tree).
Tinkered with what I’m calling prosciutto chips for a recipe that is coming your way soon. Worth the wait.
Scored this at a second hand shop during a weekend away. The owner regailed me with tales of its European heritage, rarity, and early 20th century vintage. For all I know it’s part of the Nate Berkus collection for Target, but I love it anyways.
Finally gave Stonyfield Farms’ new Petite Creme a try. The company’s line, “Meet Greek’s creamy French cousin” refers to the fact that it is cultured cheese rather than yogurt. It’s therefore milder, less acidic, fairly sweet. Anyone else onto this?
Speaking of international food influences, I wish we’d take a page from what the folks in Argentina are doing. Check out this vending machine stocked not with candy bars or corn chips, but fruit, plain and simple.
On the subject of candy, I’ve got Halloween on the brain, since it’s just a few weeks away. As such, thought I’d share this post by the ever sensible Sally Kuzemchak about how she approaches the candy conundrum of the holiday.
And for those of you who didn’t happen to see it, Mark Bittman wrote an interesting piecee in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about how he raised his kids in the kitchen. I thought you might appreciate hearing his advice for friends trying to get their kids to eat well, particularly in today’s challenging food environment.
“I try to provide concrete advice: Parents should purge their cabinets and shopping lists of junk, and they should set and enforce rules on what their children are allowed to eat. I can be even more specific: Teach your kids to snack on carrots and celery and fruit and hummus and guacamole — things made from fruits and vegetables and beans and grains. Offer these things all the time. Make sure breakfast and lunch are made up of items you would eat when you’re feeling good about your diet. Make a real dinner from scratch as often as you can. Worry less about labels like “G.M.O.” and “organic” and “local” and more about whether the food you’re giving your children is real.
Parents need discipline, strength, a plan and determination. But they need a more supportive environment too, because the battle over feeding children really pits Big Food against parents, and Big Food’s resources are vast: almost unlimited money, little regulation and tacit government support. Parents, meanwhile, are busy and bombarded by misleading ads. They want to make their child “happy,” and it’s hard to say no when the child insists that a Happy Meal will do just that. What American parents need is support in the form of a food policy that encourages the production and sale of real food and strongly reduces the ability of food marketers to peddle their junk to children. Another thing that would be great? Let’s make cooking lessons (and good old home ec) in school standard, not a rarity. Not every parent can be a cookbook author, after all.”