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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

https://www.etsy.com/listing/463665183/chartreuse-yellow-fondue-pot-and-stand?ref=related-2

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I can pretty much trace the decades of my marriage by the cooking fads I once took seriously: fondue, cooking in a clay pot, sourdough, woks.

Then there are the foods I used to prepare regularly that I haven’t thought about in ages: beer bread, lime pie made with sweetened condensed milk, hot dog casserole with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. Oy.

Fondue was popular in the early 1970s. I remember that we went to a dinner party involving several couples cooking their own chicken one bite at a time around a fondue pot. For some reason, that fad didn’t last long.

Clay pots had to be soaked in water first, and then the meat and vegetables would gradually become a stew as they sort of steamed inside the pot in the oven. If you ever decide to try clay-pot cooking, a word to the wise: store clay in a lighted, airy place. My pot kept growing mold because it retained moisture after being cleaned and I didn’t realize that storing it in a dark, enclosed cupboard was asking for trouble. Figured it out after contacting the company.

To keep my live sourdough culture going for months and years, I made pancakes with a bit of it every week, adding a little to my batter. I made a pictorial version of the blueberry pancake recipe and taped it to the cabinet for John when he was 3 so that he could make pancakes with my husband if I was not there.

As for the wok, a couple whom my husband knew from work came over one Saturday night so the wife and I could put her Chinese cooking classes into practice. I remember that I was nearly nine months pregnant with Suzanne. We made the most fabulous meal of all time — everything from scratch — but didn’t sit down to eat until after 11 pm.

Nowadays if I can’t whip something up in half an hour, I’m probably not going to make it, but all these fads were fun at the time.

Photo: Houzz

Romertopf Classic Dutch Oven
 Photo: Wagshalsblog

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Love this story by Leigh Vincola at EcoRI News.

“The Harvest Kitchen Project is one of the many arms of Farm Fresh Rhode Island that keeps local food circulating in our communities. The program takes area youth, ages 16-19, who are involved with juvenile corrections, and puts them to work making sauces, pickles and other preserves.

“The teenagers participate in a 20-week job-readiness program that prepares them for employment in the food industry. The program touches not only on kitchen skills but the on the many aspects of work in the culinary industry, from sales and customer service to local farm sourcing to teamwork and cooperation. …

“For the past several years, Harvest Kitchen has operated out of a commercial kitchen space in Pawtucket.”

But when Pawtucket Central Falls Development (PCF) “approached Farm Fresh with its rehabilitation plan for 2 Bayley St., a downtown [Pawtucket] multi-use building that would include affordable housing, retail space and job-training opportunities, the match seemed perfect.” More  at EcoRI, here.

I’ve been buying Harvest Kitchen’s applesauce at the Burnside Farmers Market, and I’m being completely honest when I say it’s the best applesauce I’ve had in years. That’s partly because I love chunks in my applesauce, but also because it’s sweet with no sugar added. If you return the empty jar, you get 25 cents back on the next jar.

Harvest Kitchen offers cranberry and strawberry applesauce, too. Other products include dried apple slices, peach slices in season, whole tomatoes, pickles with veggies, dilly beans and onion relish.

In addition to PCF, organizations that have helped to make this happen include Rhode Island Housing, RI Department of Children Youth and Families (Division of Juvenile Correction), Amgen Foundation, Fresh Sound Foundation, The Rhode Island Foundation and TriMix Foundation.

Find sales locations here.

Photo: FarmFreshRI

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A Native American chef trained in French cuisine has a mission to teach the world about an older, unrecognized culinary tradition that has influenced most of us. Hanna Choi reported the story for National Public Radio.

“When Nephi Craig enrolled in the culinary program at Arizona’s Scottsdale Community College, there was nothing like ‘Native American Cuisine 101’ in the curriculum. Craig identifies as White Mountain Apache and Navajo, and the first mention he can recall of anything remotely related to his background was a class discussion on fry bread, a crispy fried concoction that ‘is really a taste of American colonialism,’ he says …

“Since then, he increasingly came to sense a sort of dismissiveness and sloppiness towards Native Americans and indigenous food ways in the mainstream culinary world.

“Craig grew up immersed in his culture through art, music and ceremony, and food always played a large role. He wanted to find a way to bridge the gap. …

“Upon graduating from culinary school in 2000, Craig launched the Native American Culinary Association. Based in Arizona, NACA is a network of Native chefs — professionals and those just starting out — dedicated to the research, refinement, and development of Native American cuisine. Since 2011, the association has organized a yearly Indigenous Food Symposium, bringing people from different fields together to share and learn about Native foods, agriculture and landscapes.

‘Craig is also the executive chef of The Summit Restaurant at Sunrise Park Resort in Whiteriver, Arizona. … Craig’s culinary team there is staffed entirely by cooks and other food workers who identify either with the White Mountain Apache tribe or as Navajo/Dineh.”

In the NPR interview, Craig tells Choi, “I had always been cooking since I was a kid, growing up here on the rez with my mom and my family. We didn’t have a lot of money and so we would bake and sell our goods and I would bag up stuff in sandwich bags and sell them as a little guy.

“I’ve been cooking my entire life, all through my adolescence and I had ultimately wanted to do something creative. …

“I had no idea the world that I would be entering in the long classical legacy that is French cuisine. But that’s kind of where I started out, just in childhood, and then realizing just by pure observation that we were left out of this picture of world cuisine even when about 70 percent of foods consumed around the world today were developed and domesticated by Indigenous peoples of the Americas.”

Craig explains more here. Check it out.

Photo: Evan Sung/Nephi Craig
Nephi Craig, executive chef of The Summit Restaurant at Sunrise Park Resort in Whiteriver, Arizona.

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On days when you are thinking a lot about a faraway relative in need of heavy doses of good vibes, it may make sense to do some baking.

Fortunately, I worked at home today, so I was able to spend the time between 5 and 6:15 baking rather than running for trains. The no-peel apple crisp recipe I attempted was one that Lisa posted recently on Facebook. Although it didn’t specify an oven temperature or size of pan, I guessed 350 degrees and 9 x 13, and it came out great. The ingredients include dried apricots, an orange, and walnuts. Oh, boy. Here’s the link.

More constructively, many of us sent loving messages both for the relative and her son in San Francisco, and posted and contributed to a GoFundMe site. I especially liked Suzanne’s recommendation of a visit to Glide Memorial, a comforting San Francisco church she learned about when a former colleague suffered something dark. (I have mentioned the church a few times on the blog.)

What else can you do but let people know you are thinking of them a lot? In spite of everything, I think my relative will be deeply thankful at Thanksgiving for two Good Samaritans who chose not to pass by.

Photo: http://food52.com/blog/11755-no-peel-apple-crisp

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In today’s Boston Globe, Kelly Gifford wrote about a new effort to hop over the generation of adults who don’t cook and teach children how.

“Short single-file lines form beside a table with three hot plates at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club in Dorchester. …

“This is the first time the majority of the 10 girls have ever cooked an omelet — a fact that [Bill] Yosses, Sally Sampson, president and founder of ChopChop Magazine, and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation are hoping to change through a series of healthy eating classes at several New England Boys & Girls Clubs.

“The Dorchester program is part of the series, which is aimed at 8- to 12-year-olds. The weeklong program kicked off in Worcester in early July and will continue in six Boys & Girls Clubs in the Boston area and eight in New Hampshire this fall, to reach about 200 kids total. The program is funded through a $100,000 grant from the Harvard Pilgrim foundation.

“ ‘There is a whole generation of parents across the income and age spectrum that can’t cook, so they do takeout,’ says Harvard Pilgrim president Karen Voci. ‘So we decided to skip a generation and see if these kids could bring the skills they learned back home to their families.’ ”

The children seem to be enjoying trying new tastes and showing off what they can prepare. Read the whole article here.

Photo: Pat Greenhouse/Globe staff
Former White House pastry chef Bill Yosses (standing) helps teach children to make yogurt parfaits and other healthful dishes.

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I’ve been on one of my periodic murder-mystery splurges, with a couple mysteries this month that take place in France.

Books about France should never be read on an empty stomach — there is always wonderful food.

The author of The Crowded Grave actually went overboard, I thought, stopping urgent action to prepare elaborate meals. I think The Bookseller mystery will maintain a better balance. So far the hero has only had pastries and lovely coffees on route to something actually related to the story.

Thinking about France makes me want to point out a website where my friend Ronnie Hess blogs, My French Life. Ronnie lived in France for years working for CBS and more recently wrote a guidebook called Eat Smart in France that taps her her deep knowledge of French food.

Ronnie was already a fine cook as a teenager, when I recall making a Scripture cake at her house:

  • 3/4 cup Genesis 18:8
  • 1 1/2 cup Jeremiah 6:20
  • 5 Isaiah 10:14 (separated)
  • 3 cups sifted Leviticus 24:5
  • 3 teaspoons 2 Kings 2:20
  • 3 teaspoons Amos 4:5
  • 1 teaspoon Exodus 30:23
  • 1/4 teaspoon each 2 Chronicles 9:9
  • 1/2 cup Judges 4:19
  • 3/4 chopped Genesis 43:11
  • 3/4 cup finely cut Jeremiah 24:5
  • 3/4 cup 2 Samuel 16:1
  • Whole Genesis 43:11

Her mother helped us think through what was meant by leavening and certain more arcane references.

Do check out Ronnie at My French Life, here.

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I liked a story in the January 25 Boston Globe. It’s about a gourmet chef taking a job at a homeless shelter and helping to train residents with the marketable skills he knows best.

“Frank Van Overbeeke used to prepare foie gras and filet mignon for the French brasserie crowd as executive chef at Bouchee on Newbury Street,” writes Katie Johnston. “Now he makes cheeseburger meatloaf for the residents at the Pine Street Inn.

“In the shelter’s kitchen, he also oversees the preparation of jerk chicken with pineapple rice pilaf for the Boston Foundation, chicken tikka masala for Simmons College, and baked ziti for doctors at Boston Medical Center.

“Van Overbeeke’s move two years ago from haute cuisine to homeless shelter was a key step in Pine Street Inn’s efforts to develop a corporate catering business to increase revenues to support its food service job-training program.” Read more.

Another job-training program in the culinary arts has been going since 1983 at a prisoner pre-release facility in Concord.

Betsy Levinson writes in a March 29 Globe article, “Four days a week, diners pay $3.21 to enter one of the drab gray buildings at the Concord rotary, drop off their licenses at security, and line up for a seat at one of nine tables in the cafe known as the Fife and Drum.

“Inmates serve as waiters, cooks, and busboys, all trained by chef Kim Luketich. Those who complete the 10-month culinary arts program get a Serve Safe food-handler certificate, making them eligible for work in restaurants.

“ ‘I love it,’ said Jacqueline Friedman, an Acton resident arriving for lunch. ‘It’s an experience. The guys are so nice and are trying so hard.’ …

“ ‘This is a premier program,’ said the superintendent. ‘No other facility has this kind of program that allows the community to come in and eat. We have some elderly who have come daily for years. It’s a great setting, a great atmosphere.’

“ ‘They learn quality skills,’ said Luketich. … “‘They learn social skills. The whole idea is that they will go back into society. That is what we focus on.’ ’’

Read more. As the article says, food service is one of the areas where there actually are jobs today, and it can be a way to get acclimated to dealing with the public.

Photograph: Bill Greene/Globe Staff

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