Monday, November 30, 2009


These things are always subject to change, but I think my current favorite flour is spelt. I confirmed this with a double batch of Nigella Lawson's banana bread (in How to be a Domestic Goddess) the recipe for which I followed to the letter except for subbing in a mix of 75% spelt and 25% quinoa flours.

Friday, November 27, 2009


In fact a fair bit of cooking has taken place here recently, but nothing particularly worth blogging (except, maybe, the chocolate-chip and dried cherry cookies, the banana bread, and the pumpkin cake; they were pretty good). Today I made gingerbread, something I always forget I really, really like. This batch turned out extra good, despite some unpromising turns during the baking. My "recipe" is based on the recipe for "Damp Gingerbread" you'll find in More Home Cooking, Laurie Colwin's second volume of food essays. Here's what I used:

1 jar Lyle's Golden Syrup, melted together with 1/2 C coconut oil
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
1/2 C coconut flour
1 T ground ginger
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1 3/4 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 egg
1 C milk (warmed on the stove, with 1 T vinegar whisked in for ersatz buttermilk)

I mixed it all up and baked at 350 for 55 minutes. It's highly spicy and good; I expect it to be better in days to come as the spices bloom.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Buffalo Meatballs

with fennel. Also leftover cornbread and roasted brussels sprouts and kohlrabi.

Goop Gnocchi

Pursuant to my last post I took Gwyneth's gnocchi recipe for a spin, substituting mashed hubbard squash and whole wheat flour where appropriate. I think they turned out all right; I ate them happily. Since I have only a little gnocchi-eating experience and none at all making it, it's hard to judge. But they were tasty. However, they also reminded me why I don't customarily do things like hand-make gnocchi; long about the time the third batch was simmering I found myself weary, and wondering if the little doughy meal in which it culminated was really worth the hour or so of prep (not counting roasting the squash and boiling the potatoes) required.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ahem. I have something to say. This is not easy for me, but it's time to be honest with y'all:

I read Gwyneth Paltrow's blog "Goop" every week.

Sometimes it's maddening (she recommends experiencing the "beachy, seventies vibe" of Los Angeles by staying in the bungalows at the Bel Air hotel; trust me, you don't want to know how much that costs). Sometimes it's tiresome (did you know she has super-famous friends? You will if you read the blog, because she says so over and over). Sometimes it's eye-rolling (if you want to know Deepak Chopra's thoughts on personal growth or Gwyneth's tips on raising perfect children, goop's your site.)

And yet! Sometimes the recipes are delicious. I like seeing Gwyneth's wardrobe recommendations because I think she always looks really good, and I don't care at all if she can spend more on clothes than I can. Mostly, I dunno, I kind of identify: she's a mom, she has a career, she has a blog. I can barely tell us apart!

So there it is. Now I'm going to go re-read this weeks recipe for gnocchi and make a grocery list.

Squash City

We had roasted butternut and delicata squash, with shiitakes, sage, and garlic. On the side a salad, and cornbread (with which I stuffed my face).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ancient Grain Penne

the grains in question being, I think, spelt, quinoa, and...amaranth? In any case, we had it with broccoli, sauteed shiitakes, and garlic. It was great.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fridge-Clearing Soup

I love a soup that takes care of everything. Into mine today went:

one onion
leftover pork butt
1 lb. lentils
four turnips
two red peppers
four carrots
a huge bunch of collard greens
diced ginger

I simmered everything for an hour or so, and served it for dinner with cornbread (made with cornmeal, teff flour, and a generous helping of Italian butter).

Yesterday I made the pictured Nantucket Cranberry "Pie." The recipe is from Laurie Colwin's second volume of essays from Gourmet, More Home Cooking. She accurately says that it's really a cake, except that the one I made is really more of a cobbler: rich biscuit over chopped cranberries and nuts. I hadn't intended it to be that way, but I used kamut flour which absorbs a great deal more moisture than white, and hence produced a thick batter that didn't suck the berries up into itself the way it usually does. It's delicious anyway.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Moebius Knitting

This technique is pretty magic if you're a knitter; the edge of the object is continuous, no inside or outside. One just knits and knits and knits, and gradually this nice cowl emerges. I used handspun yarn I bought at an annual arts fair I love.

PS: I don't know why photos uploaded to blogger look low-res; they certainly aren't on my computer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Bowl O' Butt

Pork butt, that is, leftover from a roast my mother made a few days ago. I shredded and reheated it with sauteed fennel and shiitake mushrooms; we had it with barley. Green salad afterward.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Spooky Birthday Cake

Here is the cake we had for my mom's birthday; it was glorious (and delicious).

A Sweater for the Spouse

At long last! My first-ever men's sweater. Here's what I've learned: men are *big*. I couldn't believe how many more stitches are involved in a man's sweater. It turned out well, though, and the husband is pleased.