Diet


Dear Davida–

It’s been a long time, about 30 years. finishedpieIn fact, you may not remember me, but you will live in my memory for a very long time. Way back then, you did me the honor of teaching me how to bake an apple pie. You didn’t just tell me how; you didn’t just show me how; you stood there and instructed me, making me get my hands and mind working on mixing everything up and learning the secret of your crust. It is that crust that has garnered attention over the years and which, with the great filling, has given me bragging rights to making The World’s Best Apple Pie.

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saladOne of the mantras of the eat-local movement is to eat what is in season. This has several advantages, among them reduction in energy used in shipping foods hundreds or thousands of miles, as well as saving the monetary and environmental costs associated with the energy saved. Other advantages are the increase in dietary variety and improved nutritional quality. Instead of eating the same half dozen foods all the time, sometimes from local sources, sometimes from a hemisphere away, eating locally means consuming early, late and winter season foods as they are available.

I’m now producing food year-round, so I am changing my eating habits to match what I produce. (more…)

After last year’s dismal attempt at sauerkraut, I didn’t have my hopes up. But, I’ve been “harvesting” some of it every few days, to have a sample of how it tastes over time. Tonight I “harvested” my third and final batch. It’s yummy! I’m very pleased. The first test “harvest” was somewhat limp and salty cabbage. Tonight’s batch was mildly tangy, only slightly salty and still had a nicely textured chewiness to it. I think it’s perfect.

When I’ve finished eating and sharing this batch (about three gallons) I’ll make another batch and start experimenting with other recipes that have more than just cabbage on the ingredient list.

Last year I tried making sauerkraut a couple of times. Both times were less than stellar efforts. My first batch (plain sauerkraut) was not particularly flavorful and had a soft texture. My second batch (cabbage, carrots, turnips and brussel sprouts) was simply too overwhelming with flavors. The turnips and brussel sprouts are both strong-flavored vegetables and didn’t go well together. I’ve been wanting to try to make it again and a Russian friend, who learned to make sauerkraut from her mother, offered to share her ‘kraut wisdom with me. So, yesterday, we started a couple of batches–a plain cabbage batch for me and a cabbage and carrot batch for her. Now, I now have a crock of sauerkraut gurgling away in my kitchen. (more…)

I cut back the canes on my black raspberries tonight, finding a few remaining berries hidden among the leaves. This year was truly bountiful–I harvested 24 pints of these berries this year, giving away about two-thirds, trading a few pints for cherries and beer, and eating the rest myself. The canes for next year’s berries are already growing like crazy, and I need to get them tied off on their wires. I’m hoping to repeat this large harvest next year! (more…)

When I was a kid, I liked some of our family traditions around food. One of those was a weekly meal, sometimes with popcorn or pickled herring or oyster stew, which we shared before watching all the exciting new TV shows on Saturday or Sunday night. I liked the idea of that tradition, so years ago I started a couple myself. Saturday mornings became my “egg day,” when I allowed myself a few eggs. (I started this around the time eggs were considered bad because of cholesterol.) Over the years I’ve added more and more vegetables to my scrambled eggs or omelettes, to the point where I now call the scrambled version scrambled vegetables instead of scrambled eggs. The eggs provide a nice binder to hold it all together, but what I really like are the veggies.

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