The morning after, and other reasons cooking is an easy habit to fall out of.

I mentioned in the last post that I haven’t been cooking much. This hasn’t changed, but I’m digging myself out and back into the game. Or trying to. It turns out that, no matter how much I enjoy cooking, it’s an extremely easy habit for me to fall out of. A natural born chef, I am not.

The simplest reason, of three I shall list, for why I revert to old, non-cooking habits, is that Bill and I are really bad at following a plan, especially in the throes of “spring fever”. The other day I had a dinner plan, had started a small amount of prep for it, and then walked to Bill’s work to pick him up. And then we said, “Let’s take a walk!” So we did.… Continue reading →

Beans tonight

Well. I seem to have let the blog go for awhile. My apologies. To be perfectly honest, life has gotten very much in the way, and I dropped the ball.

Which is part of why the plan for tonight is beans. Specifically “this bean recipe”:http://www.ranchogordo.com/html/rg_cook_beans_primer.htm with cannellini beans (from Rancho Gordo). The beans were a gift from a woman I met at Edible Institute, “Jill Richardson”:http://www.lavidalocavore.org/ who raved about them. I’m excited to be trying them, I have to admit. The founder of Rancho Gordo, Steve Samdo, made me more interested in beans than anyone else ever has, back when he spoke at Edible Institute.

What does this have to do with life getting in the way, and my dropping the ball? Mostly that it’s a really simple thing to make, and it doesn’t take a lot of ingredients.… Continue reading →

“Beyond Broccoli – A Meat Eater’s Guide to Eating Vegetarian” and “Home Cheese Making”

Okay, I mostly attended the home cheese making seminar. It was interesting, but I got the feeling that I missed most of the stuff I couldn’t just get out of a book or online while I was in the “Beyond Broccoli” seminar.

Now, here’s the deal. The Beyond Broccoli – A Meat Eater’s Guide to Eating Vegetarian workshop description was, “Learn how to prepare vegetarian meals to improve your health and tread lightly on our planet.” I don’t know why, after repeatedly having my workshops not be what I expected that day, I expected advice on how meat-eaters can better prepare vegetarian meals, but I did.

And, maybe, if I’d stayed through the entire thing, that would have eventually happened. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay.… Continue reading →

Antiques Roadshow: The Heirloom on Your Plate

I went to this workshop because the container gardening workshop was over-full. Like, “Glad they didn’t have a fire marshal walk in” full. “Sardine can” does not even begin to describe it.

The “Antiques Roadshow” workshop was really nice, and kind of low-key. I didn’t expect to learn much, because it claimed to be about why preserving the diversity of farmed plants & animals was important, and I’ve already heard a lot about that.

And, truth be told? I didn’t. I didn’t hear much about the importance of keeping a diverse “genetic bank” for a species due to disease or poor adaptation to a climate. I didn’t hear much about flavors. I heard little on cultural reasons to keep diverse food types (something I expect to learn more about as I read Gary Paul Nabhan and Deborah Madison’s book … Continue reading →

The Conscious Carnivore

As a refresher, here’s the workshop description, straight from the website:

How to use the whole animal to promote sustainability, avoid waste, and dazzle your tastebuds.

Again, I wanted and expected direct tips & tricks and ideas. A set of maps to various cuts, with suggestions on what to substitute for what. Ways to cook kidneys or tongue or tripe1. Someone else wanted to know how to get ALL the internal organs. I have no idea what she was planning for the lungs or bladder, but I’m kind of curious.

There was very little (though not none) of these kinds of tips. (Okay, the only one I remember was the suggestion that sirloin flap is a good substitute for skirt steak.) There were definitely some comments on how to use (and store) a whole animal.… Continue reading →