Beer Vinegar

In the last place Bill and I lived, we were just around the corner from this wonderful little consignment shop that always had all kinds of interesting things for sale. I am genuinely amazed at the fact that, more often than not, I would go in there looking and manage to NOT buy something. It’s truly the kind of place that could drive one to spend a small fortune there on a regular basis.

However, what I was prone to buying there was anything both kitchen-y and “weird.” Which is how I ended up with this piece of ceramic on a wood stand.

A beige ceramic vinegar crock, with plastic spigot, on top of a wooden stand. Foreground is a small glass bowl with a tiny amount of a brown, hazy liquid - vinegar.

So, see, I’ve actually wanted to make my own vinegar for several years now. And, no, I don’t know why I’ve wanted to.… Continue reading →

[119] Pork Shoulder with Chipotle-Orange BBQ Sauce

Cover of Simply Organic by Jesse Ziff Cool

Note: this was made prior to buying the hog. It is NOT from our share of the hog.

We made this one for a party. I’m not sure if I was prompted by a Whole Foods sale on pork shoulder, a cut I am loving more and more and more. My friend Dylan tells me it’s commonly turned into sausage, do to its ratio of fat:meat. I say, “What a waste!” This is good for so many other things!

I have a slightly tilted photo there. No idea why.

Anyway, as you can see, there’s a lot of good stuff going on in that photo. Aside from a nice cut of meat, the oranges, green onions & chipotles!

I recall it being pretty simple to make as well.… Continue reading →

[41] Stewed Chicken Thighs with Dried Fruits

Cover of Eating Well Serves Two by Jim Romanoff

The joys of menu planning are fairly new to me. Menu planning isn’t new to me, but having it work out nicely really is.

I have tried planning menus in the past, repeatedly. Until this week, something has always happened to derail the plans. Sometimes it’s as simple as, “Guh, I don’t want to cook” and sometimes it’s been as complicated as the person or people I’m cooking for changing the plans, realizing they had other plans, etc. Given that, it’s amazing that this week has worked out perfectly, especially with slight changes in plans every day.

We were, originally, planning to make this meal Thursday night. Then our friend Jessie was coming over Thursday night, so we made the Beef Daube instead, since she doesn’t like chicken thighs (and it’s only supposed to make enough for two people, not three).… Continue reading →

[40] Beef Daube

How to Cook Everything, Revised Edition by Mark Bittman

HOLY COW! Another big, round number! Fabulous.

So, Thursday night I made this stew. We were having our friend Jessie over for dinner, and it was a gross, wet day outside. I’d planned to make this one Monday night, but we switched the menu around in honor of those two things. (Jessie doesn’t like chicken thighs, which are now on the menu for Monday night.) Luckily, we HAD gone grocery shopping by the time we decided to switch things up, so it was easy to go to a different choice on the menu.

I love it when things just work out.

I had put it on the menu because my friend Nancy had recently made it, and highly recommended it. Frankly, that’s all it took.… Continue reading →