Chicken soup has long been recognized as a balm for troubled tummies, a warm and healthful food for cold, turbulent times and a delicious way to stretch one last meal out of nothing more than the leftovers from a roasted chicken and a few kitchen staples. My kids have loved it unquestioningly since they were babies and I still enjoy it myself.
Yes, the Super Bowl is today and our home team is playing! So of course we have to bring something to the party. This one is really quick, really unhealthy and really delicious. Best of all, the recipe is short enough to fit into a tweet, which I received from @CHOW last week.
Kohlrabi is something I remember from my childhood. My mother presented it to us, my brother, sister, and I, in the kitchen. A strange, alien form she found either at the grocery store or in her garden. It was not purple then, but a pale greeny white, as though it might taste minty or sweet like a honeydew melon. She peeled it, cut it into cubes and then served it up with toothpicks.
"It's delicious!" she announced, slurping her lips to let us know of her love for the thing.
But it was not minty, or sweet. Maybe a little bit refreshing, in a watery sort of way, with a strong whiff of broccoli. Finding it all around objectionable, the three of us squealed in horror and ran out into the yard, never to touch kohlrabi again.
In the past couple of weeks we have eaten at least five cabbages. Winter, or spring in some places, is cabbage season. They are beautiful in the garden, gathering dew with dusty hues of plum, pale and bright green. And they are great in salads of all sorts, stir fried and steamed. But sometimes I'm just not sure what to do with them all.
Last year I received Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything for my birthday, from a dear friend. It is a big and impressive book and because of its heft and lack of fancy photographs, I lumped it into the same go-to-first category that Irma Rombauer’s Joy of Cooking and Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone occupy at my house.
Last night I spent ten minutes scrubbing and trimming thirty carrots, as part of a monthly snack contribution to my daughter's kindergarten class. I know nearly all kids love carrots, and I know they especially love those so called "baby" carrots, but I cannot stand those little nubs. I'm not terribly concerned about the health risk of the chlorinated water they are dipped into, but I do get peeved at their false claims, especially since they mislead people into thinking they are not a processed food, which they are. Minimally processed, sure, but it upsets the purist in me. Fakers.
The week we left San Francisco for Tucson, this summer's volume of Canal House Cooking arrived with the mail. You may already know this, but Canal House is my new favorite thing. Besides Nigel Slater, of course. I love its irreverence toward normal day to day life - for those at the Canal House, everything revolves around food. I also love its quick vignettes: trout from a friend of a friend fishing outside the window, a whole essay on why their pal likes to get a buzz on and a few words about Patricia Curtan (illustrator of Chez Panisse Vegetables) and her apricot jam.
My daughter turned five years old yesterday, and what a celebration it was. She had presents from her Grandparents in the morning , singing and candle blowing with a fake cake at school in the afternoon, then dinner with real cake and more presents in the evening. Tomorrow she has another birthday bash (to which we seem to have invited over seventy guests) and still more presents arriving in the mail from her other Grandmother.
This is another old favorite from Deborah Madison that my husband and I have been making for years. We've tried many variations of the sauce, and often I'll make it without marinating the tofu ahead of time, simply because I don't get around to mixing it up before I need to cook dinner. Even then it is delicious. Often it serves as an end of the week produce clean up, just about any vegetable can go in, clearing out the fridge for our incoming Eatwell box. I've made it with pretty much every sort of green we've had - stir fry mix, spinach, chard, kale, mustard (one of my favorites, with a simplified marinade). It is good with turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, always snap peas if we have them and sometimes carrots, though I can usually find a better use for those.