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Have I raved to you about Penelope Casas’ Green Bean recipe, rightfully enshrined as a Food52 “Genius Recipe?” Read the description and follow it closely.

You take your beans and sear them in hot oil, and they steam and char at the same time, retaining lots of bean-taste. When they’re done, toss them in chopped garlic and salt.

This method is flexible to flavours that go around the world– ginger and garlic and soy sauce for a Chinese mood, mustard seeds and ginger for South Asian, add coconut milk for a Thai feeling.. you get the idea.

I’d been wondering about Runner Beans, those prolific stalwarts of the British summer veg patch.  I’ve never managed to love them as deeply as I do green beans/ string beans/ French beans (as they are called here). Read the rest of this entry »

Hello George Monbiot, here talking about roadkill as ethical meat, and I’m with him on this one, for all the reasons he dislikes most farm-bred meat, mentioned in the video above and discussed here and here.

And I have friends who, as foresters and re-wilders, deeply hate the grey squirrels of Britain for the damage these invasive creatures do to (re)foresting efforts; these activists see eating squirrel as a vote for a wider notion of Ecology.

When I wrote about rabbit over a year ago, I catalogued recipes in my cookbooks to give readers a sense of culinary possibility, and myself a future reference.  I’m reposting this list for everyone who might be inspired to try something new.  Squirrels are meant to cook very similar to rabbit, hence the recipes can be transposed.

For me eating squirrel is hypothetical so far, I should add– though there’s a dead one, courtesy of our cat, in front of our house, and I’m talking to kids about the succession of creatures that eat and rot the dead, especially the gorgeous bottle flies with their metallic blue-green jewel bodies.

Rabbit/ Squirrel Recipes Read the rest of this entry »

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After that success of a dip with the fermented gooseberries, I began to ponder party dips and the social and gustatory joys of standing, chatting and especially gesturing with crudités of carrot and celery decorated in blobs of creamy green.

I’d remembered the pleasure in the days of yore eating dips made from packets of dried onion soup mixed with sour cream, and others in a Green Goddess family in which herbs like parsley, dill, even tarragon, are mixed with garlic and chives and sour cream, and often mayonnaise or an egg yolk too (to emulsify), and perhaps anchovies, for a little secret umami.

And there saying hello on my kitchen counter were the herbs I began to ferment nearly two months ago according to traditions of Ukraine and France and most certainly other places as well.

So I made Green Goddess Dip with: Read the rest of this entry »

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We Are Not Numbers is a project of Euro-Med Monitor for Human Rights and seeks to give young writers in Gaza a platform to broadcast their voices.  I contacted them to offer my blog to share food-related posts, knowing food sustainability and sovereignty to be so multifaceted and challenging in Gaza and Palestine in general, from the brilliant book The Gaza Kitchen, discussed here.  WANN’s director, Pam Bailey, responded, yes please, and would I like as well to be a mentor to two young women, both 19, both university students, coaching and encouraging them on their writing?  Though I don’t think of myself as a writer, I do think of myself as a friendly, helpful person, and so I agreed– and “chatting” with them on line, corresponding, reading their work, commenting, learning about their lives, has become a real joy in my life.  I am truly impressed by their intelligence, depth, humour, and capacity to read, write and communicate in English as a language of study.

Hey, if you can, please contribute to this fund to support a modicum of payment for the marvellous journalism and reflections of all the young writers working with WANN. :)

This here is a piece by Hasna Abu Ewaida, describing her favourite dish, her mother’s hand-and love-crafted Maftoul, which she wakes at 5am to make!  It’s a thrilling, detailed description of the crafting of a meal in the context of culture and family. I would love to eat it, though I confess I’ve already bought myself a pack of Zaytoun Maftoul which if you live in the UK you can find in fair-trade and small food shops

———–

This is Gaza Too: Behind the Rubble and Mayhem, Food that Feeds the Soul by Hasna Abu Awed

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pear Kvass: bubbly, light, perhaps the slightest bit alcoholic, totally refreshing– not perry, not pear juice, more like a “Pear Appletiser®”, with cheerful pro-biotic bacteria.  Very natural tasting, not over-sweet but hits the spot that is delighted with sweetness.

Read the rest of this entry »

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I had the good luck to pop into a charity shop at the end of a day when these two bags cost £1 each, together weighing 3.25kg,

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If you are able to grow gooseberries, you’ll know they are very prolific if protected from berry-loving birds.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s thrilling though rare to learn about traditional fermenting with vegetables in Britain, and in Wales in particular.  This Beetroot Stout is a healing recipe that is totally new to me. Read the rest of this entry »

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Lately I’ve been having fun with simple, quick, refreshing and naturally bubbly drinks. These “pops” or “sodas” are inspired by fruit and vegetable versions of  Kvass as a kind of fermented infusion, traditional to Eastern Europe and Russia, which uses rye bread as its most basic component. But the name has come to be inclusive of many delicious home-made soft-drinks. Read the rest of this entry »

Originally posted on The Zero-Waste Chef:

IMG_20150715_072741 First flower on my cucumbers

This past week, I was pretty excited when I spied the first flower on my cucumbers and a little bud behind it. Unfortunately, I haven’t noticed any bees.

According to a new report co-authored by researchers at Stanford, Princeton and Berkeley, Earth has entered its sixth period of mass extinction. Within just three generations, pollination by bees could be something kids only read about in textbooks (unless they live in Texas). You can read the full report here or an overview of it here.

While some people may not mind living in a world free of broccoli, cauliflower and lima beans, they will probably miss hazelnuts, melons, squash, cucumbers, lemons, limes, strawberries, persimmons, apples, avocados, apricots, cherries, almonds, cocoa, grapes and on and on. We’ll still have corn and wheat though, which do not require pollinators, until blight tears through these non-diverse and thus vulnerable…

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I’m on a kick to simplify, and Kvass in its method seems to be the simplest fermented drink possible.  Kvass just happens, really. Read the rest of this entry »

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