Archives for the month of: December, 2014


I’m a Black Eyed Peas-at-New Years gal, and this year I searched around and could only find a tin. So a tin of peas it is, and a most wonderful salad that that feels lemony and green and bright.  I know that these peas can take a LOT of flavour, and years of preparing them THIS way pushed me towards the fermented flavours and the bitter of the lemon zest.  This is the salad I just made– I’m sure your variations will be delicious too.

Make sure to read this great piece by Michael Twitty musing historically on black eyed peas and greens…

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Beans are magical talisman and objects of beauty and represent a midpoint between past and future.  They are jewels of life.  Sprouting them in the long dark days of winter is a kind of ritual of hope.

I was excited to learn that in Egypt people sprout dried favas (broad beans) before cooking them, as a way to boost nutrition. Read the rest of this entry »


The Natural Cook, Tom Hunt

The Kitchen Orchard, Natalia Conroy

The Recipe Wheel, Rosie Ramsden

We lovers of cookery books spend time every year reading the Christmas reviews and roundups.  This year, for all my slogging-blogging, I was able to decide which books I really rated and approached the publishers for review copies.  I only asked for books I knew I would want to keep on my already over-filled shelves.  These are books I heartily recommend to readers… for this year, next year and beyond… really lovely books!

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A Split Pea Stew becomes a Split Pea Soup With Ethiopian Spices… Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s a story of something nice I made from desperate leftovers populating the refrigerator, with a non-recipe “methodology” I experiment with a lot…  If you are turned off by smelly fishes and even the idea of “herring sauce”, please you really must read on…

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Honouring the death of a difficult woman by remembering the soup she often made.

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I’m fasting today as a way to reflect on time as something that moves forward into the future.  And time in another sense as made of dates like the first days of each month that punctuate an awareness of time moving forward.  Ticking clocks and the pretense of normalcy even with epic, epochal droughts and snowfall and windspeeds, and walls of ice smashing into seas and weather records continually broken and storm and flood deaths little reported in the rich world.  There’s massive extinctions and struggling agriculture and many peoples finding their homes and ways of living increasingly impossible.  We are humans of the Anthropocene (and here is the best thing I’ve ever read on that topic).  My fast is a personal act to keep me grounded in this truth, as I figure out my existential relationship to it all.

Other fasters are honouring the dead in the Philippines, a year on from Typhoon Haiyan. I’ve been very moved by Climate Walk.

Others are hoping to be a body of people putting some kind of political pressure on the current round of UN talks beginning in Lima to make the whole thing meaningful, and actually ambitious, let alone visionary, rather than pathetically lame.

My fast today will be a private meditation that I’m sharing with whoever lands on this site.  It’s a way I can personally maintain my dedication towards being a) outspoken b) speaking at all in every day contexts like a blog about the climate crisis when really the norm is silence and c) my intention to consider this crisis in all my choices, actions and demands.

If you are new to Kitchen Counter Culture, here’s the first piece I wrote in a continuing thread about why I find the Fast for the Climate meaningful.

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