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Category Archives: Food

Two theories of gardening

A thriving squash plant, with lots of room and some pampering. Notice how dry the soil is. I’ve already learned a lot from my experiments with this year’s garden. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, my plan this year was to plant sparsely, leaving plenty of space between things for cultivating and for weed control. […]

Roasted okra

Okra roasts beautifully. The seeds are tender, but with a slight crunch. They’re a bit like fresh corn kernels, or fresh peas. If seared and not overcooked, I think okra would be great in curries. I also want to experiment with using okra as a thickener in sauces for stir-fries, avoiding the dreaded cornstarch.

Refrigerator pickles

It takes 10 minutes or less to make a quart of refrigerator pickles — just long enough to heat some vinegar and sugar, throw in some spices, and pack the jar. Three days’ worth of cucumbers from four flourishing cucumber vines yielded enough surplus cucumbers for two quarts of refrigerator pickles. If you Google, you’ll […]

The squash kicks in

Squash-tofu curry, cucumbers in sour cream I picked the first yellow squash today. I already had decided that it would go into a squash-tofu curry. The abbey’s cucumber plants are climbing high and producing excellently. Unless one has enough cucumbers to pickle, cucumbers have to be eaten fresh every day. I decided on cucumbers in […]

First pesto of the season

Cucumber-pasta pesto. Click here for high-resolution version. In the summer garden, the basil and cucumbers won the competition for who gets to the kitchen first. The yellow squash will be about one day behind, the first tomato about five days. It has been an excellent gardening year, at least for the summer garden. The rainfall […]

Garden report

Click here for high-resolution version. I’m not the sort of gardener who does everything the same from year to year. I experiment. I try to learn from my failures. After all, gardening is an exercise in adaptability, since conditions are never exactly the same. This year’s garden strategy was to plant sparsely in such a […]

Old Salem farmer’s market

I don’t get out much. But spring weather and the prospect of food are pretty good motivators. One of the best farmer’s markets in this area is the Cobblestone market at Old Salem. Old Salem is the Salem half of Winston-Salem, a place with colonial roots going back to the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania […]

Chow mein (approximately)

As I mentioned in the previous post on Polish pierogi, if you can’t make things authentic, at least you can make things good. The fact that we don’t have either the skills or the ingredients to do exotic cuisines authentically doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take inspiration from those cuisines and do the best we […]

Pierogi (approximately)

I have never seen a filled dumpling or a filled pastry that I didn’t like. Have you? Earlier today, I came across a list of comfort foods from every American state. What a list! Here it is. The one that kept my attention, though, was Ohio — pierogi. The only thing holding me back was […]

More about barley

Click here for high-resolution version Back in January, when I wrote a post about fried barley polenta, I was using organic pearled barley, because that’s what I had at the time. However, pearled barley (though it’s very good) is not really a whole-grain product. Hulled barley is. Today, while it was snowing outside, I did […]