Thursday, June 30, 2011

Homesteading on a hot summer night.....but will there be wine?

Meet Author Rachael Kaplan on Thursday nite, July 28, 2011 at 7 pm in Amherst at Food for Thought Books Collective.

Readers will find concise how-to information that they can immediately set into practice, from 

making solar cookers to growing tomatoes in a pot 

to raising chickens on a tiny plot to 

maintaining the mental serenity of country life in the fast-paced city environment. 

Homesteading on a hot summer night. Maybe there will be wine.

What is it? Farm Share Dilemma

Why do they grow things? What is it?

Kohlrabi (German turnip) (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes group) is a low, stout cultivar of the cabbage that will grow almost anywhere.  

A Kashmiri household may have this on their dinner or lunch plates three to four times a week. 


Weight Watchers One Point.

But how to cook? Tried the turnip route which is mash or roast.  Trimmed the thing, cubed it, slathered in olive, amped up the toaster oven and walked away. Then it burned. Poor forgotten Kohlrabi. Surviving remains, not so hot. Forgot the garlic also. Bet that wouldn't happen in Kashmir.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friday I'm in Love: Lunch in the Valley

Two surfs and a turf.....nice lunch if you can get it.

Lobster Roll: No Mayo, No Hot Dog Roll, No Beach, the lobster roll at Green St. is a contrarian, like the restaurant’s owners, but in keeping with the very high standards that Jim and John have for the food. As everyone knows, fresh herbs (in most everything) is the sign of a good restaurant. This restaurant has chervil growing in the trunk of a vintage car out in back. Chervil, tarragon, basil, rosemary … all of that can be found in their food, even in the lobster roll where chervil mingles with crème fraiche and fresh lobster meat. Cooked right there. Not canned. Ask them if you don't believe it. Outdoor seating.

Hamburger: Walk over to Serio’s not far away from Green Street, across the street to Forbes and down to the light and then over to State Street where there are burgers on a grill out in front of the grocery store most Fridays. The smell alone is enough of a reason to eat lunch twice. Expect a synesthetic response....outdoor city pool and brown skin slathered with coconut oil. Fork over a fiver for a little memory of summer when SPF was just a spark in the eye of the kid next door with the chemistry set…the kid with no tan.

Fish n' Chips: Then there is the fish and chips over at Sole Proprietor on King St. across from what used to be the Honda place. Every Friday, Sole Proprietor fries up some fish and chips, hangs out a sign and the place is like a herring run.  Fish and chips, the second national past time,  are sold under the strict supervision of the owner. But....don't forget they don't take credit cards, only checks and cash and don’t even think about coming late or early. Business as usual. If you haven’t had fish and chips lately because of weird weight restrictions or pesky concerns about fat or salt or trying to save the cod or save the potato, give it up at least one Friday for this fish ‘n chips. Worth every deadly bite.

What I am eating....

Strawberries can be eaten with wine, red, the way the Italians do. Just slice, slather with a bit of nice red, let it sit for 10 minutes or so and consume on its own or with ricotta. Make you own ricotta with raw milk. A lesson in cheese making can be had in Deerfield and as for raw milk, you have to know somebody.


Contrary to popular belief, rhubarb is available all summer. Just ask the people how have it growing in their yard. Rhubarb in something besides a crisp or a pie might be the famous Rhubarb Gastrique! Which is rhubarb cooked down with some red wine. Very nice with duck or chicken.

What I am drinking....

fern




Sicilian White this is a good summer white that stands nicely on its own or can consort with chips, dips, dinner or even all by itself. Sold to me by a guy doing a demo at River Valley, this wine is slightly grassy, slightly but not in a bad way, viscous and easy on the brain in terms of head aches. And it is around $10. Can’t remember what it is called exactly…..but it does not cause head aches and is made up of the grapes that the rest of Italy uses....according to the guy at River Valley.