Showing posts from March, 2006

Crockpot Chicken Goulash

Out here where we make our living on a farm we won't let die, work days last as long as I do
– Dana Wildsmith, poet

For gardeners here in Zone 6, flower beds and vegetable plots cry out for early-spring attention.In a good year, the fall clean-up got done before December’s snow. If not, well, so be it, it and the spring work can be done together.Soon there’ll be no keeping up with the new grass, just as already it’s impossible to keep up with gumballs that collect in thorny carpets along the edge of driveway.It’s too early to plant though thankfully, for gardeners whose fingers long for dirt, not too early to transplant perennials bursting sunward.But hey, enough talk – the garden calls! But don’t worry, supper’ll be ready by dark: it’s in the slowcooker. ALANNA's TIPS Slowcooker temperatures vary widely. Until certain about the settings on yours, use it only when you can check on the cooking progress every once in awhile. The USDA website offers food-safety tips for slowcooke…

Blueberry Galette

The Recipe: A relaxed and rustic blueberry pie, so easy to throw together, just a pie crust, frozen blueberries and some pantry ingredients. The Conversation: With a pie this easy, no more "pie in the sky".
Blueberry galette is a fancy-dancy signature for a most plebian pie.Can you say gaw-LETT? While the name implies hours of trouble and fuss, the results are as relaxed as that ever-so-comfortable chair you’d no more give up than your kids.My mother would have loved this recipe, my father, too.My dad, you see, was and remains a fiend for pie. One of the many little inside jokes he and my mom shared went like this. He'd ask, with a hopeful grin, "What’s for dessert?" And she’d answer, with a rueful smile, "Pie in the sky."The translation? "Sorry, dear. No dessert tonight."For my mom, cooking was a sort of witchcraft, a way to pamper the taste buds and handle a husband. (Yes, she really was of that era. But really, aren't we all, still? I …

Whole-Wheat Soda Bread

Traditional Irish soda bread recipe, updated with whole-wheat flour. Sure, you can buy bread in plastic bags from the grocery, in logs from the freezer section, even in paper sacks from the bakery.But the best bread comes straight out of your own oven, hot and ready to dunk into soup or lather with butter and honey.Soda bread is what’s called ‘quick bread’. For sure, it’s quick to make. But in the kitchen, ‘quick’ means that the leavening action (what makes the bread rise) comes from something other than yeast, usually baking powder or baking soda, in this bread, both. So some night soon, impress your family – and yourself! – with a crusty, delicious loaf of bread hot from your own oven. They’ll beg for more! ALANNA's TIPS Always, always always! stir flour to aerate it before measuring. Otherwise, you’ll use up to 25% more flour than is intended and your bread, your muffins, all your baked goods will be heavy and tough. Not good! Whole-wheat pastry flour is different than whole…