Chips-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.22.12 Chip In

I'm really struggling with my weight these days. A doctor friend told me it's my body's stubborn attempt to hold onto whatever little estrogen is left. My diet is ultra clean. Dessert is a rare treat and, despite my love of cocktails, I'm limiting myself to just one a week. I don't get as much exercise as I should—no snow has meant no snowshoeing, for one thing—but I'm hoping that warmer weather will make it easier to get outside and to use our makeshift gym in the (unheated) barn. My biggest challenge is to not loathe my body, which has outgrown much of my cherished wardrobe, but I am trying to practice compassion. I often consult Christiane Northrup's invaluable book, The Widsom of Menopause, so I know many women go through similar changes, and that they are not irreversible. On the plus side, I now have cleavage. Unfortunately, it's often in places it shouldn't be.
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Tagged — apple
Leather-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.14.12 Warm Leatherette

One of the great things about starting this blog has been connecting to kindred spirits near and far, some of them with blogs of their own. Distances collapse in the virtual landscape, rendering us all just a keyboard away. But true connections inevitably materialize in 3-D—as recipients of my caramels discovered—and on occasion this means little packages of pure joy winging their way to me from Julia (quince & sour cherry preserves; grape, fig & walnut conserve); from Rob & David (birch syrup and homemade herbes de Provence); and from Janet (wild lime catsup and Buddha's hand preserves). This last creature is an old pal from 20 years ago. We had long gone our separate ways only to chance upon one another and discover how our paths had neatly converged. Janet is an artist (married to an artist), mother and writer living on a farm. Her newish blog, A Raisin & A Porpoise, is full of her hilariously wry wit, but also poignant insights and recipes for nourishing dishes that I actually want to cook right away, like this divine dip and these gingerbread muffins. And the spicy fruit leather, above, which she kindly presents to you here, in her own words.
 

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Tagged — apple
Whole-kohlrabi1-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

1.4.12 Crunch Factor

A while back, I believe I mentioned a desire to explore some lesser-known ingredients with you. I've been keeping a running list—including pickled tapioca, sorghum molasses and dried Persian limes—so do let me know if there's anything you're curious about. This is kohlrabi—from the German "kohl," meaning cabbage and "rabi," meaning turnip. It's a brassica, like cauliflower, kale and collards, and has all the same nutritional benefits: low in carbs and calories, high in fiber and antioxidants. It also comes in a deep purple color. Slightly sweet and fresh, with the faintest peppery bite, kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked. If raw, it needs to be peeled, but after cooking the tougher outer skin softens up plenty. With all the cozy soups and hearty braises we're eating at this wintry time of year, it's nice to have some cool, crunchy salads as a counterpoint, (here's one with celery root, and another with radicchio and grapefruit), so I used my kohlrabi in a crisp, sprightly slaw.
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Tagged — apple
Slaw-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

12.1.10 Plenty Good

After avidly perusing London-based Yotam Ottolenghi's contributions to The New Vegetarian on The Guardian's website, and reading various reviews of his cookbook (including this one) as it swept the latest Piglet cookbook contest on Food52, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered my own copy of Plenty. It looks like there's an American edition coming out in March, but it's not such a big deal to convert to metric if you have a handy kitchen scale like this one. (I use mine constantly, it takes up no space at all, and is so worth the $35.) Ottolenghi, who owns four eponymous restaurants in the UK, is not a vegetarian himself, but the book contains 120 vegetarian recipes that reflect his Mediterranean background, his original and exciting use of fresh ingredients, and his passionate approach to vegetables. I can't wait to get my hands on my copy. In the meantime, I made one of his recipes published in The Guardian and it came out great. This crisp, fresh salad of celeriac, apple, quinoa and poppy seeds is lightly dressed with a tangy sweet-sour dressing.
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Tagged — apple
Plum-leather-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

10.21.10 Leather Fetish

Fruit leather! You can make it with practically any fruit you have on hand. Chewy, lightly sweet and loaded with delicious fruit flavor, it's ideal to stash at the office, pack in lunch boxes or take along on a hike. Better than what you can buy—because you've made it yourself with organic fruit, honey and spices—it virtually makes itself. You just cut up fruit, cook it down to a puree, pass it through a sieve, sweeten it a little and spread it out on baking sheets to dry in a very low oven. I made the mistake of leaving mine in overnight, so I couldn't monitor its progress and the edges got a little too dry, but even so they are like wonderful shards of stained glass that crunch and dissolve in the mouth.
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Tagged — apple
Apples-in-crates-790-xxx
photos by george billard

10.7.10 Apple A Day

There is archaeological evidence to show that humans have been eating apples since 6,500 BC. And why not? They're sweet, crunchy, juicy and, as every man since Adam knows, incredibly tantalizing. This is their season, and the farmers markets are full of crates bursting with different varieties and the cider made from them. I remember the first time I ever had dinner at the original Bouley in Manhattan. You stepped into a little vestibule before entering the restaurant and it was piled floor-to-ceiling with crates of apples. Their winey perfume was intoxicating, so evocative and transporting. Eating a crisp, cold apple out of hand is a primal experience—it's just you and the fruit. Some people go all the way and even eat the core, but I enjoy tossing it out into the field. Dust to dust. Apples are also delicious cooked. Did you make this recipe last year? I really enjoy a simple apple cake. Slightly rustic and not too sweet. The one below is adapted from 101 Cookbooks. It's easy to throw together and you can use any apples you like. Something quite firm and sweet-tart is always preferable for baking, I think.
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Tagged — apple
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