bora bora vs ravioli and smut???

In the quest to recreate the foods I like that are no longer readily available or available at all, I decided to try making my own ravioli today. I was successful, but chose to not eat more than one or two. This effort definitely needs perfecting. Creating a dough without wheat flour that can be turned in to long wide noodles with a pasta maker, not so easy. Creating the delicious filling that goes inside, much easier.

So, I decided to make some Bangledeshi bora instead. This I have now perfected after watching my neighbor make them twice. Lacking spinach, I used swiss chard, finely diced eggplant, onion and garlic and created a batter and fried them. They are a lot like Indian Pakora. I used Gram, corn and coconut flour for the batter. Once fried, I had a delicious mint/cilantro chutney to dip them in. In fact, I like the chutney so much, that I cooked the bora just so I could dunk.

I am by nature a dunker, a dipper, simply, a sauce girl. Why eat dry food when you could dunk and add more flavor and texture?

The garden is still producing produce, despite the cold snap. Well I thought it was a cold snap, as it turns out, it is just fall. What to do with 40 leeks?? I will be searching to find the best way to preserve what was originally labeled “scallions” (which I thought I could use all summer). I love leeks and am hoping that blanching and freezing the stalks might work. How to remove the tasty soil between the layers, well, I need something to do this winter.

My favorite thing about going over to my community garden plot is running into my Mexican gardening neighbor. He is always pushing off his hot peppers on me as he planted too many. Me, I tried to explain in spanglish how to cook swiss chard for beginning swiss chard eaters. I think he won the contest. Everyone knows what to do with hot peppers. He might be making swiss chard with chicken water and onion. That was the best I could do to say chicken broth in Spanish. I will see next time I am there if he liked the chard. I really should study up on the linguistics prior to heading down there. My other gardening neighbor is from Nigeria (and speaks more English) and she has some really interesting veggies growing in her plot that is surrounded by corn stalks. It is kind of like walking through a forest and then suddenly you are in veg heaven. Her corn has lots of smut (huitchocotli??) and I would love to know more about how to use that Mexican delicacy, ie, when to harvest it.

I made some hot pepper jelly yesterday, a nice, heat filled batch. This stuff is great with aged hard cheeses and crackers or even over a log of cream cheese. Also great stocking stuffers, at least I think so. Mead was made yesterday also. I would like to say that I made it, but really I just supplied the honey and estrogen. Tomatoes and hot peppers are in the food dehydrator and green chiles have been roasted and peeled.

Time for a movie………

i’m out

cold camping and lots of fun

This weekend I went to Wheatland music fest where typically it is very hot even though it is the first weekend in September. This year, not the case, and I didn’t really pay attention to the weather report, cause I never do.

Chilly describes it a little. It went down to the low 40’s one night, and it rained. Both nights. Now this might sound miserable to some, but I love camping like this. Waking up to bacon and hot coffee every morn, huddling under the gazebo to get out of the rain, not playing my mandolin even once, but getting lots of knitting accomplished. All great. It could have only been better if we had a bonfire too.

I had a lot of fun pulling muscles (can’t elaborate here), dancing, hanging with great friends, not sleeping, having a few cocktails, oh yeah, and listening to music. I even got a little sunburnt when the sun remembered who we were on Sunday.

Pillaging and plundering ( knitting at the bar) will take place tomorrow night. This will get me going on the winter knitting projects (sweater is almost finished) and solstice gifts. It has been too long since a little P&P has taken place. And it will be ladies night…..

i’m out

15 minutes of fame?? and finally a pizza

Once upon a time there was a girl, she liked to cook. Last fall she created a DVD demonstrating her idea for a cooking show. It was fabulous and fresh, and the demo made it out of the mail box but not onto the network.

Ah, too bad.

Well, there is another opportunity. This time I will switch up the style and have a slightly different theme. I am open to ideas if anyone wants to weigh in. Last time I had a “use stuff from your garden” type theme. This time will most certainly include how to be a cook and eat gluten free and not realize it. I will work on figuring out how to take something that you enjoyed eating and cooking your whole life (with gluten) and turn it into a gluten free delish dish (gluten free double D).

For example, pizza. I am still looking for the dough that makes me happy. So until then, I will do what I did tonight. I mostly like pizza toppings, so I took a pie pan and spread some sauce in the bottom (homemade sauce of course) and then placed my pepperoni on the sauce, a layer of mozzarella and some thinly sliced onions on top. Baked it at 400 until it was golden brown and then lifted/poured it onto a plate and ate it with a fork. Finally a pizza I liked. Simple. Crustless.

Or maybe I won’t submit a new DVD and be happy. I am already happy. Life is pretty good right now. What do I have to lose? What do I have to gain? I think I just won’t answer those questions.

Maybe I will think on it over the weekend. I need to think about what I will cook in my 3 minute video. I need a new name for my potential show. Last time it was…..you guessed it…Fresh Ginger. Guess I have decided. Afterall, it will be fun.

i’m out

what you do for friends

Recently, in the last year or so, several of my friends have taken up stringed instruments. Over the winter, I decided that I hate the flute (what I played in HS) and wanted to learn the mandolin.

Two reasons for this decision: If I ever want to see my friends again I have to learn how to play music all over, and, well, I like the mandolin.

I did try the fiddle once, for a month and decided that maybe I just want to listen to other people play.

Similar things have happened with knitting and drinking. This makes me sound like a conformist really. If I want to see some of my friends I have to go to “sewing night” where anything goes really – it is a drinking club with needles involved or I have to say, “it’s time for some pillaging and plundering” i.e. drinking (and knitting) at the bar.

It’s Labor Day and I am laboring with knitting. I am making a sweater for a friend for Christmas and just finished the first half and realized that I have knit the last four rows incorrectly, due to my inability to interpret knitting directions. Driving directions I have no problem with, cooking directions (although I ignore them), no problem. Beer making, no problem. But when it comes to knitting, I think I am missing the secret knitting code interpretation gene. This is okay, as it makes me feel less domestic (see blog from a month or so ago). I have decided to try to overlook the mistake vs taking out 600 stitches and make sure I knit the second half the same way.

Random thoughts of the day: check out this site which is from my friend bourbon boy or BB (I prefer not to mention any of my friends by name on this blog to protect their identities – one never knows what can happen on the “interwebs”): http://www.goatonapole.com/ this appears to be a newly forming religion and being a bad pagan, I am always interested in new ideas.

Since it is labor day, I feel some obligation to grill since I am not at the beach and if I were at the beach I would still feel the obligation to grill. So, what to grill…? Shrimp. Nah, a New Orleans style BBQ shrimp app and then a steak, with blue cheese melted overtop, or some compound butter made from fresh garden herbs.

“The food of your garden is rich in memories – a kaleidoscope of sunshine, rain, green fields, earth – and a subtle suggestion that all the joyous things of this life are gift.” – “Gastonomie sans Argent” (August 1957, Gourmet mag).

That quote represents summer to me and I am thankful for the gift of friends, all of them.

i’m out