Menu of the week September 15th – Plantains!

I can happily say, I am porked out.  We co hosted a going away party for a friend who is moving to Virginia and I made porchetta.  That’s right, porchetta, one of the most delicious pork items on earth.  I didn’t have a deboned suckling pig handy, so I asked my butcher to debone two fresh picnic hams with the skin on for me.  The porchetta deserves a post all on it’s own, so expect that soon and hold me to it.  Two 10 pound legs.  I figured I was cooking for 45 and there was going to be pulled pork too.  One porchetta would have been just fine as it turns out.  The other one is now comfortably in our freezer awaiting a special event or a need to make about 40 pork sandwiches (thank goodness we bought a slicer last winter).  At any rate, I could go on, but I did promise a solo post didn’t I?

This week’s key ingredient is plantains.    Manda of Asparagus Thin is hosting and always has a nice international menu that is loaded with Indian and Cajun dishes – two of my favorites.  Since I am on the road for most of the week and have already done the early week shopping, I don’t think I will be able to fit plantains into the menu mix, but I do love them and look forward to seeing everyone else’s recipes and menus.

Sunday:  Mexican – the Michigan weather is rain, rain, rain for 3 days straight and we want a hearty soup because fall is definitely here, along with Ike:

Albondigas Soup by Elise at Simply Recipes, one of my favorite blogs.

Monday: Mexican again: Chicken Flautas (didn’t have time or desire last week, I was too tired from traveling) with chipotle crema and fresh salsa

Tuesday: Beer club Brat Fest, bring a dish to pass featuring broccoli ( I have loads of it at the moment) or if I skip it (because I still need to pack for 5 days away), spaghetti and meatballs (from the pantry and freezer)

Wednesday – Friday morning:  On the road for work for the next two days to Marquette MI on Lake Superior, then off to a family cottage on Lake Michigan for a relaxing weekend of beach time in the upper peninsula.

Friday:  Cooking at the cottage : Basque: Potato, kale and chorizo stew, roasted broccoli with garlic

Saturday: Cooking at the cottage

Lunch: cheese, barrel aged pickles and salami platter with GF crackers and apples on the beach

Dinner: Fresh local fish (whitefish) on the grill, farm market findings for a side dish (I will bring fresh herbs with me from the garden)

Sunday: Cooking at the cottage

Brunch: Alsatian bacon and onion tart, fresh roasted coffee – or go out to eat along Highway 2

Dinner:  home again, something quick and easy – maybe burgers and tater tots with a salad

For the workshops that I will be holding, I was able at least to order GF meals for my lunches.  One advantage of being in charge.  We have workshops on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, then it is fun time.  Three workshops in three locations with 6 different speakers.  It is a lot of work to pull that together with zero funding and I will be ready for a break.

i’m out

Knees Bees Honey GF Ale

I am so excited that I just have to make a quick post and I also resolve to actually write some real posts, not just my menus, in the near future.  I certainly have lots to post on, but where does the time go?

For the moment I am eagerly anticipating delivery of my first growler of gluten free ale!  I found out a while ago that Old Hat Brewery in Lawton MI always has a GF beer on tap.  One of their patrons has Celiac.  Somehow Lawton is in a location of the state that I rarely every travel too, but one of my friends has to go there more frequently to check tart cherry traps (looking for plum curcuilio ) as part of a rigorous IPM program.  Today, on a Saturday, when the pub opens at 11 instead of at 4 as they do during the week, he must travel there for work.

Happy ale coming my way.  I have only had the GF lagers, New Grist, Bard’s tale and Redbridge, for the most part.  I am not a fan of sorghum lagers, I would rather drink vodka (well, you all know I love vodka anyway).  An ale, however is a different beer making method that results in a very different body and flavor.  I can’t wait and just wanted to share my excitement with you.  I will report back on it later this evening or tomorrow.  I am changing today’s menu as we are running to the farmer’s market in Okemos and I hope to find some baby veggies since my garden is producing mostly greens from the broccoli family right now.  Strawberries are just coming into season here this week – those are on the list too.  I am craving a nice grilled steak and grilled baby veggies (thanks to opening this month’s Bon Appetit before eating lunch or breakfast).  So, the pork ribs will have to wait, but we are picking up the smoker today.  Big juicy grass fed beef steak, grilled veggies (I like their grilled slaw idea a lot) and cold microbrewed GF ale!

Summer is here!!

i’m out

Farm markets, goat cheese, knitting and finally Wheatland is here!

veggies at the market

Well this started out as a food, knitting and brewing blog and got a little side tracked by all things food. I just started a new knitting project. People all around me seem to be in baby having mode, so I have started a baby blanket for my good friends who think they are pregnant with a hairy squid. They are two people who have lots of hair and are worried about the end result – the baby. It will probably be bald for the first two years out of spite for it’s nickname. None the less, I have chosen a sex free color that is water themed (baby should be an Aquarius too). As soon as I have more than 2 inches I will post a pic, right now it just looks like the beginnings of anything.

Oh and I read Harry Potter. Finally it was my turn. I was number 523 on the library list and my turn finally arrived. It’s a good one folks, but most of you have already read it. Now we need a new series like that, one that is magical and can transport you away with a few words, even if it is a kids book.

We visited the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market and Zingerman’s Deli on Saturday and will post about my recent round of farm market trips soon. I have been doing some local research. We managed to spend way too much money on cheese, salted capers, cured sausages and smoked paprika. We did purchase wedges of about 10 goat or sheep cheeses (research again).

heirloom garlic at the farmer's market

Heirloom garlic

Tonight for dinner:

Homemade naan (with spelt)

Dal with garden tomatoes (the one pint out of 48 that didn’t seal this weekend while canning), red beans, curry leaves, fenugreek leaves, black mustard seeds, onion seeds, coriander, black cardamom, onion, ginger and garlic ( I just got it cooking so thought it best to write up the recipe right now)

Indonesian Beef Redang ( I know the rest of the meal is Indian, but I wanted to try it.)

Pakora’s with cilantro mint chutney – this time I really will post the recipe for the chutney. Mint, Cilantro, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, yogurt, salt, lime juice and a splash of oil to emulsify.

The naan turned out wonderfully, flaky, soft and tender with a bit of tang. Thank goodness for my little toaster oven as my gas oven heats the entire kitchen. The Saag was great too, best batch yet. Beef Rendang – tasty, a bit too spicy hot (and I like it hot) and a bit to heavy on the coconut oil. Dal – creamy, spicy and healthy to boot.

OK, we are off to Wheatland Music Festival this weekend – a nice long, well deserved weekend with many of our friends. There probably will be about 8 different homebrews on tap and one cider for me, so we may never leave the camp as from our site we can hear all the mainstage music. We volunteer so in turn receive early passes in for camping on Thursday. I might even play my mando. Certainly I will knit. On the menu, Carne adovada, chicken curry, hash browns and various snacks, including my white bean truffle spread – all our friends like to cook up a batch of something to bring.

Whappy heatland (happy wheatland for those of you unfamilar with the fest greeting)

i’m out and i’m festing….