Cloudy with a Chance of Pickles

Half-sour dill pickles, to be exact. Fermented halfsies, to be even exacter. I can’t pretend to be an expert on the lacto-magic that happens here; I can only testify that it works. After years of trying to replicate “Kosher dills” using the vinegar-brine method—and ending up, every time, with tasty but mushy spears—I finally gave in,…

Grilly Beans

A few Thanksgivings ago (wow, now that I think about it, it’s more like ten), I started roasting haricots verts until they blistered, then zapping them with grated lemon zest on their way from oven to table. Ever since, that’s become my go-to potluck veggie dish. In fact, I rarely prepare string (or stringless) beans any…

Polenta: When Meal Makes the Meal

Sometimes I fantasize there’s a CSA Merit Badge for incorporating multiple sharebox items into a single dish. I had a four-bagger a couple months ago. One of the winter season’s final boxes included shitake and crimini mushrooms, red sorrel, a head of garlic, and a bag of Castle Valley Mill polenta. I guess technically that’s five items….

Pickleberries

This week’s pre-delivery CSA list had me prepped for more rhubarb—which was great, since I’d used up last week’s bundle making preserves Sunday. When I pulled back the lid on Tuesday’s box, though, there were strawberries instead. Superb. Sunday’s jam session had also cleaned me out of extra berries, so the switcheroo was a welcome one. I knew exactly…

Let them eat (parsnip-carrot) cake

  Even those of us who love parsnips and carrots suffered a little root fatigue this winter. The carrots were a little easier to work through—so sweet for snacking (or soup or pancakes)—but the ‘snips required a bit more effort. I do love parsnips, but, right or wrong, they’re typecast for me, relegated to a supporting role…

Mrs. Peel’s Popcorn

Popcorn was off limits for most of my early teens. Seems like ten years, though it was more like four, which is still an insanely long time to wear braces. Some forbidden foods were not a big give-up—jelly beans and Jujubes never did much for me—but corn on the cob and popcorn? That seemed cruel….

Miso en Place

My meals are often made out of sequence. Well, partially made, anyway. On the days I work the closing shift, if I want to boost my odds of eating a better dinner than carry-out slices or a bowl of cereal or a scrambled egg or two (and believe me, that happens often enough), I have to…

Meat-radish carpaccio

“Green Meat Radishes.” Huh? LFFC’s weekly share-contents email had me headed straight to Google. Turns out I did know what they were—I’d just never heard them called that. They’re a green version of the gorgeous Watermelon Relish, which—who knew?—is also called a Red Meat Radish. Raw, the flavor reminds me of Daikon, with just a…

Alsatian Chicken Stew

Is there a smell better than leeks sizzling away in bacon fat? Probably. Somewhere. Maybe. But on a cold winter’s night, with flurries out the window and snow-capped mountains on TV, I can’t think of one. Here’s an easy, one-pot chicken stew—a riff on Nigella Lawson’s riff on Coq au Vin—whose leeks and bacon and…