Variations on Chicken Soup.

We’ve spent what felt like the better part of October into November battling a nasty cold going around, which means lots of chicken soup. Due to our habits of being good at not all being sick at the same time – we just take turns with it –  there is always someone who is comforted by chicken soup, while at least one of us is slightly over it (because we’ve had some form of chicken soup for weeks on end). Thankfully,  I have a small repertoire of soups I make specifically when we are ill – all based on chicken broth with lots of garlic – that are soothing while not being too heavy or fancy so that we don’t get burned out on the idea of chicken soup. Continue reading

An honest to goodness Family heirloom.

I have an admitted weakness for shabby old cookbooks. To me, a  slightly abused old cookbook full of stains, with torn pages is a cookbook that has been well loved and well used. I’ve been known to walk out of estate sales with cookbooks that are absolutely in shambles because I just couldn’t leave them sitting there feeling abandoned. Friends that know I cook and how I feel about old cookbooks routinely share gems with me that were from their mother/grandmother/aunt that no one wanted, but they didn’t feel they could just give away to a stranger, or worse, throw away. Continue reading

Behind the scenes.

In my seemingly constant state of ‘busy’, I often refer to projects I’m involved with that I don’t always share in this space for a variety of reasons.  Occasionally though, some of those mysterious projects do manage to see the light of day here.  I’m excited to share a project that while I was only minorly involved in,  resulted in my name in print. And when I say print, I mean, published in a book print, as in a cookbook – my very favorite type of book.

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A new pickle bible.

I’ve long said that if you like making pickles, then you only really need one book on pickling – Linda Zeidrich’s “The Joy of Pickling”.  In fact, I refer to it as ‘my pickle bible’.  But  I recently discovered another less known gem and I am revising that statement. If you like making pickles, “The Joy of Pickling” is essential, but if you love making pickles, then you also need “The Complete Book of Pickles & Relishes” by Leonard Louis Levinson.

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A workshop with the master. And a festival!

IMG_6549 (1024x683)It almost escaped my attention that Sandor Katz was speaking at the Heritage Harvest Festival up at Monticello this past weekend.  Upon discovering this news, I immediately booked myself a spot in his morning workshop that was billed as a ‘premium workshop‘, meaning in addition to forking out money for a festival ticket, I shelled out money for the workshop as well.  I mention this because I pretty sure I haven’t paid to attend any sort of food or wine related event in a solid 15 years or so, with the last one I paid for also held up at Monticello – a canning and food preservation class (which yes, was THE class that began my canning odyssey), managing to get into all the events I’ve attended over the years for free. I found out later I probably could have finagled a free entry for this, but in the interest of karma, I figured it doesn’t hurt to actually pay for something once in a while. Continue reading