Sunday, May 25, 2008


Today, for the first time, I ate rhubarb. And it was yummy. Wonder why I waited for so long. Anyway, I made a crisp with rhubarb, strawberries and an apple. Turned out a little runny, and the rhubarb is tart, but it was a good crisp, and I'll just have to make it again.

The farmer's market was hopping yesterday. In addition to the rhubarb, I bought asparagus, hot house tomatoes, onions, strawberries, and... beets! Really hoping there would be beets this weekend, and there were, so I bought enough for dinner tomorrow and to freeze some for later.

Tonight's dinner was an asparagus frittata, from Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cooking. It stuck to the pan (didn't use non-stick), so it broke and looked awful, but it tasted good. (Could have used more salt.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Spaghetti and meatballs

Today I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce with meatballs. The sauce recipe is from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines, but I make the following modifications:

substitute a can of tomato sauce for one can of crushed tomatoes
reduce red wine to 1 cup
omit mushrooms
add diced green peppers
increase crushed red peppers to 1 teaspoon

And today, well, no basil (horrors!). The basil in the garden is struggling with the chilly weather we've had, and I couldn't bring myself to cut off what few good leaves they have. And I don't have any dry basil in the house. Why should I? It's available from the herb garden in the summer, and I freeze a bunch for use in the winter. (Note to self: freeze a lot more this summer. Running out of basil in March is not good.)

DH found the meatball recipe from a now defunct men's magazine that he used to get. Very simple, but the key is to put the meatballs in simmering sauce to cook (not fry or bake them). I've always had a terrible time when frying meatballs because they tend to stick to the pot, but no more. These are terrific.

The recipe makes enough for many meals. We ate tonight, the rest of the meatballs and sauce were divided into two large containers and put in the freezer for later. Each container will be enough for dinner and a few lunches. I might make a batch of spaghetti sauce with no meatballs so that I have sauce on hand for lasagna or some other pasta.

A little knitting news: I used some of my birthday money to subscribe to Interweave Knits. It's the sort of thing I would not spend my own money one, but birthday money, that's something else....

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The First Strawberries

The produces is really starting to roll now. Today at the farmer's market I bought spinach, asparagus, red lettuce, arugala, green onions, leeks, and....the first strawberries of the season. Fresh local strawberries taste a million times better than the ones in the grocery store. I might make strawberry shortcake, or strawberry chiffon pie, or just eat them as is. We'll have a few weeks now to enjoy our local strawberries.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Finally, Some Knitting

I finished a pair of socks for DD last night; stayed up a little late doing so, but they are done and turned out quite nicely. Made of Sockina Colori in a brown/blue colorway, size 3 needles at 8 stitches to the inch. Started them at Easter. I'll make a pair for DS next using the same kind of yarn in a red/orange color. Will post a picture later.

Visited the farmer's market today. Bought arugala, radishes, asparagus, hothouse tomatoes, and some dill for planting. Waiting expectantly for strawberries.

Today we had tacos, a first, since we in the past it has always been burritoes. All we did was change the wrapper, but it went over well. Had to make a new batch of beans, frijoles alla charra from The Border Cookbook by Cheryl Alters Jamison. I never buy refried beans anymore; always make my own. This recipe is very good, but I have found that using chipoltle chilis instead of jalpenos improves the beans. I freeze the bulk of the beans, usually enough for four more meals.

Tomorrow we'll be having the asparagus tart that I found many years ago in Bon Apetit. Asparagus is in season, and now is the time for eating it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Frozen Pizza and Gumdrops

We went to a concert last night, so I opted to make something quick for dinner. Had some homemade pizza in the freezer, and I popped it in the oven. First of all, 10 minutes at 400 degrees was not enough to make the onion and pepper pizza hot, but it seems to have been long enough for the plain one. Most importantly, though, it didn't turn out quite as good as I'd hoped. Some things don't freeze well, and I'm adding homemade pizza to that list. Fresh is best (which is why I make pizza in the first place).

This afternoon I whipped up a batch of orange flavored gumdrops. The recipe is from Homemade, by the editors of Readers Digest. It was easy, pretty quick for candy (and no thermometer involved, just boiling for 5 minutes), and I had all the ingredients on hand. They are sitting in the fridge cooling off; later tonight I'll cut them up and roll them in sugar.

Visted the farmer's market yesterday and bought asparagus and spinach. There were no radishes or I'd have picked up another bundle or two. Perhaps next week.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Note About Biscotti

When toasting biscotti, turning the oven temperature up higher does not make the biscotti toast faster. It makes them burn. Remember that next time.