Where do we go from here?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Food and Books About It

My apologies to the squeamish for the worm photo in my previous post. It's hard for me to understand squeamishness about worms, knowing how incredibly beneficial and important they are for the health of soil and gardens. My outdoor compost bin needs time to rest and work over the winter, so I have high hopes for this new outlet for the large amount of vegetable waste we seem to create in our everyday life of cooking and eating.

And vegetables are really what this post means to be about, not worms again. If anyone read my preThanksgiving post about what green vegetable I would prepare for the big feast, they might find a followup of interest. I was obsessing over the boringness of green beans, and my real desire to do the not-always-popular, especially with children, brussel sprouts. I was saved by a recipe in the (alas final) November issue of Gourmet Magazine for a dish with both vegetables, as well as chile and mint. I was putting green chile in one of the dressings (as well as chestnuts and dried cherries), and mint in the salad, so I chose to do pinon nuts and garlic with the green vegetables. Blanching the beans and sprouts in boiling salted water kept them fresh and green, then I sauteed them in olive oil with the nuts and garlic. It turned out to be one of the stars of the show. People who said they had never liked brussel sprouts before had second helpings, AND asked for the recipe. So, thank you Gourmet, and how I hate to see you go.

Today we are venturing out, as the daytime temps are finally rising above freezing, to see my favorite food writer and cookbook author, Deborah Madison, at Los Poblanos. She'll be signing her books, and I'll be right there in line with my two, Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen, and Local Flavor: Cooking and Eating from America's Farmers' Markets. She has many more books, and in time I will be able to afford her magnum opus, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. There's plenty in the two I have to keep me busy for a good long time, however. If you like to read about food, and I have to confess I love nothing better than a good food writer, Local Flavor is a joy to just curl up in an armchair and read. Deborah will be doing her book signing in the Farm Store at Los Polanos Organics, and I hope for enough time to do some browsing in the store itelf. Los Poblanos is an incredibly beautiful place in the North Valley, which includes an inn and conference center as well as an organic farm providing bountiful boxes of produce (and now bread, meat and milk as well) to its CSA members. It may well be warm enough this afternoon for a good walk in the Bosque into the bargain. All in all, it sounds like a wonderful winter Sunday afternoon.

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