Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I have never ever ever tried anything even remotely "canny" and I have always been really in awe of people who do can. Casey made it seem super easy. However, Casey is kind of an effortless chick, so I had low expectations for my own first try. Guess what though?
Her recipe is bombtastic! Super easy! I even found myself making a few changes off the cuff (I cut the sugar in half) and not even being worried about it. This is big for me. I am known to be a very worried little chef! No worries now!
Anyway, all this leads me to a very exciting announcement. Richmond Food Collective is hosting a food swap! We will include all things canned, preserved, dried . . . heck, even frozen! This is really going to be exciting. We sure hope you will register to be a part of the pantry-stocking fun!!
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Some of us RFC gals have been canning for awhile (in fact, maybe everyone except me? yikes!), and others of us are happily learning now. Either way, sharing the bounty seems so grand to us and we cannot wait to host this fabulous event.
What about you guys? Do you can? Are you psyched to get together with other "food putter-uppers" (got tired of using the word "can" so much) and do some good old-fashioned trading? Let us know! Register via email. Location will be disclosed only to registrants (intriguing, yes?). Bring your food to share, and take some home to eat!
I, for one, can't wait to eat your food!!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
- 5 peaches, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped (I used a mix of yellow and white)
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 TBS Pernod
- 1/2 Cup honey
- pinch of salt
- blend with 1 cup of whole milk yogurt
Sunday, August 21, 2011
My friend Laura came into a large box of figs last week and was kind enough to share. The figs from family owned trees are a yearly staple for her so in addition to the figs themselves she also shared one of her favorite ways to serve them. These appetizeresque beauties could not be simpler. Just slice some good bread, ( I went with Norwood Cottages Bellevue Baguette) lightly toast in the oven or on the grill, add Goat Cheese, sliced figs, and finish off with a drizzle of honey and balsamic vinegar.
The plate pictured above was the second round for a small group gathered poolside last week. Some folks who had never tried figs, and are not ones to go for goat cheese or balsamic vinegar tried one to be polite and loved them so much they went for more. I ran out of goat cheese towards the end and used some extra sharp cheddar in its place. It overwhelmed the fig, but was supper tasty just the same.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
In thinking about community and food, it is not long before my thoughts turn to my own wedding. Though my husband and I met in my hometown (Blacksburg, VA), we built our lives together in Richmond and married here. Our wedding was a celebration of our life, and Richmond was a key part of the equation. We wanted show off our city!
But, only three years ago creating a local wedding was a challenge. I’d say seasonal and local and someone would hand me an asparagus (it was an October wedding). People talk about fighting with family over wedding plans; I didn’t have one fight with a family member over my wedding. Instead, initially, I fought with vendors.
You see, the local option isn’t necessarily in the “package” or pricing structure used by wedding vendors. But, with the internet, an amazing Mom, and the seeds of a locally-focused Richmond already established, I found my way to locally owned and operated businesses that understood my vision. What follows are locally-sourced highlights from our wedding.
Each of these vendors helped make our day beautiful, the local way. These folks were dialed and we remain appreciative of what they did for us. Ricepaper Photography snapped these lovely shots of the local vendors and products we used. So, Richmond, this is to say, we think you're pretty great. Thanks for everything.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Oh, how I didn’t want to make anything tonight. I couldn’t even look at Micah because I was afraid I’d be like: “Hey, you’ve had a hard day. Why don’t I run out and pick something up?”
But then I remembered the eggplant . . . and the squash . . . and that tomato that wasn’t quite ready but that we had already sliced so we had to use. Is that called being inspired? I like to think of it as “culinary acceptance” as in “Okay, I’m not going to order anything. I’m going to make something delicious.” For some reason, certain nights it is harder for me to get going cooking-wise. But always, seriously always, I am so happy once I get started.
Anyway, once I realized how much stuff we had, I started to get pretty excited. The peppers that were almost gone (I kept meaning to use them but, um, I forgot), some amazing chocolate cherry tomatoes, a few more tomatoes from my mom’s house, a shallot from Rachel’s yard, and garlic from our’s. This was turning out to be quite the local feast.
So here’s how it went down. I started with:
- one eggplant
- one yellow squash
- a couple cloves of garlic
- half a shallot
- one long green chile pepper (seeds removed)
- hodge-podge of tomatoes (about three in all, I used various sizes)
- four canned black olives (what? they would have gone to waste and I wanted to use the juice! Note that this is four olives NOT four cans!!)
- a little bit of boxed red wine for the sauce . . .cuz I’m classy
- a bit of coconut amino acids because I had them – easily skippable
- pasta of choice
Writing the ingredient list was, literally, harder than making this dinner. I love this because it is so adaptable (you can easily change the amount of eggplant, squash and tomatoes) and you do it all in one pan.
- Chop up the garlic, onion, pepper, eggplant, squash, and tomatoes. I like to do what I call a “fat dice” on the eggplant and squash because I like them to be kind of chunky, but you cannot do it wrong.
- Sauté the garlic and onion until the onions start to get a little soft.
- Put all the stuff in (except the pasta) and cook the heck out of it (that is, cook on medium heat for at least 10 minutes, maybe 20).
- Now you can get your pasta water going and throw the pasta in once it starts a-boiling.
- Keep an eye on the food and give it a good stir every once in a while so everything gets a chance at the heat. You can add more liquid if you need it.
I start to taste after about 10 minutes (once the eggplant is done, you are good to go). Tonight, I turned mine down a bit to do dishes and it was ready in about 30 minutes.
It was so good. And the bonus is that I feel so relieved that I didn’t waste those veggies by waiting too long to use them. Plus, I have leftovers for lunches. Not too shabby!
- Toasted spices (he used fennel seed, black pepper and coriander, but experimenting would be fun), ground (see the beautiful brass mortar and pestle?)
- 1 cup of ricotta
- 3 eggs, beaten in one at a time
- about a quarter of a cup fontina cheese
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
There are five women in the RFC and we all eat differently. Have we told you that? Yep. We make different choices for the food we purchase and prepare in our homes. We've got it all: vegan, meat-eater, former vegan, former vegetarian, and vegetarian. And there are just five of us!
So, you might guess, we live differently as well. Some of us are moms, some aren’t. Some of us work an offices downtown, some don’t. Some of us feed a family, some don’t. Come to think of it, among us we manage an impressive to-do list! Combined, the RFC organizes households, full-time jobs, children, part-time jobs, and family-owned businesses. Woofty, we are a busy bunch of women, but we make time for food! Once a week we sit down to a meal together in one of our homes.We cook together; we
eat together; we talk food
What’s the secret? We all have something in common – collectively. We share a love for fresh food that is available locally. Hey, we love food (have we mentioned that before?)! With love and some curiosity, you can make anything. So this post is not about one recipe or another. But, instead, is about how rewarding to learn from others – to share food and ideas.
As a new RFC member, I found immediate gratification from our weekly dinners. I was instantly welcomed to the table. The kindness and hospitality was met equally by a rich exchange of ideas, techniques, and resources. We have become mentors and friends.
So, be curious! Go down the street and talk to your neighbors, call a friend, call a relative, next time you want to know how to make something. Another great local resource is to *talk* to the people at your farmers’ market. Ask them, “How would you prepare this?” We bet you’ll be energized by what you find.
Hey, I’ll do you one better. I’ll take the challenge myself. I’ll go to the market this Wednesday and I’ll ask the question. Of course, I’ll let you know what I find – please do the same! Cheers from the RFC!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
The fritters were pretty good, but this dressing is what folks were really after. My husband thinks I should keep the recipe secret and make my fortune off this stuff... it's that good. The real secret though is the freshness and quality of the ingredients, a hem, Dukes included of course. I can't remember what I first made this dressing for, something involving tomatoes I'm sure. It's great with the fritters, but it's also lovely spooned over fresh summer produce, or added to a sandwich.
I'll confess I had never made these fritters before, but I was inspired by a recipe in the August issue of Martha Stewart. So of course, I totally did not follow the recipe. You asked so here it is... honestly if I were you I would use the base line proportions found in any of these others and use mine as a 'look I can play around with this" kinda thing. I made these up the night before. These were not super quick, the entire process took me at least a couple hours. After frying these I let them cool completely, refrigerated them in sealed containers and then reheated them on baking sheets at 350 for about 25-30 minutes before the event. Here's what I used...This recipe made me 35 fritters. I used way more cheese, more parsley, and more onion, in proportion to the zucchini than the original recipe.