Back on the Yogurt Train: How to Make Yogurt

...to make yogurt. In fact, I do believe we covered it in our book. Thing is, back in the day when we made yogurt, it was Erik’s job. When he slacked on it, I didn’t even consider picking it up. Chalk it up to the mysteries of division of labor in a household. Anyway, we went to see Mark Frauenfelder talk about his great new book, Made by Hand , and one of things he mentioned was how much he and his family are digging making their own...

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Bean Fest, Episode 6: Walton’s Serbian Lima Beans

...bay leaves in the water with the beans when you first start cooking them. Also, this seems like a lot of olive oil, but it really makes the flavor, so I’d suggest you use some kind of tasty extra-virgin with a strong character.  The onions should be caramelized slowly, barely making any noise while they cook down. This is the other strong flavor of the dish. Start the onions during the last hour of the beans boiling. Buon appetito!...

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Bean Fest, Episode 2: Falafel and Babaganoush Recipes

...when soaked. Toss the beans, garlic, onion, salt and spices into the food processor, along with a glug of olive oil. Whirl until you can’t see whole beans anymore. Add another glug of olive oil and all the greens. Let it whirl until the greens are cut down to speck size. The mix should be a pleasant spring green. Taste and add more salt or whatever you think necessary. Don’t mix it until it turns to smooth paste. Stop while it still...

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Beans 101 (Return of Bean Friday!)

...hen they are close to done, add salt to taste. I add quite a bit. At this point I also add a big splash of olive oil. And pepper!  The salt and the olive oil really punch up the flavor, turning the cooking water into tasty broth. I let everything cook a little longer after this, so these flavors meld. It should smell good. Cloudy cooked goodness But how long do I cook them? There’s no solid answer. Older beans take longer...

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One way to salvage stale bread

...which caused Mr. Homegrown to grumble with hurt indignation. His homemade bread is better than any store bought, it’s true–but he hadn’t baked in a few days, and I wanted to make caprese sandwiches. However, my plans went awry and the baguette went stale.  Oh, the shame on my head! Just where did we put out our supply of sackcloth and ashes? However, tonight I salvaged the bread by making it into Melba toast (?) or rusks, maybe...

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Moringa!

...lear, odorless, and resists rancidity at least as well as any other botanical oil. The seed cake remaining after oil extraction may be used as a fertilizer. The bark, sap, roots, leaves, seeds, oil and flowers are used in traditional medicine in several countries. In Jamaica, the sap is used for a blue dye. The flowers are also cooked and relished as a delicacy in West Bengal and Bangladesh, especially during early spring. There it is called Sojn...

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Looking for the Union Label

...derwear on the internets recalled a highly catchy ad jingle from the roller disco era, “Look for the Union Label” (youngsters can watch it on youtube here). We looked for the union label and we were surprised to find it via a company called Union House which carries a functional, if unexciting line of apparel. Unless hipsters take to golf shirts in an ironic fashion judo move, these offerings will never be cool like the domestically m...

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What Mountaineering Accidents Can Teach Us About Food Preservation

...foods at room temperature (which is just plain dumb). Four cases that stand out are related to storing garlic in oil at room temeprature. The National Center for Home Food Preservation now recommends the following if you want to preserve garlic in oil: Garlic-in-oil should be made fresh and stored in the refrigerator at 40°F or lower for no more than 7 days. It may be frozen for long term storage for up to several months. Package in glass free...

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Age of Apocalypse

...actors is unique in all of human history. That while sure, other apocalypses haven’t worked out, this time it’s different. One of the apocalypse memes at the conference varied from the classic “chosen survivors” variant, and it is reflect in the writings of Guy McPherson, the speaker who caused the most buzz. In his worldview, catastrophic climate change trumps all. Oil and the economy are irrelevant now, because he believ...

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Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Buyer Beware

...The California brands, however, were found only in the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay Area. Defects in those oils that failed to pass muster included oxidation from excessive temperature, light or aging and addition of cheaper refined olive oils.  Other flaws may have been linked to improper processing or storage and use of damaged or overripe olives. Anecdotal reports of low-quality olive oils lurking behind extra-virgin labels have bee...

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