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

...f-assed deep frying.” Being somewhat too guilty minded (and cheap) to actually cook up a whole vat of hot oil and fry the falafel like a good falafel should be fried, I pour about a half inch of oil (I use grapeseed) into my littlest cast iron frying pan and heat that till it sizzles when I drop a bit of falafel mix into it. Then I put the balls in, about 5 or 6 at a time. The oil covers them about half way. When the bottoms are golden, I...

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Beans 101 (Return of Bean Friday!)

.... Now on to the how-to. How to Make Yourself a Big Pot of Beans Beans after an overnight soak It’s easy to make a pot of beans, and while it takes time to make beans, it doesn’t take effort, or even brains. Prep time probably totals around 5 minutes, and add to that whatever time it takes to keep half an eye on the pot. What it does require is a small amount of pre-planning. You need to remember to soak beans. That&...

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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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