How to Cook Broadleaf Plantain

...of their websites feature “food labs” which have some of the most inventive wild food recipes I’ve seen anywhere. On a recent visit to Urban Outdoor Skills, I was very excited to find he’d developed a cooking technique for broadleaf plantain (Plantago major, the common weed, not the banana relative). Though I know plantain is very nutritious, it is also bitter and heavily veined, so I prefer to collect it as a medicinal h...

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How to make your soup wonderful: Wild food soup stock

...ing it for months. It still looks good. Pascal says this is a traditional European method of making instant soup stock, but instead of using it as a stock by itself, I’ve been using it as a finishing touch at the end of cooking up a pot of something.  It really helps at that tricky moment when you’re standing over your soup pot, spoon in hand, asking yourself, What does this soup need? Somehow it improves the flavor in a subtle, magic...

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Digital Farming- What’s The Deal?

Homegrown Neighbor here: So here in the world of urban homesteading things can get pretty busy. We can become so preoccupied with work, chickens, vegetable gardening, cooking, cleaning, blogging duties and email that we can miss some of the things going on in the world. I do like to occasionally check in with the world at large by reading the newspaper. I just read an article that I have to comment on. A recent New York Times article titled, &#...

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Tassajara Cookbook

...s based on their famous bagged lunch offerings for their guests. This means it’s all picnic/finger food sort of stuff. This suits me fine because summer is here, and I like making meals that require chopping rather than cooking, and that keep well in the fridge. I love the simplicity, the pure pleasure and endless variety, of chips n’ dips, bruschetta, tapas, mezza… I could live entirely on appetizers and finger foods. This is w...

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A Review of Williams-Sonoma’s Agrarian Line

...our books I’d be writing a glowing review (just kidding, though looking at my taxes, maybe I’m not kidding!). There’s a few excellent books here, especially The Preservation Kitchen: The Craft of Making and Cooking with Pickles, Preserves, and Aigre-doux. Many of the other books suffer from the “Century of the Self” problem mentioned above–they’re all about image, which equals too many pictures and not...

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How to Prep Fabric for Dyeing: Scouring

...t. My primary sources for this are: The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use by J.N. Liles The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes by Sasha Duerr HOW TO SCOUR COTTON You need: 1) A big non-reactive cooking pot, big enough so the fabric will not be crowded. I used our enamel canning pot. 2) Sodium Carbonate aka Washing Soda aka Soda Ash aka Sal Soda.  This can be hard to find. It belongs in laundry aisles, and Arm &...

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Huntington Ranch Workshop: Foraging and the Living Kitchen

This Saturday March 3 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m, our friend Nancy Klehm will be leading a workshop at the Huntington Ranch entitled Foraging and the Natural Kitchen. So you’ve got two reasons to go–Nancy and the Ranch are truly amazing. Here’s the details: Living Kitchen is a series of informal foraging and cooking workshops that aims to reorganize our connection to land, ourselves and our communities through the awareness of the spon...

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Clean your hands with olive oil

I was just outside staining a piece of wood and got oil stain all over my hands. A bit of olive oil took it right off. These days, olive oil (or any cooking oil, really) is my first resort whenever I’ve got something staining, greasy, sticky or icky on my hands. I’m pretty sure we’ve written about this before–but it bears repeating: There’s no need to expose your skin to harsh chemicals like turpentine or paint thi...

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Salvia Means Salvation: White Sage

...nt healing) drop a single white sage leaf (dry or fresh) into our water bottles and so drink a bit of its essence every day. She uses does this herself and takes it further, keeping a leaf in the 1 gallon bottles she uses for cooking, as well as in her water bottle, so she is ingesting a tiny bit of her most sacred plant on a daily basis. Why? To keep you calm, to repair your soul.  As she says in the book: It is our everyday plant. It is a spiri...

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