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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The tale of the worm bin celery

...fully of celery. It made excellent stock, and chopped into fine pieces, it was good in soup, too. Since I don’t eat much raw celery, this suited me fine. All winter long I used this plant as the basis of my cold-weather cooking–chopped onions, carrots and celery in the bottom of every pot. It was a real treat not to have to buy celery for such a long time, and to have that flavor available whenever I wanted it. I should add that the l...

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National Heirloom Expo 2013

For the third year in a row I’m heading to the National Heirloom Expo in Santa Rosa California September 10, 11 and 12. I can’t say enough good things about it. For the insanely low price of $25 you get three days worth of lectures, cooking demos, a mini livestock show and an exhibition hall full of great companies and organizations. I’ll be speaking on a panel on Wednesday September 11th at 2:00 pm on urban homesteading along...

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Cast Iron Cookware Class at Winnetka Farms

Our friends at Winnetka Farms are teaching a cast iron cookware class. I can’t say enough good things about cast iron–we ditched our Teflon years ago. Here’s the 411 on the class: Cast Iron Cookware How to use, maintain and restore. History We’ll start with a short history of cast iron cookware. Techniques and use of cast iron There will be cooking demonstrations (tastings) and discussion of the special techniques and...

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The Best Raw Flax Cracker Recipe

I have to admit to not being a huge fan of the raw food movement. Now I think we should all eat some raw food, but many nutrients are accessible only through cooking. That being said, I like a few recipes that came out of the raw craze, especially flax crackers. My favorite flax cracker recipe is the onion cracker bread you can find here. This easy to make recipe requires no pre-soaking or sprouting.  All you do is mix the ingredients (onions,...

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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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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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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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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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