You’ve probably never met a soup like this

...alved and stoned1 teaspoons salt1/2 teaspoon of black pepper Put water in a large saucepan, bring to a boil. Add the mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes. While that’s going on, melt the butter in a small saucepan, add the onion and cook until golden brown. Stir in the flour to coat the onions, then add a few spoonfuls of the hot mushroom water to the onion mixture and stir until combined. Add the onion mixture to the mushroom pot. Add the ra...

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Salvia Means Salvation: White Sage

...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 spirit plant. If you don’t have it, everything is going to bother you. You dri...

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The World’s Most Beautiful Okra

...saved. And thanks to a tip (can’t remember where I heard this) I’m having an easier time harvesting the pods. One of the problems with a small patch of okra is that, initially, you get a sporadic harvest. And you’ve got to pick the pods before they get too big and tough. So I’ve been picking a few and day and tossing them in a bag in the freezer until I have enough to cook with. As for cooking okra I leave the pods whole...

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Return of Bean Friday: Spicy Mayocoba Beans

...n beans. I’m happy to finally get a moment to share this with you. Mayocoba beans are pretty yellow beans, the color of old ivory. We’d never had them before, but are glad to have met them, because they are mild in flavor and have a smooth, buttery texture. They’re used extensively in Latin American cooking, so you might have to visit a Latin American-flavored grocery store to find them. The recipe after the break: Spicy Mayoc...

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Why not plant some Calendula?

...ool peach color to the classic vibrant orange. Some of them are beautifully double flowered, others have more of the traditional daisy thing going on. The seeds and some heads brought in from the garden for drying. One last note: Calendula is edible. It’s not flavorful, but it’s fun to add the petals to salads. Dried calendula leaves look a little like saffron and can also be used in cooking for color. Calendula also can b...

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Our Winter Vegetable Garden

...our seeds from two venerable Italian companies, Franchi and Larosa. Why? You get a ton of seeds in a package and they’ve always, without exception, germinated well and yielded beautiful vegetables most of which can’t be found in even the fanciest restaurant in the US. Frankly, every time I try another seed source I’m disappointed. I also like Italian cooking with its emphasis on flavorful ingredients prepared simply–no fus...

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Have any ideas? We’re rewriting the anniversary gift list

...neighbors Anne and Bill are about to have an anniversary. Anne was thinking about a gift for Bill and referenced the traditional anniversary gift list–you know, the inscrutable wood, paper, tin list, as well as the updated list which includes clocks and tablecloths–and was less than inspired. Instead, she’s thinking about taking a class that will be beneficial to Bill, and the relationship– a cooking class, perhaps. I hope...

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Tour de Crap

...our fair city. Perhaps someday we’ll all take a bigger step and assume responsibility for out own waste as the folks in Scandinavia have done with in-house composting toilets like the Clivus Multrum. In the meantime people, remember that somebody has got to deal with what you all flush and pour down the drain so please don’t put cooking oil and grease down the sink. Not only is this bad for your own plumbing, but it causes clogs in th...

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Buddy Burner

...Fish these out first and tuck one or two or three between the cardboard layers to help with lighting the burner. Then pour the hot wax slowly into the can. It will fill up fast, then the wax level will sink as the cardboard soaks up the wax. Keep adding wax–you want to be sure the can is absolutely full of wax and the cardboard completely saturated. To cook with your buddy burner, all you have to do is figure out how to elevate your cooking...

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How to Answer the Question, “What Should I Do With My Life?”

...space on my book shelf). Instead I could have jumped ahead to what I’m doing now. Unsurprisingly, most of the books on my bookshelf, now and in the past, are how-to tomes relating to the subjects on this blog: gardening, poultry health, beekeeping, food preservation, baking, cooking and self-reliance. There’s another broad category : books relating to symbolism, Carl Jung, Rudolf Steiner and media theory. The rest are oddball topics:...

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