Spelt Raisin Bread by Weezie

Posted on 03-27-11 · Tags: , , , , , , ,

Spelt raisin bread

I was looking over asmartmouth.com and I just can’t believe we have never posted a yeast bread in the history of the blog. It seems impossible to me. Bread baking is such an intrinsic part of my life. I have been baking my own bread since I was 16, not all the time, but often. In recent history I don’t think that I have bought a loaf of bread in the last two years. We always bake our own. Last Christmas Matt and Anjuli gave me my own flour mill so now I can even grind my own flour. If I had the land I would probably grow my own grain.

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Sugar Pumpkins – pepitas and puree by Weezie

Posted on 11-01-10 · Tags: , , , , ,

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I am sitting in the living room of one of my closest friends in Philadelphia, Anj’s godmother Kristin. I grew up in Philadelphia and have been very close with Kristin since I was 16. That is over 40 years. She is dying of lung cancer and I don’t know if this is the last time I will be with her.

For the last year I have been making the purest and simplest food for her – organic chicken broth or very simple organic lentils with greens. Even though I can’t be there to cook for her every night, she can combine these simple foods to make soups and stews – giving her comfort, inspiration and the nutrition she needs to keep her strength. I freeze them and bring them to her about once a month. Now most of what she is eats comes out of an intravenous tube. (What she takes by mouth she usually throws up.)

So here I am, sitting next to her, and writing this post while she dozes on my shoulder – a surreal experience. But work is an anchor that grounds the soul – so here we go.

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Skillet cornbread by Weezie

Posted on 08-30-10 · Tags: , ,

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I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Sally Fallon or her cookbook Nourishing Traditions. Sally Fallon spent ten years putting together recipes that focused on Old World traditions before cheap and easy were the primary objective of our meals. Her research and inspiration were the provactive studies conducted by a dentist named Weston Price in the 1930s. Dr Price traveled the world to document the teeth and bone structures of different peoples. After extensive research, Price came to the conclusion that people with good bone structure and strong teeth – full, wide jaws and well-formed, even teeth – came from pre-industrialized villages that all had common nutritional threads. The people whose villages had already switched to more processed food tended to have crooked, crowded teeth, narrow jaws and unbalanced features. Dr Price’s own book, Nutritive Degeneration is a fascinating, if dense read, illustrated by smiling faces of people Dr Price encountered in small villages and towns.

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Adventures in butter making by Weezie

Posted on 07-07-10 · Tags: , , ,

Homemade whipped butter in a jar
top left – cream yogurt; top right – thicker after shaking 4 minutes; bottom left – curds about separated; bottom right – ball of butter floating in whey

In the early 70s I was a weaver and a member of the Philadelphia Guild of Hand Weavers. I didn’t just want to weave. I wanted to card my own wool, spin it into my own yarn and make my own dyes. I even had fantasies of raising my own sheep. Well, I’m the same way with cooking. Anjuli and I always want to get back to the basics. We make our own ghee. We love it. Recently Anjuli said, “wouldn’t it be great if we made our own butter so that we know what kind we’re using for our ghee?”

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Matar Paneer by Weezie

Posted on 06-16-10 · Tags: , , , , ,

Mom's Matar Paneer

Last year was a bad year for peas in Simsbury. There was too much rain and the peas did nothing. Maybe I got one meal out of them. As the snow fell in January, Priscilla and I sat by the fire with a cup of tea and a basket full of seed catalogs. We browsed through the seed write-ups, dreaming about next year’s garden. We tried to imagine which peas, peppers, brussels sprouts, lettuces, or onions would do well in our Connecticut soil. We strategized on how to rotate our crops this year to defy the squash borers or the cabbage moths without using poison. We tried to guess how much of each vegetable our family would want to eat in 2010. Priscilla lives five minutes away and like me she has an organic garden. She spends every available moment during the school year and all summer amidst her tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries and her 1000 heads of garlic. She and I often plant different vegetables or different varieties and then share our harvests.

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Home at last (at least for June!) by Anjuli

Posted on 06-11-10 · Tags: , , ,

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PDX, Stumptown, Beertown. In broad strokes (ahem, I’ve been here for a week and a half) Portland feels like Brooklyn on half-time. In place of Manhattan you have monstrous sequoias, pine trees, rivers, bikes, b*tches and beer. The people here are very vocal about putting their money where their mouth is. The city has become a nexus for organic eateries, gluten-free bakeries, and vegan and vegetarian everything (cookies, condoms, leather and lollipops). I’m not particularly prone to labels and imitations – on my food or otherwise, but it’s damn refreshing to be in a place where quality and conscientiousness are part of the baseline.

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Kichidi in a thermos by Anjuli

Posted on 06-09-10 · Tags: , ,

Kichidi

I wanted to share with you a delicious little secret that has been keeping me happy and healthy for the last few months. Matt and I have been on the move a lot lately. We were in India in March, spent some time on the Ayurvedic detox treatment Panchakarma, then two incredible weeks at Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School learning tracking and survival skills, and a lot of time going here and there and everywhere. 2010 has been an amazing journey. This spring has been about getting back to the roots of our heritage, nature, and bodies as physical beings.

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Noon Rogani by Weezie

Posted on 06-08-10 · Tags: , , ,

Mom's Noon Rogani

I have been a fan of King Arthur Flour for a long time. They have been grinding flour for 200 years and they really seem to have it down. Their organic whole wheat, if treated right and soaked the night before in a slightly acid solution, rises as high as white flour in my experience. They have a huge product line and they offer recipes on line and classes in their headquarters in New England.

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Asparagus and ramp tart by Anjuli

Posted on 04-25-10 · Tags: , , , , , ,

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A couple weeks ago, our friend Gail brought us some ramps. She had carefully pulled them out by the roots in the woods at the corner of her yard, washed them off, and double bagged them. They sat in our fridge and I wondered what to do! Wild ramps are delightfully potent, sweet and tender but with a good kick, just like the good cousin of a leek would be. In sweet and early spring they are an incredible find. Come late and they will most certainly kick you on your ass. So they sat in the fridge while I thought of pestos and pastas and sauces and stuffings and such things.

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Dandelion dal: Harvest your lawn by Anjuli

Posted on 04-22-10 · Tags: , , , ,

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I’ve been visiting my Mom in Connecticut. See, we’re enjoying the first crop of asparagus and writing a cookbook together. Yes, that’s right. We woke up one morning and this view came out of nowhere. What do you see when you look at this photo? A field of flowers, dandelions, perhaps? A mowed lawn in dire need of weeding? My Mom, well she sees food. On this particular morning she looked out over the dandelions, their bright yellow heads sprouting up through the freshly cut lawn and said, “Let’s make some dal.” This is my first spring outside of New York and I am just adjusting to pollen, let alone a garden and a lawn. Making a meal of this lawn… a dal at that, sounded like the best food idea I’d heard all year. So the following morning she headed out with a gardening fork and cut that first bed of dandelions and piled them into a basket. They were fresh, young, a bit sweet and wonderfully bitter – so far away from that summer bitterness that makes you gag, and nothing like the matured and metallic farmed variety you find in the store.

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