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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Awesome oatmeal by Anjuli

Posted on 05-15-10 · Tags: , , , ,

Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been making my morning. Yes, just oatmeal. The simplest foods are the best without fail. This is oatmeal that has been soaked overnight in water with raisins so that it cooks as quick as the quickest oatmeal and turns a velvety smooth texture from the added acid. The soaking also neutralizes the phytic acid in the oats, making the oats more easily digestible and preventing the acid from robbing your body of minerals. It’s oatmeal that’s brought to a boil and simmers softly for five minutes or so while I stretch and wake my body up with a morning yoga. It’s oatmeal studded with plump raisins, sweetened with a glug of Connecticut maple syrup, and dressed up with a good dose of cardamom and cinnamon. Nestled in a bowl surrounded in a moat of hot milk, it is just oatmeal, inspired by Mom and made by Matt. I couldn’t imagine a better way to wake up.

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Tres Leches by Weezie

Posted on 02-08-10 · Tags: , , , , ,

IMG_0635

I just got back from Uruguay so all things Latin are still on my mind. I have been wanting to try this cake for forever. With the sun and beach of South America still fresh in my memory I decided to take the plunge and I am so glad I did. You will be too if you try this. I warn you though, the taste and texture are addictive.

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Adventures in candymaking: Dulce de leche + caramels by Anjuli

Posted on 12-14-09 · Tags: , , , , ,

Dulce de leche caramels

I enjoy a good chewy sugar sweet, especially tiny squares of creamy caramel. I love sucking on them until you have just a tiny little drop on the tip of your tongue. Of course anything sweet paired with salt is a wet dream for your taste buds. I also love the more complex caramel flavor of dulce de leche. It’s the most beautiful reddish brown and has a velvety texture that hold its own but doesn’t feel like a thick, sticky caramel sauce. Oh, did I mention, I just adore dairy and sugar combined? Well, if my professed love of caramels and milk wasn’t cloyingly sweet enough for you, please, read on.

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Kefir by Anjuli

Posted on 10-29-09 · Tags: , , , , ,

Kefir

I have been drinking this creamy, fizzy fermented milk tonic called kefir for four months every morning along with a fried egg on toast. I love it. My mother introduced me to kefir back in the summer as a way to boost immunity and enjoy milk (a food I’ve avoided for most of my adult life). While the sour-smelling, milky substance she put in front of me was a little off-putting at first, it took a single sip before I wanted to make some. I have come to adore our kefir grains, almost like a pet. A day without a glass of the tonic is a sad day, so we even tend to travel with our kefir. If you haven’t tried it, I strongly suggest you do. And if you live in New York, I may even be able to supply you with your culture!

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Building flavors: Potato and leek soup by Anjuli

Posted on 04-05-09 · Tags: , , , , , ,

Seriously adulterated potato-leek soup

It’s a mellow Sunday and one of the first gorgeous days of spring. Outside thousands of New Yorkers are tucking into baked eggs and already on their second Bloody Mary.

My mother, Matt, and I are inside discussing the flavor whereabouts of a certain Potato-Leek soup we’re attempting out of The America’s Test Kitchen. We’ve decided that the recipes in the book are deliberately more about technique than flavor, partially because we love Cook’s Illustrated and want to give them props and partially because we can’t imagine why the soup is soo bland. The traditional Vichyssoise and this hot adaptation may be mild, true. But while my mother rightly pointed out, “it is potato and leek soup, so it’s not like it’s going to kick ass,” we’ve spent the brunch period building some elegant flavors out of these potatoes and leeks.

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