Well, it took me a bit longer than expected to cross off the first item on my culinary to-do list, but the time has come, and vegetable stock is a great one to start with. Stocks are easier to make than you might think, and these staples will prove their value every time you reach for them in the freezer. I’ve gotten in the habit of making chicken stock once a month, and hope to do the same with vegetable stock.
Category Archives: Vegetables
Hello, again, and Happy New Year. From my lack of posts, it appears that Thanksgiving really took its toll on me. I took some time off to handle non-blog business, and as all bloggers hope, I thought I’d be able to eke out time to write a post or two. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. But I’m back now, so thanks for sticking with me, and I hope you all enjoyed a lovely holiday season.
We rang in 2014 with a cozy dinner – and my husband and I cooked together. Not something we do often (he likes to stay out of the way, but is the first in line for tasting!). However, over the years he’s learned some skills, and was a very good sous chef last night. Here’s what he did to make this dinner come together: he prepped and made the mustard-shallot vinaigrette for the string beans, peeled the shrimp for the appetizer, minced the garlic and zested and juiced a lemon for the herb crust on the rack of lamb. But his biggest job of all? Stirring the mushroom risotto. Of course, ever the lawyer, he asked questions. “Do you really have to stand here just stirring?” “Can you stir too much? I’d hate to over-stir this.” And there were others I’ll leave out of this post. Despite the mild line of questioning, he stirred and added stock, and stirred some more, until the risotto was done. As you’ll see, it was cooked just right! (Thanks, honey.)
After days of chopping and peeling and cooking and freezing, Thanksgiving finally arrived, and all the preparations gave way to thawing and warming and roasting and serving. As our family was coming in during the day, the appetizers made their entrance, just the ticket to keep everyone sufficiently satiated until dinner. The onion dip with cracked pepper was heated to almost bubbly, we took the chill off the eggplant and white bean puree, and the creamy herb dip punched up raw veggies.
Is June flying by for you, too? The last few weeks have come and gone in a flash. And May was no different. It was unusually busy for our family, with my son’s grad school graduation, my brother’s 50th birthday party, a quick trip to North Carolina, and a wedding in Baltimore. But I recently grabbed a couple of hours to explore some nearby farmers markets.
The Downingtown Farmers Market opened in May in Kerr Park and is already gaining many fans. My first visit to this producer-only market started at the yellowy-green Dia Doce food truck. If you’re up on cupcake trivia, the Dia Doce baking duo won the popular Food Network show, “Cupcake Wars,” with their gluten-free and vegan treats. Beyond the truck, stands were filled with fruits and vegetables, herb plants, breads, chocolates, honey, salsa, and even beer. Farmers within 50 miles of the borough brought pasture-raised beef, lamb, veal, and pork; chicken; sausage; and eggs. I sampled locally made almond and cinnamon butters from the Naughty Nutty Love stand, and took home small containers of SubLIME sorbetto and Rustic Lemon gelato from Jenny & Frank’s Artisan Gelato. (They were devoured the next day.)