I’m back! Let’s eat.

Posted on April 12, 2013

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Hey, everybody! I’ve missed you. Hope you’ve all been visiting your farmers each week; I dashed in last weekend and was very happy to see some of you!

Let’s get back to it:

NEWS

Vendor Updates 
Bethesda Academy: they’re bringing baby goats to market! This should be a riot. They’re also bringing a much bigger variety of produce now, so please check them out if you haven’t in a few months.

Savannah River Farms: I have it on good authority that they’re bringing LAMB!

Who’s away: Honeydew Farms, Ice Pop Peddlers (but I think the weather forecast will encourage them)

Weather
80 and sunny. Bring. it. on.

WHAT’S IN PEAK SEASON

Root Leaves Flowers Fruits
carrots, including rainbowyoung turnips

radishes

spring onions

garlic

leeks

kalechard

collards

microgreens

arugula

most choi

lettuces

spinach

broccolibroccoli rabe/rapini peasstrawberries

plums

I can’t guarantee that you’ll definitely find strawberries or plums at market tomorrow, but it’s about that time for them, so keep your eyes out. And always ask the seller how they were grown.

THIS WEEK IN MY KITCHEN

1: STINGING NETTLE SOUP

IMG_1236Jane said “Have you ever made stinging nettle soup?”

I said, “Nope.”

So here we are. I forgot to take an end result picture, but it was a beautiful, bright, smooth green. Nettles are known first for causing pain and rash after contacting skin, due to the histamines released through the stingers, but second for their use medicinally to relieve arthritis and other inflammation-based ailments. The taste is of spinach or other spring greens.

Ingredients: nettles, onion, broth or stock, leftover cooked rice if you have it

  1. Use gloves to pick and handle the stinging nettles, unless you want to be in pain for several hours.
  2. Boil the whole mess of  nettles in a pot with water to cover for a minute or so to remove the sting.
  3. Drain and run under cold water. At this point, you can handle the nettles safely with your hands.
  4. Remove tough stems and other non-nettle bits, and chop up the good stuff.
  5. Saute some onion in some oil or bacon grease.
  6. Add the nettles.
  7. Add the stock and rice, if using, and simmer until all are tender .
  8. Blend the soup to a uniform consistency, return to pot, and cook on low till flavors have melded.

Feel free to add cream or yogurt (especially if you didn’t use the rice) and other seasonings. I wanted a pure nettle taste, so I didn’t add anything but salt and pepper.

Best part about this recipe? Made for free from what’s typically a nuisance weed. Score.

2: BLOODY KITCHEN CARNAGE

Do you know what the vasovagal response is? It’s the part of our biology (the vagus nerve, running from our brains to our hearts) that causes lightheadedness, nausea, weakness, and sometimes fainting in particular times of stress. Mine is rather delicate. If you know yours is, too, let me now recommend that you not attempt to prepare 2 pounds of beef liver.

I’ve got to keep my iron stores in check, and I was feeling weak after SMF, so I decided it was time to revisit liver, in the standard “-and-onions” way. Here’s the pictorial:

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My one embellishment to the flavor was, big surprise, bacon grease. Lots of it.

Liver cooking tip #1: Use bacon grease; the result is that you still get the liver essence but the liver funk is covered up by the pig.

Liver cooking tip #2: Sear, then braise briefly. Actually, trim it well during the bloodbath to discard (for use in stock) the parts you know you’re not going to want to chew through later. Then, sear the pieces over medium high heat, add some liquid, reduce the heat, and braise JUST until cooked through.

3: VEGAN RICE PUDDING

IMG_1237I had a houseguest last week that ordered a shitload of Chinese takeout and didn’t eat any of the rice.

What to do? Make rice pudding using other odds and ends and give it to your vegan friends.

How to make it easy? Use a crockpot.

  1. Dump the rice in a crockpot.
  2. Stir in mashed bananas (my choice of sweetener this time, also left over from said guest), almond milk, coconut milk, coconut butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, etc. Be sure to use plenty of liquid because the rice will absorb a LOT.
  3. Turn it on Low and let it ride until you can get back to it.
  4. Give it your vegan friends while noshing on a bacon lollipop.

GLAD TO BE BACK

This feels much better. Can’t wait to see you all tomorrow. I’ll be at the Savannah River Farms stand, smiling like a goofball.

See you then!

–Shub

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