Brewing fresh tea

This is so simple you’ll wonder why you haven’t always been doing it. What tea to choose? One option is to buy pitcher-sized bags of packaged tea. You can also get loose tea in the tea aisle of the supermarket. Look at the bottom of the shelf, sometimes it’s down below the packaged varieties. Some stores carry tea in bulk. You can bag a small amount to try out new flavors. You can also purchase a large bag to save money if you know what tea you like. The house favorite is English breakfast, a full-bodied black tea. You can try Earl Grey, although I think the flavor is better when hot. I like flavored teas like peach tea as a change in the summertime. Where to store it? Tea should be stored away from light and moisture. In our house one cabinet is devoted to tea of various kinds. … Continue reading

Vinaigrette

Vinaigrette is just a fancy name for oil and vinegar dressing. Olive oil This is the time to use the fanciest olive oil you can lay your hands on. I buy small bottles of organic olive oil, preferably from named farms. My favorite place to buy it is the Abundantly Green farm store when they have olive oil from a farm in California. If you don’t have it or if it’s just too spendy, you can use any bottle or can marked “extra virgin olive oil”. Vinegar There are so many vinegars in the world! There’s balsamic, dark and rich and a flavor in itself. There’s white wine vinegar which imparts a crisp clean taste. Rice vinegar’s slight sweetness makes it a good choice to just sprinkle on salads on its own. Apple cider vinegar tastes like apples, as you might expect, and has a bite! If you’re doing sweet … Continue reading

April – May 2014: shopping list and menus

Here is what we bought and what we made from it in the first month of farmers market season. We started shopping at the Poulsbo Farmers Market and switched to Bremerton when it opened. What we bought Greens: salad bowl (lettuce growing in a planter), kale Vegetables: broccoli raab, green onions Roots: last year’s potatoes, new potatoes, carrots, parsnips Fruits: last year’s apples, new rhubarb Meat: Roast beef, steaks, pork roast. Flour: wheat, spelt, triticale. Crumpets from London Maid. Delivered to the door Milk, chicken Pantry Rice, pasta, oatmeal Homegrown Kale, cilantro, herbs, eggs What we made Breakfast: Oatmeal Eggs and crumpets Dinner: Roast, baker, salad Pork chops with rhubarb compote, mashed potatoes, salad Steamed rice, vegetables Baked chicken, mashed potatoes, salad Chicken biryani Beef stew with root vegetables, bread Chicken soup with root vegetables (uses up leftover mashed potatoes) Pantry meal: tuna and pasta Fried rice: uses up all … Continue reading

Beans

We store canned beans against emergencies and use them up within the year, at the rate of one to two cans per week. We pick organic and Northwest labels. Ideas: Garbanzo and salad beans – cold in salads. Garbanzo and northern beans – pureed with garlic for a spread. Pinto and black beans – added to sauteed onions, mashed for a side dish. Lentils – added to sauteed onions, add 1/2 Tbs. garam masala, side dish for Indian spiced dinner. Northern beans – with sauteed onion and pork in soup or stew. Winter dish! (Monica Downen of Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Cafe makes a great version of this). Kidney beans, red beans – beans and rice. Red beans, northern beans, garbanzo beans – with pasta in a soup. … Continue reading