Daily drinks

Alex and I used to buy a lot of water bottles. When we decided to change that habit we installed a water filter on the faucet. I keep a water pitcher in the refigerator, and when it gets low, I refill it. I’m worried about the ecological impact of the filter – it has a disposable part and we use about two of those a year, but I’m still using it for now to filter out the chlorinated taste. Our water comes from North Perry water district, it’s local ground water, and I check the testing stats once in a while. I tried a lot of re-usable water bottles before I settled on my current favorite, a plastic bottle with a pop-up lid. I keep that in the refrigerator too and grab it just before I hit the road. Next we switched from drinking sodas and fruit juices to drinking … Continue reading

Emeril Lagasse, Farm to Fork

I like cookbooks. Each book gives me another perspective on food, new recipes to try. A new adddition to the bookshelf breaks me out of my ruts and gets me experimenting again. The last time I checked the cookbook shelves at Barnes and Noble I was disappointed. My culinary point of view is fresh local, but most of the cookbooks are still written for grocery stores stocked with out-of-season produce. I pretty much reject out of hand any book with a recipe that calls for canned cream of mushroom soup. Even books that advertise themselves as working with fresh cuisine usually just mean they’re working with one ingredient from the farmer’s market supplemented by a lot of industrial food. Emeril Lagasse’s Farm to Fork cookbook was just what I was looking for. I made three recipes out of that book the day I bought it. The thing I love about … Continue reading

Soup stock

It seems like almost every recipe I own calls for chicken stock. Making soup stock is easy, right? You just toss stuff into the pot, cover with water, and boil for a while. That’s what I thought, anyway, until I realized that this method was resulting in very uneven soups. Just now I’m making a very simple chicken soup stock that gives me reliable results.

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Ice cream

I’m addicted to ice cream. In the summertime I make about a quart a week. I’ve made a lot of flavors – chocolate, strawberry, blueberry, lemon, lime. I treasure Ben and Jerry’s 1987 Ice Cream & Dessert Book, a valuable record of their recipes (and ideals) before they sold to Unilver in 2000. I used to love their Cherry Garcia. Unilver promptly added high fructose corn syrup to the ice cream, so now I just make it myself – I freeze some cherries in season just for that purpose. By and large though I stick to vanilla. It’s endlessly versatile, I can put fresh fruit on it, or chocolate syrup, or just eat it straight, as vanilla. I use a Cuisinart ice cream maker. It wasn’t expensive, I think I paid $40 for it at a Christmas sale. Now that I’m used to the way it works it takes so … Continue reading