When stinky food makes friends: An injira story

As my last hurrah before I go without leavened, wheaty foods for a week in observance of Passover, I’ll talk about injira. There are a lot of flat breads in the world (my friend Suzanne has an entire cookbook with just flatbread recipes), but injira is special. Injira has a unique tang to it, a way about it that makes it finicky and challenging whether you choose to cook or buy it, and a miraculous way of creating new friends. Continue reading

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Podcastic

A little PSA for you:

Whole Foods offers weekly podcasts to compliment their Flavors e-newsletter. You can listen to it while you’re cooking up a storm, or while you’re riding home on the metro thinking about what to make for dinner. Or you can read the e-newsletter while you should be working (not that I practice or advocate such behavior).

Here’s a recipe from a recent issue of the e-newsletter: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/dessert/cookie_pbcc.html. If you’re a fan of Teaism’s salty oatmeal cookies, this looks like the recipe for you!

Check ’em out!

From CSAs to saketinis

On CSAs:

Glory be–I’ve found one! Bull Run Mountain Vegetable Farm, which adheres to organic growing principles and has a DC pick-up location, still has shares.

I like what I’m reading on the website and the email exchange I’ve had with a rep (the grower?). I’m getting a two-person share because it cost just a tad more than the one-person share and I thought it would be fun to split it with someone. So if you live in DC, you may be getting an email about that. Continue reading

Of babies and summer squash

I was home for the weekend, looking through childhood memories. I came across some early clues that I’d become entranced with food. Here’s one:

Baby got into the produce again

If you can’t tell what this is, it’s Baby Rhea (yes, she was a blond!) crawling around on enormous summer squash set in a pastoral scene with homemade jams.

(Incidentally, this is a result of my mother’s brilliant pre-PhotoShop techniques, which achieved the same effects as hundreds of dollars worth of software with two photo prints and a pair of scissors. Ok, a glue stick may also have been involved, but you have to admit it’s pretty impressive for just using those basic ingredients).

Other early indicators of my culinary intrerests included flashcards I illustrated in kindergarten. One card helped me learn the word “eggplant.” This must have been a pack of cards where I got to choose the words, and of course I chose a few foods. On the back of the card, I depicted this word as a person peering into an open refrigerator. This was a far cry from the singular purple vegetable I had expected to see drawn on the other side.

It’s funny how my perception of things like an eggplant have become so narrow. Why show a context-less object when you could build a whole scene around the idea of it?

Other cards included such concepts as “ever” (a scene in the woods with a princess, I think having to do with the phrase “happily ever after”) and “never” (a redheaded outcast looking longingly at a merry band of blond triplets).

Ah, to be in my 5-year-old brain again!

From your local soil, with love

It’s local, it’s fresh, and often it’s organic. How can you say no to community-supported agriculture?

My mom gave me my first CSA experience when I was a kid. We joined the Phillies Bridge Farm CSA, which is right off Route 208 in what uninitiated folks might call the Middle of Nowhere. It’s actually in the town of Gardiner, NY, home to a few thousand citizens, cows, apple trees, and Kiss My Face.

Every week, Mom and us kids drove out there at an appointed time and went into an aging shack brimming with veggies. Whenever I smell a fresh bunch of basil, I’m back there, reading the chalkboard to figure out what would comprise our share that week. I often had the job of picking out the best three yellow squashes or finding the apples that were good and tiny, the way I liked them. Continue reading

A toast

It’s the 6th of March (at least for another hour or so), and I’d like to propose a toast.

To a place with waterfalls and highlife music, cities and tiny villages. To a place that, one day at the stroke of midnight soon after independence from British rule, started driving on the right side of the road instead of the left. To a place where mixed drinks are unheard of at most spots (neighborhood bars), so a gin and tonic consists of a shot of gin with a glass bottle of tonic water made the old fashioned way—with malaria-fighting quinine.

 

Since I’ve already moved onto food, here’s to a place that pounds cassava and plantain mercilessly to make fufu, offers a spectrum of fermented cornmeal treats and okra stew that stretches for a full meter without breaking its mucusy strings. To a place where chop bar customers pay for food by the ladleful and eat side-by-side without any silverware to get in the way of eating. It has oranges that are skinned down to the pith for three American cents and eaten in a way that would make California navels cringe. To the home of rice balls, peanut soup, teeny bananas, giant avocados…. Continue reading

Here she comes…

You’ve heard about her. You’ve asked about her. Perhaps you’ve even sampled her.

Somehow, everyone wants her. Is it her stunning appearance, her crisp wit, her slightly tart sense of humor, her ability to get along so famously with lime? What is it that draws revelers to her side? Whatever it is, the Hibiscus Margarita is here with all of her secrets revealed!

Ta da!

Hibiscus margarita

This is the first in a series of gourmet (and dare I say “healthy”?) cocktails on You are Delicious. What makes them gourmet is the unique and classy ingredients. What makes them healthy is their lack of artificial anything and their ability to put color in your cheeks.

Check out the recipe for Hibiscus Margaritas

That’s all for today. If you were wondering about the mashed cauliflower, I recommend it! But don’t expect it to taste like mashed potatoes. Also be sure to steam or boil it until it’s good and mushy to make the mashing easier.

If you were wondering about Ghanaian recipes, you’re in luck! An upcoming post will commemorate
Ghana’s 50th anniversary of freedom from British rule the best way I know how – through food!

Stay tuned.