At-home cooking

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Pnw.hiker
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby Pnw.hiker » Wed Jul 01, 2015 9:40 am

The wife and I used to have our kids cook when they were young, about once a month. We'd take their favorite recipes and get it all prepped, then let the kids do the cooking, making it fun for them. They really loved it. Started simple at first, then moved to more complicated recipes. By the time they were in highschool they were improvising their own recipes and throwing parties.

Everyone should know how to cook lentils.

Saute
onion
celery
chilies or peppers if you have leftovers in the fridge
garlic
saute in butter or olive oil

Add spices at the end of saute
cumin and whatever; paprika, salt pepper, and whatever looks good-- stuff like corriander seed, tumeric, red chili flakes ...
1T tomato paste

You can toast your spice concoction/tomato paste at the end of the saute for a more complex flavor.

then add;
1c lentils per three or four c water, or water+stock, or water+bullion

simmer for an hour, add diced carrots half way through.

I make this every couple of months, it's never the same and never gets boring, and it only takes a few minutes of effort. Carrots and lentils go great together. It's even better with cilantro and a dollip of sour cream on top.

churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Wed Jul 01, 2015 10:52 pm

Thanks, Pnw.hiker!
I knew lentils were easy, but have always kind of treated them as a secondary ingredient. Beans in an hour? Great! That seems like a tasty, creative "recipe" (the quotes are to indicate that it's more of a guide than a dictate. I appreciate the freedom of that).

Great idea with the kids, too. Thanks for that. I want to teach my son how to cook, but want him to be interested. That sounds like the way to accomplish it. Thank you so much for sharing that idea. Makes me appreciate something that my own family did.

My mother and grandmother taught me how to make fudge when I was young. By the time I was a teenager, they had me trained to bring my friends home for midnight fudge. The parents stayed in the bedroom, mostly, but we were supervised, well behaved and I had a way to gain the attention of girls I liked. The genius of this was that I brought those girls home to meet my parents and experience our family culture, all the while thinking that I was merely serving my own interests! I eventually married one of those girls, and my brother married another one who tagged along. I guess they found a good fit in our family, and us in theirs.

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Fri Jul 03, 2015 10:46 am

My watercress soup taste great. I altered the recipe :o

I used margarine, spinach, onion and watercress, 1 can condensed milk, and regular milk added to fill blender.

During the blender portion of the task, the stringy stems got all wound up around the cutter blades :roll:

Soup turned out too stringy/fibrous so I put it through a colander and that worked out well.

Added salt and pepper to taste. I like the flavor and after taste of the watercress.

I was surprised to see how watercress shrunk after boiling and squeezing out all excess moisture. It was a little more than a cup in volume.
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
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Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2015 12:00 pm

Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Sun Jul 05, 2015 5:55 pm

zelph wrote:My watercress soup taste great. I altered the recipe :o

I used margarine, spinach, onion and watercress, 1 can condensed milk, and regular milk added to fill blender.

During the blender portion of the task, the stringy stems got all wound up around the cutter blades :roll:

Soup turned out too stringy/fibrous so I put it through a colander and that worked out well.

Added salt and pepper to taste. I like the flavor and after taste of the watercress.

I was surprised to see how watercress shrunk after boiling and squeezing out all excess moisture. It was a little more than a cup in volume.

The stringy stuff might indicate that you got it too late in the season. Not a problem, except for the strings, but next year might warrant a special trip earlier in the season. Good thought, adding spinach. I also use condensed milk a lot. Easier to keep on hand, and not too bad for flavor. Glad it worked out!

I am contemplating working up a selection of recipes using only wild foods. Maybe a cookbook? I might just use y'all as testers for recipes, among others. I'll share a secret weapon in my arsenal, as a teaser: Pennycress seeds are a really tasty spice. Ground, they can replace black pepper or cumin in many recipes.

Some thoughts on seasonality and where to collect:
Lot's of edible plants (like pennycress or lamb's quarter) get blamed for livestock poisoning, which tends to make folks shy from them. Most of those cases result from poor land management, not an inherent poison in the plant. Most wild plants will adapt to a wide variety of circumstances, and can exclusively dominate land that has been strip-mined of nutrients, resulting in the concentration of toxic substances in the "weeds" that dominate such land. There will usually be a succession of such weeds, each changing the soil enough that it can't survive there for a while, so something else will move in. Each succession of weeds leaves behind detritus that rots, and further changes soil chemistry, eventually resulting in healthy soils again. One study that I am aware of (NM DOT) documented 17 years of weedy successions for badly managed soil to return to healthy, diverse, native plant growth.

Overgrazing is one way to strip-mine the soil, and livestock fenced on such land will eat what's available. The land managers and extension offices document such things, then the casual internet researcher reads that pennycress is poisonous. Not so! As long as you are gathering wild edibles on land that demonstrates a wide variety of plant life and gather your food in the proper season, Being careful to avoid toxic lookalikes (death camas and wild onion, for example) you should be fine even with species that can concentrate toxins in bad soil or late in the season. Also, make sure your diet is diverse, and don't use just one species all season long. Zelph's addition of spinach to his recipe for watercress soup is an excellent example of a way to diversify your diet. Recipes SHOULD be modified as necessary.

churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Mon Jul 06, 2015 5:11 am

I went to bed early, woke up a while ago and now I can't sleep.

I find myself craving Vietnamese food. There was a decent vietnamese/italian restaurant nearby, but the owners got divorced (she's vietnamese, he's italian) and the restaurant closed. I guess I'm on my own...

It's been hot, the bugs are eating my wild greens, and the greens are now tough and full of holes, so it's time for a pilgrimage to the mesa (Grand Mesa, CO). Up, to higher elevation, that's where the fresh flavors are right now.

I was supposed to help a buddy stucco my mom's house tomorrow, but he got invited to a tai chi seminar in Utah, so I have some time. Maybe I'll pack up the baby and go for a hike on the mesa to gather some miner's lettuce, mint, watercress and wild parsley.

I have some rabbit and pork belly in the freezer, and some cabbage in the fridge, for the filling, and some rice paper in the pantry for the wrappers. I'm thinking spring rolls... We laid in a supply of home-made maple syrup from a relative. Mixed with equal parts fish sauce, cider vinegar and water, seasoned with wild onions, garlic and dried chile it makes a fair approximation of nuoc mam, a Vietnamese dipping sauce.

The rabbit and pork belly get ground together, then cooked with minced garlic and ginger, shredded cabbage, Rehydrated fairy-ring mushrooms from last year, salt and pepper to make the filling. Soak the rice paper, wrap and fry in hot oil or bacon grease. Wrap a big lettuce leaf around some rice noodles, some grated carrot, sprouts, the wild greens and a roll, then dip in the nuoc mam and eat. Sure, it's some work, but there's no better meal in the summertime, and a good excuse to go up to where it's cool and the water's clean. Sure, we'll smell like fish sauce for a day or two, but it's worth it.

I may not get around to this, but thinking about it makes my heart glad. Maybe I can seep now... :-?

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Tue Jul 07, 2015 10:14 pm

Good thoughts for making me hungry at this late hour in the day :D

Wild parsely makes me think of "blisters" :o I'll have to google it.....be back!

I'm back. No, it was wild Parsnip that can give you blisters...read:

This plant is Wild Parsnip, a member of the Carrot family, and like some of the other widespread plant species in North America, it is an aggressive invasive species introduced from Eurasia. As a matter of fact, it was brought over by settlers of the Jamestown Colony in 1609 and spread through the wild from there. It was a significant source of vegetables in the early American diet; in the autumn, one can dig up the carrot-like roots (parsnips) and prepare them in various ways. This wild form of parsnip varies in palatability compared to the cultivated variety.

Be careful if you go digging them up, however, or you could get parsnip rash, otherwise known as phytophotodermatitis (how’s that for a mouthful?). Juices from the plant in combination with sunlight can burn your skin. The discomfort caused will soon fade away, but the skin discoloration can occasionally be long-lasting. Nobody wants that!

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Pennycress is all over around here. Invassive, but tasty. Lots of pepperweed also. Will onions in the woodlands are plentiful.
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Wed Jul 08, 2015 4:02 pm

Well, I didn't get to go up on the mesa. My wife was kind enough to make a list of the chores I've been neglecting. That took precedence, unfortunately.

Phytophotdermititis can be caused by other things, too. I remember one of my childhood friends got it after swimming in the ocean and assumed it was a jellyfish sting. Turned out to be from either a bloom of algae or from some plant we rolled around in. I didn't get it, though I was in all the same places.

I did a quick vietnamese-style pickle to satisfy my craving, though. I sliced up some napa cabbage, grated some carrots and thinly sliced some onions and peppers. Tossed everything with salt and set aside for an hour or so, then rinsed and drained well (salad spinner- I can't live without one). Makes it more crunchy and less weepy. While the above was resting I wrapped a few beets in foil and baked at 375 for about an hour, then peeled and sliced. Then I just tossed everything with a little chile powder, minced ginger, fish sauce, minced garlic and maple syrup. It was absolutely beautiful- bright red/purple and juicy enough to make a nice dressing for some fresh greens. Tasted great!

I've done this before with cauliflower, squash, other things. Always good. Maple syrup is not exactly "traditional" in vietnamese cooking, but does make a fair substitute for the caramel sauce that is used in lots of vietnamese dishes, and which I usually burn when I try to make it.

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:20 pm

I like baked beets, pickled beet and shredded beet soup with duck blood :o

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/duck-soup-czarnina/

Have never heard of powdered vinegar until today :shock: :

http://www.packitgourmet.com/VinegarPowder.html
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/

churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:57 pm

Vinegar powder? Sounds useful, if a little disturbing :? . The ingredients list doesn't look too scary, though. I'd try it...

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:33 am

I did a quick vietnamese-style pickle to satisfy my craving, though. I sliced up some napa cabbage, grated some carrots and thinly sliced some onions and peppers. Tossed everything with salt and set aside for an hour or so, then rinsed and drained well (salad spinner- I can't live without one). Makes it more crunchy and less weepy. While the above was resting I wrapped a few beets in foil and baked at 375 for about an hour, then peeled and sliced. Then I just tossed everything with a little chile powder, minced ginger, fish sauce, minced garlic and maple syrup. It was absolutely beautiful- bright red/purple and juicy enough to make a nice dressing for some fresh greens. Tasted great!


I'd like to try that one someday. You've come up with some really tasty looking recipes...thank you! :D
http://www.woodgaz-stove.com/


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