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Anything zuke can do…

Every summer I look forward to each crop coming into its own, and I dream about all the wonderful dishes I'll cook or the preserves I'll make for winter. I'm even learning to appreciate some produce that gets less love than the usual tomatoes and beans and corn: every July, for example, I crave okra and...

Weed’em and reap

Now that our Victory Gardens are starting to burst with the fruits (and vegetables) of our labors, those of us who have just recovered from the physical exhaustion of planting the crops find there's "no rest for the wicked" — or at least not in regard to weeding. In between rows, interspersed with seedlings...

Perfect pinch: Saving pennies by cleaning out the pantry

A little over a year ago, many of us took on the Penny-Wise Eat Local Challenge and found ways to minimize our food spending for one week. When I started the challenge, I felt pretty confident that I could stick to the spending limit since I still had an ample supply of frozen and canned local foods as well...

If you’re ever in a jam (to clean out the pantry)

As March draws to a close, I start counting the weeks until the farmers market returns. (Ten, thanks.) After a long winter rounded out by a handful of late snowstorms, I'm really looking forward to the first local salad of mixed greens, the first fresh asparagus, and the chance to restock my garlic stash....

Exploring the pastabilities

I love pasta. There's just no getting around that simple fact. Others may avoid carbohydrates like the plague, but I find that a meal isn't quite complete without something a little starchy to hold everything together. An old-fashioned trencherwoman, that's me. And pasta ranks at the top of the list because...

Dancing with the starches

While the winter weather hems and haws, trying to decide whether to leave us alone or slam us with snow and ice, the gardens and the fields here in northern Ohio make it pointedly clear that if you're looking for fresh produce, you'd better be prepared to look long and hard. Most grocers won't have an...

Go goat: Finding goat dairy products

Peek in our fridge and you'll find goat milk, goat butter, and a variety of goat cheeses -- my daughter is allergic to casein (one of milk's proteins) and I'm sensitive to lactose (its sugar). Goat milk, like cow milk, has both, but in a structure and an amount that makes it easier for our overly sensitive...

Traditional New Year’s Day meal in Austin

A friend of mine once predicted that I would decorate for Christmas once I had kids. She said you can't help it, you just feel more inclined to honor traditions when you have kids. Now that I have a four-month-old daughter, I feared that glowing nativity scenes were in our future. I'm pleased to say that I...

Celebrating the Twelve Breads of Christmas

Though the New Year has arrived, making Christmas a distant memory, I'm still lingering over my holiday baking. Normally, having focused on cookies, I'd have wrapped everything up by now and given the last crumbs to hungry friends. This year, though, I spent more time baking bread than cookies, and I've...

Baking spirits bright (and other homemade holiday gifts)

Some people look forward to the holidays for the time spent with family and friends or for the thrill of giving and receiving presents. Me, I look forward to the food. I’m not alone, of course. Ask anyone you meet, and you’ll find that he or she has at least one particular food associated with...

No harm, no fowl: Vegetarian Thanksgiving favorites

No other holiday seems to hold such firm sway over the hearts -- and stomachs -- of Americans as Thanksgiving. Between an enormous feast shared with family (or friends), an entire day of television devoted to parades and football games, a dash of fervent patriotism, and three more days off for leftovers and...

Acid trip: the joys of local cider vinegar

I don't like to play favorites among the seasons, but autumn has a fragrant glory all its own, despite its shorter days and the hints of cold weather yet to come. When the temperatures begin to tumble at last and I reach for a cozy sweater, I want to smell crisp, sweet-tart apples and warm apple cider...

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