Sunday, December 9, 2007


Myra is rather driven when it comes to cooking for her family and friends. Margie says it is part of her being a control freak, which really pisses Ginny off. Myra's mother cooked three meals a day all her life because they simply didn't have the money to eat out, even fast food. Ginny does the salads and veggies, and gets breakfast for the kids. Sometimes Ginny does the main meals, or their friends cook/contribute to a potluck meal, but mostly it's Myra. The truth is, it's how she proves her love. Gillam not only understands it as such, he's picked up the same habit, god help him. The upside is, Myra doesn't have to earn wages for a living, so she has the time and energy to shop and cook. Who knows how she would cope, otherwise.

Other posts containing Myra's recipes occur here and here. In the list below are three different kind of holiday cookies, if you are so inclined.

Designed to equally please both of her mothers-in-law. Serves 4 as a main course with salad.
One batch of Frances' whole wheat pasta, rolled out for ravioli making
1.5 cups walnuts
1 ounce sliced pancetta
1 ounce smoked salmon
2 shallots, minced
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Walla Walla or Vidalia sweet onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled, crushed and minced
1 large Bosq pear
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
6 tablespoons grated parmigiana reggiano
Freshly ground white pepper and kosher salt to taste
Juice of one small lemon
Roast the walnuts and chop them.
Cook the pancetta in 2 tablespoons butter in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat until crisp on edges. Cook the smoked salmon in the same amount of butter the same way until well-moistened. Into each pan add half the onion and garlic, stirring and cooking until onion is softened. Add 1/2 cup walnuts to each pot, along with 1/4 cup water to each, and simmer, stirring, until the liquid is reduced by half.
Transfer each mixture to a bowl and mash into a paste with a fork. Core and peel the pear, and cut in half. Dice the pear and stir 2 tablespoons of it into each mixture with equal amounts of parsley, salt and pepper to taste, and half the parmigiano. Put the rest of the pear into a bowl with the lemon juice.
Mound small amounts of each paste mixture into the raviolis, taking care to keep the two recipes separate from each other. Seal the ravioli and save on a dry kitchen towel until all are done.
In a skillet, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter until foam subsides and the butter just begins to brown. Stir in pears with lemon juice, the rest of the walnuts, and add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat, allowing to sit.
Add the ravioli to two 3-quart pots of vigorously boiling salted water, again keep the types separate. Cook at a slow boil, stirring very carefully, until tender, 3-5 minutes. Gently scoop out ravioli to drain in a colander. Add each batch of ravioli to a serving bowl and pour half of pear-butter sauce over them. Sprinkle with the rest of the parmigiano and serve.

Reluctantly created by Frances when Myra insisted she wasn't going to use her pasta machine for all-white-flour pasta. Serves 6, maybe. Takes about 20 minutes, unless the grandkids are helping with the pasta shaping (to be ardently desired), in which case it takes as long as it takes.
1.5 cups semolina flour (Myra met her partway, because chemistry is chemistry, and who would be stupid enough to argue with an Italian chef about recipes?)
1.5 cups sifted whole wheat flour (fresh)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 fresh room-temperature brown eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
VARIATIONS: You can add in fresh herbs, chopped spinach, or homemade tomato paste to this dough in small quantities to give it a burst of flavor. If what you're adding is wet, you'll need more flour when you begin kneading.
Get ready to have some group fun.
Combine semolina, whole wheat flour, and salt.
Beat eggs lightly. Mix eggs with water and oil.
Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture until a stiff dough forms. You may need to add more flour.
Turn onto floured marble board and knead 10 minutes or until elastic. Put into an oiled bowl and allow to rest, covered by dishtowel, for 20 minutes.
While it is resting, fill your pasta pot with water and put it on to boil, adding salt BUT NEVER OIL to the water. Make your sauce to go with the pasta, or if you're making ravioli, make your filling.
Roll the dough out thinly.
Cut it into the desired shape or use the pasta machine to make whatever you want.
Once you have all the pasta ready, cook it in vigorously boiling water for 2-5 minutes. Scoop it out while it is al dente and add it to your sauce, so it will soak in the flavor of the sauce as it finishes cooking.

3 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups white bread flour
2 medium Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes
2 teaspoons dry yeast
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
At least 3 cups water
If you don't have leftover mashed potatoes, then peel the potatoes, cut into chunks, boil in water until done, and mash thoroughly.
In a large wooden mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, yeast and as much water as you need to make a sponge. (Like a thick batter.) Set aside for 10 minutes so the flour will hydrate well.
When hydrated, add the mashed potatoes, oil, and 2 cups of the white bread flour. Mix well. Add more water if you need to make a slightly sticky dough. Let it rest in a draft-free place for 20 minutes.
Flour your board and turn the dough onto it. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the rosemary. Knead for five minutes using more flour, if necessary, to produce a smooth, soft but not sticky ball of dough. Oil a ceramic or stainless steel bowl, roll the dough into it so every surface of the dough is coated with a thin film of oil, and cover with a damp dishtowel. Place in a warm, draft-free spot and let rise until doubled (around one hour).
Turn the dough out again onto your lightly floured board, lightly punch down, and divide in half. Shape the dough into two loaves and put in greased loaf pans. Cover loosely with damp dishtowel and let sit until it doubles (about 1.5 hours). Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and bake the loaves on a middle rack for 20-30 minutes until golden. Let cool thoroughly before slicing or bagging.
VARIATIONS: Use other herbs instead of rosemary, such as marjoram, dill, fresh garlic, or dried onion flakes. May want to switch black pepper to pepperoncino.

Not as popular as Myra's hand-kneaded rosemary potato bread, but it's a time saver because of the bread machine. Makes 1.5 pound loaf.
2-2/3 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white bread flour
3 tablespoons wheat bran
2.5 teaspoons dry yeast1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
Add ingredients to bread machine hopper and push the basic bread cycle button.

Myra frequently makes just plain barley as a side dish, instead of another carb, because it's a whole grain and its flavor goes well with spicy recipes. If she has some left over, she'll make this recipe the next day. Best with Ginny's homegrown Big Girl tomatoes. Serves 6.
6 large organic tomatoes
3/4 cup cooked barley (see below if you have to cook it first)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, cashews or pistachios are all good)
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed, then minced
1/3 cup fresh peas (frozen will do)
3 tablespoons grated parmigiana reggiano
Freshly ground black pepper and kosher salt to taste
If you have to cook the barley first: In a large saucepan with a lid, bring 2 cups of salted water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil and 3/4 cups barley, and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and all the liquid is gone. Turn off heat and set aside.
Cut tops off tomatoes and scoop out insides carefully. Remove the seeds and chop the flesh finely, saving all the juice. Add this to the barley mixture. Sprinkle the interiors of the tomato shells with salt and pepper. Set them upside down on brown paper to drain.
Preheat over to 375 degrees F. In a non-stick skillet, sauté the chopped nuts and the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until the mushrooms are glistening but not completely cooked. Add this mixture to the barley mixture, then add the peas and green onion, mixing well. Taste to add salt and pepper.
Fill the tomato shells with the barley mixture. Set the shells close together in a baking pan and pour 1/4 cup water around them in the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Top with grated parmigiano.

Myra loves bulgur -- it was one of the grains that was always available in Lesbian collective households, and she likes to melt a little butter in a pan, add the bulgur to coat each kernel, add a small amount of water and heat to boiling, at which point it's done. It's a great snack. She's not especially fond of tabouleh, so for her family and friends she makes bulgur with other seasonings. This is a great quick meal that can use leftover chicken or fish. Serves 4.
1 cup uncooked bulgur
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small Walla Walla or Vidalia sweet onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
2.5 cups fresh veggies (asparagus, peas, carrots, zukes) peeled and cut on the diagonal into slender pieces
6 cups fresh salad greens or lettuce
1/2 cup chicken or fish stock
1.5 cups leftover chicken or fish, shredded or flaked and heated for 30 seconds in microwave
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon pepperoncino flakes
Kosher salt to taste
Pour the boiling water in a large bowl and add the bulgur. Cover and let sit for half an hour.
After you cut up your veggies, mince the onions and garlic, melt the butter and oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and veggies. Sauté 4 minutes.Add the veggie mixture plus chicken or fish to the bulgur mixture and stir. Combine the stock, lime juice and pepperoncino. Add salt to taste. Pour this over the bulgur mixture and toss to coat. Arrange salad greens on four plates and top with bulgur mixture in equal portions.

Once a month treat, and also requested by the kids for birthday breakfasts. Serves 4.
Loaf of unsliced bread -- leftover challah is great for this
2 brown eggs
1/2 cup raw milk
Teaspoon of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 bananas
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup butter
Apple butter or confectioner's sugar
Cut the bread into 2-inch thick slices. Carefully cut into each slice from the top to make a pocket big enough to hold half-pieces of banana; do not tear all the way through.
Peel bananas and cut each into half. Cut each half lengthwise into 2 slices. Stuff two slices into each bread pocket.
Beat the eggs together with the milk, cinnamon and salt.
Heat oil and butter together in a non-stick skillet to medium heat. Dip each bread pocket into the egg mixture, then place into the skillet. Cook for one minute or until golden brown. Turn and fry the other side until done. Put on plate and spread with apple butter or, as a rare treat, confectioner's sugar.

Decadently rich, and for rare occasions only. Margie adores this. Serves 6.
3 ripe Haas avocados, chilled overnight
6 tablespoons chilled cream from raw milk
4 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
Peel and pit the avocados. Cut in chunks.
Place the avocado, cream, lime juice and sugar in a blender. Blend slowly until creamy.
Pour into individual cups or bowls. Chill until end of meal. Serve with coconut macaroons.

Three nights a week for the first three weeks of December, Myra and Ginny help their children make cookies, cakes and breads after dinner. They each get one serving of these "holiday treats" while fresh, and the rest are sealed and put in the freezer. On December 18, all of the confections are spread out on the dining table. A stack of hand-painted tins are slowly filled with one of each item, between layers of waxed paper. A hand-made card from the children is attached, and the tins are either given to friends and neighbors or mailed off by overnight express to family. Some of the treats are held back for their annual Boxing Day Tea or other noshing up through the New Year. It's a controlled sugar frenzy, even with so many of the baked goods being whole wheat and seasoned with fruit juice or small amounts of honey. But the most popular of the treats, for the children, are Candy Cane Cookies, Stained Glass Cookies, and Gingerdykes, and it's because the making of them are such fun -- Ginny likes that the emphasis is on the creation, not the consumption of sugar. This recipe makes about 2 dozen cookies, and leaves the children's palms stained bright red for a couple of days.
2.5 cups white pastry flour
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 large brown egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Small amounts of both red and white paste coloring (comes in a jar in specialty baking sections, not the drops usually used for food coloring -- paste gives a bright color that lasts after cooking and doesn't dilute icing or batter)
1/2 cup crushed candy canes
Put the candy canes into a thick, sealed plastic bag and let a child crush it with a hammer on the butcher block: Their favorite part of the whole recipe.
While they are pounding away, sift flour and salt together, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl with electric beaters, cream the butter, then gradually beat in the confectioner's sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla and peppermint extracts. Reduce to lower speed and gradually ad in the flour mixture. Beat until just blended.
Remove little bit more than half the dough from the bowl and set aside. Into the dough remaining, add enough white paste food coloring to turn the dough a vivid white. Beat just until evenly mixed. Wrap this dough in plastic and put in the fridge. Wash the mixing bowl and beaters, and add the dough set aside back to the bowl, along with the crushed peppermint candy and enough red food paste to turn the dough a vivid red. Beat just until evenly mixed. Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge.
Distract the kids for half an hour while the dough chills. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Scoop one teaspoonful of white dough for each child and give it to them on a light floured board. Show them how to roll each portion of the dough between their hands to make a 4-inch long rope of dough. Repeat this until all the white dough is made into ropes and laid out on the baking sheets.
Repeat this process with the red dough, which has been left in the fridge until now. If any point either dough becomes too soft, chill it again until it works well.
When the red dough has also been turned into 4-inch long ropes, help the children twist one rope of each color together in a spiral like a barber pole, pinching the ends together to make it a joined unit. When the braid is made, it can be shaped into either a candy cane J or a round wreath. Arrange the shaped cookies on the baking sheets about 1 inch apart.
While the children scrub their hands, bake the cookies for about 8 minutes until firm to the touch but NOT browned. Cool completely before trying to remove them from the sheets. Can be frozen in a tightly sealed container with waxed paper between the layers.

These are always made by the children for holidays, but sometimes other occasions, too. Very healthy cookies, except for the icing. Makes about 3-dozen 4-inch cut cookies. Be sure Ginny has fashioned you some cutters from copper flashing before you begin.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons fresh ground ginger
2 teaspoons fresh ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground cloves
Pinch of cayenne pepper
8 tablespoons (one stick) of softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 large brown egg at room temperature
1/4 cup raw milk
Mix confectioner's sugar in a ziplock back with a small amount of warm water or, for added flavor, lemon or lime juice until it makes a thick icing. Seal the bag tightly, and when it is time to ice, snip off one tiny corner with scissors, making your own frosting tube.
Combine the flours and spices in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Beat the butter and brown sugar together in a bowl with electric mixer 1 minute or until fluffy. Add the molasses and beat until smooth. Reduce the mixer's speed, add egg and milk, and again beat until smooth. Gradually beat in the flour mixture until a soft dough forms. Divide the dough into three balls. Wrap each ball in plastic wrap and chill at least one hour, or overnight.
When ready to make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
Flour your work surface and one dough ball with whole wheat pastry flour. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thick. Use Ginny's cutters to make gingerdykes, crescent moons, woman's symbols, dolphins, Mount St. Helens, yonis, geckos, Stars of David, whatever you prefer. Place the cut cookies onto the baking sheets.
Gather excess dough and return to fridge. Repeat with remaining dough balls and extra dough until you are out of workable dough. Let the kids eat the scraps of leftover dough, it really won't give them worms.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until slightly puffy and dry in the center (PMS-y, Ginny calls it.) Cool on wire racks. Distract the children until it's time to ice and decorate the cookies.

Myra got this recipe from a dyke in the Bay Area who is also the woman who turned her on to McVities' cookies. Ginny says Myra has a perfectly good whole wheat pastry recipe and should be using that for her pies, but Myra says it's not nearly as appropriate for sweet chilled pies which are not baked. Ginny then replies that it's all about that ex in the Bay Area, really. Myra says Ginny doesn't have to eat it if she doesn't want to, and besides, the long period of whisking develops certain muscles in her forearms...
1.5 cups of crushed McVities cookies (the plain kind, not with the caramel) from the U.K.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (for the crust)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced, at room temperature (for the pie)
4 large brown eggs
1.5 cups turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon grated zest from a Key lime
3/4 cup fresh-squeezed Key lime juice (maybe 8-9 limes)
Combine the McVities' crumbs and melted butter in a 9 inch pie dish and mix until they come together. Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom and sides with your fingers, bringing the sides up level with the lip of the pan. The crust will be about 1/4 inch thick everywhere. Set aside.
Bring out your double boiler, or you can use a stainless steel bowl over a large saucepan of boiling water if you need to improvise. In the upper bowl of the double boiler, combine the eggs, sugar, lime zest and lime juice. Place this over the double boiler and whisk nonstop for 15 minutes. (Think about the muscles you are creating and keep the faith, sistah.) The filling will almost double in size, turn frothy and opaque, and form ribbon-like folds off the end of the whisk. When it is "custard-like", add the softened diced butter and keep whisking until the butter is completely melted.
Pour this filling into the crust and chill in the fridge for at least three hours before serving.
If you don't get the icepick Lesbian joke, ask a dyke friend who's a Socialist what it means in reference to Key Lime pie.

A great use for fresh berries bought in bulk. She freezes these bars and brings them out as healthy treats. Makes 12-16 bars.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 brown organic eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons whole raw milk
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 cups of fresh blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, or cut-up peaches
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil and flour an 8 x 8 baking tin.
Sift together first three dry ingredients and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar and oil. Add eggs and remaining ingredients except fruit.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined. Pour into the baking dish. Spread a layer of fruit on top and back 20-25 minutes. Let cool completely before you cut into squares.

These are NOT the popular cookies with a cut-out section filled by a hard candy that melts and creates a "glass" effect. This recipe is something Myra and her little brother made every year as children with their mother. It is extremely time-consuming but brings out the artist in every child and adult, and turns out cookies that are so beautiful no one wants to eat them. Makes about a dozen (double layer) cookies when all done.
2.25 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1 large brown egg yolk2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 cup confectioner's sugar, divided into half
Approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Small amounts of paste food coloring in blue, red, and yellow (comes in a jar in specialty baking sections, not the drops usually used for food coloring -- paste gives a bright color that lasts after cooking and doesn't dilute icing or batter)
3-4 cookie cutters in simple, small shapes
(This first step should be done ahead to avoid the children's frustration.) Using electric mixer, beat butter and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until well-blended. Beat in the egg yolk, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Add the flour and salt, and beat until the mixture begins to clump together. Divide the dough in half.
Flatten half into disk and wrap in plastic. Separate the other half into six equal portions in separate bowls. Add food color paste to each smaller dough to make bowls of red, blue, yellow, green (blue plus yellow), purple (red plus blue), and orange (red plus yellow) dough. Blend thoroughly, making sure to use a clean spoon for each bowl. Flatten each ball of colored dough into disks and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Remove the plain, uncolored dough from the fridge and roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Use the cutters to make several shapes, reusing the leftover dough after chilling to roll out again and extract as many cookies as possible. Place the cut cookies onto two large parchment-lined baking sheets and return to fridge to chill while you move on to the next step.
Put on some sing-along music. Make sure you and the kids are dressed in clothes you don't mind being permanently stained. Spread newspaper on the floor, and cover the table or workspace with waxed paper (you can stick it down to a surface with drops of water on the backside).
Roll out each colored dough disk onto floured waxed paper to 1/4 inch thickness. Give each child a dull butter knife.
Remove the baking sheets of plain dough cut-outs from the fridge and give one to each child as blank "canvases". With adult assistance, show them how to use the butter knife to cut a small geometric or irregular shape from one of the colored doughs and place it on top one of the plain cut-outs. Switch to a different color and cut out another shape that can fit along one edge adjoining the color already laid down, as if you are assembling stained glass on top of the cookie. Keep going, visualizing and creating your puzzle, until the top of the cut-out cookie is covered with a second mosaic layer of colored dough. Try to leave a 1/8 inch plain rim all around the outside of the cut-out cookie.
Continue until all your cut-out cookies are covered. The colored dough is going to become warm and tricky to handle, but using the flat of the butter knife, you should be able to lift it from the waxed paper. The artistic vision and abilities of your children will astound you.
When all the cookies are covered, take a photo of each baking sheet of "canvases", then bake in a preheated 375 degrees F oven for about 8-10 minutes. The cookies should be firm and light golden at the edges but not so done as to fade the colors. Cool the cookies completely on the baking sheet. Let the kids eat the leftover colored dough, and try scrubbing their multicolored hands.
When the cookies are completely cool, mix 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar in a small ziplock bag with enough lemon juice to make a thick but squeezable frosting. Seal the bag tightly, twist up the excess bag, and snip off a tiny bit of corner to make a squeeze frosting applicator. Allow each child to decorate her/his cookies around the edges with lemon frosting, leaving the interior "stained glass" effect outlined. Allow the frosting to harden before freezing the cookies in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper.

Used as a sandwich spread or as a condiment for various veggies. This can be quite hot and needs to sit in the fridge 4-5 days before use. It will not be that freaky French's yellow. Keeps about a month in the fridge. Makes 2 cups.
1/4 cup yellow mustard seeds
1/4 cup brown mustard seeds
4 teaspoons mustard flour
1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 shallot, finely minced
8 sundried tomato halves
1 cup good-quality nonalcoholic white wine
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Soak the sundried tomatoes and mustard seeds in the wine overnight. Combine this mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and grind to a paste. Transfer to a glass jar with a tight lid.

(Caveats: Myra doesn't like cilantro, and she thinks bell peppers are a cop-out when other peppers are available. Margie doesn't care for onions but will eat them mixed into dishes if they are not raw or in big chunks.)
Make several hours ahead of time or overnight and keep in the fridge. Makes 3-6 cups, depending on add-ins.
3-4 small fresh tomatoes from Ginny's garden, seeded and medium diced
4-5 ears fresh corn, shucked (frozen corn can be substituted if absolutely necessary, about 2 cups)
4-6 small green onions from Ginny's garden
1/2 Walla Walla sweet onion or Vidalia onion, chopped into fine dice
2 ancho or serrano peppers (anchos are hotter)
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lime zest
1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (I know, Myra doesn't like cilantro but cumin is fine)
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Optional add-ins:
2 cups cooked black beans (not the cooking juice)
1-1.5 cups chopped zucchini (great way to use up Ginny's zucchini overplanting)
1-2 cups diced ripe avocado (may want to decrease olive oil if you add this)
In a dry hot skillet, sear the corn, green onions and peppers until charred. If you're grilling, you can do this on the grill outside. The onions will take much less time than the corn. If you're using frozen corn, set it out to thaw and pat dry before searing.
Cut the corn from the cob. Peel the peppers, cut out the spines and seeds and discard along with the peels. (Retain the seeds if it's just you and your lover, no kids, and you like the extra heat.) Mince the peppers and chop the green onions finely.
NOTE: Wash your hands thoroughly now, including under the nails, before you run any risk of transferring ancho oil to your own tender membranes or that of another.
In a skillet, melt butter gently with olive oil. Add white onion dice and sauté until clear. Add the green onions, minced garlic, peppers and balsamic vinegar and cook lightly until the heat of the peppers is well-distributed.
Whisk lime juice, zest, and oil in a small bowl.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl except go light on the salt for now. Cover and store in fridge until ready to serve. Taste at last minute and add salt if needed. Serve with fresh tortilla chips, or over grilled foods, on baked potatoes or camas roots, with eggs, or as garnish for plain cream soups.

(Garlic, painting by Tami Oyler)

This is worth having around if you cook a lot -- great for salad dressings, adding in to dishes, or eating warm spread on a thick piece of toasted bread.
Several heads of garlic (elephant head garlic is great for this)
1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil per garlic head
2 tablespoons chicken stock per garlic head
Preheat over to 400 degrees F. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic skin but leave the skin of the inner bulbs intact so the bulb holds together. Cut off the top of the bulb to expose the inner bulbs.
Place each bulb in the well of a muffin tin. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil over each head, then put 2 tablespoons of chicken stock into the well. (If you want this to be vegetarian, using veggie stock instead.) Bake for half an hour or until the cloves squeeze out of their skins when pressed.
Eat right away, or store in sealed container in fridge and use as needed.

This recipe was developed by Myra after she wrote the first Skene book, based on the character Yerush's imagined mango chutney. Really good with roasted birds or pork. Makes 3 pints, to freeze or can.
6 cups mangos (4-5 fruits), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup dried cranberries (Myra doesn't like raisins)
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped fine
2 cups turbinado sugar
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 red wine vinegar
Shallots, enough to make 1 cup finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon whole mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon pepperoncino flakes
Combine the sugar and vinegars in a 6-quart pot. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Add all the remaining ingredients and simmer uncovered until it is syrupy and slightly thickened, about 45 minutes to an hour. Stir periodically while it is cooking.
Pour in glass container or canning jars and seal. Put on one of Ginny's labels.

Serves 2.
4-6 juvenile brown crickets from reputable pet store
1/2 teaspoon Reptivite
2 teaspoons strained-fruit baby food (alternate between banana, apricot, peach or tropical fruit)
Pinch of crushed calcium vitamin supplement
Pinch of bee pollen
Gut-load the crickets by placing them in a small enclosure with dried apricots and carrots for a day. Dust them with Reptivite and release into the gecko habitat.
Mix baby food with calcium supplement, bee pollen and warm water to syrup consistency. Place in gecko habitat.
Repeat every 2-3 days.

1 comment:

Margot said...

And, my angel, it was how I proved my love for you, whenever I got the chance. Im sorry we never got round to the crêpes, and the tartiflette, and the cacio e pepe this last time.

Every Christmas is Last Christmas.