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Turkey Tracks: Fall Bounty

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Turkey Tracks:  October 12, 2015

Fall Bounty

The nights have cooled, and the trees are starting to turn.  Finally.

Hope’s Edge CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) farm has two more weeks to go.

I will miss going out there weekly so much.

The winter squashes are all coming in now–and they are so bright and pretty:

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The long orange one in the back is a pie pumpkin.  I’m going to roast/carmelize it and use it in a salad recipe from Jennifer McGruther’s book The Nourished Kitchen.  (Search on this blog for more info.)  The recipe pairs the sweet pumpkin with bitter greens, nuts, and balsamic vinegar, among other ingredients–as well as I remember.

The funny looking veggie to its left is a rutabega.  I cook it like a potato.  Rutabegas are great cubed in soups and stews.  The flesh is buttery yellow and mashes well.

The oblong squash to the left is a spaghetti squash-one of my very favorites.  I cut them in half, seed them, and roast them (cut sides down on a greased piece of parchment paper).  Once done, run a fork through the flesh and it breaks into strands.  I heavily butter and add salt and pepper.  Scoop out the stands and put on your plate.  This one reheats well too.

The striped squashes are delicatas.  They are so sweet that you don’t need anything in them but a bit of butter.  I bought some one fall in Charleston, SC, and they were bitter and bad.  This squash may need more of a New England climate to develop its sweetness????

The tan squash is a butternut.  Mild and delicious.  You can eat the skin on both delicatas and butternuts.  I’m going to put it cubed into a stew with black beans, hamburger, and Indian seasonings–in the crock pot.

How did that banana get into this picture?  Mercy!

The orange squash in the middle is a “Sunshine” and has a heavier, sweeter flesh.  I’m going to cube it and roast it with garlic, rosemary, small potatoes, red onions, and chunked green tomatoes.  It’s a dish to which I look forward every fall.  I’ll make it while sister Susan is here next week.

That’s likely the last large tomato to come out of the garden.  I”ll get some Sun Gold cherry tomatoes though.

The garlic crop is great this year.  I’m loving all the fresh garlic in the kitchen.

I’m missing a Blue Hubbard squash, which is a great keeper.  I’ll pick one up though.

That’s the last bit of annual flowers I’ll cut from the garden behind the squashes.

I cut these Panculata Hydrangeas this morning for the dining room.  Hope they dry nicely.

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It’s a BANNER year for apples in Maine this year.  Every tree is loaded down–even old trees that have had significant storm damage:

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Local folks are making apple sauce, apple butter, drying apple slices, and making lots of apple pies.

The girly dogs and I have been walking every day in this glorious fall weather.  Sunday afternoon I drove by a friends Harry and Marsha Smith’s house to see their gorgeous fall yard.

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What a treat this view was!

Books/Recipes: NOURISHING BROTH, Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD

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Books/Recipes:  April 14, 2015

NOURISHING BROTH

 

The “nourishing” genre of food/cookbooks has been enriched by one:  Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD’s NOURISHING BROTH.

You may recall that Sally Fallon Morell wrote NOURISHING TRADITIONS with Dr. Mary Enig, who fought the good fight to show how dangerous trans fats and vegetable oils are and how good for you saturated fats from healthy animals are.  And you may recall that Jennifer McGruther recently published NOURISHING KITCHEN and has a great web site that is a constant resource–as is the Weston A. Price Foundation’s web site.

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So, you cannot read this blog for long without knowing I am a big fan of and great believer in real, homemade bone broths.  Of course I ordered this new book anyway–and it is chock full of the science of bone broths, of why they are so good for us.  And, of course, the book tells you all the ins and outs of making bone broths and how to use them in all sorts of soups, stews, sauces, gravies, and so forth.

After reading the book, I have been defrosting my stored bone broths and heating a cup full for breakfast–instead of drinking tea.  I add raw milk and salt if needed, and am thinking of adding a beaten raw egg, such as you might find in a Chinese or Greek egg soup.  I am finding I have no need for coffee/tea after this gorgeous drink–one that feels good right down to my toes.  And look, ma, no sugar/honey in the morning.  Many cultures drink a hot bone broth soup for breakfast–while we are eating and feeding our children a nutrient nightmare of sugared cereal.  It didn’t take me but one morning to realize what I had been missing.

One of the many things that Morell and Daniel point out is that with the advent of fake bouillon cubes (which have no meat in them and are the beginning of the dangerous excitotoxin MSG), we lost the nourishment we were getting from bone broths that were the base of much of the food we ate.  Bone broths build…bones.  Bone broths are full of gelatin (if made right) and lots of minerals and good fats–all mixed up in a hearty hot broth.

So, in a restaurant, if you encounter a “homemade soup,” ask if the soup is made from bones/meat in the kitchen or if a “base” is used.  Avoid the base soup as it is all made from fake products.

Here’s a little video of Kaayla T. Daniels talking about bone broths and bones:

“Bone Broth” Builds Bone Not Because of Calcium.

Turkey Tracks: Sprouted Blue Corn, Buckwheat and Blueberry Muffins from Nourished Kitchen

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Turkey Tracks:  December 15, 2015

Sprouted Blue Corn and Buckwheat and Blueberry Muffins

 

I made these this morning!

They are delicious!

The recipe came from Jennifer McGruther’s blog, Nourished Kitchen:

Sprouted Blue Corn, Buckwheat and Blueberry Muffins — Nourished Kitchen.

And she got it from the Shiloh Farms online VERY INTERESTING store.

They have a whole range of SPROUTED gluten free flours and will ship them.

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There are other products as well, and I will be taking a much closer look at what they have to offer soon.

Next step:  try to get our local coops to carry these flours.

What a treat to start the day!

 

 

Turkey Tracks: CSA Bounty

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Turkey Tracks:  July 19, 2014

CSA Bounty

 

My CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) is Hope’s Edge, in Hope, Maine.

My pickup is on Friday, which was  yesterday.

Friend Giovanna McCarthy picked up for me as I spent the day on Vinalhaven Island (an hour ferry’s ride away) with my book club.

So, I came home to two large sacks in the garage refrigerator that include a gorgeous fennel bulb, lots of greens, peas, spring onions, herbs, broccoli, and on and on.

It was…a haul.

So, I spent this morning processing food.

Jennifer McGruther of THE NOURISHED KITCHEN in a recent blog post noted that when she has a glut of greens, she dries them in the dehydrator and pulverizes them to green dust in her food processor and stores them in jars.  She adds the “green dust” to soups and stews at will.  I really liked that idea.  (Thanks, Jennifer!)

So, my greens are upstairs drying out as we speak.  AHA!  It’s the inaugural summer use of the dehydrator, which runs day and night in August and September.  I took the lid off so you can see.  I’m drying kale and beet greens.

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I used the chard leaves and a lot of the CSA produce in a summer soup–whose base is a VERY rich turkey bone broth.  I wrangled my 23-pound Thanksgiving turkey for two whole days this week, which freed up needed freezer space and produced a lot of cooked meat.  (The cooked drumsticks I refroze and will use them to build more bone broth AND some delicious dark meat for a soup/stew.)  The turkey came from Golden Brook Farm, owned by Susan McBride and Chris Richmond.

Here’s the soup.  I ate it for lunch, and it was so delicious.  It has the turkey bone broth, garlic scapes, onions, carrots, the fennel bulb, wintered-over potatoes, a handful of small broccoli crowns from the garden, celery, dried cherry tomatoes from last summer, fresh herbs–and that’s all I can remember.  I stir the chard leaves in at the last minute.  And I used the turkey fat on top of the jars of broth to sauté the veggies.  The only thing from “away” was the celery.

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Jennifer McGruther in THE NOURISHED KITCHEN has a terrific recipe (or so it looks) for fermenting chard stems.  So, I tried it, but added, also, the beet green stems to fill out the jar.  She uses a savory pickling mixture and has what looks to be a lovely combination in the book.  I didn’t have all the spices at the seed/whole level, so fell back on a pickling mixture I already had.

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In one of the fermented mixtures I’m eating now–that I put up last fall–I put in some whole tatsoi/baby bokchoi leaves with their stems.  They are delicious–the stems are crunchy and lovely, so I have no doubt that these stems I did today will be fun.

Thanks, again, Jennifer.

Turkey Tracks: Preserving Summer Food for Winter Eating

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Turkey Tracks:  July 16, 2014

Preserving Summer Food For Winter Eating

 

The summer produce up here in Maine is starting to roll into my kitchen, and I work hard to preserve as much of it as is possible.

How nice that Jennifer McGruther’s post today covers the ways she uses to preserve excess produce for the winter.

(If you have not signed up for her blog posts, I encourage you to do so.)

This posting is chock full of great ideas!  Thank you, Jennifer!

6 Ways I Preserve Summer’s Bounty and a challenge for you — Nourished Kitchen.

 

One of the things I walked with from her listing was drying hearty greens and onions, pulverizing them into a green powder, and using them in eggs, soups, salad dressings, and so forth.  I’ll be doing that for sure.

I have one of the plastic round dehydrators, and it runs constantly through August and September.  I’m dragging it out forthwith to start drying greens.  If I were not single and cooking for more than one person, I would SERIOUSLY consider the metal dehydrator she uses.  Last summer I dried more food than ever, and I loved having it all ready to use.

Turkey Tracks: Making and Eating Jennifer McGruther’s Vanilla Mint Ice Cream

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Turkey Tracks:  June 21, 2014

Making and Eating Jennifer McGruther’s Vanilla Mint Ice Cream

 

I am making Jennifer McGruther’s Vanilla Mint Ice Cream today.

If you have not heard about McGruther’s new book THE NOURISHED KITCHEN–or discovered her outstanding web site http://www.nourished kitchen.com–you are in for a treat.

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This homemade ice cream recipe uses real mint leaves, a vanilla bean, real cream, egg yolks, and so forth.  Here’s the url to Jennifer’s web site and this recipe.

Vanilla Mint Ice Cream — Nourished Kitchen.

I can’t wait to try the finished ice cream.  My cream mixture is upstairs cooling its heels in the refrigerator right now.

I’m not at all sure I had enough mint–when chopped it didn’t make a full cup.  I have had mint from my Georgia grandmother’s garden for over 40 years now–and brought the mint from Virginia to Maine when we moved ten years ago.  I almost lost it this winter, but have discovered a few sprigs coming along.  Thank heavens as this mint is unlike most I’ve seen–it’s really strong and full of flavor.  It used to be my job when I was little to run out to the garden to get sprigs of this mint for the iced sweet tea at dinner time–the main meal served at noon when we were at my grandmother’s.  For today, I supplemented with a package of mint from the store, and it was very disappointing as I think its “oomph” was long gone.   I also think I needed TWO packages…

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The long black strand is a vanilla bean cut in half and ready to go into the warmed cream.  You know, somehow I’ve never actually used a vanilla bean.  The smell in the kitchen after it steeped in the warm cream was…awesome!

I get local honey by the half-gallon, and it’s used as the sweetener.  There is no danger of using laundered, fake honey if you find your local bee keepers.  A recent story I ran across said that about 75 percent of the honey in grocery stores is laundered honey.  (See earlier blog posts on this subject.)  If you are buying honey in a store, look for these claims on the label:  raw, UNHEATED, and a geographical area that is inside the USA.  Be especially cautious if the honey comes from South America.

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Here’s my cream–after heating, it’s ready for the infusing ingredients, and after steeping, it will be strained and cooled.  Isn’t it the loveliest color?  It comes from local Jersey cows.  Wait until I add my egg yolks, which are soy free and a rich, deep color.

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I’m also adding a heaping Tablespoon of arrowroot powder as it’s good for you and helps make the ice cream even smoother.  That’s a trick I learned from Sally Fallon Morell, the recipe developer in the classic book NOURISHING TRADITIONS–a genre from which Jennifer McGruther draws, most likely, her title and nutrient-dense whole foods inspiration.

Hmmm.  Should I top this ice cream with a tiny bit of chocolate sauce???

YES!  And it was delicious!

So, see, making home made ice cream is not hard–especially when you have such a beautiful recipe.  Best of all, YOU control the ingredients and will be giving your family a nutrient-dense food that is beyond delicious as a special treat!!!

THANKS, JENNIFER McGRUTHER!

 

Turkey Tracks: Balance: A Philosophy of the Nourished Kitchen

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Turkey Tracks:  May 5, 2014

Balanced:  A Philosophy of the Nourished Kitchen

 

Here’s another quote I like from The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther:

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Balanced:

There’s a deeply pervasive disconnect in the collective relationship with food that persists in American culture:  We often view healthy eating as synonymous with restrictive eating, and we likewise view joyful eating as a guilty pleasure, something that begs for strict limits.  I believe that real food allows us both the gift of nourishment, and the gift of pleasure, without unnecessary restrictions.  Eating a diet of traditional foods helps us to develop a positive relationship with our food, not one born out of guilt and denial; rather, the traditional foods movement teaches us to purchase, prepare, and enjoy our food with intention.

Real, traditionally prepared foods offer nuanced flavors, subtle differences in texture or aromas that change continuously as the seasons of the year wax and want.  Enjoy meats and fish.  Relish grains, breads, and pulses.  Take pleasure in good fat and take a mindful approach to sweets.  The multidimensional flavors of traditionally prepared real foods bring a complexity of different notes and textures to your tongue, and even a small amount of concentrated foods like butter from the raw cream of grass-fed cows, or a lovely single varietal honey will bring deep satisfaction that is otherwise missing from industrialized foods with their single notes, cloying sweetness, or overt saltiness (3-4).

Note that McGruther works with ancient grains and fermented sourdough breads.  The former do not have the gluten content of today’s wheat and the latter mitigates further the impact of gluten and the phytates in grains.  So, if you do not have a gluten-intolerant gene, like me, McGruther’s bread recipes are wonderful.

 

Written by louisaenright

May 14, 2014 at 11:43 am