Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Twister - Soup making and Shrimp Butter



The last two weeks I have been consumed with warding off serious illness. It is a good thing I had taken my own advice and stocked up on stock as soup was the go to meal most of the time.

Here's what I caught on film (from left to right)

Top Row:
One of the last seasonal salads from our CSA box for this year (hosting bell peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, carrots, and field greens with a homemade dressing).
Beet Kvass fermenting (seen with a bowl full of squash, mainly from our garden, and our thankfulness tree in the background)
Kombucha fermenting (mmm, fizzy goodness and giver of needed immune boosting)
Freshly shelled organic walnuts from our CSA soaking in a salt solution (more are soaking as I type, though these are from the farm that provides our delicious raw milk and pastured chicken eggs)

Middle Row:
Oatmeal porridge breakfast feast complete with above mentioned milk and a pot of peppermint tea.
What would have been macaroons if I had enough shredded coconut meat, but instead were meringues with a hint of coconut. Meringues in our home are always sweetened with organic pure maple syrup.
Soup: Winter Root Soup (recipe can be found in Nourishing Traditions) with the exact proportions of ingredients provided in our CSA box that were called for in the recipe. Amazing. Seen here with more homemade creme fraiche and a sprig of thyme for decor.
Bar of carob before being chilled and cut into "chips" (you should be seeing the application of said chips in next week's twister).

Bottom Row:
Soup: Fennel soup (recipe also in N.T.), also served with creme fraiche and with a sprig of fennel for appeal (and content hint).
Fennel soup seen with steamed, buttered and salted Kale, and more of the salad from row one.
Shrimp broth. This was a torturous favorite for the cats. It was a first for me, and a first trip to the Asian grocer down the street with my four year old who declared loudly "Mommy, it's squishy in here!" because the isles are much smaller than in our American stores. There is much more food per square foot!
Shrimp butter, frozen in ice cube trays and then stored in a bag in the freezer (watch for a Creole shrimp casserole next week!)

What about you? What happened in your kitchen last week? Care to share? Join us for Tuesday Twister next week. I always find that photographing my meals helps keep my accountable to make something fresh, nutrient-dense, and attractive.

For more inspiration see today's list of Tuesday Twisters and see what's twisting in other real-foodies kitchens.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Twister 11.10.09

I recently discovered a few food blogs that participate in GNOWFGLINS' "Tuesday Twister" as a weekly picture show of notable things that happened in their kitchens over the last week. Though I have not taken many food photos during the last week, I thought I would start playing today anyway.

First a huge batch of broth, complete with chicken feet. Then, it was soup making.

Pictured left is a Roman Lentil Soup, made with fresh onions and carrots from our CSA box, as well as locally grown lentils, and homemade broth. Served with home-cultured creme fraiche and a sprig of parsley (also from CSA box).

I also made a lovely cream of broccoli that did not get photographed.

Today I will be making another soup recipe, which hopefully I will remember to photograph and share for next week (with the other happenings in my kitchen!).

What about you? What is happening in your kitchen? Care to share? Join us for Tuesday Twister next week. I always find that photographing my meals helps keep my accountable to make something fresh, nutrient-dense, and attractive.

For more inspiration see today's list of Tuesday Twisters and see what's twisting in other real-foodies kitchens.



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

November Challenge: Make Your Own Broth

"Good broth resurrects the dead" - African proverb

The leaves are falling, the air is crisping, and in my house, the broth is simmering. November is an ideal time to start experimenting with your own broth. If there was ever a month in which I could eat soup every day, it is November. Broth is inexpensive to make while adding 5-star richness to the meals you serve at home. It is additionally great on its own to help kick a cold or flu.

I use stock (or broth) primarily for soups and sauces. Any high caliber restaurant does the same thing. If you have fallen in love with a soup or sauce when eating out, it is probably because they make their own stock.

Stock refers to a liquid made for its own sake from whole ingredients (for example making chicken stock with whole chickens and using the cooked meat for something else later), whereas broth typically refers to liquid made from "leftovers". Broth is usually what simmers here because I use leftover chicken carcasses rather than a fresh bird, though I always add fresh feet and necks as well as fresh vegetables (following the bone broth recipes in Nourishing Traditions by Sallon Fallon)

Making broth from your leftover carcasses is economical and adds value to your original purchase. Also, consuming stocks and broths allows your body to utilize proteins better so that you do not need to eat as much meat to gain the same benefit, which can save you even more.

Challenge Level One:

With Thanksgiving approaching, I challenge you to make your own stock and boil down a 5-star sauce from the turkey drippings. With cold and flu season upon us, I encourage you to stock up on stock. Keep it in the freezer to have on hand when the sniffles come. The gelatin and nutrients in broth are also good for numerous other health problems (especially digestive ones).

Challenge Level Two:

If you take the plunge and experiment with making your own broth, write about it! Or if you regularly make your own broth, share a recipe or write a reflection spurred from the simmering brew, and let me know by leaving a link in the comment section.

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