Archive for December, 2011


fermented potato “cheese”

December 27, 2011

i have no idea how i’ve never noticed this in NOURISHING TRADITIONS by sally fallon before.

4 cups cooked potatoes, peeled
2 cups piima milk or kefir
1 T sea salt

This recipe for fermented potatoes comes from The American Frugal Housewife, published in 1833. Mix ingredients well in food processor. Place in a covered bowl and leave at room temperature for about two days. Place in a large strainer, lined with a clean linen towel (or cheesecloth -ed.). Tie the towel in a bundle to a spoon, hung over a jug or bowl, so the “cheese” can drain. When draining stops, transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

This could easily be made vegan with vegan kefir!


making of spaetzle

December 26, 2011

<3 <3 <3 this is amazing – i just showed my mom and she told me this is exactly how my oma made them. my mom was delighted by this woman’s ultra-thick schwabisch accent.


diy juniper bitters

December 26, 2011


i have infused vodkas before, but never with JUNIPER! this sounds AWESOME!!

2 tbs fresh juniper berries

2-4” rosemary branches

2-4” thyme branches

2 tsp black peppercorns

1 pint vodka

1/4c dried juniper berries

Combine all the ingredients, except dried juniper berries, in a pint glass jar with a lid. Store is a cool dark place for one month. After one month, strain the vodka, discard herbs, then add the dried juniper berries for a double extract. After two months, strain again and you’re ready for cocktails!

see her post and photos here

today i added 3/4 pint of vodka to a jar with many fresh and dried juniper berries, a teaspoonful of smoked black peppercorns, a giant pinch of dried rosemary, a sprig of dried basil from the garden, and a sprig of dried mint from the garden. i’ll be tasting this often – just to make sure it’s going ok…
added a pinch of thyme.
my favorite infusion by far. even better than apple-strawberry-allspice vodka. left in for a few days, it’s an infusion. left in for a month, it’s bitters. a few drops will do. gin-like. wonderful!
forgot to mention that i temporarily gave up infusing vodka with things other than this, because this is so good.


“hell a top, hell a bottom, and hallelujah in the middle”

December 24, 2011

this Jamaican sweet potato pudding, popular on Sundays, is also called “hell a top, hell a bottom, and hallelujah in the middle” or “hell on top, hell on bottom, and heaven in the middle”

i was instructed to make a sweet potato dish for today, the day my mom celebrated Christmas with me when i was a child. (froeliche weinachten!)

however, my mom’s pre-diabetic and watching what she eats, and every recipe i found called for sugar, sugar, sugar. i read a bunch of recipes, tweaked myfavorite recipes, and came up with this compromise. it looks like it’ll still be super-sweet, even without the added brown sugar.

4 yams
1 1/2 cans coconut milk
1 1/2 c flour
1 T butter (or not; this would be easy to make vegan)
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 t pure almond extract
1 tsp. salt
~2 1/2 t spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, and clove blended)
2 cups brown sugar (none!)

1 c raisins
a few T cointreau

soak raisins in cointreau for a few hours.

preheat oven to 350.

combine everything and throw into baking container until done.

it smells wonderful. i’ll let you know how it turns out!


definitely good, although a bit too sweet for a dinner dish, even without the sugar. still a great recipe for dessert. i’ve never soaked dried fruit in liquor before, but the cointreau was an awesome addition. my mom raved about it, and even her friend’s son ate it.


maultaschen – black forest ravioli

December 22, 2011

this recipe is from black forest cuisine by walter staib.

he says this, accompanied by a gorgeous photo of them:
“whenever i think about maultaschen, i am home again. to me, this is the ultimate comfort food. this is my soul food. my mother would make piles of these ravioli in a single disciplined session, taking time and care with the dough and cutting it in various sizes to stuff with the meat filling. maultaschen can be large or small, sauteed as i suggest here, simmered in soup, or cut into strips and prepared like hash browns. sometimes my mother would float them in beef bouillon or chicken stock to make a delicious soup. personally, i will eat them anywhere at any time of day. in fact, when i used to travel home, my mother would prepare maultaschen especially for me and send my father to the airport, plate in hand. as soon as my feet hit the ground, i would begin to inhale them, at the same time thanking heaven that i was in the black forest.”


4 cups all-purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 T + 1 t veg oil
1 T + 1 t salt

1 T unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 c soft bread crumbs
6 oz ground pork
6 oz ground beef
3 egg yolks
1 scallion, trimmed and finely chopped
1 T chopped fresh parsley

1 egg
2 T water
4 T unsalted butter


1. MAKE THE DOUGH: pour flour into medium bowl and mix in egg yolks, eggs, oil, and salt. knead dough with hands until it comes together and can form stiff ball. rest dough in plastic wrap for 1 hour at room temperature.

2. MAKE THE FILLING: melt butter in frying pan, fry onions until translucent, set aside.

3. combine onion, bread crumbs, meat, egg yolks, scallion, and parsley, and season with salt and pepper.

4. ASSEMBLE MAULTASCHEN: bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. whisk together egg and water to make an egg wash. roll noodle dough on a lightly floured surface VERY thin (1/16 in) and cut into 12 6-in squares. divide filling among squares, brush edges with egg wash, and fold the four corners of each square into the center, pressing the seams firmly to seal.

5. drop the maultaschen, one at a time, into boiling water and cook for approximately five minutes. remove with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to cool. drain and set aside momentarily.

6. melt butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. fry maultaschen until golden brown.

serve with potato salad

if you like his recipe, check out the book.


lacto-fermented mint chutney

December 22, 2011

this recipe is from sally fallon’s nourishing traditions.

mint chutney – makes three cups

2 c fresh mint leaves
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 jalapeno chilies, seeded and chopped
2 T cumin seeds, toasted
2/3 c almonds, chopped
1 T sea salt
4 T whey
1 c filtered water

place all ingredients except salt, whey, and water into food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not paste-like. place in a quart-sized, wide-mouth glass container (mason jar, etc) and press down tightly. mix salt and whey with water and pour into jar, adding more water if necessary to cover chutney. top of the chutney should be at least 1 inch below top of jar. cover tightly and store at room temperature for two days before transferring to fridge. this should be eaten within two months.


jeremy’s butternut squash cookies

December 19, 2011

he invented a butternut squash cookie recipe! they are an amazing half-banana-bread half-snickerdoodle masterpiece!

i tried them this week, and loved them! thanks, jeremy!

* 1/2 – 3/4 cup butternut squash puree (he used this recipe, but of course you could just mash up some baked squash.)
* 1 1/2 – 1 2/3 sticks softened butter
* 1 1/2 cups white sugar
* 2 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 tablespoons white sugar
* 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Add squash. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.
3. Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
4. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.


rolled oats ragged robins

December 8, 2011

another strange vintage american recipe – this one from a 1918 text “Foods that Will Win the War and How to Cook Them

they appear to be oat biscuits.

ever read the invisibles? ragged robin is a pretty compelling character. never knew she was named after a kind of biscuit.

•1 1/2 cups rolled oats
•1 cup bread flour
•1 1/3 teaspoons salt
•1 1/3 cups milk
•2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
•4 tablespoons fat
•1 1/4 teaspoons soda


Sift dry ingredients. Cut in the fat. Add liquid and drop by spoonfuls on greased baking sheet. Bake in hot oven 12 to 15 minutes. These may be rolled and cut same as baking powder biscuits. (If uncooked rolled oats are used, allow to stand in the milk for 30 minutes before making recipe.)


lentil puff

December 8, 2011

another vintage beauty from

this one comes from lentils and their preparation, Women’s Institute of Cookery, Volume 2. published 1928.


29. LENTIL PUFF.–A decided change from the usual ways of preparing lentils can be had by making lentil puff. Black lentils are used for this preparation, and they are made into a puree before being used in the puff. If the accompanying recipe is carefully followed, a most appetizing, as well as nutritious, dish will be the result.

(Sufficient to Serve Six)

1-1/4 c. lentil puree
1-1/2 c. riced potatoes
2 Tb. butter
1/2 c. milk
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 eggs

Soak the lentils overnight in water that contains a pinch of soda,
parboil them for about 10 minutes, and pour off the water. Put them to
cook in cold water and cook until they are tender, allowing the water to
evaporate completely, if possible, so that the puree made from them will
be dry. However, if any water remains when the lentils are done, pour it
off and use it for soup or sauce. Make the puree by forcing the cooked
lentils through a colander. If it is found to be too wet, less milk can
be used than the recipe calls for. Cook several potatoes and rice them
by forcing them through a colander or a ricer. Combine the lentils and
potatoes, and to this mixture add the butter, milk, salt, and pepper.
Separate the eggs, and beat the yolks slightly and the whites until
stiff. Stir the yolks into the mixture and, just before putting the puff
into the oven, fold in the whites. Pour into a buttered baking dish, set
in the oven, and bake until the puff is set and the surface is brown.
Serve hot.


dandelion greens with sour sauce

December 8, 2011

sorry about the unseasonal post.

yesterday was our first frosty morning. the wild onions and sorrel covering peoples’ lawns are struggling.

four months ago, it was a hundred degrees every day and i was cursing the summer and greedily anticipating the winter.

now i’m looking forwards to tiny soured dandelion greens in two or three months.

i found this vintage american recipe from 1928 on – it said it was taken from the Woman’s Institute Library of Cookery, Volume Two.

with a little hunting, i found the entire thing online for free. i’ll probably post a few of these Woman’s Institute recipes. some are pretty wild!


1/2 package dandelion
1/2 cup vinegar
4 thin slices bacon
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt


Clean and wash the dandelion. Cut the slices of bacon into small pieces and sauté until crisp. Stir the flour and salt into the bacon fat, add the vinegar and water, and stir until the flour thickens. Add the beaten egg last, and remove from the fire. Put the dandelion into the pan and mix well with the hot sauce. If the dandelion is preferred well wilted, set the pan over the flame, and stir until the dandelion appears as desired. Serve hot.

thanks to kelly for turning me on to this sweet vintage recipes site.


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