Category Archives: Cooking techniques

Noodle Quest 2010: Entry 1

I am so obsessed with noodles, you guys. I always have been; my known weak spots are generally fried dough (donuts, elephant ears, churros, etc.), assorted other fried foods (clam strips, sausage-stuffed olives, duck fat fries, etc.), flat breads, and noodles. Mmmm, carbs and fat. Also garlicky kale, thank god.

A couple weeks ago I met my cousin Sara for lunch at Blue Ginger, out in Wellesley, where chef Ming Tsai has recently added a Noodle Bar to the lunch menu. I ordered the yakisoba (“Ramen Noodles and Garlic-Ginger-Tamari Sauce, served with carrots, bell peppers, onions, cabbage and scallions”), subbing in pork for chicken, and received a heavenly (spicy) bowl of chewy noodles and ridiculously flavorful minced or ground pork. I ate all the noodles and as much pork as I could shovel up with my chopsticks, but I had plenty leftover to mix with a package of ramen at home for dinner that night. (I left out the “flavor”/MSG packet and let the sauce on the pork do the work.) When Ben returned home from the trip that was allowing me to eat noodles multiple times a day without anyone knowing (until now), I decided I’d try to recreate the dish at home.

And by recreate, I mean I made noodles with pork. Flavors and vegetable content ended up being totally different. Perhaps because it was only now that I looked up the menu online and saw tamari listed as a key ingredient in the sauce. This will be an ongoing quest, unless Chef Ming decides he wants to share his recipe. I did meet him briefly at the restaurant, where he was styling food for a photo shoot, but I failed to beg for the recipe. He was super nice, though.


I patched together a sauce with pretty much everything in the fridge, plus a crazily hot black bean/chili sauce I grabbed at Whole Foods. I kept adding splashes of this and that, so I have no proportions or measurements, but I used hoisin (fatal mistake), soy, rice wine vinegar, the black bean/chili stuff, sesame oil, and maybe some of the chili-garlic sauce I keep around. Eh.

I chopped up spring onions and napa cabbage, minced garlic and grated ginger.


Then I cooked about a pound of ground pork in the wok, with half of the garlic and ginger. At the end I poured in some of the sauce and cooked it off to coat the pork.


Set that aside, then stir-fried the onions with the rest of the garlic/ginger.



And then the cabbage.


Once the cabbage was wilting, I added in the rest of the sauce and got it simmering.


And then the unruly mass of the cooked noodles entered the scene.


OMG. I really need to get a source for the delicious square chinese noodles my mom always used. The ramen were SO hard to deal with, all curly and tangled together. I adjusted the flavoring with more soy at that point, because the hoisin had made everything too sweet.

The final result was tasty, but it didn’t hold a candle to the Blue Ginger dish. I will track down the right noodles and some tamari and give it another go when we’re back from Europe.


Does anyone have a noodle dish they swear by? I have a good-looking recipe from my mom to try out, but I welcome all suggestions.

Spinach, tomato and bacon sauté with poached eggs

Sometimes all I really want is a giant bowl of greens. Garlicky kale is my favorite, or maybe chard, but spinach will do, too. (Not the baby stuff, that goes mushy too fast. Save it for salads.) But this dinner was really inspired by the divine confluence of the arrival of a care package from my mom, containing a pair of “Poach Pods,” and the simultaneous arrival of an early egg share from the farm. Fresh gorgeous eggs! I silicone helmet that is supposed to make poaching eggs foolproof! Clearly I needed to find something to top with poached eggs.

Spinach. Wilted spinach salad with bacon dressing. Maybe some cherry tomatoes. Toast. This was an easy plan! Of course, I ended up making more of a sauté than a wilted spinach salad, but who cares? We were happy.

Poached eggs and spinach saute

Poached eggs and spinach saute

Poached eggs and spinach saute

Poached eggs and spinach saute

Once I had cooked the bacon and softened the red onion, I added in red wine vinegar, a pinch of brown sugar, and a forkful of dijon mustard, and stirred it together with the rendered bacon fat to make a dressing/sauce.

Poached eggs and spinach saute

I threw in the tomatoes, which I’d quartered, and cooked them a little bit. (This was a mistake; should have added them at the same time as the spinach.) Then in went half of the very vigorous and enthusiastic spinach. Once there was room, I added the other half.

Poached eggs and spinach saute

Poached eggs and spinach saute

I cooked that on low heat until it was wilted.


Meanwhile, the Poach Pods!! Wonderful for adorning grapefruits and salt cellars; also great for poaching eggs!

Poached eggs and spinach saute

And let’s discuss those eggs. Oh my GOD. I have missed the farm eggs so much over the winter. No matter what fancy organic natural free range heaven-sent eggs I bought from Whole Foods, the yolks were pale and the whites were runny after six months of eggs from the farm. But back to the pods. You oil them (to prevent the eggs “sticking like glue,” according to my mom), break an egg in each, and then set them afloat in an inch and a half of simmering water. Cover the pan, wait four to six minutes, and voila! Poached eggs!

Poached eggs and spinach saute

I had a surprise when I cracked open the two huge eggs I’d chosen from the carton: they BOTH had double yolks!

Poached eggs and spinach saute

Off to sea:

Poached eggs and spinach saute

Finished, if slightly overcooked (my fault, I panicked because of the double yolks):


You scoop the eggs out with a spoon, and they plop onto whatever you’re serving them with in perfect little domes.



The eggs were delicious, despite not being quite runny. Light and creamy and fluffy. Ben claims he hates eggs, but the farm ones don’t seem to count. They “don’t taste eggy,” he says. He’s right, they taste like heaven. I have used 8 of the dozen since Thursday, pacing myself AND going out of town for the weekend. Just look at the color of those yolks and tell me you aren’t dying to get your hands on some!

Farm eggs

Pasta, fully loaded

Last month, while on our annual visit to dear friends down in Sarasota, we enjoyed a massive and fabulous meal at a Tapas restaurant in town. (I also got to be the designated driver for the first time, thanks to the restaurant’s slight delay in seating us and the decision of the non-pregnant members of our party to work through the several bars in the building en route to our table.)

Everyone else was in a meat mood, but the highlight of the evening for me was a sauteed spinach dish with dried figs, honey and onions. The onions seemed scorched, or something, which gave them a delicious smokiness to offset the sweet figs and honey. I had trouble releasing the dish to be shared.

Once we were home, I started thinking about scorched onions and other ways to use them, and I settled on a kale/sausage/onion pasta dish. I was going to cook the pasta absorption style, but then I remembered Smitten Kitchen’s post about spaghetti with cheese and pepper, and figured I could use that as my base.



I started by cooking the sausage (out of the casings) until it was nearly done. I wiped most of the grease from the pan (but not all of it, for which I paid), and started the onions. My mom and I had discussed it and thought a dry pan was probably the best bet if I wanted a scorch on the onions before covering them and letting them cook through with the steam from the liquid they would release.


Yeah, the deliciousness left over from the sausage was not a “dry pan.” That all started to really burn on, pretty quickly. In fact, the pan turned completely black. Also a Swiffer Wet-Jet is not ideal for turning off a smoke alarm, FYI. Awkward handle shape.


And yet the onions didn’t really get the smoky flavor I was looking for. On further reflection the next day, Mom and I agreed that the restaurant was almost certainly using a flat-top to cook the onions. Maybe I’ll try a griddle next time? And NO OIL?

Remaining ingredients:


I had to wash the pan after the onions were done; it actually scraped clean pretty easily since I added boiling pasta water (pre-pasta) to it while it was hot, and then scraped off the blackened stuff. Tip: Never let a badly burnt-on pan cool before filling it with HOT water to soak. Scrape while it’s all still hot and you will save yourself endless scrubbing.

After a cursory wipe-down, I cooked the kale quickly. Meanwhile the pasta was cooked.

As per the recipe, I heated oil in the pasta pot, added back the pasta, and added in some of the pasta water. In went the cheese, pepper and butter:



Not really coated enough. Less pasta water next time. More cheese.

In went the kale, sausage and onions.


Funny how thinly stretched a mountain of onions and kale can seem once you add them to a pound of pasta. I could definitely have used at least one more sausage, though I was using hot ones from the freezer and it would have been too spicy for our wimpy palates with more.


Great flavor combination (obviously; it’s one I use all the time…branch out, Kate!). I left the kale a little less cooked than usual so it had great chew against the pasta. The onions were more caramelized-tasting than I wanted, but overall it was delicious.

I really need to work out the key to those onions, though. I want that spinach dish.

Mega-stir fry vegetable explosion

Thanks to everyone for your well-wishes and sweet comments on the last post!

I have definitely noticed a shift in…not tastes, so much as food desires since I got pregnant. Well, in the last few weeks since I started eating again, anyway. I have never been a girl to turn up her nose at things like donuts (and I am famous for my love of fried food), but now I find myself fixating, even if I don’t end up eating the thing in question. I’m also really bothered by the food ads on TV, which for the first time ever are making me want whatever they show–McNuggets, Pepperidge Farm garlic bread, etc. I haven’t followed through, but it’s weird for me to sit on the couch and think, “Chicken Nuggets! Brilliant idea!”

The good news is that I also think “Kale! Best idea EVER!” So things aren’t too out of whack. In fact, the first real meal I cooked once I stopped resorting to premade pizza crusts and extra-simple pasta dishes was a gigantic stir fry. I got the idea in my head, went to Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, and came home with everything I had spotted that seemed remotely appealing or logical in stir fry. To wit:

Stir fry

Also some beef, which I froze for an hour or so and sliced as thinly as possible before marinating in a new TJ’s discovery:

Stir fry

I had planned to make my own marinade/stiry fry sauce, but I spotted this one and the ingredients were literally exactly the same as what I planned to use: Soy, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, etc. Shortcut time! I found it a bit sweet, in the end, so I’ll cut it with rice vinegar in the future.

As with any stir fry, cutting up all the vegetables is the time-consuming part.

Stir fry

I cooked the beef about 80% first, and then set it aside. Then the vegetables: The general rule is to get your oil hot hot hot, cook your aromatics (garlic, ginger, red pepper) quickly, then add the hardest vegetables, which will require the longest time to cook. I’d been lazy and cut the zucchini a bit thick, so that went in first with the onion, before my very tiny carrot and pepper matchsticks.

Stir fry

Those were next, followed by the peas.

Stir fry

Then the bok choi stems:

Stir fry

Then I added the beef back in to finish cooking, and added in some of the sauce (obviously fresh, not what I’d used to marinate):

Stir fry

And finally the bok choi and napa cabbage, just to wilt for a second.

Stir fry

All done!

Stir fry

Probably about 5 minutes total, but timing varies depending on your stove, vegetables, etc.

We ate it with rice. Actually, I ate it with rice for about three days, because that was quite a bit of stir fry.

Stir fry

Yum. Maybe I should make another batch.

Oven ribs and corn muffins to chase away the chill

Bless grocery store sales. I would choose baby back ribs over nearly any other food, but I’ve never cooked them because I was too intimidated. But when I saw ribs on sale at WF for $4.99 a pound I couldn’t resist. I got the ribs home and did some quick googling, which led me to Alton Brown’s “Who Loves Ya” baby back rib recipe. I laughed at the name until towards the end, when I turned to Ben and said “Who loves you?” as I pulled a rack of ribs out of the oven. So there you go, the cheesy name has a reason.

[Note: I accidentally got my camera stuck on a 1600 ISO for a while earlier this month. As a result, there are some truly terrible photos in the pipelines. Grainy and awful; I’m sorry!]

Oven ribs

There are quite a few ingredients in the dry rub, but everything was super easy and quick, actually. My mom asked if I really bought all the things the recipe calls for, and I did since most were in the bulk spice section. I only skipped the jalapeno seasoning, which I didn’t find and didn’t search for particularly hard.

Once the rub (which contains brown sugar salt and a bunch of chili powder, cayenne, onion powder, etc…) was mixed up, I covered the ribs on both sides and bundled them up in tinfoil.

Oven ribs

Oven ribs

Then they rested in the fridge for a while (I didn’t leave enough time, so I only gave them an hour), and when it was time to cook I mixed the braising liquid (white wine vinegar, white wine, worcestershire sauce, honey, garlic) and heated it in the microwave.

Oven ribs

Then Alton says to open one end of the foil packet and pour in the liquid. To my shock, this actually worked. (And this is the worst photo of them all, I’m afraid.)

Oven ribs

The ribs went in a 250 degree oven for 2 1/2 hours. Towards the end of cooking, Ben and I made up a batch of corn muffins (recipe at the end of the post). Note the fancy new wiper-mixer-blade thing Ben got for Christmas! It makes HORRIBLE squealing sounds as it rotates until there are wet ingredients added, but then it scrapes down the sides of the bowl perfectly.

Corn muffins

Corn muffins

Corn muffins

Those baked once the ribs were out, since I needed a much hotter oven.

Corn muffins

Meanwhile, the cooked ribs were out and I poured the liquid out into a pan to reduce into a glaze.

Oven ribs

Oven ribs

Oven ribs

The reduced glaze went on the ribs, which then went back in the oven for a quick broil to caramelize.

Oven ribs

Cut them up and it’s time to eat!

Oven ribs

I mean, seriously. Who loves you?

Oven ribs and corn muffins

The ribs were very tender, flavorful and delicious. They weren’t smoky, obviously, but for an oven recipe? Excellent. Also A+ leftover, cold.

Corn muffins
(From Ina Garten; my mom is going to let me know which book)
Over Christmas Mom made a batch of these with raspberry jam on the tops–not as much as the recipe recommends, just a dab. They were sensational; not dry and with a terrific crunchy toastiness after being heated up in the toaster over. I made them for this dinner without the jam and then froze half the batch (it made 16 muffins; I used those foil liners that stand up on their own for the extra).

“3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup medium cornmeal
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup good raspberry preserves (if you want)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line 12 large muffin cups with paper liners. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, melted butter and eggs. With the mixer on the lowest setting, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until they are just blended. Spoon the batter into the paper liners, filling each one to the top. Bake for 30 minutes, until the tops are crisp and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly and remove from the pan.

(If you want the jam:)
After the muffins cool, spoon the jam into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip. push the tip of the bag through the top of the muffin and squeeze 1 to 2 tablespoons into the middle. Repeat for each muffin.”

I forgot the dates!

I completely forgot to post the making-of pictures for the dates I mentioned in the last post. These are adapted from Suzanne Goin’s restaurant AOC, but they are so seriously simple that you don’t really need a recipe.

(I made 90. That was WAY too many; I cooked about half the following Sunday and took them to a neighbor’s tree-trimming party.)

Holiday party prep

Dates (Three packets of Medjool dates from Trader Joe’s = 90ish dates)
Bacon (I ended up needing more than three of those packages)
Parmesan cheese (I only needed one of the two hunks I bought)

Holiday party prep

Pit dates if they aren’t already by slitting one side and pulling out the pit. It should release easily.
Cut parm into little logs and put in the date where the pit was.
Push the date back together around the cheese.

Holiday party prep

Holiday party prep

For the bacon I was using, it worked to cut the slab into thirds and wrap one third-slice around each date, securing it with a toothpick. For some reason I can’t find any pictures of the raw wrapped dates, probably because my hands were covered in bacon.

Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cook in a 450 degree oven until the bacon is done, flipping midway through; it took 10-15 minutes for mine but do a test run since your oven may vary. Drain on a paper towel or paper bag. Serve hot, but not immediately or your guests will choke on molten date.

Holiday party prep

I am not actually the biggest fan of these. I just don’t love dates, which I find too sweet and sticky. I prefer the prosciutto-wrapped figs we make on the grill in the summer. But guys, especially, made short work of them!

Fun with Puff Pastry: Last-minute party snacks

Happy New Year! I sincerely doubt that anyone who is hosting a party tonight still needs menu ideas, but just in case I thought I’d share some of the puff pastry tidbits I made for our holiday cocktail party a couple weeks ago. I am of the opinion that pretty much anything involving puff pastry is automatically tasty, so at our first cocktail party back in Hanover, I made piles of savory “palmier”-style nibbles. What I hadn’t taken into account was the fact that children were attending that party. Small children. Children who took palmiers in each hand, squeezed, and then released the torrent of crumbs onto the floor by the table. Rinse and repeat. By night’s end, the carpet was white with crumbs.

This year no kids were coming! I gave the puff pastry another shot, making three different options using good store-bought all-butter frozen sheets from Whole Foods. Missing from all photographic evidence except the table-views are the leek and sausage squares, which were dead simple. I made the topping the night before and then put bits of it on square of puff pastry and baked them. Savory, easy, and people loved them.

Item two: A vegetarian option, using olivada (black olive spread) and roasted tomatoes. I bought both toppings from the antipasto bar at Whole Foods, because I didn’t want to make myself crazy. Here’s how I assembled them: (Please excuse the grainy photos; something went weird with my camera that day.)

Unroll the thawed puff pastry (follow package instructions), figure out how big you want your hors d’oeuvres, and cut the sheet into strips that make sense.


Spread the olivada (or any other dryish spread of your choice) down the center of each strip, leaving the edges plain, and top with tomato or roasted red pepper bits spaced according to the size of the finished pieces.



Cut between the tomato pieces and place individual bites on a baking sheet (I covered everything in foil for easy clean-up.)


Top with grated cheese (I used parmesan) if you’re into that sort of thing.


Bake according to package directions until golden brown.

Holiday party prep

I would guess that it took me about 20 minutes to assemble 60+ of these.

The final puff pastry delight, the simplest, the one you’ve made before, and my favorite: Cheese straws. Who doesn’t love a cheese straw? Come on. They are a perfect food. Here’s how you make them, in case you never read a Martha Stewart Entertaining book when you were in middle school. (Ahem. Not that I know anyone who was obsessed with all those little tiny sandwiches and miniature deviled quail eggs and endive straws stuffed with salad.)

Unroll the thawed puff pastry, blah blah blah. Roll it out a bit thinner. Cut it in half. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle grated cheese (I used cheddar and parmesan) on one half, top with the other half, roll them together.


Cut the sheet into straws and figure out if you want long or short ones. I went for short to maximize the number from the sheet.


Holiday party prep

Arrange on baking sheet, twisting each straw as you put it down. Brush with butter and top with black pepper if you want.

Holiday party prep

Bake until golden and delicious and hoard for yourself.

Holiday party prep

Oh fine, let your guests have them. You nice, sharing person.

Here’s most of the food before people arrived:

Holiday party prep

Holiday party prep

(Missing are the bacon-wrapped, parmesan-stuffed dates that I cooked off during the party so they’d be hot. I hated these; too sticky and sweet, but a lot of people gobbled them up. I’ll post the crazy-simple how-to next week. (Impatient? Put parmesan in a date, wrap it in bacon, and bake/broil it until the bacon it cooked.))

Your happy, blurry hostess in a festive apron:

Holiday party prep

And the glowy living room:

I know the last few months have been a bit sparse here at the Girl Reporter. I’ll try to pull myself together in the new year. I hope you all had a safe, happy and delicious holiday season–here’s to 2010! I’m excited about this one.

Purple produce and uneven sprouts

I could have sworn I wrote this up, but apparently not. Back at the beginning of the winter share distribution I got a truck load of extra-awesome vegetables, including purple potatoes and cauliflower and a stalk of brussels sprouts. I combined all three in a dinner designed purely for my own amusement, because seriously?

Fun veg

How fun are those?

I took some beauty shots before getting down to the cooking:




As cool as the stalk of sprouts is, it does leave you with a slight problem:


Yes, that is the top (huge) sprout next to the one from the bottom of the stalk. Since the sizes were so wildly uneven, I decided to make Greta’s shaved oven-roasted sprouts. The cuisinart makes this WAY easier; use the blade that looks like this and attaches to that stalk thing to keep it at the top of the bowl:


12 seconds later this:


Became this:


I cut the cauliflower into florets to roast (at 400 or 425) alongside the shaved brussels sprouts, and tossed each with oil, salt and pepper.


Meanwhile I boiled the potatoes and tossed them (while hot) with a butter/vinegar/mustard dressing.


A few slices of grilled steak for protein and voila!



The leftovers were excellent for lunch the next day, and in daylight the colors were even crazier:


[FYI, purple potatoes and cauliflower taste essentially the same as normal potatoes and cauliflower, but they look purple. So: Worth it.]

I’m scrambling to pack for a lengthy round of holiday visits. Looking forward to NYC and to the usual cooking orgy back home in Oregon. I hope everyone has a lovely holiday season!

Make this now: Bistro Salad, modernized


Yes, it’s been more than two weeks since I checked in. There’s no real reason for it, just a lack of motivation and a general feeling of “blah.” I have about 10 different things I should get posted, which is of course a little overwhelming (I’m trying to get to the photos for this post and I’m already on page 8 of my Flickr without getting close. Agh).

Happy belated Thanksgiving! Ben and I were on our own this year, so we took a drive up to York Beach, ME and ate at Lydia Shire’s Blue Sky, which was fantastic. Between the dinner I ate and my mom’s continued proselytizing, I am convinced of the wisdom of cooking the turkey legs and breast separately: I had lovely slices of the white meat, accompanied by a ridiculously delicious “ragout” of shredded dark meat warmed up in gravy. Yup, that is the way to go.

I never actually posted any of the cooking experiments from my visit home in late October, and I think one of them might come in handy if you’re looking for a satisfying but light dinner for these post-Turkey days. We ate at The Butcher Shop in the South End with new friends before my trip, and I shamelessly hogged a shared salad appetizer, a frisee salad with bacon dressing, shaved egg and fingerling potatoes. A few days later in Oregon, I decided to recreate it for the family, and we got it mostly right, though not quite perfect. It’s a nice riff on the traditional french bistro salad (frisee and lardons with a poached egg). This is easier to share, since there aren’t whole eggs, and would also be great without the potatoes, or as a simple lunch.

First things first, we baked a few strips of good, thick bacon, then cut it up into small little bits and saved a bit of the fat to make the dressing (like a warm spinach salad).




(I cut the bacon fat with a bit of grapeseed oil, which is nice and neutral. I never did get the dressing quite right; I forgot to add mustard and it never came together the way I wanted.)

Next up: Potatoes. Mom got gorgeous fingerlings, which I halved, boiled until nearly cooked, then tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted until they colored but didn’t crisp up.




Finally, the egg. In retrospect, I’m an ass. I could have passed it through a food mill or pushed it through a sieve. But I was jetlagged, sick and stupid, and didn’t get there. Mom thought her egg slicer could produce a very fine dice, so we gave it a try:



Um, fail. Even if I rotated it 90 degrees for a second slice….no. My solution? The box grater!


(Tom was entertained by taking action shots while I struggled)

It was hard to get through more than half of the egg before it fell apart in my hand, but the results were perfect:


Nice and fluffy.

Assembly time. I dressed the frisee, tossed it with the bacon, and then topped it with the egg.



Tossed the potatoes with the rest of the dressing, and layered those on top:



We also had steak, beets, beans, and peppers:



And wine and candles.


Still to come: A four-hour pasta recipe from the lovely Suzanne Goin, lots of non-food pictures, thrifting adventures with Tom, fun with purple vegetables, etc.

CSA wrap-up and the onset of winter veg

Yesterday I picked up my first winter share from Stone Soup–two bags full of treats:

Winter share 1

Let’s zoom in a bit, since that is a LOT of stuff.

Winter share 1

Winter share 1

Let’s see, I’m pretty sure it is:
-1 enormous white cabbage
-8 oz. salad greens
-2 rutabagas
-2 heads garlic
-1 head *purple* cauliflower (there were white, cheddar, and romanesco varieties, too!)
-1 stalk of brussels sprouts, OMG I am in love
-2 delicata squashes
-1.5 lbs. daikon radish
-2 bulbs celeriac, yippee!
-2 lbs. onions
-1 bunch of gorgeous little white turnips, with greens
-2 lbs. sweet potatoes
-1 bunch cavolo nero

So exciting. Let’s zoom in even closer on some of my favorites.




I know I’ve said it before, but vegetables just amaze me.

I am alone for a couple nights, so I indulged in a super-simple dinner, even though I knew I should be eating up those perishable greens and saving the sturdy root vegetables for later in the winter.

Dinner for One: Mashed rutabaga and toast

Peel and cut up the rutabaga (preferably not an enormous one):




Boil in salted water until nice and tender.


Mash with butter, salt and pepper. (I have recommended it in the past, but it’s worth repeating: I love my Oxo potato masher, with the handle on top. It’s easy to get enough pressure behind it, and the way it’s designed lets you mash things right in the pot and get to the corners, etc.) Devour with buttery sourdough toast.


I considered frying an egg, but decided to skip it and make popcorn for dessert, instead. I ate the whole bowl while watching CSI reruns and feeling less sorry for myself than I usually do when I am on my own for a few days!

BTW, just in case you’re interested, here’s a slide show of the vegetables from the summer share, from June through October, plus the winter share. If you’re in the Boston area and you’re interested in a great CSA, get on Stone Soup’s mailing list now so you can try to get in on the 2010 action!