Tag Archives: Recipes

Summer Observations

25 Aug

This is most definitely the best time of year for produce at the farmers’ market. Just about everything that is available at any time of year in the Bay Area is in season. My favorite things available right now are the fresh beans (black-eyed peas, cranberry and edamame) the wonderful berries (blueberry, strawberry, blackberry and raspberry,) fresh mission figs and dry farmed heirloom and early bird tomatoes. There are plenty of squash varieties too and lots of interesting melons. I love keeping track of when certain things are in season. Blueberries, edamame and figs tend to have a relatively small window of availability and I look forward to the different seasons of produce.

This is also the time of year for tourists. The city is full of visitors right now and, as I live in one of the most visited parts of San Francisco, I run into them frequently. It is interesting to see the different kinds of tourists, where the are from and how they respond to the small mountain of steps they must walk up or down when visiting Coit Tower. The gardens on Telegraph Hill are in full bloom right now, and continental Europeans walk up and down the hundreds of steps with ease, while British and American tourists voice there disbelief at the thought of anyone actually living here. How do people go shopping? Do they have to CARRY everything up and down these steps? How much further is it? What do you do if you need to run and get some milk?

Sometimes I feel like a bit of an oddity as I turn towards the building I live in and away from the people-filled steps as they watch me carrying groceries or household items. My cat is fond of following us up and down the steps as well and sometimes I catch her posing for photographs with the tourists. It’s terribly adorable and I often get the urge to tell people that she is my cat. She walks around like she owns the place.

Now, back to the food! Below are the recipes that I have made today, using the wonderful local ingredients that we picked up today.

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What Is This Herb? – Revisited

12 Aug

Some time ago I wrote about a strange herb that I acquired at the farmers’ market. I was told that it was called water mint, but all the photographs and information I found online could not confirm that. Thanks to a blog post over at Pinoy Cook, I think I have discovered what this plant actually is: Water Spinach!

Now to start searching for recipes!

Some interesting historical information about the water spinach here.

Health, Food and Human History: Grains and Beans

28 Jul

One thing that fascinates me to no end is the history of food and human civilization. Throughout history, humans have been developing ways to cultivate and prepare food, sometimes for flavor but more often than not, it seems, for nutrition, digestion and preservation. What I find difficult to get my head around, is the idea that thousands of years ago, humans figured out food combinations that had the most nutritional value. Beans and grains, for example, often form a complete protein when paired together. In the Americas, beans and corn has been a popular combination for thousands of years. Beans, containing all of the amino acids but the one contained in corn: methionine.

Below are some interesting links containing information about the history of these foods as well as recipes:

Mother Earth News: Pinto Beans and Corn

Food Reference: Beans

Veg Paradise: Corn, The A-Maize-Ing Grain

I’ve also put together a recipe of my own. Sausage and Mushroom Succotash.

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An “Asian Delight” Christmas

23 Dec

This year I have decided to make a Japanese meal for Christmas. But really it’s a mixture of various Asian cuisines. I’m also throwing in some traditional twists. It will be interesting to see how it all turns out. We’re also using mostly local ingredients. Too bad they don’t grow cranberries around here…

Here’s what I’m making!

Cranberry Apple Cider (with Orange)

Steamed Sponge Cake with Cranberry Honey Glaze

Korean Seasoned Potatoes

Goma Ae (Spinach with Seasame)

Shrimp on Sugarcane Skewers

Vegetable Tempura

Deep Fried Chestnut Balls with Cranberry Sesame Soy Dipping Sauce

Ebi Maki (Shrimp Roll)

Daikon Salad

Thanksgiving and purple stars!

24 Nov

Thanksgiving was very nice. We had dinner with some friends of mine and the meal was really quite healthy. I was especially impressed with the cubed sweet potatoes cooked with orange juice. It made a very nice change from the standard candied yams. I made succotash with kidney beans and black eyed peas and a squash pie…

Squash Pie

Also, my significant other and I have devised a rating system for my recipes. So keep an eye out for the “Purkle Stars”.

Don’t blame it on the food, blame it on the chef!

24 Oct

Though I am not strictly vegan, I certainly tend to cook only vegan meals at home. I also don’t generally have relationships with people that are vegan, or even vegetarian. So, cooking for two or more can certainly be a challenge – not without the occasional sigh or disappointed pout.

I am currently in a a relationship with an amazing person and though he is not vegetarian or vegan and does enjoy his processed foodstuffs (for now!!!) he is quite a good cook and has an appreciation for good food.  At first, he was decidedly wary about what kinds of ‘vegan food’ I might make him eat. He’d lived with vegans in the past that made “awful  shit”. So naturally, he wasn’t expecting the food to be very good.

The following recipes have resulted in various swears and obscenities mainly because “It’s not supposed to taste good! It’s VEGAN!” I hope you will find them tasty and useful and if we’re lucky you can freak out some meat-eaters too!

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