Whole Wheat and Cavities

Flour probably isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when you think of fresh food, but what baker hasn’t opened a container of whole wheat flour only to smell that it’s gone rancid? Refined flour’s staying power on the shelf is one of the things that has led to its popularity, but unfortunately, the reason it…

Green Bean Mini Quiches

When I got asked to bring a dish to a party this weekend, I knew I had to find some way to use both the eggs and the green beans that have been crowding our refrigerator. Thus was born the green bean quiche! The green beans are shredded in the food processor so that they…

Is the Next Step Drinking Everything through a Straw?

Yesterday, I was cutting up a watermelon from the garden–a cute little 6-lb. Sugar Baby–when I thought to myself, My daughter is going to complain about the fact that it has seeds. “Yes, darling,” I began the reply in my head, “once upon a time all watermelons had seeds, and everyone knew how to spit them…

The Cost of Canning

After a sweaty afternoon spent laboring over pots of boiling water and green beans, I can’t help but ask myself: is it worth it? Is it worth a couple of hours on my feet–fingertips turning to prunes as they’re plunged repeatedly into the rinsing water–to turn 6 1/2 pounds of fresh beans into 5 quarts of canned ones? I…

Cheap and Easy Granola

Granola is so expensive to buy in the store, and when you do, you can’t get it without a host of unpronounceable items in the ingredients list. But sometimes I just crave it. Maybe it’s those whole grains: oats and whole wheat flour, and whatever seeds and nuts are added. In any case, I finally…

Strawberry Tortellini Salad

I’ve been crazy busy this spring, what with buying a new house and getting married! But not so busy that I haven’t been able to pick fresh strawberries almost every day. Our ever-bearing variety, Tristar, started bearing May 12 and has been going strong ever since. Homegrown strawberries are so delicious that you don’t really…

Does Your Rooster Taste Funny?

I don’t currently keep chickens, because of deed restrictions in my family’s subdivision. My soon-to-be father-in-law, however, has a nice little property unencumbered by rules against poultry (or any other livestock, for that matter), and he’s been keeping chickens for the last year or so. He’s done it the old-fashioned way: hatching them himself and…

Fresh Winter Food: Turnips

Most people don’t think of winter as a season in which you can garden, but here in Virginia, you certainly can–even without greenhouses or cold frames. One of the foods we planted last fall and haven’t had to protect all winter is turnips. Now, it’s true that the temperatures down in the twenties a couple…

Garlic Harvest, Part II

A couple of weeks ago, I pulled the garlic from the garden and spread it to dry, stems and all, on the concrete floor under our deck. A couple of days later, I peeled off the outer leaves, culled for the refrigerator a few of the bulbs that were showing some deterioration, and, for convenience’s…

It’s Summer!

Today’s temperatures peaked in the nineties again, but that’s not why I’m exclaiming about its being summer. It’s because the first squash came in from the garden today–Yellow Crookneck and Tender Grey Zucchini. Along with them came a gorgeous green pepper (Jupiter) and the first Riesentraube cherry tomatoes. The tomatoes and green pepper we ate…