Archive for May 17, 2010

Stewing Over The Weather

   Let’s see now:  We had summer in early April and autumn in early May.  The poor little irises were quaking in their roots, but we bravely carried on, fueled by comforting culinary concoctions.  As I savored a few days of freedom to steam up the kitchen, I reminded myself that I’ll be wishing for a little of this “coolth” when I’m sweltering away in – oh, I don’t know…October, maybe?  Or perhaps next Tuesday. 

With last week starting out gloomy and cold, I made soup three times and stew once, so today’s ruminations are dominated by thoughts of one-mish-deals, as my dear father-in-law used to call them.  Wednesday, an unconventional but heart-healthy lunch of sardines on Rye Crisp® and a simple lentil soup made by softening 2/3 cups each of chopped red onion, chopped celery, and chopped green pepper in a bit of canola oil in a heavy pot, adding this to lentils (1/2 cup dried, cooked for 25 minutes in four cups of water), then “souping up” the combination with a 14 oz can of chicken stock.  Throw in a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning and there you go, or I went, or whatever.  You could add chopped ham for protein if you’re forgoing the sardines in spite of the testimonial below.  Makes about two servings. 

According to, sardines are a storehouse of nutritional value offering omega 3 essential fatty acids, rich supplies of vitamin D, Vitamin B12 (for a healthy nervous system), and calcium – made more absorbable by the vitamin D.  They are also one of the few food sources rich in phosphorus (a boon to kidneys, bones, and teeth), and they are low in calories.  Enhance their mild flavor with a pinch of onion powder, perhaps, and munch them, bones and all, on whole grain crackers for a guiltless pleasure.  For a tongue-tantalizing treat, top off this meal with a few slabs of caramelized mango, peeled and cooked au naturel over medium low on a grill pan for at least 30 minutes. 

For the less adventuresome, how about a nice bowl of Pea and Sweet Potato Soup topped with Pulled Parmesan Croutons, Creamy Potato Soup with Gruyère, or Pork Stew with Garbanzo Beans.  And for dessert, a Brown Rice Pudding with Dates and Sugared Almonds – inspired by my well-worn 1965 Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook. Dare we call this a polite way to thumb our noses at Mother Nature?    (more…)

May 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm Leave a comment

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