Author Archives | Dianna
Bowls of tomatoes, waiting for fruit flies to find them

The Garden’s Last Gasp: Fried Green Tomatoes

We pulled our tomato plants just before the killing frost last week and although we simply threw most of them onto our long-term compost pile, we hesitated over the remains of our heirloom plants. We decided to pick out the rest of those tomatoes, both green and red.  Michael said, “How about fried green tomatoes?” […]

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Yorkshire pudding, all puffed up

{recipe} Cold Weather Cooking: Yorkshire Pudding

I spent a summer in Europe after I graduated from high school. On my travels, I went to visit a friend in Leeds and her grandmother made Yorkshire pudding for dinner on a particularly cold day in August. I don’t remember what I was expecting, probably dessert, but I was smitten from the first bite. […]

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Grapes trellised on the side of our house

{diy project} Wine Grape Jelly

A few years ago my husband planted four wine grape vines to trellis up around our deck and onto the side of our house.  He bought St. Croix, the most cold-hardy red wine grape he could find.  The vines have been vigorous and have created a beautiful bower of greenery, filled this time of year […]

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Misshapen but yummy naan

{bread making} Homemade Naan

We are trying hard to cultivate frugality so we can stop working and do what we want; writing, gardening and traveling.  This is not an easy lift for me.  I have taken to silently chanting “cessation of desire”  every time I step into a store.  Because of our life style goals, that is, life without […]

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wheat heads

Experimenting with Green Wheat: Freekeh & Gruenkern

While obsessively researching wheat on the web, my husband Michael came across a description of freekeh, or Gruenkern (pronounced groon cairn), that is, green wheat.  It is apparently something of a craze in certain foodie/grainy circles of people and a traditional food in both the Middle East and a few villages near Wurzburg, Germany; go […]

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I have rediscovered ten pound bags of oranges

{reflections on food} Eat Vegan Before 6

I have been thinking a lot about diet in the last couple of years, partly as a result of writing for this blog, partly because I have had a sedentary job for nearly two decades and it is wreaking havoc on my aging body.  I do lots of things right, I exercise by walking up […]

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Paella for dinner, lunch, dinner again

{classic recipe} Paella

A friend of mine just came back from a trip to Spain raving about the people, architecture, sunshine and food.  It reminded me that I wanted to try making paella.  Classic paella is made with chicken, chorizo and shrimp but I am allergic to shrimp and don’t eat anything smarter than my dog, including pigs. […]

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{diy project} Open Hearth Cooking

This year we decided to try cooking on our temporary outdoor fireplace while we boiled our sap into maple syrup.  Cast iron is perfect for cooking on coals.  Being pack rats, we just happen to have a vintage cast iron twelve-inch three-legged Dutch oven that someone gave us a couple of years ago because he […]

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Yum, pizza!

{diy project} High Achieving Slothfulness

We make maple syrup by tapping neighborhood trees every year and boiling the sap down in our driveway on a make-shift cinder block fireplace.  This year our syruping partner Lin suggested that we try using the fire to cook while we sat around all day drinking rum and watching the sap boil; a kind of […]

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Homemade pita points with homemade hummus

{bread making} Homemade Pita Bread

I am going to a party tonight to which I foolishly volunteered to bring a “snack.”  Since it is my busy season at work and I have spent the last two weekends partying hard, I have not gone to the grocery store in three weeks. So this morning I looked around my kitchen and thought, […]

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Remy's hello Kitty birthday cake

{baking basics 101} Let Them Eat Birthday Cake

I have a very large and scary birthday coming up in two weeks.  Last fall I pledged to lose twenty pounds to confront it and, while I did manage to lose 8 pounds, I am  painfully aware that I fell short of my goal.  I think I will drown my sorrows in birthday cake. I […]

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home grown turtle beans

{Planning the Garden 2013} Homegrown Dry Beans

While the debate about gun control rages around us, we are quietly getting ready for the zombie apocalypse by planning our garden instead of amassing weapons.  I am not a survivalist, but I do like the idea of being able to eat a nutritionally balanced diet out of our garden in case there is a […]

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toasted nuts for the biscotti

{edible gift} Biscotti, Cookies for Adults

I am not a real fan of cookies. I mean sometimes I will eat one but I am usually disappointed and think they are not worth the calories.  So when people bring Christmas cookies to my house, I let my husband, sons and granddaughter polish them off without regret.  There is one kind of Christmas […]

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{edible gifts} Two Gifts in Under 20 Minutes

  ‘Tis the season to give gifts, even small ones. I give a fair number of edible gifts to friends, but most of them take weeks or months to prepare. For example, we make around 3 gallons of maple syrup every spring and only use one gallon or so a year ourselves. We give the […]

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Standing wheat, ready for harvest

{home wheat production} Crackers From Scratch

We have been wandering in the desert of home wheat production for three years now.  We could see the mountaintop, but were not sure we could get there.  Although it is not that hard to grow wheat, harvesting, threshing and milling all present real technical problems to overcome for home growers. We learned how to scythe, then […]

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