- 2 bags organic roasted dandelion root tea (teabagged in Canada if possible)
- 2 cups cold water (or so)
- couple teaspoons Grade B maple syrup (or so)
“Decoct” the tea by simmering it in the water for about 10 minutes. Remove teabags, let cool. Stir in maple syrup to taste. Pour into an old Ball jar for storage. Refrigerate and drink cold, straight from the jar, while re-reading an ancient copy of the Tassajara Cookbook.
Kentucky Jam Cake Cookies.
- Make your favorite thumbprint/roll cookie recipe. I used one from the Joy of Cooking. Use light brown sugar instead of white; add a teaspoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of allspice. Chill the dough, form it into balls.
- Rolling the edges in finely-chopped walnuts would be nice and extra-authentic, but I didn’t have any.
- Press your thumb (or other digit) into the dough. Fill the indentations with good blackberry jam.
- Bake per recipe instructions.
- Pro tip: if you disregard warnings about flour measuring methodology, your cookies will come out slightly crumbly — as mine did. They were delicious despite that, and also despite the fact that I made them exactly one week after the Kentucky Derby.
Twice, maybe three times a year I develop a non-negotiable craving for kasha, race to the store to purchase a fresh box, cook a giant pot of it and eat some every day for at least a week.
I attribute this phenomenon to several factors:
- My pseudo-Polish blood (great-grandmother Mary Jedlicka grew up in what was then Bohemia, but implied in her later years that the family may have been Polish or somewhat Polish);
- My honorary Polish status, conferred upon me in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1997 (long story);
- My fondness for most cooked grains, especially those that manage to be a little mushy and a little chewy at the same time;
- My passion for foods that taste like dirt.
Anyway, it’s a kasha phase right now. I’ve been eating it for lunch with cooked chickpeas, roasted eggplant, shallot, olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and a hard-boiled egg garnish. Sort of Atlantic Avenue meets Brighton Beach, which reminds me of:
- The Polish diner in Williamsburg where my cousin and I repaired most Saturday mornings, after we’d washed our faces and scrubbed the wineglass circles from the kitchen table. We always ordered omelets, which came with toast (white, wheat or rye) and a choice of potatoes or kasha (no contest).
If the current kasha craze continues into next week, I’m thinking mushrooms, lots of mushrooms. WWLC&RD?
If your eyes interpret “persimmon” as “permission,” the recipe suddenly becomes a lot more interesting.
That’s not a suggestion. That’s a promise.
Once a staple in lunch boxes of blue-collar workers, sardine cans now collect dust in pantries and cupboards — the last resort in a power outage, perhaps.
Nation’s Last Sardine Cannery Closing
1. Rye or pumpernickel bread, red onion, slices of hard-boiled egg, sardines, mustard and/or mayonnaise to taste.
2. White or whole-wheat bread, sardines, mustard, a couple drops of hot sauce if you have it. (This is the simplest, and also my favorite. If you are out of bread you can apply the mustard directly to the sardines and eat with a fork.)
3. White or whole-wheat or anadama bread, sardines, a fancy spread: spicy chutney or a good red pepper jam.
4. Baguette slices, sardines, drop of olive oil, drizzle of lemon, chopped parsley.
5. I’ve never tried this one myself but someone told me sardines and mashed avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice, on sourdough or other sturdy bread, is delicious.
1. Thinly slice and roast one fennel bulb. Saute an onion in some olive oil, then add a large jar of crushed tomatoes or your favorite jarred pasta sauce. Stir in the roasted fennel and a can or two of sardines (remove bones and flake). Toss with cooked rotini or other twisty shape. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and black pepper.
2. Stir a can of de-boned, mashed sardines into a bowl of leftover plain pasta, any shape. Squeeze of lemon. Lots of pepper. Eat.
2a. Variation: Stir a can of de-boned, mashed sardines into a bowl of leftover plain pasta, any shape. Squeeze of lemon. Some leftover cooked cannellini beans and/or a few handfuls of strong-tasting greens, like arugula. Asparagus or fiddleheads would work too. Pepper. Eat.
1. Sardine dip: Put 2 cans of sardines, a block of cream cheese, the juice of half a lemon, a tablespoon or two of minced onion or scallion, and a tablespoon of minced parsley in a blender or food processor.
2. Fried sardines: Pat dry. Dredge in flour, roll in seasoned crumbs, fry. Careful, they fall apart.
3. Sardine pie: Use sardines instead of canned salmon in your friend’s Canadian grandfather’s famous salmon pie recipe (sorry, I can’t give you any more details than that).