All Posts By Food Network Kitchens

Late-Season Success

by in In Season, August 27th, 2009

Around here, temperatures creep above 80 degrees well into late September, making it difficult to think about cool weather food like beets and kohlrabi. But since gardeners are always planning ahead, it’s time to start thinking about planting late-harvest crops and returning seed to the soil for yet another round of delicious rewards.

The same wonderful vegetables (like radishes, lettuces and beans) that appreciate spring’s cooler evenings will thrive when planted in late August to early September, keeping your garden in business past pumpkin season. And consider planting hardy cold-weather vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, carrots, beets, turnips, kale, mustards, spinach and Swiss chard, as well as bulbs like garlic and onions, which will survive even longer.

For the most successful fall garden, try to identify the average date of the first hard frost in your area, and count backwards, planting only seeds whose “days until harvest” fall within this time frame. If temperatures drop quickly in your area, consider planting in raised beds and pots, where the ground stays warmer longer, and can be moved inside in the event of an early frost.

But we don’t have to worry about frost just yet, so get out there and keep digging.

Sarah Copeland, Recipe Developer and Good Food Gardens Spokesperson

The Old Man and the Marinade

by in View All Posts, August 24th, 2009

ernest-hemingway-marinades

Although I am the last person who should be casting aspersions on other people’s brand extensions — really? This is a good idea?

…They hadn’t seen a marinated steak in forty days. It made the boy sad that they had marinades but no steak to eat them on. The old man had taught the boy to rope the cows that once marinated would eventually become their steak. The old man had scars on his hands from the ropes used to catch cows but those scars were not fresh. It had been years since the old man had roped a cow and then marinated it. The boy said “Remember how once we roped eighty-seven cows and marinated steak?” “I remember” said the old man.

[EMD via YesButNoButYes]

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

In Which I Continue to Poison My Colleagues

by in View All Posts, August 21st, 2009

Anyone who’s ever visited the Food Network’s kitchens knows just how immaculate they are: all gleaming, crumbless surfaces and floors you could eat off of. And yet in even the most spotless of kitchens, there is always something better left uningested. The overwhelming majority of these somethings cannot be seen without the aid of a microscope and, fortunately, are rendered harmless by the miracle of cooking. But every once in a while some foreign object inexplicably finds its way into the kitchen. So let me explain. Yes, in a test kitchen lowboy, on the bottom shelf, all the way back, in the plastic container,  is a LIVE VIRUS TYPHOID VACCINE. Yes, it is mine. Me me me. All mine. I did it. And I can explain.

Owing to a doctor’s error earlier this week I find myself in the possession of a rather expensive vaccine that I don’t actually need and probably shouldn’t take. And due to force of law, neither my pharmacist nor my doctor is allowed to accept it for proper disposal. So today the vaccine sits in the lowboy, in a very strange sort of limbo. And until I can determine the safest way to dispose of it, there it will stay. Help!

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

One Old Potato

by in In Season, August 20th, 2009

my-uncle-harvesting-potatoes

My mother, who was blessed with a green thumb, has always loved to garden and grow plants and herbs of all kinds. As a child, I always remember her saving the pits of almost anything, sticking some toothpicks in them and placing them in water to see if they would root.

This season she tried her hand at potted terrace grown potatoes with fantastic results. She is so proud of her potatoes, and with good reason. They cook up creamy and sweet, with all the fresh potato goodness that you get from a good farmers’ market potato.

My co-workers, many of them who are urban gardeners as well, were very impressed and wanted to know more about growing your own potatoes, so I decided to ask mom some questions and get some tips that I could pass along.

CONTINUE READING

Let Them Eat Cake

by in View All Posts, August 17th, 2009

For years, I’ve listened to all of my older relatives rave about my long-deceased great grandmother Rose’s graham cracker cake. I never had the opportunity to taste it, as she passed away while my mother was pregnant with me, but everyone loved how pudding-like, dense, and delicious the cake was.

Rose never shared her secret of how to make it with anyone, but did leave behind a very cryptic recipe card with no instructions other than “beat egg whites separately.” Several relatives had tried it, but none could duplicate the pudding-like consistency. One of my cousins recently e-mailed me a scan of the card and I found the challenge to be irresistible.

CONTINUE READING

It Came From The Library: Julie & Julia Edition

by in News, August 14th, 2009

As noted by the sharp media critics over at EatMeDaily, the real star of the culture storm that is Julie & Julia turns out to be a book. Check the numbers: Since the film’s opening, Julia Child’s seminal Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 has been Amazon’s overall number 1 (now 2) bestseller. Which leads one to wonder whether, in addition to rekindling America’s love affair with Julia, Julie & Julia will also mark a resurgence of interest in French cuisine. Is the movie likely to alter in a significant way the place of French cuisine in American culture? Does Julie & Julia shut the door on the era of the freedom fry?

The latter, a bit, perhaps. Maybe the film will make a tiny dent in our national Francophobia. But as for restoring French hegemony to matters of cooking and dining: very unlikely. While there have been anecdotal reports of cooking classes selling out (a trend the recession started) and bistros filling-up, the social forces behind the declining status of French cuisine — the globalization of taste, the democratization of fine dining and international travel — are just too broad and well-established. Today’s center of culinary gravity lies solidly in the Mediterranean, somewhere between Rome and Barcelona, perhaps inching in the direction of Athens, and for all their butter-drenched magnetism, neither Julia nor Julie nor Julie & Julia are likely to move it.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Seed Saving

by in In Season, August 14th, 2009

Now is a great time to start thinking about saving seeds for next season, which will make next year’s crop an even bigger bargain. It’s also one of the smartest ways to encourage an increasingly healthy and abundant garden year after year, since seeds you save from this season are naturally engineered toward your distinct climate and soil.

Different seeds have different needs (for example, tomato seeds need special processing), but here are a few basic tips to help you get started:

  • Chose fully ripe, healthy, blue ribbon veggies from your garden as seed saving candidates. Save seeds from peppers that have reached their final color, squash that is fully grown, healthy, and ripe, and mature, evenly-shaped beans.
  • Separate seeds from the fruit or pulp if necessary, and rinse well in a strainer. Lay the seeds out in a single layer to dry completely for two to three days. A fully dried seed should crack in half easily (discard broken seeds). Beans can be dried in their pods on the plant. Then pick, open, and drop seeds into a pouch.
  • Save seeds in an envelope in a dry, cool place, well-labeled with instructions for the next season.

Use your seeds within one year for best results, and swap them with your friends and neighbors for an even more diverse garden next season.

For a plant-by-plant guide for best seed saving practices, visit the International Seed Saving Institute at SeedSave.org.

Sarah Copeland, Recipe Developer and Good Food Gardens Spokesperson

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