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Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Simple pleasures

By MARY MCCLINTOCK

While I enjoy elaborate meals, sometimes simple is best. I’ve been thinking about simple pleasures since Gloria Meluleni from Bernardston’s Coyote Hill Farm said her favorite way to eat Gilfeather turnips is boiled, mashed, with butter, salt, and pepper. That’s certainly one of my favorite ways to enjoy Gilfeathers or potatoes.

I just discovered another simple favorite “recipe” for potatoes. Just wash the potatoes, make thin slices across the whole potato almost all the way through (so it looks like pages in a book), drizzle with olive oil and butter, salt and pepper, and then bake on a roasting pan for 40 minutes at 425 degrees. Tasty!

I also learned a wonderful way to cook apples. Slice apples into thin wedges, spread out on a roasting pan, put a little bit of water or cider in the pan, and then roast at 375 degrees or so until the apples are really soft. Something about cooking them this way concentrates the apple flavor and sweetness (even if you use tart apples). To me, it tastes like eating pie without the crust or spices.

Roasted apple slices are a simple, yummy dessert by themselves, and they’re amazing with oatmeal or yogurt. Thinking about eating roasted apple slices with Bart’s Ginger ice cream makes my mouth water.

Got apples? Many local orchard farm stores are open this winter, including Clarkdale, Pine Hill, Apex and others. Check out CISA’s website at www.buylocalfood.org to find an orchard farm store near you.

What simple pleasures are you enjoying this winter? I hope you’ll share your simple favorites.

Greenfield Winter Farmers Market, Greenfield High School, 1 Lenox Ave., Saturdays, Jan. 4, Feb. 1 and March 1, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Fresh vegetables, squash and root veggies, apples, cheese, canned preserves and pickles, meat, eggs, bread, baked goods, and more. For information, contact: Market Manager Katia Williford at greenfieldwintermarket@gmail.com or visit www.greenfieldfarmersmarket.com.

This Week We’re Eating ...

HOMEMADE YOGURT

By Nicole Spiridakis for National Public Radio

(from www.npr.org/2013/11/06/243014945/yes-it-s-worth-it-to-make-your-own-yogurt)

A few tablespoons of pre-made yogurt gives the necessary base. Use non-fat, low-fat, (unsweetened) soy milk, etc., formula remains the same.

Makes 1 quart of yogurt

1 quart whole milk

1/4 C. plain whole milk yogurt

Have 1 quart jar with a screw-on lid (or several smaller jars) ready and boil water. Pour boiling water into jar and let stand for 5 minutes to sterilize. Pour out water, set aside. In large, heavy-bottomed saucepan heat milk until it reaches 180 degrees on thermometer. Remove from heat, keeping thermometer in pot. When temperature drops to 115 degrees, stir in yogurt until thoroughly incorporated. Pour mixture into jar, screw on lid. Place yogurt in warm place and leave undisturbed for 10 to 12 hours. Wrap jar with towel if your house is cool. For thicker, tangier yogurt, let yogurt sit additional 3 to 5 hours. Refrigerate yogurt for at least 3 hours before eating.

GREEK-STYLE YOGURT

Makes 2 C.

Line medium-large bowl with cheesecloth and dump 2 C. of homemade yogurt into center of cloth. Bring four corners of cloth together and lift yogurt over bowl and twist corners to squeeze out liquid (it will drain through cloth). Continue squeezing to force out liquid. When majority of surface liquid has drained, it will drip more slowly. Tie off top of cloth just above mass of yogurt with string. Place cloth containing yogurt in strainer or colander and place strainer or colander in a bowl where it doesn’t touch bottom; liquid will continue to drain. Place bowl containing strainer/colander in refrigerator and let drain for 2 to 3 hours. After draining, take cloth containing yogurt and put it in sink (do not remove string). Using your hands, squeeze out remaining liquid. Remove string, open cloth and using spatula, scrape out yogurt into a bowl. Yogurt should be at least as thick as sour cream.

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