Today I’m going to share with you the recipe that turned me into a regular homemade bread baker. You may have heard of it before. It’s Jim Lahey’s magical No-Knead bread and it became an internet sensation some years back. Over the years, I’ve introduced many people to this bread and most of them have exclaimed after the first bite that it’s the best bread they’ve ever eaten. Yes, that’s how good this bread is.
Spring is in the air! And these days, the chickens are laying eggs like there’s no tomorrow.
This hearty, warming and deeply flavorful lentil stew is a great way to use up frozen tomatoes, or blemished overripe ones that have been sitting on your counter too long. And since it’s clean-out-the-freezer time of year, I’ve been scrambling to use up a whole assortment of random things from the freezer lately to make space for the bounty that this new growing season is about to bring. There’s oh, only about a gazillion jars of pestos (garlic scape, basil, cilantro pesto, you name it we have it), bags of salsa verde, tubs of rhubarb sauce… But the most space-consuming of all are the giant ziplock bags filled with tomatoes that we hurriedly shoved in there last fall.
As a kid growing up in Québec, maple syrup season was a much anticipated time of year. Every March, the local maple syrup producers would set-up rows of snow-packed troughs that stretched all the way down the schoolyard in preparation for tire d’érable (maple syrup taffy). From grades one through six, the entire student body would pack like sardines, a rainbow of hats and scarves, popsicle sticks in hand, as generous ribbons of hot golden maple syrup were poured all up and down the snow. There would be an awestruck silence as we watched the hot syrup solidify into a gooey taffy as it hit the snow and then we snapped into action, wrapping as much of the taffy as we could around our little sticks.
It has always pained me to buy salad greens that have been shipped from halfway around the country. In the summer, salad greens are easy to grow or purchase locally. But in these colder months, there aren’t really any local options where I live. So this winter, I decided I would grow my own baby salad greens right in my home. Even though it’s a snowy tundra outside my window, I’ve had a steady flow of vibrant microgreens, grown right on my windowsill. It’s been a very delicious (and very nutritious) adventure!
What do Valentine’s Day, the Olympics, and these pancakes have in common? Beets!!!
In my family, Christmas is all about food. We don’t spend a lot of money on presents (we hand-make many of our gifts), and we generally don’t make much of a fuss about it. It’s more about spending cozy time together by the fire and going for long walks in the snow. But when it comes to food, we like to go all out, splurge a little, and put a lot of love into some special seasonal dishes.