Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter Sustenance

Taking a break from the lambing today..... I enjoy cooking and a bit of baking - especially when I have time to try out new recipes. In the summer with the longer days and our farming schedule, I don't have the luxury of such experimentation. Over the weekend, my mom and my two nephews Nicholas and Francisco who have been living in Brazil came up and spent the weekend with us. Besides lots of teaching them all about sheep farming, we made a bunch of really great meals. Friday night we made homemade pasta. Before we cooked it, we hung it on the kitchen line to keep it neat. It looked like this.

I love Marcella Hazan's cookbooks - especially Essentials of Italian Cooking. I use her basic pasta recipe and it never fails. Depending on the weather, I need to add more flour or water. We served it with Marcella's simple ham, mushroom, and cream sauce. I used ham from my own pigs so it was a pretty fun meal.


My great longtime friend Linda and I share a love of cooking (along with a love of knitting and yarn). She always gives me the most amazing cookbooks for my birthdays and Christmas. I look forward to what she picks for me and it is tough for me to reciprocate with equally amazing books (but I try). For my 50th, Linda gave me Jamie At Home by Jamie Oliver. I love this cookbook - the photos, the paper, the chapter openers are all so arfully done. I'm using the short winter days to browse through it and decide what to make. Here is one of the hand-printed feeling intros to onions. Throughout the book, there are tips for growing veggies and lovely block-prints. It's a visual feast.

The book brings you right there - to Jamie's garden and kitchen. Last summer, I made his amazing ketchup with my garden's tomato glut. Next summer, I highly suggest you try it too! It really isn't ketchup like you know.


For Christmas, Linda gave me James Beard's Fireside Cookbook. It is a 60th anniversary edition. I love reading this book and thinking back to when cooking was different -- when there weren't the choices in the grocery store that we have now. The Fireside Cookbook is illustrated by Martin and Alice Provensen. Perhaps you know their work with Margaret Wise Brown and "The Color Kittens." I am crazy for all the illustrations. Here are a few delightful samples.

At the Fair:

The endpapers:


Delighful spot art:


The book jacket of this book unfolds and a poster is printed on the wrong side. What a gift it is! Thanks so much Linda. I've got to start cooking from it soon.

I relish more chances to read and cook and knit in the winter. How about you?

13 comments:

Hilary said...

I, too, get more chances to read and cook and knit in the winter. I made a venison roast in my new cast iron dutch oven the other day and it was far better than any I have ever made in a crock pot. I am on my 8th knitting project of the new year and I have with me today a brand new copy of Kristin Knits to read. :-)

Hilary

bwilliams said...

When my daughter was a preteen we made ketchup as well. This was at a time before the Crock Pot added joy to recipes that needed to simmer forever (ketchup, tomato sauce, apple butter, etc.). We both stirred that ketchup until our arms were about ready to drop off...all for a measley 5 or 6 pints. But WOW that was KETCHUP; the elixir of the gods. We will never forget the taste. However, every time the subject of making ketchup comes up we just look at each other and shake our heads with a unananimous "NAH". Since I have now made apple butter in ye ol' crock pot, I might just try ketchup again though.

bwilliams said...

When my daughter was a preteen we made ketchup as well. This was at a time before the Crock Pot added joy to recipes that needed to simmer forever (ketchup, tomato sauce, apple butter, etc.). We both stirred that ketchup until our arms were about ready to drop off...all for a measley 5 or 6 pints. But WOW that was KETCHUP; the elixir of the gods. We will never forget the taste. However, every time the subject of making ketchup comes up we just look at each other and shake our heads with a unananimous "NAH". Since I have now made apple butter in ye ol' crock pot, I might just try ketchup again though.

Rane said...

Yeah we have a new President!
There is so much seting on his
sholders. The faith of so many,
and the hope of the past. I
wish that all he says and tries
comes to pass, Bless him.
Rane and kids.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anonymous said...

I love Jamie at Home - did you get the TV show over in the US. It was as beautiful to look at as the book and, hurrah, the recipes work!
Jenny from handmag.com

ElvaUndine said...

Yum! Pasta banner!

I love love love those endpapers. I was lucky enough to grab a bunch of free kids' books from the 60s and they have the most fun illustrations and endpapers. (http://flickr.com/photos/elvaundine/sets/72157603656552522/ if you're interested!) The 2 and 3-color varieties are really comforting, for some reason.

Laura, Lulabellesview said...

Oh, I see you are a fellow cookbook lover. Yes, I relish the chances to read and cook more in the winter. If only I could knit like you................... :)

Anonymous said...

I refer to myself as a cookbook addict. I love to read them and I love to cook. My hubby and I will always gravitate to the cookbook section when we are at a used book store. It's a way to indulge our habit and not break the bank! A big find over the summer was a candy-making book from the 1940's. I hope to make some of the caramels and maple candy soon.

The last several summers I've been making a freezing tomato paste. Perhaps, I'll try to make some ketchup this summer.

Although I really do enjoy cooking, I find it easier to motivate myself in the spring, summer, and fall when I have fresh produce from my garden. With good produce, it's so easy to make really good, but really simple food.

Penny said...

oh how those cookbook illustrations bring me back!

yum! happy food memories.

i heart jamie oliver. i saw the episode of his show when he makes the ketchup and i hope to make some of my own in my bity kitchen next summer.

Deborah said...

The Color Kittens!!! One of my favorites. I have the well-worn copy I had as a child and found another at a used bookstore years ago. Yes,those beautifully illustrated books are wonderful treasures. Now if I could just find a copy of "I Can Fly"...

mascanlon said...

I love cook books and if I find one or two things from each one that I love and make I can justify buying another! I have added these two to my buy list. I love Jamie Olivier and had hoped to get his for Christmas. I can't really complain I got Ina Garten, the new Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics instead! And the pasta sounds divine.

Joanne said...

Cookbooks are a passion of mine too! My husband bought me Arabesque by Claudia Roden for my birthday, along with "Simple Suppers" (Moosewood) and the Arab Table. Whew, we've been eating well...and even when I'm not eating, I'm drooling all over the new cookbooks!

I especially love canning cookbooks...my favorite is the Art of Preserving by Jan Berry. All sorts of fabulous chutneys, jams, sauces, etc.

nina scripps said...

Hi, I'm Nina in Carolina. I used to raise sheep in Michigan for many years. I remember the storms. Thank you for sharing these pictures to remind me of the good memories and smells. I also remember walking to the barn in the middle of the nite to check for new lambs in sub zero temps, wind blowing snow into the tracks as you walk away, carrying 2 5gallon buckets of hot water to thaw the water in their drinking tub or warm newborn frozen lambs as the barn water had already frozen days before... ahh yes, great to now be retired in North Carolina in the Great Smoky Mountains doing my own business here: www.RivendellCabin.com Come and visit one day to relax and refresh from your hard farm work. Thanks for sharing this today!