Time in the kitchen

How true what Jeremy Rock Smith points out in the current Maranda Pleasant's Origin magazine in his article "The Yoga of Cooking":
If you can make a meal in 20 minutes, but it takes you 3 hours to clean up, that doesn't count as time-saving...
I was also interested in what the fantastic Alice Hart says in her wonderful The New Vegetarian (which is, in case you were wondering, an entirely new book, not a repeat of her also-wonderful Vegetarian), that very few people can really really plan a week's or more worth of marvelous meals very well. In other words, if you have the time, it's certainly not bad just to relax and plan and source fewer meals at a time! I had to do that in Manhattan, because I couldn't carry home a zillion bags from the shop, even though it was just downstairs. Besides, it was so easy to stop into the wonderful shop, which was not only next to my apartment building but to my subway and bus stops, and of course I got fresher produce in the house that way.

Mr. Smith in the same article also speaks of how it's wise to adjust the way you eat to how you're feeling, which of course can vary day to day -- another reason not to plan and source all at once, unless of course you want or need to do so....

By the way, Ms. Pleasant's magazines have the most beautiful food photography and kindest writers! who stand up so strongly for what is right. Here's the one I mention above: https://www.originmagazine.com/ .

and some that show off the food even more, https://www.mythrivemag.com/ :

and https://www.mantramag.com/ :

One-Stage Cookery, c1960

Featuring a margarine they claimed mixed nicely....I'm only seeing it mentioned in UK sites. Some sample recipes can be found at the nice site of http://recipespastandpresent.org.uk/blueband.php .

A Fabulous Summer Tomato Vegetarian Main Dish

This was my first meal ever mostly from my own garden! It was so easy and so delicious!

enough for 1 to 2 people; easily doubled

Do to your own taste of course...

Place in glass bowl and toss
    about 3 plum tomatoes cut into wedges and/or cherry tomatoes
    1 large garlic clove, minced
    4 mint branches' leaves, chopped if large
    4 branches of parsley, chopped with their non-thick stems
    a small handful of baby mesclun
    about ½ cup or bit more of black beans cooked
    generous olive oil
    big pinch chipotle chili flakes
    generous black pepper
You can set it aside for a while at this point if you need to.
When ready to serve, stir through
    a big handful shelled pistachios, roasted and salted.
Taste; add salt if required (my pistachios were quite salty already).
Top with
    a generous scoop of creamy ricotta cheese.
Serve with a favorite bread.

Super adapted from Burrata with Cherry Tomatoes and Minty Pistachio Pesto in the July-August 2017 issue of JAMIE magazine. They recommend pistachio oil instead – I'm sure that would be amazing! I so highly recommend this magazine to perk up your cooking and meals!

People who are doing something for the planet

Just when I was feeling rather in despair at living in a country that an evil person is trying to direct, including attacking the planet itself, I saw in the current JAMIE magazine an ad for this:


...And many many thanks not only to them, but to the many people I know are doing so much for our planet in my own country as well. 

Vintage kitchen stuff online and THIS WEEKEND!

I'm in the St Louis area this weekend, and discovered a lovely booth at Vintage Bliss Market at West Port Plaza, Maryland Heights, Missouri, running today and tomorrow, June 24 and 25, 2017, whose owner has an Etsy shop! https://www.etsy.com/shop/YesterdaysCommunique?ref=ss_profile

Her booth was full of things I've always loved, even as a child, like farming magazines my grandpa used to get and story flyers I was given as a child. I found a lovely apron there, and also the coolest cookbook, Lorain Cooking, copyright 1930, from the American Stove Company out of St Louis, featuring recipes that take advantage of their new-fangled oven thermostat, turning temperatures up and down, or trying different temperatures. Nowadays I just see some bread and roasted fowl recipes calling for this approach. How fun! and how appropriate to find in this very area! You can find it online such as at https://www.etsy.com/listing/220704253/lorain-cooking-cookbook-1926 -- I should mention that mine was in much better condition:

Illtud Llyr Dunsford, time-traveling cook

...from Wales. About him in this month's Jamie magazine, to which I just got a long-wanted subscription:
[He] delves into the history books for [food] inspiration. "I'm happiest trawling dusty bookshops..." His cinnamon- and ginger-spiced polony sausage, for example, is based on a 17th-century recipe....

Meal planning "helps" that made planning harder

Today is the last day of a weekly meal-planning service to which I had a year subscription -- I am so relieved it's over at last! Because I bought it, I felt I needed to check out the ideas every week...even though they were repetitive, and only appealed to my tastes about once in the entire year. I would say only subscribe to such a service if absolutely sure it fits your tastes or offers a very easy all-your-money-back guarantee.

Besides, though I'd love to have someone else plan my meals for a change, I have zillions of interesting menu and recipe ideas from sources such as this that I can use.

Yikes, I also have a menu book I finally wrote for myself, which unlike any other plans I've seen has 3! snack ideas a day as well as 3 normal meals for every day of the year, many of them drawing from very old sources and historical anniversaries but also featuring original modern recipes. I'd been looking for such a book for years and like so many of my interests I had to end up doing it myself. If I ever offer it to others, as a result of this disappointing experience, I'll definitely either offer it free or give a no-problems money-back guarantee...because obviously we all have different tastes and very few of us have unlimited budgets.

A retro kitchen tiny command center

Last week I finally found a cookbook holder that worked for me! Now I'm even happier because I discovered it will hold all my recipe/menu/cooking ideas and plans for the day! My refrigerator isn't magnetic, boo, but this is! and it holds all sorts of paper things....I found it at https://www.target.com/p/cookbook-holder---3r-studios/-/A-52248760 -- the same people make other retro styles and colors, if this one doesn't suit you. (PS It doesn't come with magnets -- this is one I found years ago at a street fair in northern Ohio, made by a fabulous lady couple from Indiana. Note that because the metal holder is embossed, it needs to be a strong magnet.)

What Shall I Cook Today?, c1936

Published by Lever Brothers, makers of Spry shortening. It includes some time-saving ideas (one could substitute olive oil or butter). It also includes some comics, as you can see! same as a similar cookbooklet I posted a while back.

My favorite b & b suite ever

It wasn't just historical-looking, it had a little dining room complete with rustic chandelier! It's in what I think of as southern Indiana, 'way off the highway and down winding country roads, at a place called Artists Colony Inn in Nashville, Indiana, and it's their T.C. Steele "room." Their site is http://www.artistscolonyinn.com/ . Um, I should mention I really didn't enjoy the food there, though they were very friendly and nice to me, and I also wasn't able to sleep there because it was so bright -- but it still was an absolutely darling place to stay! I never saw such fun use of a space, and think the idea would be great for a New York-sized apartment (though truth be told this is a bit larger than my first apartment there!).
just as you enter the suite, looking through an interior window and a couple door-sized openings

a glimpse of the "dining room" and the balcony, and also a picture by the artist Steele

the "dining room" with curtains closed

looking from the dining room and toward the 2 bed rooms

Happy vegetarian week!

See more about this week at http://www.nationalvegetarianweek.org/ ...

Forgot to mention in my last post with lots of musing on delicious vegetarian recipe sources that France has a new vegetarian magazine! I was lucky to get its premiere issue; this is its 2nd:
available at http://www.journaux.fr/veg_cuisine-pratique_gastronomie-vins_223507.html . Bon appetit!

I'm reading a history of magazines in the UK; so far I haven't found a very old vegetarian periodical...Have any of you run across any?

A realization about tastes

Everyone has different tastes and preferences about food...and I finally realized I was making a mistake not paying attention to my (and my family's) tastes with some of my cookbook choices. I had been looking for more vegetarian options for dinnertime but was having trouble finding many recipes my family or I found tasty, though I'd invested in a lot of vegetarian cookbooks and food magazines.

I finally realized I was choosing very bland American vegetarian cookbooks and magazines almost exclusively, and for no reason whatsoever, because I really dislike that style of food (including its fake Mexican). I never choose such sources for our non-vegetarian dinners -- I always go for main courses full of fresh herbs and fascinating-to-me approaches, and am willing to take more time making a meal that turns out delicious to me. I've said before on this site how recipes that call for, say, 1/4 teaspoon of a dried herb or for watered-down garlic horrify me, though at the same time I am very turned off by a recipe that calls for unnecessary steps as if the cook did not know what they were doing.

For some reason I was only finding such sources, however, until I tacked on gourmet to a search for better ones. I found a couple by actual chefs. The first thing I made was from this cookbook whose author I recognized from her first cookbook which I had long loved:
I made an amazing dinner from it: a beautiful stack of
carrot-green onion-cilantro-ground coriander patties
some browned halloumi cheese
all topped with an extremely tasty lemon dressing,
and served with a whole grain on the side.
She has gorgeous pictures on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alicehartcooks .

I'll also be trying Café Paradiso Seasons: Vegetarian Cooking Season-by-Season from Denis Cotter; you can see some of his recipes at his official site, http://www.deniscotter.com/...I also finally got a subscription to Jamie magazine -- his are definitely my #1 favorite recipes in the world, and are full of vegetables and include vegetarian...

More recently I also found some promising vegan magazines -- I'm not vegan, but I was looking for delicious vegetarian dinner recipes that did not feature cheese. The promising magazines are from the UK, whose food magazines I have for years found more balanced in their approach to food -- not preachy, but also not saying "here's a whole dinner for very few calories and very few pennies" when of course it was low in calories and didn't cost a huge amount, it had just a few leaves or something, almost no protein, no satisfying grains, etc. I was going to source them from my favorite UK magazine source, http://www.newsstand.co.uk/ , but my local Whole Foods actually had them in stock so I got my copies there. I'll be trying them asap as well...

Now I'm also hoping to find additional vegetarian daily menus I find inspiring even if I don't use them many days -- if I have an addiction, it definitely is to menus! I have collected many historical vegetarian menus...when I try them and like them, I'll share them! (In fairness to USA, I found what I tried in the UK vegetarian cookbook Meat-Free Monday Cookbook bland, though I adore that it has full menus for every week of the year and am keeping it for those, as well as probably trying more recipes...)

Beautifully Eating Beautiful

Wendy Rowe has a beautiful approach of not prescribing in her book Eat Beautiful, as she says in this month's Allure magazine:
It's not a diet. It's not a regimen....People should just take what they want from it. My Date Energy Bites and No-Cook Walnut Brownies are always popular.
I always enjoy old cookbooks for their historical value and just generally being fascinating, but I must admit I get tired of those that push a certain health approach.

Twenty Recipes that Men Like, 1949

I almost didn't post this sexist find, but it's interesting for historical reasons...

Clever Cakes, 1936

I'm assuming the date from the fact it was advertised in October of that year....

Mealtime Magic, 1948

More magic! Complete with ideas for emulating the latest king of England!

Hmm, and also complete with the feet of the king of our kitchen...

 It has lots of ideas that are good for suppers, like other retro cookbooklets!

Everything for the Rice Table, 1968

Fascinating -- a book of Indonesian recipes given out by a company from Holland to their clients in Michigan, USA!

A wonderful cookbook from 1988

From my goodreads: Feasts and Friends: Recipes from a LifetimeFeasts and Friends: Recipes from a Lifetime by Sylvia Thhmpson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read a wonderful article by Sylvia Thompson in an old Gourmet magazine and had to get more from her. This was the best-written cookbook I've ever read, including marvelous organization. It also has extremely helpful tips on making the very wide variety of recipes she includes. BTW, if you're into old Hollywood, you'll adore the early chapters!

View all my reviews

My Book of Magic Recipes, 1942, and Magical Desserts, 1965

Don't get too excited -- they don't seem all that magical to me, at least! Well, maybe those ice creams taste magical -- they sound delicious!

From wartime in 1942:

and from 1965: