It’s Friday afternoon, and that means it’s time for me to give you a little weekend reading from around the web. Here are a few food related items that I thought might interest you.
Mark Bittman offers 101 Simple Meals to throw together in the summer in his Minimalist column.
The pleasures of cooking are sometimes obscured by summer haze and heat, which can cause many of us to turn instead to bad restaurants and worse takeout. But the cook with a little bit of experience has a wealth of quick and easy alternatives at hand. The trouble is that when it’s too hot, even the most resourceful cook has a hard time remembering all the options. So here are 101 substantial main courses, all of which get you in and out of the kitchen in 10 minutes or less. (I’m not counting the time it takes to bring water to a boil, but you can stay out of the kitchen for that.) These suggestions are not formal recipes; rather, they provide a general outline. With a little imagination and some swift moves — and maybe a salad and a loaf of bread — you can turn any dish on this list into a meal that not only will be better than takeout, but won’t heat you out of the house.
1 Make six-minute eggs: simmer gently, run under cold water until cool, then peel. Serve over steamed asparagus.
Lighter Footstep has a list of 30 Things You Should Never Compost or Recycle. Did you know you shouldn’t compost bread? I didn’t. The post explains why.
Remember the good ole days — back when we only had one bin for trash? In retrospect, those days were actually more wasteful that good. We sent things to the landfill that might have nourished our yards, and buried them side-by-side with materials which should have been reclaimed and put back in the production chain.
Today, most of us have two bins: one for compost, and another for recycling. They’re great for reducing curbside trash. But not everything suitable for one bin or the other.
Audubon Magazine says that as we begin to eat less meat, we should be eating more of it. Huh? Read the article, and it will make sense.
Last fall, the head of the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change, Dr. Rakendra Pachauri, offered a simple directive for combating global warming: eat less meat. Critics might point out that he is a vegetarian, but the numbers back up his idea. A 2006 UN report found that 18 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from raising livestock for food. Overall, Pachauri’s advice is good, though I would add a corollary: At the same time that we begin eating less meat, we should be eating more of it.
The Cook Local blog has advice and directions for making your own butter. Pay special attention to how long homemade butter lasts. One time when I was teaching I made homemade butter with my class (can’t remember why as a high school English teacher I had my class make butter, but I did). I put it in the refrigerator in the teacher’s lounge. It went bad. It was awful!
We’ve been making our own butter for over a year now. When we talk about this though, we get a fair number of questions. Here are some of the more common ones.
1. Do you make all of your butter? No. We use a fair amount of butter in our cooking and we just can’t afford to make all of it. You need about 1 cup of cream to make half a cup of butter.
2. Is it really that easy to make butter? Yes, actually it is. You can make butter by churning or shaking, but the simplest way to make it is actually in a KitchenAid mixer. You can have butter within about 5-7 minutes.