St. Patrick’s Day is the traditional pea sowing time in the Northeast, though usually there’s a pretty good chance that the garden is still buried in snow this time of year. Lately the weather has felt like late May and the garden is ready to go. This year I’m growing two kinds of regular green shelling peas, Green Arrow and Laxton’s Progress No. 9, plus Sugar Snap and Blue Podded Shelling Pea. This last one was a last minute addition. When I went to the garden center on Saturday, I couldn’t resist browsing the seed racks and ended up picking up a couple more packets, even though I already have too many seeds. It’s a soup pea rather than a fresh-eating pea. I’m looking forward to making pea soup from homegrown peas next winter! Continue reading
Tag Archives: food
Nanny’s Irish Soda Bread
In 2008 I posted my grandmother’s Irish soda bread recipe on my first blog, cooking the hard way. It turned out to be my most popular post ever. I’m thinking its about time I shared the recipe again. This time around I was inspired by one of the commenters on that first post to make the dough into scones instead of one big round. It’s delicious either way. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Continue reading
After a few days of snow and rain and fog, the sun broke through this morning and we took a drive up to South Face Farm in Ashfield for a sugar shack breakfast. We ate maple syrup on pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausage, and corn fritters. And pickles too. Pickles are the traditional antidote to all that maple syrup. When sap is being boiled down great clouds of maple-scented steam billow out of the roof of the sugar shack. It’s the best smell in the world. Continue reading
Black Bean & Tortilla Casserole with Pasilla Chiles
When I was just out of college and my cooking repertiore was still pretty limited, I used to make a casserole beans and tomatoes layered with corn tortillas and cheese, a recipe my mom used to make from one of her Williams-Sonoma cookbooks. As tasty as it was, my roommate Leslie and I doubted its authenticity as a Mexican dish. It just seemed to us a bit like something out of The Family Circle Illustrated Library of Cooking, and we dubbed it Fiesta Casserole.
Perhaps this recipe was a little more authentic than we gave it credit for, because this week I picked up a copy of Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen and found a couple different variations on this theme. This one is rich and smokey, and tastes almost chocolatey, like mole, even though there’s no chocolate in it. It will take you the better part of an afternoon to make, but it’s definitely worth it. Continue reading