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Showing posts from June, 2017

hors d'oeuvres of ramps, ham and blu cheese

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This is one of the best Hors d'oeuvres I've ever come up with: Crackers topped with baked ham, home made blue cheese and sour cream dressing and a ramp and red pepper salad.



Southern Kimchi?

I had some storage vegetables on hand and was thinking about roasting them. I laid a nice, sweet cabbage on the counter, laid out some carrots, some radishes, storage onions, garlic... a few green onions... I noticed a string of dried hot peppers in the corner.... a knob of ginger..... I realized that I had nearly everything I needed for kimchi! I was out of fish sauce, so I substituted a couple of dashes of store bought soy sauce and a spoonful of kombucha. I'll know in 10 days if it is worth eating, but it tastes like a good Asian slaw already, so I think it is going to be good. Kimchi may not be traditionally Southern, but neither was chowchow or chutney until Southerners began making it..... I'm thinking of all kinds of substitutions using traditional Southern vegetables. Obviously, turnips could substitute for radishes, collards for cabbage.... maybe rutabaga... Vidalia onions... ramps... maybe wild ginger... cayenne peppers.. Do y'all have any suggestions?

Radish Greens

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Well, I just had a head-slapping moment! I was chatting with an elderly Asian lady the other day and she was curious about Southern greens. She was very pleased to learn of our passion for turnips - apparently, that is a big deal in Japan. I mentioned that my favorite is mustard. She told me that they have several varieties of Asian mustard, and the greens are among her favorites along with radish tops. Well, I had never tried cooked radish tops. She was amazed by this ...and seemed to think it was a real shame that my radish tops had gone to the compost heap or the chickens. Well, radishes are in the same family as both mustard and turnips... so I gave it a try. WOW! Just cooked in oil and salt, they are awesome! The flavor is somewhere between mild mustard greens and spinach with butter... seriously! The flavor is very buttery. The high mineral content gives the distinct aroma of roasted oysters. The taste is not fishy, but the aroma has a strong aspect of oysters roaste…

My Eggplant Parmesan

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Here is my eggplant Parmesan recipe (I ate it all before I took a pic, so I grabbed these from wiki).  I make my mayo from scratch, so I use it to enrich a lot of things. I tried it one day just to see if it would help hold the bred crumbs on, and the results were fantastic. That is what got me started pressing the liquid out of the eggplant - that gives it a more meat like texture, firmness and not soggy, so that it really binds with the mayo and crumbs. The mayo gives it a richness, a meatiness and a background layer of tanginess, even though I don't use much. It is not a traditional Italian recipe - just something I came up with.

First, the sauce.... which is the most important thing, because you can use it for lots of other dishes.
Heat a pan to about medium hot and toss in enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add about 1/2 to finely chopped medium onion (yellow or white is best). Once the onion has softened and turned translucent, toss in a 2 or 3 chopped garlic cloves…

Byron Dalrymple on Cane Pole fishing

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"In early 1975 I was assigned by Outdoor Life magazine to do a story about the enjoyment, the art and, the productiveness of fishing with a cane pole, bobber and bait for bass and panfish.  The research for that story took me back to boyhood.  I have long claimed that bobber and bait fishing is one of the most dramatic of angling sports.  Many a youngster started that way. Then, as it is said, he "graduated" to casting with artificials.  Nonsense!  He gave up an infinitely dramatic endeavor for one really seldom half as much so.

Part of the time while renewing my acquaintance with the cane pole, I fished on a lake that I built on a property of ours.  I suddenly realized all over again fully,  what it meant to move a boat quietly.  With a cane pole, you have to get close.  I learned over again how to be quiet myself in the boat.  And how to reach gingerly out and put a baited hook into a small pocket without disturbing the fish.  Modern, big boat anglers never learn such …

What Fishing Equipment is Necessary?

The short answer is, none.  You can fish with only your hands.  There is a long tradition of people feeling around under a river bank and pulling out catfish.  Where I live though, in the American southeast, I wouldn't recommend it.  People do it, but we have way too many alligators and big snapping turtles, that will bite your hand right off.

When the beginning fisher-person (from now on, I'll use the term "angler to avoid this awkward phrase) enters a tackle shop, sporting goods store, big box store or opens a catalogue, the choice of fishing equipment (called tackle) and accessories is overwhelming.  Fishing tackle and related products are a huge industry and a good salesperson will be more than happy to convince you that you can't get started without spending at least a few hundred dollars.... and of course, the more you spend, the more fish you will catch... right?  Actually, no.  Some, perhaps even most, fishing tackle will catch fish if used properly, at the ri…