September 28, 2010

Recipe Inspirations




A great read!
I've mentioned some sources I get recipes from and inspiration, since I often improvise on recipes with my own ingredient choices. I like what I eat to be the most nutrient rich possibility. Which is why I research as to what foods should most definitely be organic. I always think WHOLE! Whole herbs and spices for freshness and optimal seasoning - I grow herbs and keep potted herbs in the house over winter - I buy spices whole as much as is possible and grind in a mortar and pestle or an extra coffee grinder I have for grinding seasonings. I grind my own flour from a wide variety of grains, so I usually cook from scratch. I'll preserve foods by freezing and drying over canning because of nutrient retention (I used to can). We eat as fresh and local as possible too. I love my kitchen gadgets, i.e. "servants" - and use them! I've been learning all this stuff over 35 years, since I didn't know how to cook when I got married. I love to read and research and experiment (like I read about how to make marshmallows ... and decided I didn't want to make them, nor eat them!)(how did they make things before Cream of ... soups, instant puddings and jellos, cake and everything else mixes?).







Speaking of experimenting and researching, the first place I look now for cooking info is from Cook's Illustrated- books and magazines. I have all their magazines bound from their beginning so to have an overall index. Whenever I'm about to cook something new, I consult several cookbooks and pull together a recipe taking bits from several sources. But to do this you have to understand your ingredients. My next favorite cookbook is The Joy of Cooking. My book is an older version and falling apart. I think the older versions have a little more old basics that have now been edited for our more modern approach to cooking. The Joy of Cooking has a chapter titled "Know Your Ingredients". My favorite part to read in all books are prefaces and introductions - that's where the why's and wherefore's are. Rodale Press books are another rich resource for me. They all utilize whole food varieties. My favorite is The Rodale Cookbook by Nancy Albright, and then her Naturally Great Foods Cookbook. I have all of Martha Stewart's older cookbooks. I collect Rick Bayless Mexican cookbooks too...



For putting up foods, again I have Rodale Press books like Stocking Up, Root Cellaring, and their gardening and compost books. I collect fancy pantry books, lotion & potion and soap making books (I'm about ready to make soap again - I do it about once a year). And then a book I used to consult all the time is Carla Emery's The Encyclopedia of Country Living. I have a newer edition but I also have her very first mimeographed, many colored pages book in a three-ring binder (almost 40 years old!) - the following editions edited out a lot her ramblings and personality!



Nowadays I Google recipes. I get once-a-week recipes from SplendidTable.org - Lynne Rosetto Kasper has great recipes. I get daily recipes from AllRecipes.com where I have a recipe box. And I have a recipe box at FoodNetwork.com too. I used to get emails from the Gourmet magazine, but it's gone by the wayside.



I'm currently exploring wine making, as I've posted about the amount of chokecherries we picked. Then, with reading, I hear raspberry wine is good too and it'll be a perfect use for older hand-picked raspberries I have in the freezer and not wanting to throw out. I'm going to make crabapple wine too. And some year soon, we're going to have a bunch of elderberries ...



I'm open for more suggestions and people's favorites ...
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