Saturday, April 29, 2006

Davis Farmer's Market

Selling Thier Wares
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.
The return of the sun signals the return of the Farmer's Market. Well, more accurately, the return of the sun signals the return of Greg to the Farmer's Market. Here some of the farmers selling their produce. The man in the blue sweatshirt with the woman bending over is selling honey and almonds. A few months ago Antonia and I took a picnic out in the country and then found out that we had our picnic in this man's almond orchard.

This is only one of many farmer's markets that take place every day all over the world. The Cooking Diva is putting together a gallery of farmer's markets all over the world. I think photos from the markets in South and Central America are beautiful.

When I'm at the farmer's market, I try to find out as much as possible about the produce that the farmers are selling. There will never be a better time, I think, to find out about how the food is made. These people are 0 steps away from the land. They know what was done to the fruits and vegetables (and animals) every day, from when they were planted (or born) until we see them at the market. They are a fantastic source of information, and I exploit them. There, I said it. I exploit the farmers at the farmer's market for their expansive knowledge of their foods.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The End of Passover

Passover Cookies
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.
Well, tonight Passover officially ends. For those of you who have been reading some of the Passover posts or looking at the pictures, you may notice that some recipes, such as these cookies, could not have been made without chametz (grain). That is true. These cookies have oatmeal. This all stems from my admittedly modified observance of Passover. To me, the whole ordeal of Passover is to remember what happened during the Exodus and to re-enact a little bit of the hardship that our ancestors faced. To go as far as not using corn or oats or corn syrup(!) is forgetting the meaning of what happened, in my mind. If the Jews leaving Egypt didn't have time to bake their bread, they also didn't have time to make matzo ball soup, egg salad, or macaroons. It doesn't stop us from making all of these foods. We don't consume flour in observance of what happened. For me, its no flour, no yeast. So if you find recipes that don't apprear kosher for Passover, now you know why. :)

That said, I hope everyone had a great Pesach and enjoy thier rice/pasta/corn/bread/cake/pastry tonight!


Friday, April 14, 2006

Passover Chocolate Pie

Passover Chocolate Pie
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.
Antonia proves again to be the most wonderful human alive. She has taken it upon herself to come up with tasty Passover dessert, which is not easy (ask anyone who has had Passover cookies).

She did manage to make a pie so good, that I would eat it during the rest of the year, never mind just this week.

Antonia's Passover Chocolate Pie

1 stick margarine
1 c matzo meal
1 c almond meal
1 tsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c sugar
slash of ice water

Pulse all of the ingredients besides the water in a food processor until blended. Splash in some water until the desired consistency is achieved. The amount of water varies depending on the moisture in the air. I don't know what she looks for, but it works. You will have to ask her :)

Grease a pie plate with some Pam. Press the crust into the pan. Dock the dough with a fork gently (Poke holes in it).

Put the crust into the oven for 15 minutes @ 375ºF. Pull out the crust, spray one side of a piece of aluminum foil and put the foil into the crust, spray side down. Put some beans or rice on top of the foil and put it back in for 10 more minutes.

Pull out and let cool.


2 c chocolate chips, melted
1/2 c sweet white wine or liquer
1 pkg silken tofu
1 tbs vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs honey
2 tbs cocoa powder

Blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor. Pour filling into cooled (or mostly cooled) pie crust. Garnish with grated chocolate and put in the refrigerator to set. Let set overnight.

We made this last night and tried it today after lunch. We were both blown away by the extent of its tastiness. It does not taste one bit like a Passover food... Which raises the question - If you aren't sacrificing for Passover, is it really a Passover food?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

PASSOVER SPECIAL! - Cauliflower Soup with Crisp Garlic and Olive Oil

Today was the first day that I had to deal with Passover cooking. Passover is a very powerful holiday, but cooking without flour is much harder than it seems. I saw this recipe on Slashfood this morning, and figured it would be perfect for Passover. I tweaked it a little (basically changing the garnish; switching out the scallion and adding olive oil).

Cauliflower Soup with Crisp Garlic and Olive Oil

1/2 head cauliflower florets
5 cloves garlic, whole
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
1 tbs olive oil

Steam the cauliflower and the 5 cloves of garlic until the cauliflower is very soft.

Add the cauliflower and garlic to a blender, and add about 1/2 cup of the steaming liquid. Blend until smooth. Add salt to taste.

In a small sautee pan, heat up some olive oil. When hot, add in the sliced garlic, and fry on one side until it browns.

Pour the cauliflower soup into a bowl and garnish with the browned, crisp garlic and some olive oil.

This was a very easy and quick food, perfect for Passover.