August 30, 2015 |
What it is: Sometimes one thing - perhaps a song or a place - can encapsulate an entire summer in one neat sensory keepsake. Maybe it's a meal in which tastes and textures converge to create a bit of summer bliss on a plate - like the broiled Atlantic flounder with Jersey Fresh vegetables served at the Oyster Creek Inn in Leeds Point. Chef Scott Kuppel says the rustic restaurant, at the edge of a salt marsh, usually begins serving the fish dish in June, just when delectable Jersey-grown veggies such as sweet corn, tomatoes, and spinach are coming into season.
August 14, 2015
Grain bowls like Jessica Koslow makes are incredibly adaptable. You can use almost anything in your kitchen, if you apply a little good sense and keep in mind a few basic rules. First, of course, comes the grain. Koslow prefers rice, like the brown rice grown in California by Koda Farms: "It's so healthy and it tastes so good. It's brown but not too brown. " But you can use any other cooked whole grain, such as farro, barley or quinoa. The grain has to be well-seasoned. Koslow dresses the rice in her bowls with both butter for body and an acid for tartness.
August 5, 2015 |
LAST SUMMER, Blair Shaw, an attorney who lives in Brewerytown, regularly walked his dog, Bailey, past a dense weed jungle on Master Street near 27th, unaware that in 2011 it had been Marathon Farm, an oasis of veggies in an urban food desert. Its motto: "Spreading the Love: one carrot at a time!" But by 2013, the Marathon Grill restaurant chain, which had cleared the third-of-an-acre lot and created Marathon Farm with such high hopes, suffered financial setbacks and pulled out. By last summer, the raised wood-frame beds had deteriorated and disappeared in the tall weeds, leaving no clue of their brief "one carrot at a time" history.
June 26, 2015 |
IT WAS 2011. Outside City Hall were rows of tents where many flavors of political persuasion could be found - anarchists, communists, Democratic socialists, libertarians. This was Occupy Philadelphia, or, as Dusty Hinz remembers it, a "great coming-out party for the general left. " Amid the monthslong protests, a splinter group of twentysomethings formed with a plan to sustain the protests' energy in a way that would bring real change to city neighborhoods. Dubbed Occupy Vacant Land, the group of guerrilla gardeners squatted on dozens of vacant, garbage-strewn properties.
May 23, 2015 |
Do some intensive vegetable gardening. There's a long weekend ahead, and, hopefully, you'll spend part of it in the garden. Keep cool-season greens picked, and as they go to seed, get ready to do that last harvest before composting the remains, or turning them under along with some well-rotted compost. Do some succession planting: Plant a few rows of squash or beans, but save some room to put in another planting of the same thing in two weeks. This theoretically spreads out the harvest over a longer time, although, in reality, it will all come in while you're on vacation.
May 2, 2015 |
Andrew Olson, a horticulturist and co-owner of Farm 51, a West Philadelphia vegetable garden, spends his days navigating all the familiar obstacles that come with farming on vacant lots: limited water access, soil contamination, land tenure, and security concerns. But these days his harvest is fewer turnips, more tulips. Last fall, he and business partner Erica Maust launched Chicory, an urban flower farm and design studio on two quarter-acre parcels, one in West Philadelphia and another in Roxborough.
April 19, 2015 |
Coming soon to a minor-league ball game near you: Broccoli. Days after a national physicians group renewed its push to get the Phillies' triple-A affiliate, the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, to include vegetables on its pork-laden stadium menu, the team has agreed to add the green stalk. But there's a catch. Bacon is involved, and, it turns out, some national publicity as well for the IronPigs' response. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit based in Washington, asked the team Monday to go easy on the bacon and other processed meat, which the group said is unhealthy, and get some vegetables on fans' plates.
April 17, 2015 |
SLAVES to the recipe, listen up. If you think everything has to be perfect, that instructions must be followed to a T, that any deviation might result in total tasteless disaster, a more easygoing approach could do you good. You'll find one in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Fast . The New York Times food columnist and author of several doorstops full of recipes in the How to Cook Everything series has made ease one of his signature ingredients. In his new book, he's taken that approach a step further by rewriting the recipe for people who use recipes as a crutch.
April 3, 2015 |
THERE ARE slow days in Tattle and then there are sloooooooo wwwwwww days. And thus we have an item about adult retailer Hustler Hollywood announcing that its national chain of stores is launching a #StopVegetableAbuse campaign, with the hope of getting women (and some men) to buy real sex toys. Nope, not an April Fools' joke. Hustler Hollywood claims that every day, cucumbers, zucchinis and carrots are improperly exploring strange new worlds far from the salad bar, in ways different from how the laws of nature intended.
March 27, 2015 |
As our second cooking class got underway at Roberto Clemente Middle School, I was amazed at how quickly these eighth graders had gotten the hang of things. They filed in, stashed their backpacks, donned their aprons, washed hands, and turned to the recipe. "We're making the winter minestrone today," announced Tatiana Castillo, 13, completely in charge. A new student joined us, our only boy, Raul Camacho, 14, who sports a thick shock of dyed-blue hair and hip black glasses. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he was quiet and serious, and actually a calming addition to our group.