[amazon-product image=”51uIJ1u3EWL._SL160_.jpg” region=”us” type=”image”]081186944X[/amazon-product]I had a bunch of things lined up yesterday which is always great but sometimes I feel overscheduled. Luckily, I had to be in the car a fair amount and that means NPR,  so I learned a lot. Like that Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery has a new cookbook and I want it, and heard this food scientist talking about among other things, the difference between baking powder and baking soda and wooden vs. plastic cutting boards: “It turns out that wooden cutting boards are good in a couple of ways — they’re porous so they tend to soak up juices from cutting meats and fish, for example, and that carries the bacteria down into the cutting board where they’re not at the surface anymore. And woods often contain anti-bacterial compounds in them so there’s kind of a natural antibiotic in the surface of the wood. Plastic cutting boards are easier to clean and are safer to put in the dishwasher, for example, but they also will tend to develop scars and bacteria will lodge in the scars and cause problems later. So I actually have a couple of each and use both. When a plastic cutting board develops scars, I replace it.” The book is a good resource for food safety which I am also all about.

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NPR has a link to Joanne Chang’s cheddar-scallion-scones which I sent to a friend last night (I knew she would love it). Amazingly, she had creme fraiche on hand (!) and is making them today. I may casually drop by or, if she wants to prevent scone-stalking, she can drop one or two at my door (subtle hint).

Speaking of generous friends, a particularly sweet one gave me her farm share (this is not the first time). It is from Siena Farms which means that everything in the box is gorgeous and the pickup is at Sofra Bakery.  Yes, I know, my day is not difficult. I am (only a little) glad is not any closer or I might have a problem – yeah, like getting any of my clothes to fit.  Maybe it is my food choices…my favorite was the dukka donut (cardamom and sugar and other gorgeous-ness) but there weren’t any and I quickly scanned the bakery case for a replacement. When my eyes fell on the persian spiced donut,  I bought one and ate it alone in my car. No sharing. I smiled the whole way home (sugar and halvah all over the place).  My super sweet, super nice foodie friend also sent the email that comes with the farm share. While I am happy with my farm share, I am thrilled with hers. Pretty, pretty produce and Ana Sortun‘s recipes?

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Ana’s Parsnip Skordalia

So, skordalia is a traditional potato and garlic sauce that is served with just about anything in Greece.  As is always in Greek dishes, it’s all about the garlic.   It doesn’t always have nuts.  This is our twist when parsnips and celery root are in season and garlic is finished curing in the fall.  We serve this with halibut braised in cinnamon & milk.

Makes 4 cups

6 pounds parsnips

6 baking potatoes

¾ cup heavy cream

1-cup parsnip cooking liquid

3 T chopped garlic

¼ cup lemon juice

2 cups extra virgin olive oil

at least a quarter cup of salt

Peel the parsnips and cut into chunks.  Place in pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and simmer about 18 minutes until tender.  Drain (reserve a cup of liquid) and puree while it’s still hot in a food processor with the heavy cream.  Set aside.  Meanwhile, peel the baking potatoes and cut in 4.  Place in a small saucepot with enough water to cover, 1 T salt and bring to a boil.  Simmer for about 18 minutes until tender and drain.  Mash thru a ricer or food mill and mix into the celery root.  Heat garlic in olive oil with reserved liquid from parsnips.

Blend until completely smooth. Mix everything together.

Ana’s Cabbage Confit

We serve this with cod at the restaurant

2 small heads of green cabbage, quartered, cored & washed

remove outer ugly leaves.

1 cups extra virgin olive oil

2 T butter

1 cups white wine

½ tsp. sugar

salt & pepper

¼ cup slivered garlic or garlic flowers

¼  cup finely chopped anchovies

Cut each quarter in half and break into big“lamelles”(half moons)

Toss with the above and well season.  Cover with foil and braise at 300-325 for 1 ½ hours.

Squeeze a bit of lemon and stir in 4 cups cooked *fresh shell beans & plenty of chopped parsley

*Late summer and fall is the season for fresh shell beans

Disclaimer – I do not know if these recipes are in the book shown above.

So what about the social media? Where does that fit in this food fest? I was meeting Pragmatic Mom for a bite (I had a lovely quinoa soup) who, as I sat down said, “I have a few ideas for your blog.” I was unprepared (as in no paper and pencil) but she (ever resourceful) dug out a pen and I proceeded to write on a napkin (we were upstairs at L’Aroma) for over an hour. It was a really appreciated and seriously impressive analysis, discussion and basically genius brain download from the inimitable Pragmatic Mom.  I was able to give her some tech-y tips. I copied the napkin info on to real paper when I got home but not before meeting a new friend at Newton Center’s Pie. I had a lovely time with my friend and another mom friend (and terrific and sweet as pie real estate agent) but did not like the food.  A place called Pie should have really good pie. Note: I did not have the apple pie and the panini sandwich looked great but the filling of our turkey, cheddar and broccoli pie was too diced and had the consistency of baby food. Good if you have a baby. More notes went on the napkin “wrong direction” and “no chunks”. No spoiler alert – you will have to read about these later when I somehow tie them in to something in a clever way.

Are you counting? Did I eat at three separate places and were two of them for lunch? Look, something shiny! Oh, it’s gone. Go click on the books – it will take you to Amazon.
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