DIY Walnut Countertop Compost Bin

I’ve had a long-running battle with countertop compost bins: too big, too small, too tall, too ugly, hard to wash, heavy to maneuver; it doesn’t seem like it should be this hard, does it? I’ve tried many different approaches, from the classic fireplug version, to a Tupperware bin, an antique pickle crock, a mixing bowl & kitchen towel. They all have their issues. My biggest issue with most commercial compost bins is the shape: why tall & narrow? It doesn’t […]

Leftover Love: Slow-Roasted Chipotle Beef

Next up in our week of Leftover Love, a meat component: a top round of beef, dry-rubbed with chipotle powder and an orange-rosemary salt, and slow-roasted on a bed of aromatic vegetables. When I pulled this top round steak out of the freezer in the morning to thaw, I had every intention of making beef tacos for dinner: I had cabbage, carrots and cilantro in the fridge, pickled chiles and salsa in the pantry, masa harina in the freezer, and […]

Plum Jam with Preserved Lemon

Plums always remind me of my dad. He would eat them by bucketful in summer: if I think of him in summertime, I see a plum in his hand, one missing a great big Dad-sized bite. I sometimes wonder what he would think of this wacky preserving-canning creature I’ve become. He died many years ago, when I was just out of college and still finding my way in the world. I started cooking as a teenager, so I’m sure I […]

Black Currant Jam

Last summer at about this time, I drove up to Rhinbeck to hang out with Julia and help her out with a jam demo she was hosting at the weekend farmer’s market. She made a simple black currant jam that day. Simple, in that it consisted of only two ingredients and took about 10 minutes to make; but the flavor? The flavor was anything but. I dream about that jam: rich, complex, layered; sweet, savory, tart, spicy; almost umami in […]

Leafy Greens

I just picked up the first CSA bag of the season, otherwise known as, “greens, greens, and more greens!” It seemed an appropriate time to put up another seasonal ingredient page, this one rounding up all of the fabulous things you can do with leafy greens. Kale, arugula, chard, spinach, bok choi, tatsoi, mustard greens, dandelion, beet tops, radish tops, collards, turnip greens: the list goes on (and on and on). I put lettuce, cresses, and the soft, mild, eat-when-raw […]

My Favorite Posts of 2012

As if you’re not already fed up to >here< with year-end lists: my favorite posts of 2012! These were recipes that surprised or delighted; that turned out exactly as I had envisioned, or turned out completely differently but in a fabulous way; that I returned to again & again, or ones that I’m sure will be on a yearly seasonal rotation from now on. These are the posts that were fun to write, fun to shoot and fun to eat; […]

100% Local: Plums in Wine & Honey

As the nippy Fall air makes its way into New York, I heave a sigh of relief as I sense the urgency of the preserving season winding down. While I truly enjoy putting by the best of each season’s produce, even the most dedicated preserver can get a bit burnt out by the onslaught of summer produce, and I am feeling just a wee bit crispy at the edges. My back is sore, my fingernails are permanently stained red, and […]

Chipotle Cornmeal Eggplant Fries

Eggplantocalypse 2012 continues: according to my farmer, Betsey, eggplants are “just at their peak” this week. Which might explain the 6 pounds that showed up in my CSA bag yesterday, to join the 1 and 1/2 lb monster already lurking in the fridge. I’ve learned, in the preceding 4- and 5- and 6-lb eggplant weeks, that I need to tackle them head-on, before they even reach the refrigerator, in order to have a hope of getting through them all before […]

Marinated Dried Eggplant

“Eggplant bacon.” The very words are enough to make me wrinkle up my nose in distaste. One, because I don’t agree with the basic concept of trying to make one food imitate another (I like veggie burgers as much as the next girl, but let’s be honest: they taste nothing like a beef burger), and two, because, well: eggplant is gross and bacon is BACON. I wish I liked eggplant, I really do. Especially this year: it seems to be […]

Garden Antipasto

Eggplant, eggplant, eggplant. Never have we received so much eggplant in the CSA: growing eggplants must be fond of torrential rain storms interspersed with bright, sunny days. The peppers have been no slouch either: pale green Cubanelles, tiny, dark purple bells, fat red and yellow sweet peppers, they’ve all been making their way into my meals of late, but there are so many that they need to find their way into my freezer and pantry as well. Enter canned antipasto: […]

Food in Jars: Winner!

Thanks so much to everyone who entered and who shared with us their one-and-only, most important preserve of the year. I was fascinated by your responses: by far the majority favored home-canned tomatoes, whether whole, crushed, sauced or fire-roasted, and I have to agree: I go into paranoia-overstock-mode with tomatoes these days, ever since the heartbreak of the 2009 tomato blight. But for all of the tomato love, there were many of you dedicated to berry jams, sour cherries & plums, […]

Orange Rhubarb Butter + A Giveaway!

Can you believe that rhubarb is still with us? Believe it: I got those lovely stalks above just yesterday at the farmer’s market. Strawberries may get all the glory of Spring, but they are here and gone in flash. Rhubarb, now: rhubarb pokes its head up in early May and just keeps on keeping on, well into July. Is it any wonder that I love it so? You know what else popped up in May? Marisa’s new cookbook, Food In […]


Summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime, summertime! Lest you think that all we eat come summertime at Local Kitchen is jam and pickles, think again! Easy, breezy salads, whipped up from whatever is in the fridge, nicely charred sausages or chicken on the grill, sweet corn, fragrant basil and heavenly, heavenly tomatoes: summer food is all about indulgence. SUMMER FAVORITES Breakfast 10-Minute Sour Cherry Bam! Black Currant Scones Lemon Black Cherry Muffins  Orange Muffins with Blackberry Surprise Mini Zucchini Quick Breads Wild Blueberry & […]

Canning Tips & Tricks From Your Favorite Bloggers (+ Me!)

Do you remember way back in May (3 whole weeks ago) when I said that the time to prepare for preserving was now, because once the season hits, you’ll be overwhelmed? I was right. The fridge is full to overflowing with the first CSA of the season (greens, greens and more greens!), I still have Grandma’s rhubarb to work through, the European Championships and World Cup qualifying have started, and somehow, people still want me to work for a living. […]

Preparing for Preserving Season

This weekend, in addition to enjoying the glorious weather, getting to the farmer’s market, and finally getting my hands on some rhubarb, I did something strange: I planned ahead. Planning: it’s not something I do a lot of in my everyday life. Oh, I do it all the time in my work life: plans, and contingency plans, worst-case sceanario and best-case scenario. Every conceivable outcome of a study or analysis has to be considered and planned for in order to […]