Traditional Lithuanian Easter Spread from Guest blogger -
Marianne M wrote :
Happy Easter Ruth. Been following your travel blog this week. Cooking ham and kohlbasi and prepping other stuff for 4pm dinner. Made haluska too. Love to the kids and grandkids
And the Easter bread Pasca
What a feast
Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday
Since we’re talking about meat…..
on the way home from school I stopped at DJ’s Butcher Block (Butcher Shop) on Penn Avenue.
What a selection of-
antibiotic free, local, grass fed, custom cut and ground meat.
There is also Amish Butter and Organic Cheese, one item I bought today was from Mercer County.
Local farms provide fresh eggs and rich milk that separates in a glass 1/2 gallon bottle (to be returned)
DJ the proprietor is a also a chef, trained at the Culinary Institute of America (I read in this Pgh CityPaper Article)
He knows what he is doing
for the vegetarian? A couple of vegetarians were in front of me buying sausage today.
Someone else was picking up a custom order of braciole.
You can get a Savory Meat Pie to take home and bake.
I bought a pound of the grass fed ground beef and made burgers which were delicious, fried up in a cast iron skillet.
During Little Italy Days I had photographed DJ at night. Thanks for allowing me to tour your butcher shop and photograph you again.
Thanks to blog followers who shared their thoughts and comments on Feb 15th post Share Your Cookbook Shelf and to the two below who emailed photos of their cookbooks.
“This is about half my cookbook collection. I have over two hundred altogether. Another bookcase this size and lots of little stacks around the house. Last year I decided I would pick a cookbook a month and make five recipes I’d never tried. I did not complete the task every month but it was a lot of fun trying.”
just half? Thanks for sharing your photo, Colleen.
and from Euthemia who says “My favorite cookbook is 660 Curries”
plus another photo of her three shelves of cookbooks
Euthemia sent this photo of her three shelves filled with cookbooks.
and here are a couple of photographs of my old cookbooks, a bit grainy in the low light shot with the iPhone
My parents spent their wedding night at The Palmer House in Chicago Illinois, August 28, 1939. I remember my dad said they ate Tomato Soup. The next day they took a train to New Haven where they would live for the next three years and they didn’t get a sleeper car but sat up (less expensive).
I bought the The Palmer House Cookbook on ebay and it is signed by the Head Chef Ernest E. Amiet in 1940 when it was published. I googled him and couldn’t find any further reference.
Ready to whisk eggs before scrambling,
adding some grated cheese, freshly ground pepper
It was the colors in the light that caught my attention.
What’s on your cookbook shelf? These days, many people are cooking from recipes on the internet instead of cookbooks.
Did you ever discard or pass on a cookbook and then later regret your having gotten rid of it?
Diets, tastes and trends change over time. I have a wooden box of my grandmother’s recipes but I’m not making them.
I always enjoy reading a cookbook in bed, planning meals or dishes to try. Thinking about entertaining. What I usually end up doing is making the same things over and over again for the most part, not using a recipe.
Comfort foods as of late, with the ongoing winter temps I feel motivated to cook hearty meals- and eat them!
Here’s my sister’s cookbook shelf in NYC. You might remember seeing her kitchen. I love the Coldweather Cooking book and have a copy myself. I love to bake the Brown Mountain Cake out of the Farm Journal Country Cookbook. The Fannie Farmer makes me think of my mother’s Boston Cooking School Cookbook, tied with a ribbon.
I open old cookbooks, find a handwritten note or a yellowed recipe between the pages, see my mother’s hand- memories of my childhood or my children’s childhood, recipes past, present and the ones I’ve clipped for the future (always heavy on the desserts!)
I’ll share my cookbook shelf another post. Hope you will share your cookbook shelf photo.
It was hard to get it all in one shot, it’s a tight space!
This is the first time the daily prompt really spoke to me- ingredients.
WordPress offers daily inspiration to bloggers, if they want to respond. Here is the prompt by Ben Huberman
” What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us KITCHEN.”
Here’s part of my kitchen. Isn’t love the secret ingredient? I read a blog that says it is.
But I think I’ll choose the Kitchen-Aid mixer, the Kitchen-Aid mixer my dad bought me 25 years ago. The one I’ve used to make cakes for all the kids’ birthdays and graduations and cookies for all occasions. Now they are all grown and gone.
You need a lot of ingredients-
An electric kettle (thanks Laura)
The edge of the farmhouse sink and bit of my stove, the portable dishwasher top is laden with stuff- the knives,
a tin of olive oil.
I added my favorite nesting Pyrex bowls I’ve a thing for the big yellow one. It’s like the one my mom used to make her bread dough. Let it rise.
My grandmother’s recipes are in the wooden box on the shelf.
A couple of beat up baby cups, including my pewter one engraved with my name- Ruth Ella 1952
Tea in a tin.
My favorite French pepper mill a gift (1974) from my sister’s college friend Janet.
The bread board my sister gave me.
And how could I manage without vanilla?
Garlic keeper from Fredda at my shower in college. Got to have garlic. My brother sends me the best organic garlic from Okanogan WA.
But just one thing? I chose the mixer.
Definitely need butter, eggs, sugar and vanilla. Such a lovely start to so many things.
the close up
and then the shot with a bit more distance to see the all of the
Love my stove, oven and range hood, too. My pots and pans.
-or save them first and then heave them after they get a bit furry in the fridge.
Or eat them cause you feel it a duty, but not enjoy them wholeheartedly?
How do you feel about leftovers? Does it depend on the type of food saved?
Today as I drove home after school, I thought about the spaghetti sauce in the fridge and although freshly made pasta is preferable, warming up a bowl of leftovers with hot sauce poured over top was incredibly satisfying.
A little fresh grated cheese. Mmmm. Eating my way through winter…………..
Didn’t have to start a meal from scratch and it was a relief to know it was there waiting on a shelf in the refrigerator. I looked forward to eating it again.
I thought the spaghetti sauce tasted even better today.
Some people don’t enjoy leftovers or being served leftovers for supper.
And true, certain dishes are better than others in the leftover department. Chili seems to improve, the flavors marry as they say.
I know I have wrapped things up and put them away or I have saved food in a little plastic container and forgotten all about it and then when I unearth it, it’s inedible and needs to be pitched. Storing in clear glass is key to seeing what is there to eat.
Does gender make a difference in leftover preference? Do you have a limit as to how long you will keep a dish?
When I did some research on leftovers I found an article about how Americans waste about twenty pounds of food each month. Yikes, that seems like a lot and is a disgusting statistic. So wasteful.
Growing up you were encouraged to consume everything and clean your plate. My mother had a book as a child The Sunny/ Sulky Book and one of the naughty kids (the book could be turned upside down to read about the good children) always took more on his plate than he could eat. One night he was visited by a Fairy-Eat-It-All in a dream and given a spoon to consume the mountain of food he had wasted. Eyes bigger than his stomach situation I guess.
A moral tale.
One time I posted how to revive a piece of leftover cake
Okay, it’s not good for you. I know it! Beanie Weenies.
Here’s the recipe. Cut a package of hot dogs like coins.
Throw in pan and turn up the gas flame.
Open can of beans
and pour over sizzling “meat”.
Simmer and serve.
Buttered toast on the side optional.
Yep, it’s dark outside, every day getting shorter and shorter and the winter looms. (actually today felt like Spring so let me think of a different excuse)
It’s easy. You have it in the house and don’t have to go to the store.
And you have a taste for something simple that isn’t good for you. It’s on your mind.
My friend said you can go through a lot, getting to what you wanted in the first place.
Make it, eat it, be aware it isn’t a healthy choice.
My vegan, veg, Paleo, Primal, non-processed food, gourmet bloggers, and real- food conscious friends and family will have to avert their eyes today.
I think it is the lighting from the range hood that gives it the unreal color cast. I hope.
For those followers who celebrate traditional Thanksgiving this Thursday……which is your preference?
Fresh, Frozen or Veg?
Low thirties temperature makes me want to make soup or chili, some sort of stew. And devour it, too.
A pot of something simmering on a low flame, creating a welcoming aroma when you enter the house.
Dinner was chili and beans with a side of brown rice on the adjacent burner. It’s time to pull out that Cold-Weather Cooking cookbook that my sister uses (author Sarah Leah Chase).
Tonight I used grass fed beef, sauteéd with organic onion and garlic from my brother in Okanogan Washington. Last weekend , I’d replaced my chili powder with a new glass jar of organic chili powder.
Earlier today a friend had posted an article about the 8 Foods Experts Won’t Eat and I remembered the article and got worried about the canned tomatoes (I used the Fire Roasted Muir Glen Organic Crushed Tomatoes) and wondered if the acidity of the tomatoes had leached the can lining into them but ate the chili anyway. Not sure if they use liner with BPA in it or not. I read they have a non GMO commitment so surely they don’t line their cans with the bad stuff.
You could lose your appetite if you think about things deeply.
What is safe to eat these days? Is there any way to totally avoid the pesticides, preservatives, additives and harmful chemicals and the genetic modification nightmare?
A perfect dish for the fall.
(and Bill McC, enjoy your day!)
About an hour and a half away from the city, Mountain Craft Days take place at the Somerset Historical Center grounds. This year was the 44th year for the event!
V saw it mentioned on TV and it look interesting so she suggested we go.
Clear weather and lots of interesting demonstrations – here is a sampling of what we saw- blacksmithing, log splitting, cider making, basket making, spinning, lacemaking, pewter making, wood carving, felting and knitting, weaving, soap making, food preparation and if you are into “coopering” you can even get some materials and supplies at the Center to make your barrels.
Dulcimer music wafted through the woods, the smell of wood fire. A bagpiper walking down the path and some Civil War reenactors with drums and fifes marching past the covered bridge. Bought some dried apples that were nothing but apples, very tasty and tried a Maple Walnut sundae with real maple syrup.
The Broom Maker- Lone Oak Brooms - Bob Haffly from Amberson PA
He was so nice and said I could photograph him when I asked. We watched him make a broom from start to finish and it was amazing to see. You can watch the YouTube video of his making a broom below.
Who knew there were so many different types of brooms. Brooms for kitchen floors and brooms for concrete floors and whisk brooms and all handmade with a machine made in the late 1800′s. Seriously.
A carousel horse carver
Woman walking down the path carrying a basket
Lacemakers from Five Rivers Bobbin Lacemakers You can try your hand at it, right on site!
Blacksmith and Storytelling
Fried Mush Lots of wood fires burning
A bagpiper walking and playing along the path
The log cabin and the cooking demonstration were interesting.
An apiarist explained how he harvests the honey.
The loaves of bread baked in the Dutch Oven.
Glowing coals inside the log cabin called a Settler’s Cabin.
Be sure to go and watch Bob Haffly craft a broom on YouTube
My DIL bought Non-GMO Organic popcorn in the bulk section of Whole Foods for $2 a pound.
The family hasn’t eaten popcorn on family movie night for more than a year. Since my mom hailed from Illinois we had popcorn when I was growing up- apples and milk on Sunday nights. At Christmas my parents gave bags of strawberry popcorn kernels grown in Durand, Illinois and it was so tender and good.
I know popcorn isn’t the snack food of choice for many and isn’t eaten or popular in some places.
My sister missed the popcorn gene and doesn’t care for it and I don’t remember my dad eating it except when my mom coated it with molasses syrup cooked up until it spun a thread. (not very often) I know I don’t care for microwave popcorn. Have to make it on the stovetop.
Tonight while visiting the family, I made the first batch for the grandkids, opening the brown paper bag and finding a variety of colors and sizes of popcorn kernels.
It was so inviting. My phone was handy.
Tried to catch it popping but didn’t get past the second kernel exploding. I used a larger pan than I would at my own home, more like a pasta pot.
the second kernel burst. then it was get that lid on quick!
Look at the variety of colors. No butter on it to make it that yellow. Just plain.
Maura age 4 1/2 photographed Grandma, using the phone as I took the popcorn off the stove.
What I used to cook the popcorn. A generous tablespoon melted on medium high heat. About 3/4 c of popcorn. I stirred the kernels with a wooden spatula so it wouldn’t burn.
It was a fun time and the house smelled fragrant. Only one out of four grandchildren wanted salt on it! I thought that was interesting.
With what snack do you like to treat yourself??
My colleague brought me a dozen fresh eggs from her chickens. Thanks S.
I loved how each egg had a date written on the end. I made an omelet this Saturday morning with some Cabot Creamery Extra Sharp White Cheddar. Maybe a tad too much butter. Couldn’t cook and photograph with the cell phone simultaneously. I was told you want “sound” when the eggs hit the pan.
I know the chickens are well cared for and eat organic feed. Fresh eggs make the best omelet. It was delicious. If I were a true photographer I would have made a neater looking one and photographed it again but no one else around to eat the wrinkled one. I went on Google images to see how my omelet fares by comparison and I think it is fine. These eggs are too precious to waste.
Yes, a little too much butter. Eat the toast with jam no butter due to excess amount on the eggs!
Hiding the imperfect folds with the farm grain bread toast. Now to polish the French PepperMill that was a wedding gift in 1974.
Late Sunday afternoon, I drove across the river to shop for dinner ingredients and some fruit for lunches this week. The larder was looking a bit sparse. It was either go shop or eat another grilled cheese and/or egg sandwich. M and I had just talked on the phone, earlier in the day about wanting a real meal. She was thinking Thanksgiving like. I opted for meat and potatoes.
At the meat counter I asked the butcher for two petite steaks (on sale). Not too big. It’s funny about meat. Sometimes it actually turns me and I can’t even think about eating it, and other times I am actually craving a serving. It was one of those days of wanting it. Not thinking about it having a face.
Came home and sautéed an organic yellow onion in some Amish butter and then sliced up a box of fresh mushrooms. Baby Romaine salad with Steve’s favorite brown Clamato tomato( I swear they look chocolate) and a drizzle of olive oil and red wine vinegar. Garlic smashed Russets.
After I plated the food, I used the phone to capture the dinner. Feeling ready for the start of a new week, fortified.
It was snowing and really cold. I actually pulled over,got out of the car and took this pictureI. I was headed home from school on Friday.
The idea of going to the regular grocery store was out of the question although the larder was fairly empty. Had to stop somewhere.
I was in the Bloomfield neighborhood and decided to shop at Groceria Italiana and pick up some essentials.
When I got home I cooked the sweet and hot sausage and added the house sauce I had purchased. (Chicago John avert your eyes- if you click his name you get a recipe for homemade meat sauce)
Snow in the door mat!
This is the first meal I ate in Zagreb when I visited Matty. I must have had the spoon in my hand when I took the photo?
Thought this bowl of hot soup looked inviting for this way below freezing January night. I shot all those vacation pics with a Canon 20D and I miss that camera. The shutter eventually failed and I even had it repaired but it failed again. I just liked that camera.
The only problem is that they are resting in my DIL’s fridge in Ohio and I am back in Pittsburgh. The temperature going down to nine and I am thinking SOUP!
I just got a kick out of the label from their market. Soup BONES?
I had never heard the rinds called soup bones and it struck me funny. I use a rind in my minestrone and it really adds to the body of the soup flavor. Any be any soup will do.
and a prettier shot with the lid off
After school let out, I drove down to Homestead from Carrick. Judith and Daniel extended a warm welcome and we caught up. I hadn’t been there in awhile but was so glad I went.
I had my Christmas list and wanted to support my Independent Kitchen Store.
First, I ordered the 4 cheese pasta bake with a side of sautéed spinach at the Tin Front Cafe. where I sat at the old Chioda’s bar. The restaurant is vegetarian. A lovely Spring mix salad with balsamic dressing and asiago cheese shavings, a slice of crusty bread.
Yum. I heard about the up and coming new restaurants coming to the avenue in Homestead. Judith showed me the special honor in the Pittsburgh Magazine. Her son, Daniel Valentine, was recognized for his work to rebuild and revitalize Homestead and was chosen as a winner in the Forty Under Forty awards.
“Winners were chosen based on their passion, commitment, visibility, diversity and overall impact on the region.”
You might remember I blogged a visit to both places when Laura visited Pittsburgh.
Supporting independents! Scroll down and see the specials on USA Pans- Bakeware manufactured in Ambridge PA!
Buy three (any shape) and get a free jelly roll pan. (I love jelly roll.) Everyone needs a new cookie sheet!
I can’t say what I bought as that would be a spoiler. You can call Judith 1-800-862-6639 and she’ll ship out in time for the holidays.
All- Clad is manufactured in Canonsburg PA, just down the road from Pittsburgh.
Judith has a Holiday Special on an All-Clad 3 quart lidded saute pan for just 99$! WOW! I love cooking with my All-Clad pans.
This is the store where I bought my Nespresso machine before the display was so high speed.
I hear George Clooney is advertising them on TV in France, oui?
Check out the elegant and classy Museum of Modern Art flower vase. Understated and stunning.
Love the quirky clocks! A 3 cup steamed pudding mold. The Twoolies and the Riviera Bags are one of a kind gifts.
Shop YOUR Independent Store today. Now to gift wrap everything………………..
You’ve read their comments on my blogs. Flat Ruthie has been fortunate to have been hosted by all three bloggers.
I’ve posted links to their photographs and recipes for some wonderful dishes.
It’s summer vacation and I’ve a bit more time on my hands. Have a plan to try some new recipes and what better way than to experiment with fellow bloggers posts of beautiful and delicious dishes.
And my daughter-in-law’s kitchen makes me feel like I’m on a cooking show! Six burner stove and all.
When I forwarded her the recipe for Roasted Chicken Stuffed with Citrus she agreed it would be good for dinner and we had all the ingredients, including fresh tarragon from her garden. You can get the recipe at Rufus Food and Spirits Guide and see a great looking photo of Greg’s Roast Chicken. I am already behind as yesterday Katherine posted a Blue Crab Dip recipe and today it is stuffed zucchini. I can’t keep up!
And a nod to Chicago John as I attempted to make the garlic cloves fall onto my keyboard but was unsuccessful! (see his posts of berries and an earlier one of peas at his blog From the Bartolini Kitchens ) Watch for a future post as I make homemade pasta for the first time.
Food photography is a challenge unless I’m just shooting what I’m eating. When I try to set something up, think too much about it and what I am trying to accomplish, it’s stressful.
People as subjects seem easier than assembled ingredients.
By the way the aroma alone is worth the cooking effort for this recipe.
Divine! and delicious. The kids loved it! So thanks to Greg and Katherine and Chicago John.
Just last Thursday I ate dinner at a friend’s and she told me that someone told her, “Butter is love.”
A year ago this month the butter sculptor and “butter cow lady” from Iowa, Norma Lyon, passed away and her obituary is in the New York Times.
The butter in this photo was captured in early April. When we lived in Germany the commissary sold Danish butter and I see my family buying Irish butter these days.
What’s your favorite butter?