Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I sat down at the computer shortly after dropping the critters off at school and just about when I was opening the documents that house my novel I heard: BAM! BAM! BAM!

My office is about 10 feet from the street where they were DROPPING a huge METAL thingy to BREAK up the STREET surface. The impact was also rattling the glass in my windows, and, truth be told, rattling my brain.

So I closed the documents and decided that the city of Ann Arbor road crew was telling me not to write today. Not that I usually check with the road crews to decide whether it is a providential day for creative expression, but it was pretty clear that today wasn't.

But hey, it gave me an excuse to go to the Farmer's Market and there I discovered that it is the time of year when farmers pretty much pay you to take their tomatoes. I bought all these romas for slow roasting for $5:
That's pretty nutty.

I also picked up some prune plums, courtland apples, and zucchini.

I've never made slow roasted tomatoes, but as it takes about 9 hours, I should have some for sampling shortly after I put the critters to bed. I'm thinking some tomatoes, a baguette, some shavings of Parmesan and a glass of wine will be my companions this evening (Brian is off on a work trip this week).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Be gone, Steam Fangs and Flack Gobbler

It has been a long time since I read a piece by Anne Lamott (her last piece in Salon was in March 2007), but the woman got me through many a rocky parenting time, particularly in the early days, with her book Operating Instructions.

And now she has written what feels like the wisest thing I have read about the coming election.

Steam Fangs and Flack Gobbler (the names of the candidates who I do not support after, as Anne Lamott suggests, running their names through the the Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator) can get the hell out of my nightmares--I kid you not--I was up at 3 am the other night freaking out about Flack Gobbler.

I really hope that the folks running the Obama campaign, and the candidate himself, read her piece because it gave me a blast of good karma energy and hope that I'm thinking they could use a little dose of right about now.

And now I'm going to follow up with at least a little bit of Anne's prescription--drink some water, eat the bar of chocolate, and get the damn lawn sign put up.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Diana's Beans n' Greens

The Lady Food Bloggers got together again and the plate of bounty runneth'ed over:
From top to bottom(left to right)--Emily's baguette with artichoke dip, Cindy's homemade pickles, Cheryl's chickpeas, Patti's mac and cheese, Maggie's wild rice, heart nut and peach salad, Diana's beans n' greens, and Sarah's summer squash and pasta. And not pictured are: our host Shayne's pitcher of minty mojitos and all the fixings for pizzas on the grill, Stephanie's chocolate beet cake, Alex's raspberry mascarpone tart, Cindy's peach pie, and my cucumber feta dip with pita chips. Whew! (I think I got all that in...forgive me ladies if I missed anything, the blurr of good food may have anesthetized my brain!)

I'm proud of my will power because despite the lusciousness of the raspberry tart and its proximity to my side of the table, I didn't scarf it all down and leave none for anyone else. Instead, I ended up stuffing myself silly on Diana's beans 'n greens--one of the healthiest dishes at the potluck! Diana's beans 'n greens uses fennel (both the fresh bulb and the seeds) to boost up the flavor profile of a dish that is a cross between a slaw and a bean salad. And it was refreshing in a way that I don't usually associate with beans or with kale.

Diana has blogged about her versions and variations of the beans n' green here.

This weekend I had fun playing with her recipe and this what I ended up putting together from what I could lay my hands on:
I didn't have the wide variety of beans that Diana had (loved the flageolet beans!), nor the lovely color contrast of the red pepper (I substituted some corn kernels that tasted nice, but weren't quite so photogenic.) But even with my alterations, it tasted really good!

Diana's Beans n' Greens
adapted by Kate

4 cups of chopped fresh kale leaves without stems
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/2 large fennel bulb, small dice
2 ears of sweet corn, cooked, kernels cut off (Diana used red pepper which made a nicer visual contrast)
1 can great northern (or other white beans), rinsed well and drained
1 cups black beans, cooked, drained (1/2 C dried)
1 cup pinto beans, cooked and drained (1/2 C dried)

1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
¼ cup olive oil
1 large clove peeled garlic
1 t salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds

Toss all vegetables together in a large bowl.
Blend all the dressing ingredients together in a blender.
Add the dressing to the vegetables and toss again.