Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Shopping finds



I love Dollar Tree. This week's find was some really classy looking glass mugs that are perfect for soup-and-sandwich night, when a bowl of soup is too much. Tonight it was leftover Turkish Spinach and Lentil Soup, one of the first vegetarian recipes I ever made, from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. We've strayed from 20-plus years of veggie ways, however, so tonight this healthy soup was paired with a not-so-healthy grilled kielbassa sandwich.
Last week's shopping find was at a gem and mineral show, a free-admission event I go to when it comes to town two or three times a year. I bought these lovely to use as coasters -- at only $4 per polished slice. It was fun poring through the display, looking for four that are of similar size and color. At the next show, maybe I'll find four more. And a set for my son, who shares my love of natural things.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Annual orange peel



It's Florida orange season and time to build a new stash of grated orange peel for the freezer. I love orange flavor in so many things -- cakes, cookies, clafoutis, bagna cauda for tilapia -- and hate having to run to the store for a single expensive orange just for a spoonful or so of grated peel. So every year I buy a big bag of 12 to 14 Florida juice oranges for two or three bucks, grate the skin with my marvelous Microplane grater, then stash it in a freezer container for measuring out throughout the year without the hassle. Then for a special personal treat, I pull out my great little Salton electric juicer and make myself -- oh, about a half quart or so -- of delectable fresh orange juice just the way I like it. This juicer allows me to adjust the pulp content, and I like it high.
The orange rind stash goes into the freezer next to the other two items I feel kind of virtuous about: one little plastic box of frozen cubes of canned tomato paste and another loaded with cubes of canned chipotle in adobe that I've pureed and frozen by the tablespoonful. I no longer throw away partially used cans of tomato paste or chipotle.