Tuesday, April 25, 2017

After the Ice

No, this isn't a post about Spring. It's about a book. Steven Mithin's book, AFTER THE ICE: A GLOBAL HUMAN HISTORY 20,000 - 5,000 BC is part anthropology, part archaeology, and part informed fiction.

Why am I posting about it on Fatal Foodies? Because, my dears, one of the motives for murder, individual or group-wide, is competition for a desired object/person or resources.

Sometimes, the resources coveted are food/food-related. Stored grain. Domesticated livestock. Grazing lands. Rich fishing grounds. And always, in pre-history, everything was centered around hunting/gathering: just finding and preparing enough food to survive was the main occupation of everybody, all the time, every day.

Mithin gives the excavation evidence of foods, climate, ecosystems, social activities, folds in observational details from people living similar lives in similar climates and ecosystems in recent times, and extrapolates possible scenarios in pre-history. He never says, "It WAS this way," and he always cautions against assuming too much, but his recreations are compelling.

Whether you're writing a mystery set in pre-history or a modern hunter/gatherer society, or a science fiction/fantasy world with hunter/gatherers, or maybe have a survivalist character/group in your book, this book is a fascinating and useful read.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Nectarine-Ginger Preserves

This recipe is from Southern Living. Check it out here.


Ingredients

4 1/2 cups unpeeled and diced nectarines (about 2 1/2 lb.)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 (1.75-oz.) package powdered fruit pectin

How to Make It

Stir together all ingredients in a 4-qt. microwave-safe glass bowl.

Microwave at HIGH 8 minutes (mixture will boil). Stir mixture, and microwave at HIGH 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened. (You're going for the viscosity of pancake syrup here. The mixture will thicken to soft-set preserves after it cools and chills.) Cool mixture completely (about 2 hours). Serve immediately, or cover and chill preserves in an airtight container until ready to serve. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Risotto is SO GOOD! and #vegetarian!

I usually like the kind of rice you bung into the water and take off the heat when it's done BOOM! But sometimes I like to make risotto. Some people will tell you that you can make risotto the same way, just using Arborio rice, but it isn't the same. Just no. I mean, yeah, you can do it, but it isn't the same.

So this happened.
RISOTTO WITH MUSHROOMS AND PEAS
  • vegan margarine (or butter)
  • Arborio rice
  • four times as much liquid as rice (I used white wine and water)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • mushrooms, halved
  • flour
  • more white wine
  • peas, cooked
  1. Heat some margarine or butter in a skillet and in a saucepan. Put the mushrooms in the skillet and the rice in the pan. Add 1/4 of the liquid to the rice and cook on high medium, stirring almost constantly, until the liquid is absorbed. Add another 1/4 of the liquid and continue cooking and stirring until THAT liquid is absorbed. Continue until almost all the liquid is absorbed. Add salt, pepper, and Parmesan.
  2. Meanwhile, in between stirring, cook the mushrooms on medium heat until they start giving off liquid. Add enough flour so you can toss the mushrooms around in it and coat them. Cook until the flour browns a little. Add a little wine and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Put some rice in a bowl or on a plate. Top it with mushrooms, then top that with peas. You can sprinkle it with chopped parsley and/or more cheese, if you want to.
It's a little fussier than I usually cook, but sometimes it soothes me to fuss over cooking. You could leave the cheese out, if you want to go vegan. Add a little ground cashew or some nutritional yeast. Still good.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, April 14, 2017

Peach Preserves

Today's recipe also comes to you from All Recipes. Check out tips, photos, and reviews from the All Recipes Peach Preserves page.


Ingredients

12 fresh peaches, pitted and chopped
4 1/2 cups white sugar
1 (2 ounce) package dry pectin

Directions

Crush 1 cup chopped peaches in the bottom of a large saucepan. Add remaining peaches, and set pan over medium-low heat. Bring to a low boil, and cook for about 20 minutes or until peaches become liquid (my family likes a few bits of peach left).

Pour peaches into a bowl, and then measure 6 cups back into the pan. Add sugar, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Gradually stir in dry pectin, and boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat after 1 minute, and transfer to sterilized jars. Process in hot water bath canner for 10 minutes. Let cool, and place on shelf.


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2017 Allrecipes.com

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Baked Basghetti

Basghetti is what our particular children called spaghetti. So this is it, baked.

Baked Basghetti

  • leftover cooked spaghetti
  • tomato sauce
  • basil
  • oregano
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • olives, sliced
  • cheese, shredded
Mix the tomato sauce and herbs (and powders). Oil a casserole dish, and cover the bottom of the dish with some sauce. Spread about a third of the spaghetti on. Top with mushrooms, olives, cheese, and sauce. Add another layer of each, then a final layer of each. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about half an hour. Remove the foil and top with more cheese. Broil until top cheese is melted or bubbly or browned, or however you like it.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Friday, April 7, 2017

Damson Plum Cardamom Jam

To celebrate the release of SILENCE OF THE JAMS this month (Tuesday, April 4), every Friday in April I'll be posting a jam or jelly recipe. Today's recipe comes from All Recipes. Check out photos, reviews, and tips here.


Ingredients


5 pounds fresh Damson or Damask plums
1 cup water
12 whole cardamom pods
4 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon butter

Directions

In a sink full of cool water, rinse and de-stem the plums. Place them in a thick-bottomed pan suitable for slow cooking and deep enough to allow frothing when the plums begin to boil. Add the water and cardamom pods and bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat. Turn heat to low for a slow simmer and allow the fruit to cook down uncovered for 1 1/2 hours. Allow the plums to cool.

To pit the plums, strain the cooled plums with a colander, pressing the juice out with your hands and collecting it in a large bowl. Pick up the pit-and-fruit slurry in the colander by small handfuls and squeeze the plum pulp and skins gently into the bowl with the syrup, retaining the pits in the palm of your hand and then discarding them.

Put the plums back into the original pot with the sugar and butter. Cook at a very low simmer until the mixture begins to thicken, about 4 hours. To test for adequate development of pectin, drop a spoonful of the jam on a plate and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes: the mixture should be soft-set and no longer syrupy.

Ladle the hot jam into hot, sterile jars, wipe the rims clean, place sterile lids on, and tighten the screw caps. Allow the jars to cool to room temperature and check to be sure that each jar has sealed.


ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2017 Allrecipes.com

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Salmon and Pickles? Seriously?

Seriously.

Dill is sort of a traditional flavor with salmon around these parts, but I used up all my dill weed.

So I got out a frozen salmon filet. I minced a slice of my homemade garlic dill pickles and mixed it with mayonnaise. Then I slathered the frozen salmon with the pickle-and-mayonnaise and fried it in vegan margarine, seven minutes to a side.

That was just a tad long, but Charlie likes his fish dry. He's an odd duck.

We split that bad boy.
I served it with sides of buttered Jasmine rice and kale chips.

Satisfactory.

Marian Allen, Author Lady
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes