Tonight's culinary inspiration was pragmatic rather than flavor-driven. We had ham and leftover rice in the fridge, plus a butternut squash - burritos it is. Add a can of tomatoes, a can of green chiles, and a packet of taco seasoning.

The taco packet is where I have to really reassure myself that it's okay to just make practical weeknight dinners (and lunches!) sometimes.

I got to try natto for the first time today! and OMG I almost hurled.

It reminds me of the way red elderberries remind me of vomit, but with red elderberries that's kind of a faint background, here it was foregrounded, strong and insistent. Underneath that I could kind of taste a nice rich umami thing but my hind brain was too busy yelling STOP EATING THIS POISON to appreciate it.

Life hack: Use chopsticks to eat cheetos, it keeps your hands clean.

Why doesn't my work cafeteria stock chopsticks though? 😒

I just fell into a little Wikipedia hole wondering how I could hydrogenate my own oils for shortening.

You need a source of hydrogen, a pressure vessel, and a catalyst. Hydrogen is easy to make from water, I have a whipped cream maker to use as the pressure vessel, and I could either sacrifice a platinum family heirloom ring or steal the catalytic converter from a neighbor's car. But I don't have a compressor for the H2.

Report back on palm-oil-free vegan pie crust: I made some using the shortening recipe here:

And the fat was still not pliable enough to roll out quite right at my usual kitchen temperature. It was okay, better than straight coconut oil for sure, but nowhere near the flaky goodness of hydrogenated palm oil.

So it's probably time to give in and look at sustainable palm oil products.

Grapefruit + spruce/fir tips as a flavor combination. Always!

Happy National Pie Day! I love you all and I hope you get to eat pie.

πŸ₯§ πŸ₯§ πŸ₯§ πŸ₯§ πŸ₯§ πŸ₯§ πŸ₯§ πŸ₯§ πŸ₯§

Not sure how much the gritty texture of these gluten-free cricket flour brownies is the gluten-free, and how much is the cricket flour.

Wednesday is National Pie Day! I think this year's experimental pie might be a vinegar pie:

I have some homemade plum wine vinegar, that with raisins? Or should I use the barrel-aged cider vinegar?

I just scored a bag of pink Himalayan salt from my Buy Nothing group.

What are your favorite ways to use fancy salts? I barely even use regular salt so I'm excited by the new shiny thing but also a bit lost.

I put some niter qibe on the outside of my grilled cheese, which was brilliant, but slightly less so than you might suppose - for all that it smells amazing it is not actually very strongly flavored.

B+ would do it again with more ghee next time.

My oyster mushroom mycelium had taken over the bags, but wasn't fruiting. So I opened the tops to let more oxygen in, and misted the heck out of it, and it worked! One bag has baby mushrooms, and the other just started pinning.

#gardening #mushrooms

I didn't do as much exploring the local ethnic groceries as I'd wanted. I did hit up an Indian grocer for this month's beans, which are fine beans but not likely to end up in regular rotation, and an Ethiopian one which didn't have anything that different (cheap favas tho).

I could make "try a new ethnic indie grocer every month" a 2019 resolution? Seems like a lot of potential transportation logistics, though, and eh, I'm not quite feeling it.

My new year's resolution for 2018 was to try a new kind of bean every month. And I just finished some soup made with urad & moth beans, so I'm a New Year's winner!

I splurged on a bunch of fancy heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo for this, and most of my new favorites were from there - the Yellow Indian Woman, ayocotes (all 3 colors), and scarlet runner beans. Also on the new favorites list, but not from Rancho Gordo: Crowder peas.

I made this with mountain ash berries from my yard:

With wild food I can never tell if I have a more bitter variety of tree in my yard, or if it's supposed to taste that way and the recipe writer likes bitter food more than I do, or what. My berries were bitter, 2 months in sugar syrup didn't do much to mellow them out. The richness of the pork belly balanced em pretty well, though - in the end, the bigger flaw was that I overdid the tarragon.

Christmas dinner! The squab was so good omg, I will never look at pigeons the same way ever again.

Drink was a sage betony lavender braggot that a friend gave me in exchange for an unwanted kitchen gadget. The herbs were a lot more subtle than the lactic acid, which was not subtle at all - but after a few mouthfuls of fatty dinner that was perfect.

The wild rice was... worth a toot of its own.

I have 3 squab defrosting in my fridge for Christmas dinner. I've never cooked squab before, does anyone have advice?

Left to my own devices I'll follow Hank Shaw's instructions here:

My hematocrit was too low to donate blood today, so I bought some bison steaks for dinner! Pan-fried them in niter qibe, topped with onions and some rehydrated Leccinum scabrum gravy with garlic, ginger, and a pinch of berbere.

Sorry no pix, I'm a lousy photographer anyway. And the important part here is that my house smells like niter qibe now. A+ do recommend.

Kith Kitchen

All about food, recipes, and cooking.