Monday, June 21, 2010

Community Kitchen #3 Digest

I had a great time last Thursday at the CK making the recipes you'll find here, here, here and here. Warmer (?) weather and lots of new produce in season called for two salads. I love making salads for friends because I like to make them out of unconventional ingredients, and that shows off how you can make a salad out of nearly anything. Meat, fruit or vegetable, cooked, pickled or fresh, depending on what each ingredient needs and what you're going for. Like, you probably couldn't make a salad out of flour, honey and pickles. Or, butter and Crisco. Short of those extremes, almost any combination goes. This time of year is when you'll start to see more varied ingredients with which to make salads, and a lot of them don't need cooking or all, or just barely. So go nuts, and have fun!

We also made another spread, which we served this time with something to spread it on. Of course we braised some chicken. How could we not braise chicken at the downtown CK? It was actually part of a salad.

I bought all the fruits and vegetables at Frank's produce in the market at the slightly blemished produce ("#2") bin, just underneath one of the display cases. It's where we shop for as much of our produce as possible every month, and it's a great source of cheap, nutritious food for everyone. I think all produce stands have something like the #2 bins available, or at least they should. So, if you have access to some kind of farmer's market, this can save you some money. This runs contrary to the general feeling that farmer's markets are for rich people only. They're not.

This time we didn't make a soup together, but that doesn't mean soup won't be made. Those of you who came to the Senior Center on the 17th went home with a bag of vegetable scraps to start a bag of food trimmings for stock. Even if you didn't get a bag at the CK, start one or add to the one you have. Why? My challenge to all of you is to make a soup without using a recipe, write down the recipe you create and send it to me. And tell me how cooking it went, and how it tasted! I'll compile the recipes and send them back out so you all can see what everyone came up with. Maybe we'll make one of the recipes at the next CK. If you want inspiration, here are one and two soup recipes. I'm looking forward to seeing what you all come up with!

So make some soup! Some salads! Something from scratch! Riff off of these recipes or do something totally new. And please, share your recipes, thoughts and frustrations with me. I would love to hear your ideas and offer any help I can.

I hope to see as many of you as possible at the next Community Kitchen at the Pike Market Senior Center on July 15th, 4:30-7pm. Tell your friends about us! Everybody should be able to cook from scratch. We only had a couple of people come out for the last CK and we can accommodate up to 15 or so. It would be great if we could overfill a class and have two groups a month instead of one. That would be so cool.


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