July 29, 2015

See Jane Cook is a free weekly Internet food newsletter written by Jane Snow and published by Mimi Vanderhaven. Sign up here to have newsletter appear every Wednesday in your email in box. Join us!

Dear friends,

In 30 years of writing about corn on the cob, I thought I had explored every single way to prepare it. Wrong. For two nights running last week, I had some of the best corn I’ve ever tasted and not a drop of butter was involved.

The corn was browned over hot coals on a grill while a lip-licking sauce was seared into the kernels. Is it just me or is this the yummiest corn in the universe? You decide.

The flavors are Thai-inspired, according to Su-Mei Yu, author of “Asian Grilling.” She developed the recipe after tasting corn on the cob for the first time as a foreign student in Kentucky.

The sauce is very simple – thick coconut milk heated, cooled and combined with shredded coconut, cayenne pepper, salt and lemon zest. It is brushed on the shucked ears of corn as they brown on the grill.

The resulting flavor is as rich as butter, with hints of citrus and heat. The toasted bits of coconut that cling to the corn are scrumptious.

Yu grates fresh coconut and makes the thick coconut milk herself. It’s summer and I wasn’t about to do that, so I used unsweetened grated coconut I bought in an Asian store (check the freezer case) and the thick coconut “cream” that rises to the top of can of chilled coconut milk (Thank you, Sue Fogle, for teaching me that trick).

COCONUT-CAYENNE GRILLED CORN
janesnow_corn
•    6 ears corn, husked
•    1 cup thick coconut milk (see note)
•    1/2 cup unsweetened grated coconut
•    1 tsp. cayenne pepper
•    1 tsp. sea salt
•    Grated zest of 1 lemon

Refrigerate the corn while heating the grill. It should be very hot.

Meanwhile, heat the thick coconut milk in a saucepan until warm. Remove from heat, transfer to a small bowl and cool to room temperature (I put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes). Stir in coconut, cayenne, salt and lemon zest.

Grill and turn the corn over high heat or hot coals until the color brightens and the kernels  begin to brown. With your hand and arm clad in an oven mitt, brush some of the sauce over the tops of the corn. With tongs, turn that side down to sear sauce into corn. Brush bare side with sauce and after a minute or so, turn again. Continue brushing and turning three to five times, turning down heat or scattering coals if the corn browns too quickly. Total cooking time should be about 12 minutes.

Transfer to a platter and serve hot. Makes 6 servings.

NOTE: For thick coconut milk, chill an unopened can of coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. Do not shake or turn can over. Open can and scoop out the thick cream, leaving behind the thin, watery liquid.

Adapted from “Asian Grilling” by Su-Mei Yu.

I served the corn with grilled pork tenderloin, sliced and napped with a luscious fresh plum sauce brightened  with vinegar. The sauce would go well with chicken, too.

PLUM GASTRIQUE
•    2 tbsp. butter
•    1 shallot, chopped or 2 tbsp. diced onion
•    1 cup or so peeled, pitted and chopped very ripe plums
•    1 to 2 tbsp. sugar, as necessary
•    2 tbsp. port wine
•    3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
•    Salt to taste

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Sauté shallot until softened. Add plums and sweeten if necessary. Stir in wine, vinegar and salt. Simmer, stirring and mashing plums with the back of a spoon, for about 5 minutes or until plums are soft and the flavors have melded.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

TIDBITS

Kristi Perry, a mainstay of the Seville Farm Market, sent a note about the annual Zucchini Smackdown.  I couldn’t have written it better myself, so here it is in her words:

The Seville Farm Market will be holding its 6th annual Zucchini Smackdown on Saturday, August 15.

The Smackdown is our celebration of the iconic vegetable of summer. Folks are encouraged to enter their favorite concoction either in the sweet or savory category. Entries must be in place by 10 a.m. and judging starts at 10:15. Entries must include the recipe.  Samples of the entries will be available after judging to the public for a donation.

There is also a GIANT zucchini contest. So bring that zucchini that you have been coddling under the bushes and see how it compares to other competitors.

The Seville Farm Market runs from Memorial weekend until the end of September and is at Maria Stanhope Park in Seville, 75 W. Main St. We are open 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday and are the best-kept farmers market secret in Medina County.  Shhhh, don’t tell your friends what great prices we have and no crowds. And, bonus, we are a producer market. You won’t find any produce purchased at an auction house.

MAILBAG

From Marilyn:
Regarding the question about corn chowder, Martha Stewart makes a base stock by simmering the corn cobs after you cut the kernels off. Haven’t tried it, but it sounds like a good idea.

Dear Marilyn: Yes, it does sound like a good idea. It would give the soup more of that earthy, just-picked-corn flavor.

From Alan:
I can’t get my blueberry pies to gel. I tried flour and cornstarch with no success. The pies still taste great.

Dear Alan: Well, it’s complicated. The amount of thickener you’ll need depends on many things, from the ripeness of the berries to the type of pan to whether the pie has one or two crusts. The last word on the matter was written by P.J. Hamel on the King Arthur Flour blog, Flourishes, at http://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2013/06/21/fruit-pie-filling-no-runs-no-drips-no-errors/.

Hamel tested a passel of thickeners with different fruits and concluded that apples need about half as much thickener as berries, which are juicier. Flour, tapioca and cornstarch all were inferior to the two thickeners she settled on: Pie Filling Enhancer for apple pies and Instant ClearJel for berry pies. Hamel says flour makes the filling too cloudy, tapioca is too gluey and cornstarch is inconsistent – it thickens as it cools.

I’ve seen ClearJel in country stores such as Beiler’s Penn Dutch Market in Uniontown and Acme Produce in Medina County, along with many food stores in Amish country. I had not heard of Pie Filling Enhancer until I read Hamel’s blog post. The King Arthur product is a combination of ClearJell, superfine sugar and ascorbic acid.

Hamel uses 1/3 cup Instant ClearJel  to thicken 8 cups of fresh blueberries. Those who prefer to use flour will need 1/2 cup to thicken the 8 cups of blueberries. That’s way more flour I would have guessed, which explains why my berry pies are always exceptionally – ah – juicy.

Hamel’s blueberry pie recipe is at the bottom of her post.
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July 22, 2015

See Jane Cook is a free weekly Internet food newsletter written by Jane Snow and published by Mimi Vanderhaven. Sign up here to have newsletter appear every Wednesday in your email in box. Join us!

Dear friends,

Broth bowls seemed like the perfect winter warmer when I discovered them several months ago, but now I know they’re warm-weather food, too.  Broth bowls, I’ve learned, may be tailored to any appetite and any weather.

The bowls are basically a mound of whole grains, vegetables and meat surrounded by a light broth. They aren’t soups. The solids sit squarely in the center. The broth is essentially the “sauce” that ties the elements together.

The bowls are great for those who want quick yet healthful dinners. Just prepare some quinoa, lentils or brown rice to keep in the fridge and portion out with the seasoned broth and vegetables, which may be prepared in advance, too. Varying the meat or vegetables will keep things interesting.

SUMMER BROTH BOWL

DSCN1633(1)
•    2 plump boneless, skinless chicken breasts
•    Salt
•    Olive oil
•    Sweet soy sauce (kekap manis)
•    2 1/2 oz. (small handful) fresh green beans
•    1/2 cup julienned carrots (see note)
•    2 cups lightly packed baby kale
•    1 cup cooked quinoa
•    Ginger chicken broth, reheated if necessary (recipe follows)
•    Juice of 1/2 lime

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each breast crosswise to make 4 chubby pieces of chicken. Season liberally with salt. Heat an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.  When hot, film the bottom with oil. When the oil shimmers, brown chicken for 1 minute. Turn and brush with half of the sweet soy sauce. After 1 minute, turn over and brush with remaining sauce. After 1 minute, turn and sear final sauced side. Place in oven and bake for 5 minutes or until cooked through.

Meanwhile, place green beans in a pot of boiling water and boil 5 minutes or until tender, adding carrots and kale for last minute of cooking. Drain.

Place 1/2 cup quinoa in the bottoms of two shallow bowls. Arrange vegetables around the quinoa. Top quinoa with chicken. Ladle some of the broth around the quinoa and meat. Sprinkle with lime juice. Makes 2 servings.

Note: To julienne carrots, cut wide strips the length of the carrot with a vegetable peeler. Stack the strips and cut narrow strips with a sharp knife.

GINGER CHICKEN BROTH

•    2 cups chicken broth
•    4 quarter-sized pieces of fresh ginger
•    Zest of 1/2 lime, in strips
•    1 tsp. sweet soy sauce (kekap manis)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, stirring well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove ginger and lime strips with a slotted spoon and discard. Makes about 2 cups.

TIDBITS

Dear Tony,
If my memory fails when I am old, relegating me to the dark, sad world of dementia;
If your handsome face and beloved voice cannot pull me back;
If neither books I’ve read nor music I’ve loved can penetrate the fog
Then take me to our blackberry patch on a summer afternoon
And feed me berries warm from the sun.
I’ll remember.

MAILBAG

From Marilyn F.:
In this week’s newsletter, there were NO directions on assembling the salad.

Dear Marilyn and others who wrote: A technical glitch caused the directions for the Mediterranean Couscous Salad to vanish. The Mimi Vanderhaven team is so sorry for the inconvenience. Here are the directions:

Place couscous, water and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Drain and set aside.

In a medium serving bowl, combine 1/4 teaspoon salt and the olive oil. Mash anchovy filet into the oil until pieces are very fine. Whisk in vinegar. Toss couscous in the dressing with remaining ingredients. Chill. Stir before serving. Makes 4 servings.

From Mel:
My recipe calls for organic lavender. Can I use the lavender in my flower garden or it that something else? It’s for a tea bread, one teaspoon. Thanks.

Dear Mel: Yes, you can use your lavender, as long as you haven’t dosed it with insecticide.

From Carol Button, Cuyahoga Falls:
In response to your column on the high price of beef, I would suggest that people take this as an opportunity to eliminate it, or most of it, from their diet.  Beef is 10 times more damaging to our environment than any other meat in terms of land use, water use, and greenhouse gas emissions.  My husband and I gave it up years ago, which is not hard to do, since there are so many alternatives.  (By the way, we are not “nut cases” about it.  We do succumb to the occasional hamburger, if it’s really special!)

Dear Carol: I hear you, and your reasoning makes sense.

From Trudy:
Just wondering with corn coming into season can you share a corn soup recipe you might have?

I went to Chez Francois in Vermilion and the chef there makes a fabulous one.

I was there recently for a pharmaceutical industry dinner (I am a nurse at the Cleveland Clinic) and we get invited to dinners there sometimes.

I had the pea soup with a Quail Egg in the middle… delicious. Wish I knew how to make that too!

Just thought maybe you would have some summer soup recipes.

Dear Trudy: My first taste of this summer’s corn came Sunday at Seiberling’s Farm in Norton. I stripped an ear and bit in right at the corn wagon. The tender, sweet kernels were half gone by the time I bagged the rest of the dozen and paid.

If the corn is very fresh, it doesn’t even need cooking. If you make it home with most of the dozen, you can turn it into this corn soup, from Emeril Lagasse. He starts it like a typical seafood chowder, with bacon rendered in the soup pot to yield a crisp garnish and flavorful fat. Aromatics – onion, garlic, carrots and celery — are fried in the fat along with diced bell pepper and carrot. This base intensifies the flavor of the broth, a combination of chicken broth and cream (I use half and half or whole milk).

Lagasse thickens the soup with a roux and stocks it with fresh corn kernels and cubed potatoes. He garnishes the soup with the bacon and chopped fresh parsley, although I often substitute basil.

EMERIL’S SOUTHERN CORN CHOWDER

•    4 oz. bacon, chopped
•    1 cup finely chopped onions
•    1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
•    1/2 cup finely chopped celery
•    2 tbsp. minced garlic
•    3/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers
•    5 cups fresh corn kernels (from about 7 ears)
•    1/4 cup all-purpose flour
•    2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium chicken broth
•    1 1/2 cups 1/2 -inch cubes peeled russet potatoes
•    1 tbsp. salt
•    1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
•    1 cup heavy cream
•    Finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Place an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat and cook the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bell peppers and corn to the pot and cook for 10 minutes, stirring often.
Please note: If your email address changes, you must re-subscribe to my newsletter in order to continue receiving it. We are unable to change the address for you in  our email list. The procedure is easy. Just click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of a newsletter.  Then go to  http://www.janesnowtoday.com, to sign up under your new address. Thank you.

Please tell your friends about my blog site (https://janesnowtoday.wordpress.com/), where you can find not only each week’s newsletter but archives of past newsletters.

July 15, 2015

See Jane Cook is a free weekly Internet food newsletter written by Jane Snow and published by Mimi Vanderhaven. Sign up here to have newsletter appear every Wednesday in your email in box. Join us!
Dear friends,

What’s up the price of hamburger? A friend complained recently that she could have served a side of salmon for what it cost to make a meatloaf. Burgers on the grill have become a luxury meal and although steak prices haven’t risen as sharply, they’re no bargain, either.

Well, get used to eating more pork and chicken because beef prices probably won’t fall significantly any time soon. It’s a classic case of supply and demand. U.S. beef herds are at an historic low. Economists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture say that expanding the herds back to “normal” levels may take the rest of the decade.

The high beef prices were touched off in 2007 by widespread drought that decimated grazing land and caused feed prices to shoot up dramatically. Ranchers began selling off their herds because feeding the animals was too expensive.

The shrinking and expansion of the U.S. beef herd is a process that repeats itself every decade or so due to weather and economic pressures. But this time the contraction was near catastrophic because of the severity of the droughts in almost every cattle-producing state.

The good news is that ranchers are expanding their herds once again, and at a pace that is faster than expected. In January, the USDA reported herds had increased 1.4 percent  — and the important breeding herds 4.1 percent – from the previous year, although the inventory is still the third smallest since 1952.

So have some pork, which is in such abundant supply that prices are expected to continue to fall. I have bought whole pork loins this summer for less than $2 a pound, and I’ve seen bacon on sale at the same price.

The pork producers would love for you to switch to what they’re touting as “the other burger” – seasoned ground pork shaped into a patty and cooked on the grill. I found a recipe for an Italian version on a National Pork Producers Council website  (http://www.porkbeinspired.com) .

If you try the recipe, remember that ground pork is NOT sausage. Like ground beef, ground pork is an unseasoned mixture of fat and meat ground together. If you don’t see it in the meat case of your local supermarket, ask for it.

Along with the burger recipe, I’m including a recipe I developed recently for a couscous picnic salad. Enjoy.

DSCN1469

THE OTHER BURGER, ITALIAN STYLE
•    1 lb. ground pork
•    1 tsp. ground black pepper
•    1/4 tsp. salt
•    1 clove garlic, crushed in a garlic press
•    (or very finely minced)
•    1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds
•    2 tsp. red wine
•    2 tsp. olive oil
Gently mix together ground pork and remaining ingredients. Shape into 4 burgers about 3/4-inch thick. Place on grill over moderate-hot coals, lower hood and grill for 5 minutes; turn and finish grilling 4 to minutes longer, until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees. Serve on sandwich buns if desired.

Serves 4.

MEDITERRANEAN COUSCOUS SALADRIED CHICKEN AND ASSEMBLY:

•    3/4 cup uncooked pearl (Israeli) couscous
•    3/4 cup water
•    Salt
•    1/4 cup olive oil
•    1 salt- or oil-cured anchovy filet
•    2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
•    2 tbsp. sliced Kalamata olives
•    3 tbsp. finely diced mozzarella cheese
•    1 tbsp. finely diced dates
•    1/4 cup finely diced cucumber
•    1 tbsp. finely chopped basil
•    1 tsp. finely chopped parsley
TIDBITS

Thank you, David Lebovitz. Finally, a kindred soul who deplores the current restaurant trend of plating food with a streak of sauce, a few cubes of vegetables and two or three teensy slices of meat. (I’ve always thought the streak of sauce resembles the mark a dog makes when it scoots.)

Here’s how he describes the plating trend in his latest blog post: “…a smear of root vegetable puree down the center of the plate, with herb leaves, flowers, a dice of vegetables, and three pieces of meat.”

Lebovitz continues, “I just want good food, prepared and served by competent people who take pride in what they’re doing, whether it’s a falafel sandwich, a roasted chicken, or a fancy, three-star dinner.”

I agree.
I goofed

My brain was still on vacation last week after I returned from New York City and wrote my newsletter. Julia Child’s seminal work is, of course, “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” not the “Theory and Practice of…” as I wrote in The Mailbag.  “Theory and Practice…” is James Beard.

The second mistake was somehow tacking  part of the previous week’s recipe name onto last week’s recipe name. If you saved the fried chicken sandwich recipe, please delete the steak with arugula reference.

I’ll try to do better in the future, but I’m not making any promises. I need an editor.

MAILBAG

From Bill Bowen:
(Regarding the reader who wanted cold dish ideas for a Julia Child dinner): I’d suggest serving ratatouille cold. But the “Julia & Company” cookbooks are good sources. Also her chicken mayonnaise or macedoine of fruit are good choices.

Dear Bill: Thanks for the ideas. I enjoy hearing Julia Child recipe suggestions because usually they include at least one recipe of hers I haven’t tried. I’ve seen the macedoine of fruit recipe but haven’t prepared it. Now I will.
Please note: If your email address changes, you must re-subscribe to my newsletter in order to continue receiving it. We are unable to change the address for you in  our email list. The procedure is easy. Just click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of a newsletter.  Then go to  http://www.janesnowtoday.com, to sign up under your new address. Thank you.

Please tell your friends about my blog site (https://janesnowtoday.wordpress.com/), where you can find not only each week’s newsletter but archives of past newsletters.

July 1, 2015

See Jane Cook is a free weekly Internet food newsletter written by Jane Snow and published by Mimi Vanderhaven. Sign up here to have newsletter appear every Wednesday in your email in box. Join us!

Dear friends,

“Geez,” I thought after yet another humdrum Fourth of July, “doesn’t anyone throw parties anymore?”

I remember a July 4th spent lazing in giant inner tubes on a river with dozens of friends. I remember several holidays at the ballpark, and many picnics with family and friends. I remember killer badminton (played with tennis racquets), and performing hilarious precision “rafting” routines in a friend’s backyard pond.

Then I remembered I had organized most of those outings. So last year, instead of gardening and hoping the neighbors would set off a couple of bottle rockets, I threw a last-minute party. Everyone showed up. I grilled sausages and they provided the sides. It was a wonderful day.

This year I’m planning a bang-up Fourth, too. My picnic plans are for a David Chang fried-chicken sandwich followed by fireworks over the East River in New York City. Tony probably will wedge in a few noodle shops that day, too.

My Fourth of Julys will never be humdrum again, thanks to relearning a life lesson: Make it happen. So if you have no plans for Saturday and wish you did, get on the phone and start calling. A picnic need not be a major production – most people are happy to be invited for anything, even hot dogs.

For years I specialized in developing easy recipes that taste great and look chic, so I’ll reprise one and fork over a new one for slightly more suave July 4th grilling.  If you’re rich or have practically no friends, I recommend the Ribeye Steak with Arugula Chimichurri Sauce I made for Tony Sunday.  Yeah, it sounds fancy but the sauce is made in a blender with no cooking and the steak goes from fridge to table in under 10 minutes.

For a larger gathering try my fab Indian Chicken Kabobs with Mango-Mint Relish, created for my former Second Helpings newsletter. I had forgotten how good – any easy – these are. Chicken cubes are marinated in a mixture of yogurt and curry power, grilled on skewers and topped with a flavor-packed relish made from just five ingredients (including a dash of cayenne).

For best results, share with friends. Or meet me at David Chang’s Fuku in the East Village.

RIBEYE STEAKS WITH ARUGULA CHIMICHURRI SAUCE

•    2 ribeye steaks, about 1 inch thick
•    Olive oil
•    Salt
•    Arugula chimichurri sauce:
•    2 cups lightly packed arugula leaves
•    1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
•    5 medium cloves of garlic
•    2 tbsp. chopped onions
•    2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed lime juice
•    2 tbsp. red-wine vinegar
•    1 cup olive oil
•    1/2 tsp. salt

Trim most of fat from steaks and gloss all over with oil. Season heavily with salt, rubbing it into the meat with your hand. Heat a charcoal fire or gas fire on one side of the grill.

While grill heats, make chimichurri sauce: Briefly pulse arugula and parsley in a food processor or blender. Drop garlic cloves one at a time through the feed tube while the processor or blender runs. Remove lid and add remaining ingredients. Pulse several times until blended but not smooth. Transfer to jar, bowl or sauce boat and chill.

When coals are ashed over but still very hot, sear steaks for 2 minutes on each side or until edges are caramelized and steaks have distinct grill marks. Steaks slightly less thick than 1-inch thick should be medium-rare at this point. If serving 1-inch steaks, move to other side of the grill away from the coals. Cover with a vented lid and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer for medium-rare.

Transfer steaks to plates and top each with 3 tablespoons of the sauce. Pass remaining sauce at the table. Makes 2 servings. The sauce recipe will easily serve 8 to 10. Leftover sauce will keep for weeks in the refrigerator.

INDIAN CHICKEN KABOBS WITH MANGO-MINT RELISH

Chicken:
•    1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
•    1 tsp. curry powder
•    1 tsp. garam masala
•    1 (8-oz.) container plain yogurt

Relish:
•    1 mango, peeled and cubed
•    3 tbsp. chopped fresh mint
•    1/4 cup diced sweet onion
•    1 tbsp. olive oil
•    Dash of cayenne pepper

Place chicken in a bowl, sprinkle with curry and garam masala and massage spices into meat. Add yogurt and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. Do not marinate longer or the chicken will become mushy.

Meanwhile, make the relish by combining relish ingredients and stirring gently. Cover and refrigerate. Remove chicken from marinade and thread on four skewers, allowing as much yogurt as possible to cling to the meat. Place on a grill sprayed with vegetable oil spray. Cook over medium-hot coals, turning occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 7 to 10 minutes. Place skewers on serving plates and top with mango relish. Makes 3 to 4 servings. Recipe may be doubled, tripled or quadrupled.

HELP U COOK

A patch of black raspberries behind the barn went crazy after Tony cut down two old, dead pine trees that had been shading the canes. I hacked through briars and weeds to an inner sanctum of ripe berries and slithered back out with a quart of the beauties. The next day I harvested almost as many.

If you have a berry patch or plan to take advantage of the great deals on raspberries right now in stores, treat the fruit gingerly because they’re fragile and perishable. They will keep no more than a day or so in the refrigerator.

Don’t wash the berries until you’re ready to use or pack for freezing. Instead of rinsing them in a colander, which may bruise or rip apart the berries, float them in a big bowl of cool water. Swish gently, picking out bits of grass and stems.

For freezing I toss the berries with sugar or Splenda (about 2 tablespoons per quart) and scoop (gently!) into quart-size zipper-lock freezer bags. Voila – summer on ice.

MAILBAG

From Mary, Rocky River:
Thanks for the tip that Popsicle molds can be found at T.J. Maxx.  Here are a few raw recipes from www.rawtrainer.com.  She (Marisa Dicenso-Pelser) owns a Pilates studio in Strongsville and is my guru for delicious raw recipes.  Enjoy!

SUPER EASY STRAWBERRY POPSICLES

•    2 quarts local strawberries with the green tops
•    1 banana for creamy texture
•    1/4 cup maple syrup (optional)

Blend all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Pour into ice-pop molds and freeze for at least 4 hours.

ORANGE DREAMSICLE SMOOTHIE/POPSICLES

•    1 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
•    1 or more large carrots
•    1 cup coconut milk
•    2 bananas, frozen
•    1 tsp. vanilla extract
•    1 tbsp. maple syrup

Blend ingredients in a high-speed blender. Enjoy as a smoothie or pour into ice-pop molds and freeze for at least 6 hours.

Dear Mary: Interesting. The banana in the first recipe serves as a texturizer to prevent the mixture from freezing rock-solid.  Raw-food fans can find more recipes on Marisa’s blog.  FYI, I bought the last (only?) set of ice-pop molds at the T.J. Maxx where I shop, so don’t count on your store having them.

From Carol B., Cuyahoga Falls:
I bought some garlic scapes at a farmers’ market, but they are curled, tough, and very strong in taste.  Is there anything I can do with them?  The strong taste doesn’t bother me.

Dear Carol: Scapes toughen as the pod at the tip matures. Usually the scapes straighten when this happens, but you say your scapes are still curled. Maybe they’re just dry. See if soaking them in warm water followed by a quick stir fry softens them. I don’t recommend longer cooking because that also can toughen scapes.

Please note: If your email address changes, you must re-subscribe to my newsletter in order to continue receiving it. We are unable to change the address for you in  our email list. The procedure is easy. Just click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of a newsletter.  Then go to  http://www.janesnowtoday.com, to sign up under your new address. Thank you.

Please tell your friends about my blog site (https://janesnowtoday.wordpress.com/), where you can find not only each week’s newsletter but archives of past newsletters.