Speaking of apples

   September 30, 2011 3:11 pm    0

I couldn’t accept the fact that my apple tree produced close to nothing this year. I wanted to say, “Oh, well. No applesauce this year. No apple butter this year. No canning. No pies. I got off easy.” But the more I thought about it, the more depressed I got. I had all my equipment…


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Two apples a day

   September 29, 2011 10:44 am    0

For fun, colleague Pat Cuneo brought in two baskets of apples earlier this week, one full of McIntosh, the other of Honeycrisp. He wanted to do a taste test, asking people to have a slice of each and choose their favorite. The verdict came down: Honeycrisp won, 7-4. I was surprised it was so close,…


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Books for cooks

   September 28, 2011 10:46 am    0

Before I get to the books, let me try to clear something up: There will not be a shortage of canned pumpkin this year. The crop is good in Illinois, where 90 percent of canned pumpkin is grown. It’s the Halloween pumpkins in the Northeast that got wiped out after Hurricane Irene. That will put…


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My all-time favorite pumpkin dish

   September 27, 2011 10:10 am    1

I probably look at a dozen of recipes a day, sometimes more, but every once in a while, something reminds me of a dish I’ve already made. Then that recipe gets in my head and I can’t rest until I make it again. PASTA WITH PUMPKIN AND SAUSAGE is one of my favorite recipes of…


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I can’t close the crisper drawer

   September 23, 2011 12:01 pm    0

It’s time for an all-out chop fest. Hearty vegetable soup is in order because the vegetables keep calling for help. We’ve been enjoying leftover stuffed peppers from John’s mom and then pizza for the kid’s birthday this week, so I’ve been pretty much off duty in the kitchen. But it’s getting to be now or…


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Book it, Dan-no. It’s free.

   September 22, 2011 11:52 am    0

          My desk is getting cluttered again. If you want any of these books, send an e-mail to with your name, the name of the book(s) you want, and your street address. In a couple of days, I’ll pick a name at random from each list of entrees, and send…


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Cup of cake

   September 21, 2011 10:21 am    0

My kid wants cupcakes for his birthday — tomorrow. I asked him what kind of cupcakes, and he said “frosting.” I said there would indeed be frosting, but what kind of cake did he want. “I don’t know.” So I gave him a list. I tried to put chocolate last on the list, because I…


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Good gourd

   September 20, 2011 8:12 am    1

Just visited the MIL. That means my fridge is full and I don’t know what to do with it all. I kid you not. I now have: 6 ears sweet corn, four bell peppers, three acorn squash, 1 butternut squash, ground cherries, a sweet onion the size of a softball and about 2 pounds small…


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Chopped: The real thing

   September 15, 2011 1:52 pm    0

Most avid vegetable gardeners are in a quandary right now. Fresh produce is coming at them from all directions, and there’s only so much they can use at once. But even that part can be rewarding, as they proudly present their bounty to grateful friends and family members. But if they, meaning you, are surrounded…


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Summer veggies, meet risotto

   September 14, 2011 9:02 am    0

There are so many great recipes out there that fit this season I can’t keep up. They’re coming at me like a meteor shower. Some will simply have to wait. But not this one. Not only does it pack in 5 fresh vegetables, it’s rich and creamy and tastes decadent. Risotto takes some standing and…


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