Monday, October 19, 2009

Crock Pot blog worth diving into

Take a look at

I was looking for a crock pot recipe for the stone-ground grits that I bought fresh from a mill and had found were taking a very long time to cook. A Google search led me to the above blog and rekindled my respect for the slow cooker as an important part of my cooking tool collection.

In the late 90's, my mother was ill and in her last days, my work was calling me to travel over several regions of the state, and I was cooking for care-givers. I was stressed and spread ice-thin. I allotted myself seven minutes for supper (that was the long version). I had to find ways to ease the stress of responsibilities and the little time I had to meet them.

I turned to the crock pot as a time-saver cooking tool. Soon, I was able to put together meals that were a treat, easy to make, and no-fuss at the back end (or the front end for that matter). Dan, the head care-giver, even scheduled his shift when he knew I was cooking with the crock pot!

I developed a few recipes that became favorites when served with rice and steamed veggies, but the simplest was to take Boston Butt, trim off the excess fat and squeeze it into the slow cooker. Pour a jar of barbecue sauce over the butt. Add chopped onion, salt, pepper, cajun seasoning. Put it on high for 45 minutes or so to get it good and hot and then drop it to low and let it cook all day. It was so good, I imagined accolades of "Genius, genius!"

Back to the subject: the young woman who put together her blog with the self-challenge to use the crockpot daily for a year has put together an entertaining and helpful series of entries worth reading and returning to often. As she works her way through the varieties of uses for the crock pot she parlayed the experience into a book contract and television appearances. Well worth diving deep into her blog. Take the leap.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


In the mid-70's, my dear friend, Robin Heil (now from Colorado) and I shared a house in Earleton, Florida with her then-boyfriend, Michael. Robin's cooking is, in my opinion, divinely endowed and she makes cooking look easy.

In those days, Michael and other acolytes of Robin's cooking eagerly stood in line for her fried chicken and other fixings including a dynamite creamed corn recipe. Decades later I was able to coax her east for an encore cooking demonstration so I could study her every move at the stove.

During her visit a year or two ago, I inquired how she developed into such a fine Southern cook considering she was born raised in south Florida. When she first came to Gainesville, she dated a local boy (we all were younger then), John Freeman, whose mother imparted to Robin many secrets of Southern cooking.

In addition to fried chicken, Mrs. Freeman taught her to make a peach cobbler that I can attest is first-rate. Robin wrote recently that it always comes out of the oven in a state of fail-safe perfection. Robin makes this cobbler recipe once a week when the Colorado peaches are in-season. It is no wonder her children have turned out well and her husband has a perpetual smile on his face. It may be that peach cobbler is the answer.

Here is Robin's recipe (thanks to Mrs. Freeman):


3 teaspoons, baking powder
1 cup, milk
1 cup, flour
1 cup, sugar
1 stick butter
6-8 peaches, peeled and sliced

Melt butter in pan (13 x 9 x 2) while oven is pre-heating to 350 degrees. Combine the milk, baking powder, flour, and sugar and pour on top of the butter. Watch the pan carefully to avoid scalding anything. Cover all with sliced peaches. Put in oven and cook for 35-45 minutes until golden.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Alachua County video on the Alachua County Farmers' Market

This video is well done. I did not realize that the Alachua County Farmers Market near the Highway Patrol station is a growers only market. Everything sold there is grown by the farmers staffing their booths.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Green Drinks at Satchel’s Oct. 7!

Posted by Trish Riley, October 5, 2009
October 7, 2009
6:00 PMto8:00 PM


Got Something Green Going On? Bring your info to our next Green Drinks meeting to share with like-minded neighbors so we can support one another and find ways to work together to create a sustainable community.

Green Drinks Gainesville will meet at Satchel’s Pizza, 1800 NE 23rd Ave., 6-8-> p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7. We’ll convene in the lounge – the screened room in back. Wednesday is New Song Night in the lounge at Satchel’s, so if you’re a musician, you might like to bring along your instrument and entertain us a bit. Check here for more info:

Satchel Raye will take the stage during a musical intermission at 7 p.m. to share his experiences running a sustainable business and why he feels it’s the best way to operate. Afterward, the music will resume. Those of us who wish to network can migrate to the picnic tables and tree house areas outside, where, at about 7:45, Melissa DeSa of Florida Organic Growers, David Reed, who’s working to develop a virtual food distribution system for local farm products, will share information about the exciting work underway to develop a strong local food network in our community. Ed Brown will share research he’s done on the potential impact that increasing our local food consumption could have on our local economy: it’s huge.

Remember – If you’ve been to Green Drinks before, you’re an ambassador! Please help introduce newcomers to help us all learn about one another’s green interests and activities so we can help each other grow our green community.

*Bring Your Own NAMETAG*

Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Check out WWW.FOOD52.COM and enter their weekly contests that will yield a cookbook

Here is the gist of what these women are up to:

  • We created food52 to celebrate the best cooks in the world: home cooks.
  • Every week we'll hold recipe contests. After a year - 52 weeks - Harper Studio will publish the winning recipes in a beautiful cookbook.
  • We'll also share discoveries from the worlds of food, wine, and cookware so we all become better cooks together.
  • Exchange recipes with others. Cook. Vote. Contribute. Welcome to food52!
  • Amanda & Merrill