March 28th, 2013
07:00 PM ET
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The new season of Game of Thrones premieres on April 6. Whet your appetite.

Black swan. Unborn puppies. A hundred live doves “baked into a great pie” and prepared to “burst forth in a swirl of white feathers.”

Those are some of the dishes I decided not to attempt for my Game of Thrones-themed dinner party.

George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” books are famously long (1,040 pages for the latest installment), and roughly 50% of the word count is devoted to describing what the characters are eating. One wedding feast features an ode to most of its seventy-seven courses; even a rundown of frozen defense outpost’s dwindling supplies is good for a three-page litany about storerooms filled with “potted hare, haunch of deer in honey, pickled cabbage, pickled beets, pickled onions, pickled eggs and pickled herring.”

The HBO series embraces the books’ gluttonous spirit: The producers got a castle banquet into the very first episode.

For food fans, this is clearly a challenge. A thrown gauntlet. One week ahead of Game of Thrones season 3 premiere, I rounded up a few of my geeky friends - and some novices we hoped to convert - for our own recreation of a Westerosi feast.
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Filed under: Books • Cookbooks • Entertaining • Make • Television


CSI: CSA – After Sandy, a community rallies around a ruined farm
November 5th, 2012
10:00 AM ET
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Stacy Cowley is CNNMoney's tech editor. She's in a complicated relationship with her CSA and explores the odd vegetables that show up in her haul in CSI: CSA. Previously, she fended off a stampeding herd of zucchini.

The vegetables I've been writing about this season - the invasive purslane weed, inscrutable kohlrabi and endless bushes of leafy greens - all came from Added Value, an urban farm located on the edge of Brooklyn's Red Hook waterfront neighborhood.

By Monday night, the farm was buried under almost three feet of water. Sandy's storm surge sent a flood of river water, mud and industrial sludge cascading through Red Hook, drowning hundreds of homes and local businesses. The farm lost its fall crops, some of its physical structures, and an estimated $10,000 to $40,000 in equipment.
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Filed under: CSA • CSI: CSA • Disaster • Farms • Feed the Soul • Flood • Hurricane • Local Food • Urban Gardening


CSI: CSA – We need to talk about zucchini
September 10th, 2012
10:15 AM ET
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Stacy Cowley is CNNMoney's tech editor. She's in a complicated relationship with her CSA and explores the odd vegetables that show up in her haul in CSI: CSA. Previously, she fell in love with the weirdness of kohlrabi

I have a zucchini the size of a baseball bat lurking on my fridge’s bottom shelf. It has a pack of cousins jammed into the veggie drawer, and my freezer is stuffed with roughly seventeen zillion pounds of squash creations.

It’s the problem every CSA subscriber or veggie gardener faces all summer long: The zucchini explosion.

These things are the rabbits of the plant world. During a long, dry July stretch when practically nothing else was coming up at my CSA’s farm, the zucchini merrily ran rampant. We got massive hauls of it each week; the leftover squash took to leaping off the vines and accosting those who wandered past. I’ve known home gardeners who become like drug pushers: “Oh, you have to take some of my zucchini home with you! No really, take some damn zucchini.”
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Filed under: CSA • CSI: CSA • Squash • Vegetables


CSI: CSA – kohlrabi, a highly adaptable space octopus
August 21st, 2012
01:30 PM ET
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Stacy Cowley is CNNMoney's tech editor. She's in a complicated relationship with her CSA and explores the odd vegetables that show up in her haul in CSI: CSA. Previously, she discovered the weedy joys of purslane.

If you’ve got kohlrabi in your fridge, you’re probably in a CSA. I’ve never met a single person who has procured a kohlrabi in the wild*.

I’d certainly never run across one until my CSA started sticking them in its shares. With most new produce, I can at least take a guess at its likely texture and taste. With kohlrabi, I had absolutely no clue. Its appearance has famously been described by nutritionist Jonny Bowden as “a cross between an octopus and a space capsule."

Lacking any idea where to start, I hit the Internets. First step: Figuring out what to make. Kohlrabi turns out to be obscure but incredibly versatile - you can use it in pretty much anything that works well with root vegetables, but it will also stretch in unusual directions.
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Filed under: CSA • CSI: CSA • Gardening


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