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In the South, pokeweed is a springtime delicacy. I’ve never really fooled with it, mostly because I figure anything that needs to be boiled in a few changes of water isn’t meant to be eaten. But I know some old-timers who talk about eating the first tender poke leaves and how it was a sort of spring cleansing food.

How can you not think of pizza when you think of tomatoes?

This is a repost from a few years ago, but Spring is in the air and rabes once again dominate our farmer's market. Time for a refresher... and some good pasta!

Our farmer’s market has been well-stocked with a spring treat we have never encountered before: flowering tops from over-wintering brassicas.

 

I often wonder what extraordinary hungers brought humans to eat certain questionable foods. The artichoke and the oyster belong in that category, without question, although both are considered delicacies these days.

Over the winter, leeks and cabbage are staple vegetables for us. At least in the Pacific Northwest, they seem to be available even during the bleakest part of winter, making them standards for cold weather cooking in our house.

When friends express concern over cooking dinner for us, thinking that our diet must be terribly exotic and exciting, I usually make a joke about how we actually just eat a lot of beans and rice. While that may be a slight exaggeration, we do, in fact, cook up a pot of beans almost every week.

We were recently asked to cook a fundraiser dinner for 18 people. While that’s straightforward enough (no one’s calling it “easy,” but straightforward, yes), there were quite a few food allergies in the group, plus one vegan guest.

For a little bit, I toyed with the idea of doing a non-chocolate dessert for Valentine’s Day, and then John basically said, “What are you thinking?!” And that, friends, is what your better half is for--to let you know when you’re completely off base.

It's filled pasta season in our home. Lasagna, canneloni, tortellini... all of them are good for warming up the palate and soul. With filled pasta, it's only natural to think of butternut squash in January. 

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Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to www.joyofcookingapp.com. Don't forget to review the app!