Don’t make this recipe, it’s awful.

Scarecrow (2)

By Pamela Denholm

I am not afraid. In the kitchen, my philosophy is: just cook it! This makes my husband a little afraid, and my kids sometimes terrified. But I ignore them, blissfully, and turn the music up while I crush garlic. My efforts are broadly successful, blog-worthy even. And then, there are those other times . . .

It all started with the buttermilk. I had made a successful batch of buttermilk rusks – a farmhouse style of biscotti. I wanted to use up the leftover buttermilk before it turned and found this recipe for Buttermilk Ranch Potato & Turnip Gratin. I had at least 2lbs of scarlet turnips in the fridge. And instead of the ranch, some shallots, garlic, Parmesan, and fresh thyme would be a noble buttermilk pairing. Oh, but no potatoes! No problem. Just the turnips would do.

I whipped out the Mandolin, put all the ingredients in the baking dish, padded out to the garden for some fresh thyme, yum! Covered it up and into the oven it went. I was so gosh darn proud of myself for being creative and making something delicious out of things I had in the fridge, I phoned my husband to brag. In hindsight, this was a mistake. If you are married, you’ll know what I mean.

What came out of the oven an hour and a half later was not pretty. The buttermilk had separated and curdled. The pink skin of the turnips had turned the clear runny separated buttermilk pink too. The pale fleshed turnips were swimming in a clear pink soup, with a generous sprinkling of curdled sour cottage cheese lumps. NOT photograph worthy. Sorry. It reminded me of my home economics class in high school, when my teacher had to taste my luminous pink coconut ice cookies by drinking them out of a glass in order to assign a grade. Pink is the color of failure in my kitchen, it seems.

I could not get my family to eat it. I ate it, just to prove my constitution is just as strong (and stubborn) as my (inflated) sense of pride. Besides, my husband had remembered my braggart call from earlier and was having a field day ordering pizza, sans turnips, and I was damned if I was going to have any.

About Pamela:

There was a mutiny. Pamela ‘Queen of the Turnips’ was dethroned. Stripped of her title but not defeated, she resigned herself to the kitchen to hatch a new plan to rule the veggie kingdom. Perhaps this time, as Queen of the Beet. She turned the music up, and destroyed all evidence of her demise. She shall rise to cook again!

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The Pizza Pickle

B - Michael

By Michael Borghesani

I recently made a trip up to Vermont with two of my close friends. While there, we visited a flatbread pizzeria in Waitsfield, American Flatbread. It is housed in a converted old barn, and much of their offerings are farm fresh. They have become so popular that you have to make reservations in person for that evening during the afternoon to be served that evening  (no walk ins).

If you visit the area, put this little local gem on your priority list. Between the specially selected Vermont craft beers (which are all excellent), and clay ovens from past times that conjure pizza’s from another dimension, its a winning combination covered in cheesy goodness.

The special of the night was banh mi pizza. All the veggies on it were pickled first, and I was unsure I would enjoy it, but it was one of the best pizza’s I have ever had. So, naturally, I came home and tried to recreate the masterpiece for friends and family. A heads up, this is a weird and spicy pizza, depending on the ratio of pickled veggies to plain pizza you got going on. If you go in with an open mind, however, you won’t be sorry.

Ingredients:

Wholewheat pizza dough, cut in half (bread dough works fine too, in a pinch)

8oz Poblano Tomato Sauce

8oz Mozzarella Cheese

6oz Foxpoint Spiced Dill Pickles

6oz Pickled Carrots

1 Chopped Onion

Cornmeal for the bottom

Olive oil (I have a bottle of olive oil that I added pepper flakes to, and allowed it to sit. I use it frequently when cooking, it adds a smokey flavor and a little heat)

Making the Pizza

Turn oven on to 350 degrees.

Open bag of dough, divide, and let sit for a bit.

Sprinkle cornmeal on baking sheet, and knead out dough to rough shape your flatbread. Add more cornmeal as you need under the pizza to prevent from sticking.

Drizzle a little olive oil, then spread with sauce.

Cut up and sprinkle pickles of choice over flatbread, I did gherkins and carrots.

Cut mozzarella cheese into chunks, distribute over the top evenly.

Bake in oven for 20-30 minutes until cheese has melted and the pizza crust is golden brown.

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Remove, rest, slice, enjoy.

About Michael:

Our young and always hungry Padawan – Michael is a valuable ally if you want to try a new restaurant, or a new dish. We think having an adventurous appetite says good things about a person. Breakfast is his favorite meal of the day.