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Red beans are used as a mixture of sweet foods in various countries, such as bread stuffing, dorayaki, or mochi. While in Indonesia, beans which are often called red beans are also often processed into soups to the ice menu which is a typical drink of Palembang, South Sumatra. Besides being fresh, red bean ice also has many benefits. This is because the nutritional content in red beans is useful to ward off free radicals, healthy digestion, optimize brain function, increase body energy and much more.
This vision of sweet, soft green loveliness comes from reading one of my absolute favourite all time American cookbooks: The Taste of Country Cooking, by the prolific Edna Green. What strikes me again and again when I leaf through the evocative gustatory scenes and recipes described in this book is the incredible ability of Ms. Green to not only provide the reader a recipe, but a vivid depiction of the seasons of life and food and community in Freetown, Virginia (founded after the Civil War by freed slaves, including her grandfather). If you haven’t read or tried the recipes from this incredible cookbook in the Virginia region of the American south, I strongly encourage you to get your hands on this as soon as possible. It is full of the most beautiful prose and recipes. A masterpiece. I understand the importance of beans (including the baby Lima!) to the history of food and diaspora in American, and Canadian history. We owe a lot to these wonderfully filling protein bundles, from filling our tummies whether in refried, smothered, baked, buttered, raw, creamed, in brownies, in cakes, in muffins.....and in other ways as the weight in our prebaked pie crusted to the subject of many elementary science or counting activities.....the list goes on.....! This recipe is just one part of the amazing Christmas Dinner section of my copy of The Taste of Country Cooking on page 217. Try it today! My god, Lima beans are taken to a whole new, rich and heavenly place. Delicious.
Every autumn, when the temperature and humidity is just right, my mother and I wait for the perfect moment to go mushroom hunting in the neighboring forests. With our eyes peeled to the forest floor we pick only those we know to be edible.
Gathering only enough for our dinner we hurry home while the mushrooms are still at their freshest. Prepared in a simple manner, we use our old cast iron pan, a dab of butter, a splash of cream, pepper and salt and some herbs like parsley and rosemary. Nothing more. We want to savor the taste that every unique mushroom has to offer. With our plates warmed and ready they end their journey with glass of chilled white wine.
A sweet dream in pink, red and white and very simple to make – it just hast to be spring when the strawberries are full of flavour. Legend has it that this desert was invented in Eton where a small shop offered it to the students from 1930 onwards. I like that it doesn’t require any skills, just make a nice mess and indulge!
Fave Memory: My Dad – an excellent cook – did most of the cooking in our house, and this was a favourite hearty lunch or dinner with some nice crusty bread and cheese. He rarely followed a recipe, though – just went by instinct and experience. We lost him earlier this year and I still can't believe I can't just call him up and confirm the ingredients or instructions – so this is to the best of our recollection. He loved everything to do with the sea and I can't think of another dish that reminds me more of my Dad.
This is my late Mum's recipe for potted smoked trout, the recipe description is taken straight out of an old file that she kept her recipes in. I wanted to keep it as it originally was because the file is very precious to me.
Dad caught the trout as he loved to go fly fishing and I have very happy memories of watching him cast his rod while I lazed on the banks of the river watching and dreaming.
I was never very keen on trout, but the one way I liked it was when Dad hot smoked it, in a smoker he made himself out of an old cake tin. This was my favorite way to eat it when Mum made the pate, its delicious spread on crusty bread or toast.
An adapted illustration from my forthcoming book (with author Rachel Wharton): American Food: A Not-So-Secret History
See more here: http://instagram.com/americanfood_ahistory
or preorder the book here: http://tinyurl.com/y42hte8v