Bean Water FAQ + Basic Bean Recipe

Make a pot of beans and reap the rewards: a bean water FAQ.

Of all the posts on Rural Eating, the most popular is Don’t Throw Out That Bean Water from way back in 2010.

Since it’s officially soup season, this is the perfect time to revisit the topic of bean water and to answer all of the questions posed by readers in a Q&A format. It also includes more information and tips I’ve learned from using (and storing) the cooking water from dry beans in many ways. (more…)

Hands-free Polenta with Mascarpone & Parmesan

This oven polenta cooks and then waits in the oven for hours.oven-polenta-closeup

Here in the Rural Eating kitchen, much of what I cook can be characterized as peasant cooking. It’s based on using what I have on hand to take advantage of what’s in season now and to eliminate food waste later.

This approach to cooking is simple, practical and comforting. And inexpensive.

The Italians call it cocina povera. The poor kitchen. (more…)

Dinner 911: Tostadas from the Pantry

These beef tostadas save the day.

Sure, they explode on the third bite, but tostadas have become my soccer season go-to.

Why? Because even when I do not have a plan–especially because I so often do not have a plan, tostadas save me from “it’s 7:30 on a school night what are we going to eat?” stress. (more…)

No-Cook Homemade Fruit Leather

Make this year round and keep everyone snacking happy.

The plum trees this year kept on giving and giving. I gave grocery bags to my neighbors, posted a giveaway on our community Facebook classifieds page and ate two plums every time I passed by the trees in the yard on my way to the garden.

Still, there were so many and they were so sweet, I had to find a way to preserve all that goodness before anymore fell onto the ground and became feed for the deer. (more…)

6 Reasons to Get Pickling + Recipe Links

This instant and easy pickle platter can be yours! Just add friends.
instant appetizer pickle platter

It’s harvest season, so there’s no time for chit chat now. I’ve got a bucket of cucumbers ready to pickle, plus plum jam to can, tomatoes to roast and freeze… That’s just the start.

This is our chance to put up all the local food we can for the long winter ahead. Have you noticed the mornings are dawnier and the evenings duskier?

So, why pickle? Even if you’ve never tried it before? (more…)