For being such a short month, February can seem very long to those of us in this latitude. Even lovers of winter, like myself, have grown a bit weary of the cold and snow. The February Full Moon is often called The Hunger Moon, since, traditionally speaking, this is the time when hunting is more difficult as prey becomes scarce, the land, source of our food, has been frozen for months.
Even though I live in the age of the supermarket, I found myself with an insatiable appetite in February and wondered if maybe it was some ancestral hunger still deep in my bones. Then I realized it probably had more to do with the fact that I’ve spent most of the winter in a cooking slump, eating quick (often unhealthy) foods or scavenging for what other people made around here (thankfully I live with great cooks and bakers.) In the summer, fresh, colorful food is bountiful. But in winter, it’s so easy to get bored. But, luckily, my cooking interest has rekindled and I have spent more time in the kitchen. I’m now realizing that my appetite has simple been to cook more, to reconnect with my food.
Some of the things being made in the kitchen include:
- SouleMama’s simple crackers have been a huge hit around here. Especially with homemade hummus.
- Fried sauerkraut with onions and carrots (sometimes wrapped in rice paper.)
- I’m on a mission to make the perfect freezable burrito. Amy’s Black Bean and Vegetable burritos are a favorite but I am certain they can be made cheaper, at home, from scratch. I’ve experimented a bit, using the refried bean recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook as a starting point (adding the likes of corn and broccoli and rice.) My Dad helped me make the spelt tortillas from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking.
- Then I helped him on his mission to make a homemade version of Mestemacher rye bread using the Volkornbrot recipe, also from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking. It’s a lot of work, feeding a rye sour and all, but surprisingly close in taste and texture.
- Finally made a ginger syrup. (I cut the recipe in half.)
- My Mom makes the most amazing scones. (It’s a recipe from the Cuisine at Home magazine. I think this is it.)
- Granola. (I didn’t have a hand in making it but I can guarantee you I’ve had a hand in eating it. If I know my Dad, it was probably another King Arthur recipe.)
Some things I’d like to try making soon include: These granola bars and these oat cakes look like the perfect snacks for early spring hikes (after this snow melts, and the ground dries up a bit, there will be hiking, so much hiking.) /// Peanut Butter Cups? Yes, please. /// We are hoping to have dinner of savory crepes (kind of like these.) /// And I want my mother to teach me how to make spaetzle. /// But first, Bangers and Colcannon for St. Patrick’s Day.
What have you been cooking, baking and eating lately?