Preparing for Holidays

All last month, I was undecided about which recipes and ideas to share in November. I was traveling in several regions and climates, wearing everything from four layers of long johns and raingear to tank tops and summer dresses. And meals featured the fresh strawberries I associate with spring, the Dungeness crab of fall and winter, and everything between.

Shortly after I returned home to Montana, Mother Nature decided the blog’s November theme for me. After just a couple of days in my own kitchen, snow began to fall and winter was suddenly upon us. Instead of digging the final carrots and potatoes and cleaning up garden beds, I was curled up by the woodstove, reading food books and thinking about the coming holiday season. For me, that means planning to gather with friends and family, making lists of gifts to create, and of course, deciding what we’ll eat.
Read more about preparing for holiday gatherings and meals

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The Science of Food

If you looked at my book purchases over the last couple of years, you might think I started Twice as Tasty as an excuse to expand my food library. I’d be hard-pressed to dispute it. As my partner and I increasingly returned to basic ingredients and making what we eat from scratch, one of my greatest joys has been learning from people with far more experience, training, and knowledge about food. Although there is a wealth of helpful information online, many of my favorite sources sit on a shelf, ready to be pulled open when I’m looking for answers or ideas.

Earlier this year, I shared some of my go-to books on canning. They’re the inspiration for many recipes on this blog, and my favorites tell me not just how to best can something but also why the process works. When I want to write about other kitchen processes, I often have a different stack on my desk: books on the science of food.
Read more about my favorite resources on the science of food

Grilled Tomatoes

I grill a lot of vegetables, from asparagus to tomatillos, but I probably spend the most time grilling tomatoes. Not only are they delicious on a skewer with other vegetables for dinner, but they’re also fabulous when pulled off the canning shelf or from the freezer. And the process for grilling large tomatoes is easy: slice them in half, sear them cut side down on a hot grill for a couple of minutes, and then flip and cook a few more minutes until soft.

Those of us with large gardens quickly come up with enough grilled tomato batches for canner loads of salsa, Bloody Mary mix, and pasta sauce. But in recent years, I’ve been running a small batch to freeze in cubes—the perfect size to drop into a soup, spread on a pizza crust, or simply dip into with mozzarella-stuffed breadsticks.
Learn to make Grilled Tomato Pizza Sauce and Stuffed and Grilled Breadsticks

Grill It, Roast It, Smoke It

And just like that, September is here. Long before I’m ready for summer to be over, the month that signals the start of fall rolls in. But even though a few of August’s garden-fresh favorites are finished for the season, September’s list of harvestable fruits and vegetables is the longest of year, with the last of the summer beans, berries, and corn bumping up against the first of the fall greens, plums, and winter squash.

If August is the month for enjoying fresh fruit and veg, September is the month for adding a bit of charred, caramelized, and smoky flavor to the produce on the table. We’ll be grilling, roasting, and smoking all month at Twice as Tasty—mostly thanks to some incredible response from recent Twice as Tasty workshops.

Although my September schedule is quickly filling up, it’s not too late to get in on the current lineup or featured workshops locally. And Twice as Tasty will be on the road again in late October! For more details, click here.
Read more about grilling, roasting, and smoking