Category Archives: The Annals and Recipes of Sally Frye

Costume, character and cooking concepts behind the character Cassandre Ceilhe Frye who appears annually at the Arizona Renaissance Faire as well as the vegan recipes of the genius behind the mask.

Read, listen, enjoy, and ya know, talk back!

Here is the promised blog, appearing on the actual day I promised it and not only offering a tasty selection of fashion, travel and writing blogs I peruse and recommend, but also a wonderful, and equally tasty (as those who celebrated Amie’s birthday already know) and extremely versatile vegan crock  pot concoction.

May I also recommend listening to this award show while reading todays blog, or making the chili, or just just sitting smiling and alternately reminiscing of filkers, and authors known and salivating over all the new stuff out there yet to be discovered,, I admit to more of the first, I am after all, mature (code for getting old.)

No geek ever looked so good as one taking fashion advice from the beautiful blonde who pens this blog, and her advice stands strong for those who walk in the normal ways of the world as well. This blog has all kinds of useful advice about choosing, caring for and ways to wear the one thing we all have in common, clothing! From her “little white dress” to her white shirt dilemna I (the fashion challenged costume maker) have enjoyed and employed Jen’s advice. Look for the same brevity and classy taste in her entertainment blog .

For writer’s or readers of fantasy or of  life fiction check out the blog by novelist Ann Videan Music is a recurrent theme in her writing, both blogs and novels. Her blog is also a great place to pick up a few marketing tips for those trying to court fame and fortune as a professional pen wielder. On the same wavelength, but perhaps better known among fantasy fans is one of my other favorite author’s blog (I know, if you took my advice you are listening to *gasp* science fiction awards while reading about fantasy blogs, I am sorry if this is jarring, but I am totally a “soup” person. If you don’t know what tha means, feel free to ask, and I will happily explain.)

Totally unrelated blogs but incredibly fascinating (to me at least)  and both from the same lady who is living one of my dreams (but we only have one life so I happily live the one I am in and find blogs that allow me to vicariously live the other dreams). Of course there are always two of my  favorite go to sites: ,  , reflecting another life I chose not to lead.

Now if you are still with me and haven’t clicked off and become lost in one of these amazing blogs, here is my newest vegan creation, I call it “2 hours till dinner and still lots to do”

Plug in your crock pot or slow cooker, low heat.

Chop a small onion and one or two green peppers into small (1cm or less) pieces. Put two-three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron skillet (enough to lightly cover the bottom) and as it gets warm toss in the onions first and stir with a wooden spoon. When the onions become translucent add the peppers (and 1 cup mushrooms if you have them and you know your intended audience likes them) and cook another minute or two, turn off the skillet heat if on an electric stove, to very low flame if gas, and press in one clove of garlic, stir and let them all sit together as you stir together 4 cups hot water, a small can of organic tomato paste, two cubes of vegan bullion, and 1 tsp fresh chili powder in the warm crock pot. Add 1 can organic black beans rinsed and drained, or 2 cups of home cooked black beans. Dump in the lovely mixture of onions and peppers, stir again. Add 1 1/2 cups of Trader Joe’s organic red quinoa, OR add 1/2 cup organic red quinoa and 1 cup Trader Joe’s harvest Grains Blend, OR add 1/2 cup organic red quinoa, 1/2 cup couscous, and 1/2 cup yellow lentils. Close the lid and cook for 1.5 to 2 hours (quinoa unfurled and beans soft). Serve with warm crusty bread, or corn chips and enjoy!

finally, where I got my chile powder recipe, or buy a fresh one if not so motivated



A work in process, wheat and corn free vegan coffee cake, and two places everyone should shop at least once!

Take 1 cup brown rice farina or whole grain Teff and stir it into a mixture of  1 and 1/4 cups vanilla soy or rice milk, 1 tsp vanilla and

****     1/2 cup coconut oil (if you substitute vegan margerine sticks DO NOT add this or add here) ****

Combine thouroughly 1 and 1/4 cup White Rice flour, 1/2 cup Tapioca Flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 1 cup organic granulated sugar, 1 TBSP Baking Powder, 2 tsp. Xnathum Gum. ( ****If using stick margerine instead of coconut oil here is where you cut the margarine into the flour mixture until it is in pea size pieces.****)  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.

Grease a 8 or 9 inch square pan, and smooth half the batter in the pan,

Combine 1/2 cup organic brown sugar, 1/2 cup pecans, 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut and disperse evenly across the batter. Now  smooth the second half of the batter across the nut filling and bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

I am very happy with the flavor, but still working on the texture, Texture is the greatest challenge when working gluten free or when working vegan, but I am happy to say that science and the willingness to fail (and my roommate’s, my own and sometimes my dogs willingness to be guinea pigs during the process) means that success is always just one more bake away…..

This is an adaptation of a recipe I got off the back of a Bob’s Mill rice farina package a couple years ago that I made vegan. I love Bob’s Mill products because I can have my delicious comfort carbs and get my needed nutrition too by switching out  bleached white flour whit a plethora of naturally high protein, calcium rich grains ( . I llike this company’s politics and policies, too. I am lucky enough to have a local farmer’s market that carries most of the flours I need regularly which means I get to support the local economy while eating better(
If you don’t live in the East Valley of the Phoenix, AZ area you can order from them as well, plus there are awesome recipes. When I use a recipe verbatim I won’t post it here, but I do use their recipes faithfully and  I am always tweaking what I bake.  Another reason I love the Bob’s Mill site is sometimes I will have just so much of a particular flour left, and not the others I bought for a particular mix or recipe and wonder what I want to do with it, I can search their sight and find new recipes for that particular flour. It’s absolutely lovely! So those living in the furnace with me, wander on over to Power Road and pick up a package of some new untried flour as well as some fresh and tasty local produce and go home and start your own delicious experiments. My long distance readers can check out Bob’s Red Mill website and either try the store locator or have it shipped right to your door.
Iif you do I predict delicious healthier baked goods are in your future, soon!


Encounter at Far Point; Boldly going where no vegan has gone before….or why there is no new recipe

Ok, the Star Trek reference is mostly because my distraction reading right now is a rereading of  Wil Wheaton and my book club just finished Red Shirts and unfortunately the vegan recipe I was working n this week is apparently just here for me to emote over and not a major player and I would need Q to intervene to make either recipe work. That is why I chose my blog title,

The current goal is to create some edible vegan uses, actually going for delicious, recipes using my vegan whole grain sourdough starter. No new recipes today because both my crepe recipe and rye bread recipe are currently dead, immediately after beaming on to this planet. The crepe’s are tasty but totally wrong texture and next to impossible to flip. The bread smells like whisky. Soooooo, no new vegan recipes this week.

But the process will continue, I will keep trying. After all, the process and the journey is where the fun is in all things.

Thought for me (and you, if you want) to ponder: Is part of what makes so many people sad, mad and basically dissatisfied these days  the fact they have forgotten how to really work for something difficult? Are we really a lazy and immature culture whose needs are too easily met and so do not know the joy of “taking the trouble” to do something without a guaranteed outcome? How do I fit into that observation and what things have I let go that would serve the greater good because they took work?

Well, speaking of work, I have tons to do before I leave to be a nurse this afternoon so this is it for today.


Its not that easy eating green… or now I’m a vegan, what can I put on my salad?

I love salads, and I love raw vegetables. I can relish a bowl of mixed spring greens drizzled only in a bit of lemon juice, or add black beans and toss the whole thing with salsa and satisfy my tastes and my ethics.  Crudite and a small dish of sunflower seed butter is a fast tasty snack. So for months I only ate my salads and cut raw veggies with the obvious out of the jar dips and dressings like nut butters and citrus juices.

But one day, I went to Sweet Tomatoes with my son and DIL for dinner and drenched my vegetable goodness in real live dressing. My mouth stood up and did a dance, and although I still can eat all things green in a simple garment of lemon or thinned hummus, my quest had begun to re-introduce the excitement of  taste layered dips and complex creaminess into my vegan life.

I do love to cook, but I also have a busy modern life, so first I looked on store shelves. Reading ingredients lists on bottles quickly alerted me to the fact that as a vegan, I would either be making my own dips and dressings or finding a more lucrative career so I could afford the organic prepackaged offerings.  (It has always amazed and flumoxed me how leaving ingredients out of a product increases the price exponentially.)

What follows are my three favorite dressing that now replace Italian, Ranch, and Russian dressing in my food lexicon. I am still experimenting and trying recipes I find in vegan books. My favorite coleslaw for vegans is found in “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch” so no need to post it here, besides the fact it would be plagiarism, Freedman’s book is readily available at libraries and bookstores (like Changing Hands chock full of other tasty vegan treats, so if you want good coleslaw, check her out, A qualifier here is that I am not bought into the whole skinnier is better or prettier paradigm,  but her vegan recipes have never failed to please even “meat”atarians.

So here are Sally’s favorite salad dressings, no coleslaw among them (see above) although I LoooovE coleslaw, with a reminder that the quality of ingredients used will determine the quality of the finished product.

Italian Dressing

1/2 cup Bragg’s organic Cider Vinegar

1/4 cup Organic Olive oil

1 T Bragg’s Amino Acids

1 small clove garlic, pressed

1 T Organic Italian seasoning (I mix my own, but it can easily be bought)

Place in glass bottle with lid and shake well, it is best mixed an hour or two before serving. I do store it in the fridge but take it out well before dinner as the oil will coagulate! To make it creamy Italian just place it all in the blender with 8 ozs of tofu, but then it must sit for 8 hours or the the tofu will take over the taste.


Creamy Vegan Ranch

1 3/4 cups cooked (one can) cooked, drained, and rinsed garbanzo beans

1 T tahini

2 tsp.  garlic balsamic vineger (the vinegar used makes a huge difference in this recipe, so experiment with flavors, but stick with Balsamic or high quality wine vinegar)

1 tsp Bragg’s Amino Acid (if soy sensitive, omit this. This is the only soy based ingredient, and it does change the flavor by omitting it but it is still good, just salt and pepper to taste)

1 tsp Bragg’s Organic Sprinkles or (what I do)use 1 T fresh parsley with 2 tsp chopped fresh chive and 1 tsp fresh chopped dill for a more “ranch” flavored dressing.

(optional ingredient to get that creamy taste and feel is adding 3 T vegan sour cream substitute).


Vegan Russian Dressing  (also an easy tasty sweet potato fry sauce!)

1 cup vegan mayonnaise

1/4 cup organic ketchup

1 T fresh lemon juice

1 tsp horseradish

1 tsp Brag’s amino acids

1 T finely chopped pickles.

Mix together in a jar and let the flavors blend for 2-3 hours then dip or dress!


So fellow vegans and/or foodies go forth and try these homemade condiments and tell me what you think , and maybe even share your own recipes.

Tomorrow some Homesteading updates and a bit about what I am listening to and watching (even if a lot of you may laugh!)



Sweet Vegan goodness from the past

World War II was a time of rationing and shortages, which also makes it a goldmine for good vegan recipes. The following are two “war time” vegan cake recipes. These cakes are easily made gluten-free just by using Bob’s Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour one for one as an organic wheat flour replacement. For soy sensitive people, use your own favorite flour mixture as long as it has a wee bit of Xanthum gum in its makeup or the cupcakes will be dense and heavy (but still tasty).  I have updated the recipes a bit (something I encourage everyone to do with mine as well).  In the modern quest for healthier eating, heritage recipes rock.  Just like the war time gardens were organic and local (their own yard), the recipes available from the 1930’s and 40’s are often heavily animal product free, frugal and encourage full use of all parts of a harvest. Do a Google search on “Wartime recipes” and you might be surprised what you can find.

For references when the internet is down, everybody needs more recipe books, but there is more to cooking than just mechanically combining ingredient. Three currently overlooked books about cooking and eating that include great recipes and even better essays are   “The Art of Eating” by M.F.K. Fisher, “Clara’s Kitchen” by Clara Cannucciari, and “How to Pick a Peach” by Russ Parsons. All three books are published pre-2010 and probably available at your local library or used bookstore.

If you just skip to the recipes in these books, you will miss all the nuts and bolts of how to pick the best ingredients, how to use what you already have just lying around and a significantly funny take on cooking in three totally different time periods. Now my essay portion is over and here are today’s recipes.

Tomato Soup Cake

3 T coconut oil or vegan butter sticks (check the label to make sure there is no casein or whey)

1 cup organic sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 can tomato soup

2 cups organic flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp cloves

1 1/2 cups of raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries or chopped nuts. (I like it best with one cup of one type of dried fruit and 1/2 cup chopped almonds or pecans, but feel free to pick you favorites. Cherries and peanuts are pretty good together.)

Cream sugar and fat choice (coconut oil in solid form or margarine) thoroughly.  Add soda to the soup mix and stir. In separate bowl mix rest of dry ingredients (sift is the original instruction but a wooden spoon work well in these days of fine flour texture.) Now starting with about 1/4 cup of soup mix, alternately add liquids and dry ingredients and stir well. Pour into a greased loaf tin. Bake at 325 degree oven until toothpick comes out clean about 20-30 minutes. The magic of this cake is it does well in an oven with a shared dish. So for scratch cookers like me it means you can only have that oh so kitchen heating oven on for only 30 minutes and have a main dish and dessert ready for dinner or the next day or two depending if you are feeding an army like I used to, or just one or two like I do now.

War Time Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups organic flour

3/4 cup organic sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder (Trader Joe’s is my favorite)

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or 1.25 tsp vanilla, 1/4 tsp mint for a mint chocolate cake)

1/3 cup canola or walnut oil

1 T white vinegar (I have substituted cider vinegar as well but white make a lighter cake)

1 cup cold water

Combine all dry ingredients with a wooden spoon in a large mixing bowl and then make a center well. Now add all the rest of the ingredients. Stir just until combined. Pour into greased and floured (or use Safeway’s Organic pan spray) 12 cup cupcake pan or one 8″ layer pan. (for two layer cake just double, I personally love this as cupcakes, the first two are eaten warm and unfrosted with my morning coffee. YUM!) and bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes (mine are 17 minutes usually, but ovens truly vary)  until toothpick comes out clean.

For frosting mix 1/2 cup non-dairy butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp mint extract with 3 cups organic powdered sugar, 1/3 cup organic unsweetened cocoa, and add enough of 3 T of your favorite non-dairy milk to make speadable. Add first T of liquid then add by teaspoons till right consistency. Frost cooled cupcakes (and have a wee bit left over to thin and warm and pour over strawberries, or spread on toast points or just lick off a spoon)

Sweat dreams.

Your time traveling renaissance cook and loyal servant,

Sally Frye

Sweet Potatoes in the French Manner

Preheat oven to 425.

Peel one 3 lb bag of organic sweet potatoes (Trader Joe’s has them for cheap!) and cut into 1/2 inch strips about  2-5 inches long. Toss potatoe strips in 3 T olive oil and spread out on two 18″ by 13″ jelly roll pans or on 18″ by 24″. The object is to have all strips in contact with the pan. Sprinkle each pan with 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1 tsp Bragg’s Spice mix.

Place pans in oven and set timer for 10 minutes, Turn and redistribute potaotoes. Repeat this twice for total cooking time of 30 minutes.

Enjoy a healthy and more nutritionally dense alternative to fried white potatoes! If you are grilling make four individual foil packets and place them on the edges of the grill before and while main course cooks allowing 20-30 minutes depending on heat of the fire.

Delicious and Nutritious breakfast porridge recipe and my protein powder preference quandry

A healthy day begins with a healthy breakfast. I know this not only from the plethora of pointed press I have been force fed or voluntarily consumed about nutrition, but also from personal experience. In fact, this is perhaps the only nutrition fact that has remained consistent in my 50+ years of trying to eat right and eat well.

In my life of battling unwanted weight gain and episodes of malaise, general joint pain and depression, as well as acknowledged opportunities to find healthy options during life altering illness, I have seen the rise and fall and rise again of low carb, low fat, low sugar, liquid food substitutes, calorie counting, and cabbage (or other single healthy food) heavy diets. I have been taught four food groups, food pyramids, glycemic index, inflammation ratings (IF), and ONQI ratings, and the latest (and I think at this time greatest) ANDI score; and through them all the need for a good breakfast was always clearly stated regardless of how that “good” was defined.

Personal experience also reinforces the belief that breakfast makes everything better. I am more energetic, able to cope with pain, frustration and the good things in daily life with a nutritious breakfast. So what does a good breakfast look like for me?

I  find myself less likely to make poor food choices later in the day if I start my day with at least 14 grams of protien, a bit of fiber, and coffee. (Getting enough carbs is never an issue for me.)Ok, maybe the coffee just wakes me up enough to make my breakfast, but I can’t imagine breakfast without it.  Since I am training to compete again in a triathlon, weight loss is a priority for me as well and I restrict my daily calories to 1800. (If I ever doubt the benefit of 1800 calories a day, I just carry my dogs 35 pound bag of food around for a few minutes and I am again convinced that the best thing I can do for my knees, hips, feet and race times is shave another 35 pound off the old body. My doctors are in complete agreement on this fact as well. At 5’5″ I am currently weighing in at 218 lbs, definitely obese by medical standards.)

A side note here for those who privately express horror at my telling my actual honest weight, I think lying about it is even funnier. I mean look at me, this is obviously my weight. Yes my weight makes me uncomfortable, therefore I am doing something about it. Lying about my weight would change nothing. However, telling the truth motivates me to face and change that which makes me uncomfortable.

Anyway  porridge and smoothies are my two favorite breakfasts.  One fast, one more preparation intense, they both include the protien I need and the flavor I crave as well as other important nutrients.

Quinoa Porridge, 30 minute prep/cook time. 3 servings

2 cups filtered water, or 1 cup filtered water and 1 cup organic apple cider

1 cup quinoa (I like Trader Joe’s Red)

2/3 cup dried fruit (I like it with dried cranberries, dried cherries, dried blueberries, or chopped prunes)

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

healthy dash of nutmeg, or cinnamon or cardamom (only use one and experiment with fruit and spice combinations. I like cardamom with cranberries, nutmeg with prunes and cinnamon with cherries and for cranberries and tart cherries I use apple juice)

1/2 cup soy, rice or almond milk

Place everything but the fruit and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to slow simmer and cook for 12 minutes. Stir in dried fruit and milk choice and recover and cook for 5 minutes more. Turn off heat and leave for 10 minutes to finish absorbing fluids.

I eat one serving right away and  place the other two servings in containers in the fridge. They are delicious reheated or cold with a bit of creamer over them like rice pudding.

As to my smoothie, my recipe is very usual and completely basic. I throw a cup of frozen organic berries in my blender, add 1/2 cup of filtered water, 1/2 cup organic vanilla soy milk and a scoop protein powder and blend. If I feel like mixing it up I will add 1/2 banana and 1 T of flax meal. Smoothies are easy and fast, but they are the source of my greatest diet dilemma at the moment.

I am in a complete quandry, my favorite protein powder is whey based. I love Aria’s vanilla protein powder; the cost, taste, texture, and what it puts into my diet (the hard-to-get-enough B-vitamins, calcium, and iron) and what it leaves out (artificial ingredients); but what I am struggling with is that protein powders have a large manufacturing, shipping and container carbon footprint and the basis for this powder is also whey, hence NOT vegan, hence even BIGGER carbon footprint.  I love Aria, but feel it doesn’t fit my big picture of ethical living .

I am slowly working my way through trying vegan alternatives, so far the “not gonna do it at all” contenders are Trader Joe’s Soy Protein powder, Alive and MRM’s vegan protein powder. Sadly, I had a vegan protein powder that I  really, really liked from Spouts (store brand) that was discontinued about 2 years ago. Right now Aria is on my shelf while I muster the courage to bring home a hemp one to try (courage is necessary because finances and personal philosophy require me to actually finish the can of protien even when its sand box grainy (TJ’s)or tastes waaaay to “healthy” (MRM) or weedlike (Alive).

It all comes back to the same question, the needs of the one over the needs of the many. Where do my needs for nutrition, convenience and enjoyment end and my need to leave my circle a little better tended for my having been here begin, or better yet how do I make the two mesh well? So that is my protein powder problem and my blog for today.

I am tagging it for Sally Frye folowers as this porridge recipe would be very apropos for the Rennaissance, although it would not be served for breakfast but be a supper or nursery dish. Also my quinoa use and my struggle with the politics of protein powder speak to the key elements of my training and my homesteading/living green goals so going to those readers also.  I hope all of you enjoy.

I can’t believe its almost May, 2012. I must be off the cyber verse now, because I have a Puppy Shower to prepare for and many errends to run.

Namaste, friends.

Jo Crowfae


Spring Lamb with Fennel, a Tudor England inspired pottage.

Of first importance in creating any delicious and nutritious concoction is the purchase of fresh and tasty ingredients.  Vegetables should be firm and smell fresh, no need to bruise, just a light squeeze on the onion or fennel bulb will allow you to determine its freshness. I recommend local and organic, but managing at least one of these will help the flavor of your soup immensely. The meat should also be fresh, I find meat that adheres to my standards of cleanliness and compassion at Eastern markets, Whole Foods and sometimes even Costco. I do my research online before shopping but if you can’t find organic Humane Choice accredited free range lamb, then go with Halal lamb as the requirements of being certified Halal ( are strict enough to provide a lean and delicious lamb that was humanely raised.

3-5 lbs lean lamb. Wash the lamb and then cut into large chunks. Throw the lamb chunks into a bag or coating bowl of 1 cup flour and 1 T of herb mix like Bragg’s Organic Sprinkle (I actually make my own mix but if you have none then just add 1/2 tsp thyme, 1 tsp rosemary, 1 tsp parsley, 1/2 tsp tarragon). Braise in 2 T Olive Oil in hot oven proof roasting pan on top of stove or if not available then use a frying pan and try and get all the oil and spices into the roasting pan once browned.


1 baseball size onion studded with cloves

5 lbs carrots scrubbed and sliced

2 turnips well scrubbed and chopped (bite size with substance)

4 medium zucchini sliced

1 cup chopped celery ( I love to use all that leafy parts and end pieces that don’t scoop hummus well)

1-2  fennel bulbs (I use two) chopped.

12 golf ball sized potatoes cut up. (Heirloom potatoes are best and just quartered, but new reds are also good.)

Add another T olive oil and T of spice mixture and toss everything.

Roast in 425 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Immediately upon removing from oven Add 1/2 cup of Burgundy (or substitute an Oregon pinot noir, although buy good; if you don’t want to drink it, you don’t want to cook with it. Tell the sommelier at the store what you are making and get a recommendation)

Put everything in your crockpot (slow cooker, soup pan, whatever…) and cover and set in the fridge overnight. The flavors are having a party. Not a mandatory step, but it helps.

4-6 hours before serving barely cover with water and turn the crock pot to high for two hours. Taste, and now add salt and pepper, turn to low and continue cooking.

Serve with fresh bread and enjoy!


Sally Frye’s Summer Pickles

So life gets busy and its all the little things we mean to do or thought we did that slip away from us, like leaving the “Indiana Jones Adventure” blog in my Word drafts instead of posting it. *sigh* Just realized I had done that today when I was looking to see if it had received any comments and prepared to post today’s recipe.  AZRF is over so I will bank it for next year when the schedule is published and re-adjust as needed for new stages and new excitement. Next year I will also update the other two itineraries and hopefully create at least two more.  Anyway, enough of the prattle. Here follows the recipe for Sally’s Summer Pickles.

Cassandra’s Summer Pickles

3-6 larger firm cucumbers (wash with white vinegar to remove any wax if not fresh from garden or farmers market) Use your peeler to stripe the sides evenly to allow better access for the pickling process and slice into 1/4 inch medallions. (No, I do not measure exactly but too thin and they will be limp not crunchy, to thick and they don’t pickle thoroughly. Practice will help you “eye”dentify the best size for your tastes.)

Place 1 cup of boiling water, 1 T salt and 1/3 cup sugar into sterilized quart jar and stir till completely dissolved, fill with pickle medallions without spilling any of the brine. When full, cover and refrigerate 3-12 hours. I usually leave them in the fridge over night. If there are more medallions than room in the quart jar (usually is) duplicate process with second quart jar, and third if necessary (those were some big cucumbers!)

When ready to finish process drain the pickles, leaving the medallions in the jars although you may be able to combine your 3 jars worth into 2 jars now. On the stovetop bring 2 cups cider vinegar, 1 cup sugar, 3 cloves garlic pushed through a press, and 1 tsp mustard seed or 1 Tablespoon of the seeded prepared spicy mustard just to a boil and pour over the medallions evenly distributing between the bottles to cover. may be eaten warm or sealed and chilled!

Enjoy. And feel free to experiment, replacing the mustard with another spice that stands up well to pickling, or adjusting the amount of sugar. Summer pickles are all unique so find the recipe that speaks to you. And save the juice when you dish the pickles out and try another historical treat by brining chopped pieces of firm apple and pear in the pickling juice for at least 3 hours. The combination of sweet and salty is uniquely delicious.


Lentil Pate

Around 1530  the English gardener and English palette were introduced to vanilla beans, fava beans, cocoa, sweet potatoes and haricort via Spain and Hernando Cortes. Around 1545 potatoes and tomatoes were being cultivated, also brought from the New World. Lentils however were there from the Bronze age.

The following is my, Sally Frye, good cook of the Lord Mayor Abercrombie of Fairhaven’s blending of these lentils to make a Lenten Loaf or pate.

Pick any foriegn matter from 1 cup dried lentils and cover with 2 cups water. Discard anything that floats as well. Now chop and add 1-2 sprigs fresh Thyme, 3 T chopped fresh parsley (for all this recipe’s chopping the modern cook may find Pampered Chef’s #2585 Food Chopper indespensible, no I don’t sell or work for them, just love it!) and one large Bay Leak broken. Bring to boil and then lower burner temp to simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft and water absorbed.

Chop 2-3 carrots fine.

Saute 1 medium onion chopped and 3-4 garlic cloves pressed (yup, here again I use a Pampered Chef garlic press because they rock!) in 1 -2 tsp olive oil. As onion become transparent add chopped carrots and stir until carrots brighten in color. Add all this to lentil mixture with 3 T of water if needed to prevent burning and simmer another 10 minutes.

Dissolve 2 T arrowroot in 1 T water.

Puree mixture in food processor or blender (or if your pre-electricity like Sally mash a really, really, really long time with pastry blender) and return to pan.  Add arrowroot mixture and 2 T chopped parsley and stir until thick.

It to be used as dip or pate place in serving dish and cool. If to be served as meat substitute oil loaf lightly with olive oil and mold into pan, cover with foil or oven safe lid and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

May you and your family enjoy this healthy and tasty alternative protein.