Cooking For Our Folk
Cooking from the Heart. One of the first chefs I worked for told me that there are two main rules to cooking.
1. ALWAYS cook from the heart!
2. You must know the why of the rule before you can think about breaking it.
To this day, I still believe that number one is the most important; but two is the most valuable lesson. So, for example: why would you add flour to the mix when are you making Fried Potato balls? It doesn’t add anything to the dish overall and in fact, it takes away flavor and disrupts texture. The reason is that what flour takes away: is moisture. It adds to the binder and liquid consumption.
So, what does this mean for the folk? Plan and simply don’t take shortcuts. Whenever I pick up the knife and began cooking for the folk, I think of it as channeling the ancestors. Cooking reminds me of that age-old musing “I don’t measure seasoning; I wait for the tap on the shoulder from the ancestors to tell me that’s enough.”
When you cook from the heart, people can tell. Don’t cook out of spite or obligation. Cook for the folk because you want to! Find new recipes. Test them. Make them better. And when your heart tells you it is right…time to serve. If you have never made cookies from scratch…make them. Why not? Use the best ingredients you can afford (don’t take out a second mortgage for this) but be proud to feed the folk.
When the recipe is right and you feed the folk, please send the recipe to firstname.lastname@example.org with details of when and where it was served (Hof/moot).
Folkbuilder Mike Joyner
A unique stew.
I love cooking for the Hofs. Every so often I get to cook something really special. Oddly enough this year my cooking was served at three of the fours Hofs for Ostara. I know kinda cool right. Homemade bratwurst that I had made and brought with me when I visited Baldrshof for Yule was served on Saturdays lunch at Baldrshof. To help The Chef of Thorshof I fixed a Cajun Grits Scramble for Thorshof breakfast on Saturday. For Njordshof I got to make a very special stew.
While visiting Thorshof I helped with the pulled pork dinner. So naturally as any southern cook would ask,
“hey what are y'all doing with the pork bones?”
“Oh just going to throw them away?”
“Can I have them?!?”
So they made there way back to Florida and were cooked down into thick bone stock.
That stock became the base for Njordshof’s Ostara Rabbit Stew.
5 Rabbits, cleaned/boiled/picked
2lbs Chicken breast, cut into chunks to bulk up stew if needed
2lbs Carrots sliced
5 sm Turnups, peeled/quartered/sliced
5 lg white onions, sliced
1 head of celery, sliced
6qts stock (ham or chicken will work)
2 sticks butter
fresh thyme, removed from stem
Fresh rosemary, destemmed and chopped
Add butter and onions to very large pot. Cook on medium for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for 10 minutes stirring often. add the stock, thyme and rosemary (pending volume might need to also add water). Cook for 1hr+ at mid-high. 45 minutes before serving add meat. S&P to taste. Don’t forget to enjoy.
Folkbuilder Mike Joyner