Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top 12 Seasonal Eating Posts on 12/12/12

Plate of Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Most Popular in Person but not on Blog

Readers' Favorites

On this auspicious day, we experience the last repeating-number month/day/year of our lifetime. It’s true that 11/11/11 was a bit more consistent and dramatic than 12/12/12.  But, as a former colleague told me years ago, it’s important to acknowledge completion (he was talking about appreciating the last bite of a cookie, but I'm applying his concept to the end of an era). On this occasion I’d like to share the 12 Seasonal Eating posts that have been most popular with readers. Since I only have stats for the top 10, I’ll throw in a couple of how-to posts that have been popular this December. Have fun on 12/12/12, and a special happy birthday to longtime friend Susi and anyone else who’s celebrating their natal day today.

Countdown of Top 10 Posts:

Plate piled high with Glazed Delicata Squash
Stack o' Delicata
10. Maple Glazed Delicata Squash (from 11/21/12, another repeating number date!): This recent post’s popularity surprised me. The timing, right before Thanksgiving, and the subsequent re-posting by the Santa Cruz Sentinel helped to get the word out. My snap decision to prepare the Maple Delicata, which I’d put off for weeks, was fortuitous. To think that I almost made the decidedly un-Thanksgivinglike Chicken Marengo instead!

Plate of Golden Brown Honeyed Turnips
Plate o' Honey Kissed Turnips
9. Honey Kissed Baby Turnips & Greens (from 4/18/11): How timely that turnips are available even in late fall and winter. Although we’ll have to wait until spring to get the baby turnips, you could likely adapt this recipe for older turnips by adding another spicy green, like arugula or mustard. An organic farm linked to this recipe, which added to its popularity. I’m sorry that I don’t recall which farm to credit.

Bowl Filled with Soup
Pot o' Vegan Potato Leek Soup
8. No Milk Potato Leek Soup (from 7/18/11): This recipe also seems to be linked from another site or two. Of course, it’s perfect for lactose-intolerant folks, or for potlucks where someone might be milk-sensitive. If you want to make it vegan, substitute olive oil for the butter. Thanks to Sylvia Folkart for the recipe, locally published many years ago.

7. Tapioca-filled Pumpkin (from 11/19/12): Again I was surprised by this recent post’s popularity, and again I credit the Santa Cruz Sentinel for part of the publicity. I thought the idea of combining tapioca with pumpkin was a strange personal obsession of a tapioca and pumpkin lover. But apparently many of you share this strange obsession.

Blue Love in a Mist (Nigella) in garden
Everyone Loves Love in a Mist
6. Top 10 (Plus 2) Garden Plants for May (from 5/8/12): It seems that many readers like to garden as much as I do. If you’re like me, enthusiasm is highest at the beginning: deciding what to plant, deciding where to plant it, preparing the beds, buying the plants or seeds, babying the young plants until they’re strong. This enthusiasm is fortunate, because starting the garden is a lot of work. My post is about ways to shortcut this work.

Bowl of Simple Borscht
Old World Nourishment
5. Polish Beet Soup: Simple Borscht (from 4/10/12): Again I’m surprised about the popularity of this simple beet soup, which is my attempt to recreate a family recipe. Looks like one or more organic farms or CSAs are linked to it. Spring borscht and summer borscht are more complicated (and in my opinion tastier) recipes, but lack simplicity and the nostalgia of my paternal grandmother’s talent for creating delicious and nourishing food using only ingredients that she raised herself.

Bowl of Strawberry Shortcake
Americana at its Finest
4. Strawberry Sauce for Shortcake or Ice Cream (from 7/4/11): Alas, a summer recipe. You could make it now if you froze strawberries earlier this year. This recipe, taught to me by my Mom, must also have a link from an unknown website. It’s simple and never fails to please, even if your strawberries are a little overripe or dried out from sitting in the refrigerator.

3. 12 Tips for Nontoxic, No-Poison Gopher Control (from 6/19/12): No surprise that this post is so popular. Every gardener who has gophers wants to get rid of them, without poisoning their harvest or water table. Even my neighbors, who don’t garden, want to rid their yards of the little varmints, without endangering the kids and grandkids. One elderly neighbor wants to be gopher-free so that she can walk around her yard without stumbling into holes and falling. Facebook was a big help in sharing this link.

Basket of Pinto Beans with and without Shells
Pre-dried Pinto Beans
2. Cooking Fresh Pinto Beans (from 11/5/11): It’s hard to believe that more readers want to cook fresh pinto beans than eliminate gophers without poisons, but again I must credit an unknown link from a bean-growing farm or another blog. Or perhaps there’s less information on the internet about cooking fresh beans than eradicating gophers. The recipe can be adapted to cooking any sort of non-dried bean, including garbanzos and scarlet runner beans.

6 jars of honey-preserved berries
Winner and Champion
1. Berries in Light Honey Sauce (from 7/27/11): Many websites have linked to this intriguing idea for preserving summer fruit. The most exciting is a link from Anna Brones20 Unusual Uses for Honey in the Huffington Post. Imagine the delight of a writer whose 3-month old blog gathers 25 readers on a good day watching the stats jump to 1200 readers per day. Granted, it was a short blip of popularity, but it seems that some readers who followed Anna’s link (maybe you!) returned. And I still get a thrill when I think of the excitement of being picked up by a national magazine, and a cool one at that. I’m forever thankful!

Two Bonus Popular Posts (we need 12 for 12/12/12, after all.)

Perfectly Ripe Persimmon Split in Half
Persimmon Perfection
11. Preparing Hachiya Persimmons (from 1/4/12): It seemed like I’d included way too much information about hachiya persimmons and how to avoid the bitter tannin flavor characteristic of these fruits when unripe. But according to recent popularity and comments, people want the details. A ripe persimmon tastes exquisitely sweet and ambrosial, but an unripe one can sour you on persimmons for a lifetime.

12. Selecting and Reheating Dungeness Crab (from 12/31/12): Again, I thought this might be too much information, especially since I don’t start with a live crab. However, because of the perishable nature of crab, it’s mostly available pre-cooked. And it is still possible to ruin it when it’s already cooked. Included also is a section on removing crab from its shell for use in recipes. I’ll work more on the crab cake recipe I promised in this post. So far I haven’t found the ideal proportion of binding ingredients. Since crab is in season and sustainably caught, now is the perfect time to continue the experimentation.

Thanks to all of my subscribers, followers, and readers for your continuing interest in Seasonal Eating. Let’s explore seasonal foods together. Please add a comment about your favorite seasonal foods post or recipe, either from this website or from any other that you like. Hope that your 12/12/12 is magical!


  1. The persimmon tip I have used several times now and I am so glad you posted some of these recipes! Now to check out your thoughts on acorn squash... I have one turning lovely shades of orange and gold!

  2. Hey, KT, you read my mind. I was just working on a squash recipe that can be used for acorn, now posted at