Kool-Aid Play Dough, Catskills Farming, Squash Blossoms

Hosted by
Christine Moore is the candy-maker/owner of the Little Flower Candy Co. She makes caramels and marshmallows and sells them at the Sunday, Main Street Santa Monica Farmers' Market as well as at stores such as Clementine in Century City, Angeli Caffe on Melrose and The Cheese Store of Silverlake.

Strawberry Kool-Aid Play Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
  • 2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups boiling water
Combine dry ingredients in a pot. Add oil and water, and stir quickly. Cook over a medium-low flame, stirring constantly until dough is smooth and forms a ball. Cover pot and remove from flame. Let stand for one hour. Knead until smooth and store in a ziplock bag or air-tight container.

Cream Biscuits
Makes 1 dozen biscuits

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix dry ingredients. Add cream and stir lightly with a fork. Dough will be lumpy. With a tablespoon, drop on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle tops of biscuits with sugar. Bake until golden brown, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

Strawberry Shortcake

  • 2 baskets of strawberries
  • 1 recipe of above biscuits
  • 1 cup whipped cream
Slice strawberries and season them with 1 Tablespoon of sugar and 1 Tablespoon of orange juice. Let them marinate for 1 hour. Slice open biscuits, pour strawberries on top and top with whipped cream.

Nancy Zaslavsky leads cooking tours to Mexico and has written a number of Mexican cookbooks including A Cook's Tour of Mexico: Authentic Recipes from the Country's Best Open-Air Markets, City Fondas, and Home Kitchens. For information on her upcoming tours, call her at 310-440-8877.

Pescado con Salsa de Flores de Calabaza
Fish with Squash Blossom Sauce

Serves 6

I originally made this dish with chicken and chicken broth as taught by friend, cooking teacher and flamenco dancer extraordinaire, Reyna Polanca Abrahams in San Miguel de Allende. Soon afterwards I found the sauce to be a perfect complement to whatever fish looks best at the seafood counter. The easy dish is all about summer's golden squash blossoms, which you can find at Mexican markets and farmers markets from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Just about any non-oily fish will work, whether fillet or steak, pan saut-ed, broiled, steamed, baked or grilled. After the sauce and fish are on plates I like to scatter minced red ripe jalape-o chiles, cilantro leaves and a squirt of Mexican lime, as final flavor sparkles.

  • 1 pound squash blossoms (about 25), pumpkin or zucchini
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup fish, chicken or vegetable broth (low-salt canned or frozen is fine), plus extra
  • 1 cup Mexican crema, sour cream or cr-me fra-che
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooked fish of your choice, 4 to 6 ounces per person
  • 1 red ripe jalape-o or other similar fresh red chile, minced (and seeded for a mild dish)
  • 2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 Mexican limes
1. Wash and drain the squash blossoms. Snap off the stems and break off the spiky sepals at the base of the flowers. Spread open and tear out the hard pistil in the center of each blossom and discard.

2. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Saut- the onion and garlic until golden. Pour in the broth. Cook over medium heat 2 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the stove and let the ingredients cool for 3 minutes. Slowly stir in the crema.

3. Grab a handful of blossoms and place them in a blender or processor container with 1/2 cup of the crema mixture. Blend. Stop blending and add another handful of blossoms and more of the crema mixture, pushing down on the ingredients and blending again. Repeat, adding more broth or water as needed until all the blossoms are pur-ed. Pour the pur-e into the saucepan, and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

4. Cook the fish of your choice. Ladle sauce onto the center of 6 plates. Top with a piece of fish. Sprinkle the fish with about a dozen tiny specks of red ripe jalape-o chile. Scatter cilantro leaves on top. Squirt with fresh lime.

copyright, Nancy Zaslavsky 2003

Shauna Toh and her husband own Flaming Bunny Acres, a 22-acre homestead in the Catskill Mountains. To find out more about them and their plans and products, go to www.FlamingBunny.org.

Sharon Lovejoy is the author of Trowel and Error: Over 700 Tips, Remedies and Shortcuts for the Gardener. To find out more about Sharon and her tips or to read her online newsletter, go to www.SharonLovejoy.com.

Our waiter(s) of the week are Gavin and Terrence, who work at Il Capriccio on Vermont, 323-662-5900, 1757 N Vermont Ave, Los Feliz.