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Food Ventures

Veggie Garden Remix and Food Anatomy

By Anne Hattes
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Fill your garden with a treasure trove of flavors with choices like crunchy cucamelons – shaped like a tiny watermelon – Cape gooseberries, and “Piracicaba” broccoli, a mild, sweet-flavored broccoli for those who don't like this veggie

Learn how to reinvent your vegetable garden with unexpected global crops through Niki Jabbour's Veggie Garden Remix (Storey Publishing). Expand beyond standard garden crops like tomatoes, spinach and sting beans to discover unexpected flavors and textures in husk cherries, amaranth greens, and yard-long beans. Veggie Garden Remix introduces readers to 238 plants from around the world with descriptions to whet the appetite and detailed profiles to ensure growing success.

Each section introduces a crop that's similar in flavor and texture to favorites like cucumber, lettuce, and summer squash. Fill your garden with a treasure trove of flavors with choices like crunchy cucamelons –  shaped like a tiny watermelon – Cape gooseberries, and “Piracicaba” broccoli, a mild, sweet-flavored broccoli for those who don't like this veggie. Sweet peppers are garden candy for the author so she tried several different ones, including Sweet Banana, 6 to 7-inch long yellow banana-shaped fruit which her kids loved; and early producer, medium-size Sweet Chocolate, a brown pepper with a peppery sweet and crunchy flavor. This book keeps gardening fresh and interesting, found online at

Explore the edible world through the eyes of an artist in Food Anatomy (Storey Publishing) by Julia Rothman. With little-known facts and her delightful drawings, Rothman focuses her curious eye on the origins, types, traditions, cooking tools, and techniques behind the most popular foods and preparations. There is, for example, a menu of how people around the planet serve fried potatoes and what they dip them in. Also found in this visual culinary cornucopia are breads and dumplings, spices and sweets, plus how to fillet a fish and how to tie sausages. Try her favorite noodle pudding, a passed-down Jewish kugel recipe, and her creamy maple mocha pudding.


Jane's (My Mom) Noodle Pudding

(Courtesy of Storey Publishing)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. It is best if the refrigerated ingredients are at room temperature.

10 - 12 oz. broad egg noodles

1 stick sweet butter

1 pound pot cheese or farmer cheese

16 oz. sour cream

8 - 10 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

Ground cinnamon

Boil the noodles till they are al dente, the shortest time on the instructions.

While the noodles boil, beat the eggs well with a whisk in a large bowl. Add in the pot cheese, sugar and sour cream. It should be well mixed and soupy. If it's not soupy, add an extra beaten egg or two.

Drain the noodles, tossing them gently until all the excess water is removed. Transfer them to a large bowl.

Swirl the stick of butter around the hot, drained noodles. This will melt the butter and evenly distribute it among the cooling noodles. When the noodles have cooled off, fold the cheese, sour cream, sugar and egg mixture in with the noodles until it is all combined evenly.

Pour it all into a greased baking dish approximately 9" x 13".

Sprinkle the top with a dusting of cinnamon.

Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 1 hour, or until the top is browned and the egg custard has set. Let stand. Cut into square portions. Serve hot or cold.


Creamy Maple Mocha Pudding

(Courtesy of Storey Publishing). Serves 4 - 5.

3 tablespoons corn starch

1 tablespoon powdered instant coffee

1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

3 egg yolks

3 cups milk

½ cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine the corn starch, coffee, cocoa, and salt; whisk to mix. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks slightly, then add the milk and maple syrup. Stir into the pot.

Over medium-high heat, gradually bring the mixture to a boil, stirring gently but constantly with a rubber spatula. Be sure to scrape the sides as you stir. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in the butter and vanilla.

Ladle into four or five individual serving bowls. To prevent a skin from forming, place a piece of wax paper, cut to size, on top of each. Cool, then chill for several hours before serving. 


Ann Hattes has over 25 years experience writing about both travel and food for publications both in the US and internationally. A senior living in Wisconsin, she’s a member of the International Food, Wine and Travel Writers Association and the Midwest Travel Writers Association.

Meet Ann