The proverb If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen was popularized by President Truman. Indicating if someone couldn't take the pressure, they should make room for someone who could, the expression always comes to mind in a more literal sense during these especially hot stretches of summer.
We are all certainly experiencing the proverbial heat and literal heat from many sides these days and while it's often tempting to abandon your kitchen or lets face it - just run from life in general, may we suggest grounding yourself in the kitchen by embracing batch cooking and baking? Trust us, it'll improve your health and wellbeing even if you might break a sweat.
Batch cooking for a few hours at a time pays huge dividends. We often find time on Sunday, but it can work any day (or in the middle of a sleepless night) that you have a few hours. With a little planning, several items can be cooked, baked, and stored to provide ease during the week to come. Besides, as much as we love to be in the kitchen, we all crave being outside in the yard and garden - this gives us the best of both worlds.
This week, our family cooked off bacon, rice, pulled pork, a batch of green beans, roasted potatoes, soft boiled several eggs, and made pickled onions and hazelnut blondies. From this 2-3 hour effort and the support of a few pantry items, we were easily able to pull together Nicoise salad, burritos, pulled pork sandwiches, egg sandwiches, BLTs, and omelets.
See for yourself and put this idea into practice. below we walk you through some inspiration recipes which take advantage of several African spice mixes made from pretty common spices, preserved lemons, and maple syrup to add punchy flavors to summer faire:
Chicken Charmoula with Preserved Lemons
Amanda Hesser's Chicken Charmoula with Preserved Lemons. Make a double batch one for dinner, one for easy lunch salads, sandwiches, rice bowls, or try a quick shredded chicken quesadilla with a drizzle of charmoula (North African green sauce with cumin, chile, garlic, herbs, and preserved lemon). Follow Hesser's recipe for preserved lemons or pick them at the shop along with the needed Aleppo pepper. Toss leftover lemons into savory dishes or cocktails to add zingy brightness.
Pilpelchuma Potato Salad
Molly Yeh's unique potato salad connects nicely with our charmoula chicken. Here, Molly uses a Lybian spice paste called pilpelchuma, common in Jewish cuisine, mixed with mayonnaise to add a unique twist to roasted potatoes. You can buy this paste but it is made from relatively common spices - try making it yourself with this recipe.
Sorrel Rice Bowls with Poached Eggs
Cook brown rice, add some sorrel or kale, and the preserved lemons you used for the chicken above in this recipe adapted from Jessica Koslow's Everything I want to Eat: Squirl and the New California Cooking. This zingy dish is perfect as a light dinner, lunch, or even breakfast. Double this recipe to make a rice bowl dinner using leftover chicken charmoula or sub shelf-stable tinned Spanish tuna or smoked salmon that you can pick up at the shop.
Smoky, Spicy, Sweet Carrots
As simple as they come, this recipe, developed and shared by Ruthie Cohen takes advantage of the smokey flavor of Tippleman's Barrel Smoked Maple Syrup (available at the shop) to add complexity to the humble carrot. Served warm for dinner or room temperature in a rice bowl or on top of a mid-week salad they are a tasty way to get your veggies in. To make, mix 2 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons Tippleman’s Barrel Smoked Maple or other Syrup, 1/2-3/4 teaspoon Baharat seasoning, 3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Place carrots sliced lengthwise (peeled if desired) on a sheet pan lined with parchment, drizzle the mixture over the prepared carrots, and roast in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with finely chopped mint leaves.
Maple Roasted Peaches
While you are roasting your carrots, let's throw some fruit into the mix and take advantage of the maple syrup theme, shall we? Roasting fruit is a wonderful way to enhance their flavors and can be used to quickly prepare over-ripe fruit that may go to waste if unused. We like to use roasted fruit over ice cream for desserts as done here. Put them in a baking dish with a crumble topping for an easy but satisfying second dessert or use them for breakfast or brunch by tossing into yogurt or oatmeal, folding into crepes or topping pancakes in the morning.
Roasted Hazelnut Blondies
Alanna Taylor-Tobin's bars pack in the flavor and flexibility, with just 30 minutes of effort. A combination of oat flour, brown sugar, and roasted nut oil gives these naturally gluten and dairy-free bars their deep caramel flavor. Don't have hazelnuts, the oil, or these different gluten-free flours? No worries, Alanna's recipe is adaptable, we used roasted macadamia nuts and canola oil, and she indicates where you can use all-purpose flour instead.
Note: when baking with gluten-free flours, don't be afraid to let them "hydrate" or sit for a time before baking. With the exception of almond and coconut flours (which can sometimes become too mushy), most gluten-free flour benefits from this time by absorbing the liquids in the recipe. We often leave our gluten-free chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge for a minimum of two hours - a pain if you are desperately craving a treat, but it rewards by eliminating the sandy texture of bakes with alternative flours.
Slow Your Roll
Add grounding ritual to your life by enjoying these manual tools & cookbooks.
Haven't indulged in the manual coffee brewing revolution yet? Now that you are home more often, why not fall in love with the meditation of pour-over coffee? We love the Hario V60 line and have recently received new stock including these gorgeous copper tools. But when it comes to coffee we don't discriminate - check out Alternative Brewing's Coffee Brewing Guide which offers advice on brewing the perfect cup with Aeropress, French Press, Moka Pot, and more.
Molly Yeh is a classically trained musician (from that other, not to be named music school) and food enthusiast who found herself in love with a sugar beet farmer from the midwest - of course, she says he's of Norwegian descent, but we asked if he was secretly Dwight Schrute relocating from Scranton, PA - and she winked at us over Instagram, so maybe? According to Marian Bull, writer, former editor of Saveur and Food52, Molly is "a relatable and endearing food-loving weirdo, and our plates are all the better for it."
By now you know we like a bowl, any size bowl, and we will also confess to being in love with our Japanese importers KOTOBUKI and MIYA. These new coral bowls are a wonderful example of how one can bring pattern and texture into the home using a single color as a throughline. The result is interesting without feeling distracted or overwhelmed.
“This is the kind of book you could easily cook out of for a month straight without tiring of it. You could also simply sit down and read it cover-to-cover, thanks to Perelman’s honest, funny, and at times charmingly self-deprecating personal anecdotes that introduce each recipe. Where Perelman really shines is in coaxing big flavors out of minimal ingredients. . . . As with her first book, she shot all the photos herself in her own home kitchen, further adding to that sense of aspirational approachability. And really, that’s the Smitten Kitchen magic: recipes that are ingeniously creative but so accessible that they leave you thinking, ‘Why the hell didn’t I think of that?’” —Eater
From slow coffee to slow popcorn? Well, if you've ever used a Whirley Pop, you know the process is actually pretty quick and easy peasy to boot. Simply add 1/2 cup of corn kernels and 1 - 2 Tbsp of oil and slowly turn the handle - not unlike brewing pour-over coffee, the process is full of wafting scents and meditative qualities. Despite our championing manual popping, our daughter still asks if we can buy microwave popcorn, and when she does, I will look at her feigning insult and say, "but they've made a Whirley Pop in copper, how dare you?"
The Ryder Magazine
Bloomington's culture wouldn't be the same without The Ryder Magazine. For the past 40 years, the team at The Ryder has brought local culture and journalism to our town at no cost to its readership. The Ryder along with other beloved local magazines are traditionally supported by advertising dollars from small businesses like Goods. Ryder has been generously supporting the community with free advertising through their digital platform and we are sincerely grateful. Below, you will find a snapshot of their July/August digital issue full of great stories including a story on masks from Jeff Mease of One World. (click the photo for the full issue). If you can support local journalism, please consider donating to
As we send out this newsletter, we are on the cusp of tens of thousands of people descending upon Bloomington from all over the country and world. We welcome this energy each year and are grateful for the richness and diversity it brings to our town. But this year, there is no denying the worry and stress around keeping everyone safe. We wear masks at the shop to protect you. Masks help slow the spread by limiting the distance that droplets from speaking, coughing, and sneezing can travel, but everyone needs to participate to be more effective. Will you wear a mask to protect us?
Mask up, spread the word, and tag your photos:
Thank you for your continued support and please stay safe and be well,
Sam, George, and the team at Goods
Left: Hedley & Bennett collaborative mask with Rifle Paper benefiting BabytoBaby, an organization working to lift mothers and babies from poverty. You can order directly on Hedley & Bennett's site.
Right: Hedley & Bennett oh so comfortable and breathable masks (just ask Kelly from MIRTH - she's a devotee). We currently have gray chambray, pale sage oxford, and blue oxford in stock at the shop.
We believe anyone can cook.
We believe in welcoming everyone to the table.
We believe some tools are timeless.
We believe high quality isn't always expensive.
We believe in making things from scratch when possible.
We believe in gathering & connecting with one another.