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Posted by Runa Troy on

Cauldron Cooking: Smoked Ribs

Ready for the oven for a few and your favorite sauce. Or eat dry. Your call.

Time to start practicing a little strong family and community magic with some barbecue, or BBQ, however, you’d like to spell/call it. We’re smoking some pork ribs today for our Cauldron Cooking. The cauldron being either a genuine smoker or your own grill.


Runa makes her own rub for ribs and the recipe is included here; however, you can use what you like and don’t like — it’s up to you. This is a recipe you have to set some time aside to do, that’s why it’s paired with lazy summer Sundays and the like. Baby back ribs are what is shown here. You’re going to need to remove the membrane. To do so, lay the ribs on a flat surface –meat side down. A sharp knife is absolutely essential here. Take a knife and get purchase under the membrane from one corner near the bone. Once you have a good-sized piece peeled back, grab it with your fingers (if it’s too slippery you can use a kitchen towel or paper towel) and pull. Once the membrane is removed, rinse off the ribs again and pat dry with some paper towels. When smoking pork ribs, Runa prefers apple wood chips; but, again, use your preference or whatever you have on hand.

Remove this membrane for a tender rib smoke and tastier eating experience.


2 racks of ribs, membrane removed

Your favorite barbecue sauce

Smoking chips

For rub:

1 T kosher salt

1 T cracked pepper

1 T paprika

1 T ground cumin

1/2 T ground mustard

1 T dried sage

1 T dried onions or onion powder

1 T dried oregano

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper


Be sure to rub both sides of the rib rack with all that herbs and spice goodness. Imagine a strong happy family and community, while you do it.

Combine the rub ingredients and then massage into meat. Cover lightly and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight. About 30 minutes before smoking, remove the ribs from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature. You’re going to smoke the ribs in your smoker at about 200 degrees for two to three hours, replenishing your wood chip tray/box/pan as necessary. A medium-sized smoker requires about once an hour. Once they are smoked, you can eat dry, or move the ribs to an oven-proof tray and put in a 400 degree oven brushed with your favorite barbecue sauce for long enough for the sauce to be warm and not burned (about 10 minutes or so…check after 5 minutes). Let rest for 5 minutes and then slice up, serve with your favorite sides (hopefully you invited neighbors to bring potluck!) and watch the smiles all around.

Posted by Runa Troy on

Cauldron Cooking: Hasenpfeffer (Rabbit Stew)

Hasenpfeffer stew over sauteed cabbage and carrots.

So much easier to use a resealable bag for both marinating the meat and dredging it in flour.

Back in the day, people used to raise their own meat. In urban areas this very well could be meat rabbit or squab. Today, we’re talking about rabbit. It was sometimes called city chicken. For the tale on that, check out the podcast this recipe was featured on.

The magic in this recipe has to do with the comfort of home, as well as the energy of youth, and the good memories that continue to feed us. Yes, this is a recipe that includes meat rabbit, which is sometimes unheard of depending on where you live. But it’s packed full of good nutrition as well as nutrients to fuel you through transitional seasons. It’s also has the energy of making do with what you have into something special.

Go out of your comfort zone and give this one a whirl. Your dinner guests and cauldron will thank you.


In the photos, Runa included sweet potatoes and some red onion. Both are optional. However, this recipe does include instructions for it.

You can see why people call this city chicken.

You can use any flour you like. The photos here show whole wheat flour.

Rabbit bones can be very fragile. Be sure not to cook too long before you decide to de-bone it.

Runa always uses a resealable plastic bag when marinading or dredging the meat. However a glass dish or ceramic pan will work, too.

This recipe traditionally is marinaded for 48 hours; but, you can push the marinade to 12 hours and it doesn’t affect the flavor. Runa has put the rabbit in the marinade first thing in the morning and made the stew that night. Still yummy.

This is a stew, not a soup.

You do not have to serve over anything, but we love having sauteed cabbage & carrots with this. You can “cheat” and just buy a “cole slaw” bag from the produce department of your local market.


Golden goodness

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 4 scallions, halved lengthwise
  • 4 garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
  • 3 dashes of Tabasco
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole juniper berries
  • 1 3-pound rabbit, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    One sweet potato cubed and a small red onion chopped in big chunks add a great flavor to this dish; however, both are optional.

    Strain the marinade well.

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • All-purpose flour (for dredging)
  • 1 good-sized Sweet potato, cubed (optional)
  • 1 small to medium Red Onion, chopped (optional)
  • Shredded cabbage & carrots to serve over (or boiled potatoes or cooked egg noodles)

Need to slow the cooking down a bit? Use a lid. Otherwise, tops off!


Bring first 14 ingredients to a boil in a medium pot; turn off heat and let marinade cool. Place rabbit pieces in a resealable bag (or a glass jar or baking dish); pour marinade over. Cover and chill for 12 to 48 hours.

Remove rabbit from marinade; strain marinade through a fine-mesh sieve and set aside; discard solids in sieve.

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot. Place some flour in a shallow bowl or resealable plastic bag and dredge rabbit in flour, shaking off excess.

Working in batches if needed, cook rabbit, turning once, until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer rabbit to a plate and cook sweet potatoes and onions in drippings from pot, about 5 minutes to soak up seasonings and let onions get translucent. Pour reserved marinade into pot and bring to a simmer. Add rabbit pieces, cover, and simmer gently until rabbit is tender, about 60 to 90 minutes.

Take rabbit out again, let cool to touch and de-bone. Put meat back in cauldron and simmer for another 30 minutes, stirring as necessary to keep from burning. In the last 15 minutes of cooking the Hasenpfeffer begin to saute your cabbage and carrots. When marinade is reduced and rabbit tender, serve the Hasenpfeffer over sauteed cabbage and carrots (or traditionally boiled potatoes or cooked egg noodles).

All cooked down and ready to eat. So good and so good for you. Hasenpfeffer.

This recipe is connected to episode 37, Season One

Posted by Runa Troy on

Cauldron Cooking: The Comfort of Chicken & Dumplings

Some days you just need your supper to wrap you in a warm embrace. And that’s what this recipe is all about.

So deliciously comforting.


You can find out how to make dumplings all over the place. But after frying up a whole chicken in batches and making the roux (because that’s basically what you’re doing, but not intentionally) and letting things simmer, I’m normally a) out of time; or, b) too tired. So, I’ve been cheating lately and using gnocchi as my dumplings. It’s like a wink from that good-looking Italian at the corner store you bump into often. But, you can do traditional dumplings, too. I just prefer gnocchi anymore.

If you’re lucky enough to have a market where you can purchase a whole chicken already cut up into fryer pieces, that’s great. That doesn’t exist in my little cottage in the foothills, so I have to cut up a whole chicken on my own. And use a whole chicken: two legs, two wings, two breasts, two thighs, and a back. The flavor of your chicken and dumplings will be different if you use just breasts or just thighs. Now if that’s the flavor you like, fine. But the skin and bones is what helps make the broth of this dish not only delicious, but absolutely nutritious, so don’t use skinless/boneless. We want it all in there.

This is some of Runa’s liquid gold, or, rather, homemade broth. Make your own broth; find a friend who does; but, store-bought is fine as well.

I always make my own broth, and I encourage you to do so as well. If you don’t have it, however, store-bought is fine.

I didn’t include a dumpling recipe here, but you can find them everywhere. Heck, you can even use a Bisquick mix if you like. Remember above, gnocchi is so good in this.

I put that the fresh minced parsley is optional. But I always include it.


2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/2 cup All-purpose Flour

1 whole Chicken, Cut Into Pieces

Salt And Pepper

1/2 cup Finely Diced Carrots

1/2 cup Finely Diced Celery

Fry the dredged chicken in batches in your cast-iron cauldron. Infuse this dish with your energy to bring the diner warmth, comfort, and positive change.

1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced

1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme

1/4 teaspoon Turmeric

6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth

1/2 cup Apple Cider

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley (optional)

2 packages of pre-made shelf-stable gnocchi

When you add the vegetables (feel free to add a bit more if you like); you’re basically making a roux. This will add to the creamy texture of the broth.


Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, and then dredge both sides in flour.  Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to a clean plate.

In the same pot, add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat.

Stir in ground thyme and turmeric.

The skin and bones of the chicken help enrich the broth and make everything so yummy. But you’re not done yet…

Next pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add browned chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken pieces.

While chicken is simmering, this is when you would make the dough for the dumplings. If you’re using gnocchi, just have it ready to go by the stove. Put your feet up for awhile and savor how good this is making your house smell.

Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. Use two forks to remove chicken from the bone — or your hands. Shred, then add chicken to the pot. Pour heavy cream into the pot and stir to combine.

Drop the gnocchi into the simmering pot (or make your dumplings here if you like). Add minced parsley. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 20 to 30 minutes. Check seasonings; adjust if necessary. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a hearty hunk of bread and your family, diners, whomever you made this for will love it and you for making it!

In good health,


Posted by Runa Troy on

Cauldron Cooking: Duck Egg Salad

Duck Egg Salad. Perfect for anything new.

Spring is coming, and the duck eggs are here. Spring is a time of renewal, and this recipe is full of renewal magic. I often feed this to someone who is starting a new venture, wanting to get pregnant, or moving into a new home. The intention you infuse in this dish and just it’s basic ingredients are all about growth.

Notes on this recipe: 

Get the water ready before putting in the eggs.

Find a gardener who cans her own pickle relish for an extra special magic and tastiness for this recipe. 

Don’t put the eggs in the water and then turn on the stove. Follow the directions below. Smaller duck eggs will take between 7 to 9 minutes to cook; larger ones 10 to 12 minutes. Start with the longest time first until you get the hardness you prefer. I enjoy my eggs just barely into hard. But if you don’t want to see any darker yolk, albeit cooked, do the full time. 

I prefer the stone-ground mustard. As for the mayo, you could totally be meta and make your own with more duck eggs. But store-bought is fine.

Your chives should be coming up in the garden, and this is a great recipe to add those fresh chives in. However, in a pinch or if you have eggs but the fresh chives aren’t available, freeze-dried is still yummy.  

Easy Peasy ingredients. Don’t let the picture fool you, that’s homemade relish. I keep it in that jar because I have children that think only store-bought is best. Yes, they are weird.

This recipe will make two generous portions.


Two Duck Eggs

Pickle Relish, 1 Tablespoon to 1 1/2 Tablespoons

Mustard, 2 teaspoons

Mayonnaise, 1 Tablespoon to 1 1/2 Tablespoons

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Chives, a generous sprinkling


Stop the egg cooking with ice water.

Set a pot with enough water in it to cover your eggs, but don’t put the eggs in the water yet. Boil the water. Once boiling, slowly lower with a slotted spoon the duck eggs into the water. Set a timer for 10 minutes (average — see note above). Once the eggs have boiled for the time set, pull the pot off the stove. Slowly drain the water off, gently stream cold water from sink onto eggs and put a handful of ice on them and let them sit three to five minutes. They should be easy to handle, peel, and be perfectly cooked.

Dump it all in a mixing bowl, mix, and serve.

Peel the eggs and chop into a bowl. Add all the ingredients in and mix well. Serve on toasted bread in a sandwich or open sandwich, or on a bed of leafy greens. Enjoy.

This recipe may be made ahead of time and enjoyed within two days.



Posted by Runa Troy on

Cauldron Cooking: Avocado Toast with Poached Duck Egg

Avocado Toast with Poached Duck Egg

Some days you just need a little boost. This recipe is great both for its nutrition and for the intention of garnering more support in your life. As you stir the water for the poached eggs, imagine a swirling force of love and support embracing you. See it and after you eat this meal, watch it manifest.

Be sure to have a slotted spoon and your duck eggs at room temperature. When making this recipe, I take the eggs out first and let them sit on the counter while I get the water ready to boil in the pan.

This recipe serves two people and makes a great brunch or hearty breakfast before a long-day of Saturday house cleaning or lawn maintenance.


Three simple ingredients that provide super nutrition.

Two slices of hearty whole grain bread (I like Dave’s Killer Bread; but any that have more fiber than sugar and sans high fructose corn syrup will do)

One fresh avocado

Two farm-fresh duck eggs (feel free to use chicken; but the duck eggs give you that boost you need in this cooking magic; you can find duck eggs in many farm-to-table markets)

Room temperature eggs in their own bowls make making poached eggs easier.

2 tsp of white vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

a small bit of butter (optional)


Gather all your ingredients together first. If you’re doing this kitchen magic to help garner not just physical support to your body, but also some emotional and spiritual support from family, friends, or the universe, you don’t want to be frazzled when you do this. Fill a sauce pan on the stove with cold water. You can add a pinch of salt to the water and the two teaspoons of white vinegar. Set to boil.

While the water boils, crack each egg into their own bowl and set near stove.Toast your bread. Once toast is ready, butter if desired (optional); then cut the avocado in half and scoop one half of the avocado on one piece of the toast. A spoon works just fine.

Clockwise in multiples of 13 putting in the intention that you want more warm support in your life.

When the water boils in your pot, stir the water with the slotted spoon. Go clockwise, imagining the world spinning happily, put in the intention that you want with support being the focus. Stir at least 26 times (I like to stir in multiples of 13). Then when the little water of tornado is spinning, free the spoon and drop your eggs in the pan. The salt and vinegar help the water not boil over, but don’t leave the stove please, and do knock the temp of your burner just a tad. Set the timer for two minutes.

After two minutes you should have two little lovely white moons of poached eggs. Use the slotted spoon to scoop your eggs out and put on toast. Serve immediately.


Posted by Runa Troy on

Cauldron Cooking: Simmering Aromatherapy Pot on the Stove

I wanted to give everyone a tip to help them get through the last days of winter here. You can put your cauldron on your wood stove or your conventional stove and fill it with water and some spices or potpourri and just let it simmer and fill your space with goodness. A bit of natural aromatherapy. These are the toughest days of winter. All the holidays are over, and we’re in this limbo period. Even with the days getting longer, people are fed up with winter and feeling down.

If you’re having problems concentrating — add some citrus slices to your slow simmering water. Just be sure to not forget it’s there and turn off the stove or remove the pan before all the water runs out. I use my wood stove, so it slowly simmers while the wood fire burns and I have to watch it less frequently then on a conventional stove-top.