Wednesday, August 22, 2012

foods to talk about

There was a time that preserving food was a common, ordinary part of my summer. I would go to the garden every morning to gather its munificence. Then I would can, pickle, jelly or dry the produce from our vegetable garden or fruit trees on an ongoing basis. The hot water bath and pressure canner stayed busy on those days.

 I am revisiting these arts in a more purposeful way this summer of 2012. I must say I do love it. The process of preparing the fruits and the storage that follows makes me so satisfied. My eyes gravitate toward the "put up" jars stocking a section of my pantry.

I have Claire to thank for her suggestion for us to can tomatoes one afternoon last week. In a few of my quart jars I added onion, thyme and bay leaf for the distinct purpose and the comforting thought that is merely created with the opening up of a mason jar, its contents poured into a pan and after it is heated to almost hot, a dash of cream and a dollop of pesto is added and a delicious winter's lunch is ready to be served.
 I call this summer in a jar.

 Witt and Claire's apple trees have provided us all with plenty of apples to eat raw, to bake into heavenly desserts, or to dry in a dehydrator.  The sharing of cherry tomatoes from a friend enabled me to roast them until they are now "candy" worthy. My absolute favorite thing to do with them is to top them onto a little corn cake, that has been smeared with mayo, a piece of bacon, and the leaf of fresh basil. These little appetizers where initially made for Witt and Claire's rehearsal dinner  held on the edge of a rose garden.  The recipe for this appetizer can be found here, one of my favorite cookbooks by far. I especially like how the corn cakes can be made ahead of time and I have discovered they freeze super well too.

When I was pregnant with Charlotte, I craved tabbouleh. I would stop by the whole food stores in my area and would come home and think nothing of eating an entire bowlful with crackers and calling it lunch. This summer's growth of mint and parsley allowed me to make some of my own tabbouleh. It feels so healthy and right eating this food, and while I might not crave it anymore, eating it still brings back some lovely feelings and my taste buds are so pleased.

A batch of cream fraiche was made this week to be served in this dish, a Laura Caulder chicken recipe she calls Coq Au Reisling. The sauce is amazing!

at the shore cum amica mea

So it was that on Thursday afternoon we headed out to the beach, two young girls (Charlotte and her friend), me and my friend, and Rancher, ...