When life hands you crappy plums — or when an adorable farmer who you seemingly can not deny (ahem) hands you crappy plums — it’s time to make plum jam. And plum sauce. And maybe some prunes, though I haven’t found my drying rack yet and am not completely sure it would work in this… Continue reading Ginger Peachy Plum Jam
I’m terrible at following recipes. I learned to cook from my grandmother who owned exactly zero cookbooks. Her recipe collection consisted of a few tattered notecards for family traditions and a head full of ideas. She was a master of flavor improv. I try my best to be like her. I do have cookbooks. Quite… Continue reading Kitchen Improv
New Mexico chiles This time last week I was marinating in green chile. The skin on my hands has just about recovered. Each year I buy 25 pounds of fresh chile from Hatch. These are a mix of several varieties of New Mexican chiles, which are a kind of large-pod chile with moderately thick flesh… Continue reading New Mexico Chile!
Like recognizing Imbolg on 1 February and the Church’s Candlemas on 2 February, I tend to begin Lughnasadh on 1 August and celebrate Lammas, the Loaf-mas, on August 2nd. So today is the Festival of Bread in my tradition. This might be idiosyncratic, but it works for me. I celebrated today by giving the house… Continue reading Scones for Lammas
This time of year normally sees an explosion of garden productivity. There are baskets of veg every day, mostly summer squash and tomatoes. This year has not been good in my garden, but then this is the first garden in this home. I have learned what not to do and made adjustments in the master… Continue reading Ratatouille
Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor, Maine. (Wikipedia) It’s that special day in June again. No, not that solstice thing. No, forget graduation. No, not the wedding thing. It’s Paul Bunyan Day! A day to celebrate an absolute idiot who blundered through the north woods, wearing plaid flannel, leading a cow named Babe, and wielding an… Continue reading Paul Bunyan Day
The eighth moon is the Strawberry Moon and, yes, strawberries are bountiful this month — the first real fruit harvest. (I don’t count that rhubarb stuff… it’s chard, not fruit.) While planting and harvesting both happen all year long, this is the month when there is a shift from predominantly planting activities to mainly harvest… Continue reading Midsummer Strawberry Moon
It’s the Strawberry Moon. Strawberries ripen around the summer solstice. So with just a modestly sized strawberry patch, you can pick a pint or two a day this time of year. Strawberries are so easy to grow, so productive, so magical. And there is nothing for sale in the supermarket that comes close to a… Continue reading Strawberry Shortcake
It’s time to make Hot Cross Buns! Though there are many conflicting and confounding stories about hot cross buns in the spring, I’ve never found a satisfactory explanation for why these are associated with the middle of spring and specifically with Good Friday. Yes, I know there’s the whole “holy rood” thing. Except the tradition… Continue reading Hot Cross Buns
The birds are busy in the backyard. They’re awake at dawn, debating the latest household design fashions and hipster watering holes. Possibly a few duels among the cardinals. The doves are sighing in frustration because they prefer to sleep in. The wren is just permanently enraged. But he sounds lovely — as long as you… Continue reading Eggs!