28 July, 2009

I keep meaning to tell you

That gooseberry ice cream was so very disappointing, especially after the huge build-up. The flavor was wonderfully tart and refreshing, but the texture was awful! The gooseberry mush should have been sieved thoroughly, not tossed all together the way Nigella suggested. It was fibrous and seedy. The texture just ruined the whole thing for me. Today, as a palate-cleanser after the gooseberry fiasco, I made David Lebovitz's recipe for Chocolate Sherbet. THAT is one recipe I see myself making again and again. Easy-peasy, no muss, no fuss, with easily-obtainable ingredients. PLUS? A crowd-pleasing treat you don't feel guilty about eating. No eggs, no cream; just milk, chocolate, and sugar. Oh, and a couple tablespoons of hazelnut-flavored Kahlua.

26 July, 2009

prepare to be charmed

I'm building a shrine to her later...

19 July, 2009

something new and exciting

Farmers' Market haul from yesterday:

The list:

English peas! still! I thought the season was over, but no!
romaine lettuce
spring onions
the flowers are sweet peas
yellow fingerling potatoes
red new potatoes
yellow chard

Those things in the lower right-hand corner are actual gooseberries!

I think I may have eaten them at some point in my childhood. I have always wanted to buy some because there are so many yummy-sounding recipes in the books written by Nigel Slater, and Nigella Lawson. But when they make rare appearances n grocery stores they are always so expensive and form very far away. So I've never purchased them. These gooseberries were grown in Boulder and were only $5 for 2 packages. It didn't take me long to figure out what to make with them. From Nigella's book Forever Summer, I read this introduction to her recipe for Gooseberry and Elderflower Ice Cream. Listen up.

"This is June in idealized gastro-form. Don't make me go on: words just cloud the issue. But know only that one mouthful of this, with its combination of tart fruit, floral syrup and egg-rich cream, makes you feel as if you've been transported to a purer, better age. Eat and weep."

Word slut that I am, I am powerless to resist. When I read this passage aloud at lunchtime to my family, Junebug insisted on learning what elderflower cordial might taste like. I poured a tiny bit of Liqueur St.~Germain into a shot glass and instructed her to dip her finger in and lick. She did. Twice. Then took the shot glass out of my hand and quickly drained it. Afterward she confessed that it tasted better in the little tastes from her finger. But she still wants to try the ice cream.

18 July, 2009

more food

Sinda, this is the pasta I was telling you about. Here, it is accompanied by fresh peas, mushrooms, cream, chives, and tomatoes on the side.

Junebug has been communicating with the fairies again.

(note to Queen Mab)

I think she means "help yourselves" to the plants growing in the garden. She invented something she calls a fairy taco. This consists of a nasturtium petal wrapped around a chive. Spicy!

13 July, 2009

what's to eat?

Breakfast: french toast with fresh blueberries and some of those less-than-perfect peaches.

Supper: peas from our garden, skewered & grilled chicken with chives, tomatoes with local sheep's milk feta & basil, and the season's first corn.

Peach cobbler!

11 July, 2009


Yes, it's another Farmers' Market post. Here's the obligatory photo.

And here's the rundown.

#1 & 2: PEACHES. Finally. Morton's Orchards was back this week. Last week they weren't here because the cherries were done and the peaches weren't yet ready. Sadly, the apricot crop was a complete loss this year due to a surprise Spring freeze. That same freeze cut in to the peaches as well, but they are still expecting to get about 60-70% of last year's yield. I bought a box of seconds (bruised/insect damage/in some other way not perfect) for $11. That box weighed about 18-20 pounds before we tore into it. This is incredibly juicy organic fruit. What a deal! There is a peach cobbler in the oven as I type. The paper bag full of peaches is a sample of the "perfect" ones. They are gorgeous, but I doubt they taste any better.

3. Green beans
4. Scallions
5. Tiny purple onions
6. Broccoli
7. Tomatoes. We have lots set in the garden, but none are ripe yet.
8. English Peas!! I thought the season for these was done, but no! The ones I bought last week went into Peter Berley's Tofu & Vegetables in Coconut Curry dish from Fresh Food Fast.
9. Carrots
10. Golden Zucchini & Yellow Squash
11. Corn, the first of the season
12. Flour Tortillas from a local producer who uses all organic ingredients.
13. Salad greens, since ours are officially done for. It is still cool enough at night to grow more but I doubt that we will. It seems the soil in our garden is now about 30% pill bugs and earwigs. That is not a great growing medium.

Stay tuned for the cobbler...

07 July, 2009

mysteriously mostly blue

When Sinda & fam. came to visit, they brought gifts. Wonderful gifts! Like a magnetic Leslie Cochran dress-up doll. Check it out! Leslie has a Wikipedia page. Also, this water bottle which I adore and carry everywhere I go.

Sugarbear received this wonderfully menacing little poky pet which stands about 2 1/2 inches high.

Junebug's gift is a sky-blue shiny glass gnome who now abides in our fairy garden. He holds his arms rather stiffly and awkwardly at his sides, which has earned him the moniker "John McCain". Mr. Man chastised me for the comparison, pointing out the horrifying reason for McCain's posture. However chagrined I may be, I find that it is too late to change his name now. We all know and love him as John McCain and so may it be forever. I just love the idea of John McCain as a smiling blue metallic gnome who lives in our backyard. The best part is how awfully happy he looks among the flowers.

06 July, 2009

We have sugar peas! These things grow overnight, I swear. You see a flower one day, and the very next day: bingo! Pea. My challenge is to keep Junebug from gobbling them up before I can harvest enough to put into a bowl for supper.

We had a nice, fairly quiet weekend. We've had lots of rain lately, which I found highly comforting considering how many of our neighbors were shooting off fireworks for the fourth (and fifth).
We even had a little mini-show yesterday evening in our backyard, featuring some snakes, sparklers, smoke bombs and the ground bloom flowers (big favorites!). The snakes always remind me of Sinda, and of Chances, the defunct Austin hangout.