Saturday, June 28, 2008

8 little Beauties: Strawberry Jam

It's done. And there was just enough left in that measuring cup to sample.

I posted the process here on Flickr if you're interested.

I used to make all of my jam. It's not really that hard. Getting the fruit ready is the most time consuming part. That's why I always like plum jam. In Sept. when the prune plums are ready, they are a cinch to wash, pit and chop in the food processor for jam. And it's the most gorgeous burgundy red color!

For strawberry, I use this little tool that was my mother's. Don't know what it's called, but it works great for crushing berries....or chopping eggs for egg salad!

Loot from the market...

Just back from the Farmer's Market in Peekskill. One of the best around. I sold soap there under our Creekside label from about 2000 to 2005.

The beets were small beauties with greens good enough to eat. They had early onions (which I've already cleaned up) ...ready for the grill tonight with the 8 Ball zucchini and the yellow summer squash. The Swiss Chard is going in the garden so I can grow my own and God willing, the strawberries will be jam by tonight.

The Jam Man is no longer at the market, so I have to make my own! There is nothing quite like jam that has just been made! Toast and jam for breakfast tomorrow!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Update....on Michael Pollan

A reader directed me to Pollan's book talk on here it is if you're interested. I have the book coming from Half[dot]Com.....

Garden Progress on the Heirlooms

Now here's progress to report: From May 28th to today! In just a month there's been amazing growth. I couldn't get a good close up, but there are tiny flower buds on quite a few of these.
I've also added parsley (which the woodchuck enjoyed) basil, cilantro, rosemary, a few cucumbers and my favorite: yellow summer squash.

Just for comparison, here's the garden on May 28th:

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Real Food with Haiku

Food Haiku (in the style of Michael Pollan from his book: In Defense of Food.
Not traditional Haiku, but a pattern that works.

Eat food.
Not too much.
Mostly plants.

I am inspired by his premise and am ready to take it up a notch in our own eating/cooking at home. More plants, less meat. More organic, more local. Some of the most interesting reading I found about Mr. Pollan was on a blog where he was the guest writer. That's where I found the other examples of Food Haiku. Here's mine:

Green Peas.
Shelled by hand.
Sweet treat.

I have to get his book and read more....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Solstice and Sharing Buddy

The longest day of the year and the earliest summer solstice in 112 years! I love the long stretches of daylight.

Time to get out the red candles, red flowers and raise arms to the east, south, west and north. Purify and renew. Perform a Summer Solstice Ritual. I'm off to get my sage smudge stick that I got in New Mexico and cleanse the house.

Buddy returned today to share the solstice with me. I haven't seen him for more than a month. He didn't stay long, but it was good to see him for a brief time. He's looking a bit better than he did when he came to visit me on Mothers Day. (After his other family shaved his fur!!)

Apparently he has another family and is spending more time with them.

Pentti says we have to let him be free. But I'd like him to move back home.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Perennial Garden Month!

Since June is perennial gardening month, and Sarah was here for the weekend, we decided to make the trip to Rudolph Gardens
What an amazing array of unusual blooms! This is where I found the beautiful white iris I photographed earlier this spring. What an incredible selection of irises he has!

I bought only a few plants....including two echinaceas: one that will bloom lime green with a pink center, GREEN ENVY and a red one called : TWILIGHT. I'll go back later to add to my peony garden!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Celebrate Dad

Spend time with your dad if you can.

Mine was patient, kind, and wise.
Always there to help a neighbor, lend a hand.
Spoiled my children, let them eat sugared cereal.
Was frugal and funny.
Could make anything grow.

11 years .....and I still miss him.

Here's something for those of you old enough to remember family sitcoms:

Wow! Shelley Fabares, Carl Betz, Paul Petersen and of course, Donna Reed!

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Auction fever

I finally got to fill my need for an auction. Last Saturday I traveled upstate to Freehold, NY to an estate sale auction. The estate belonged to a man who collected bottles.....boy did he ever!

Actually that's why I went, to see if I could take home a few of those green glass canning jars or small bottles. That didn't work out, but here is what I did take home!
A lovely 'side-by-side' ....and a map chest.
This is what I DIDN'T get.....and I really wanted that chicken. But it went for a lot of moolah!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Hot weather, cool salad

I've had a busy weekend. Went to an estate auction upstate Friday night to Saturday. Got some great buys...more about that after I unpack the truck!

It's way too hot to cook....just last week I was making soup to take the chill off!

I've been wanting to try buttermilk dressing like we had at The Farm on Adderly a couple of weeks ago. Sarah made some and posted a photo on her blog on June looked great.

Here is my version. Dressing: Whisk together mayonnaise and buttermilk add a small garlic clove crushed with salt then season with pepper and snipped chives.

I used Boston lettuce, peas, (not fresh....I cooked frozen just a minute or two and quick chilled in ice water.) I added shrimp to make it a main dish and radishes fresh from the farm market.
Perfect on a 90 degree day!

Friday, June 6, 2008


My courageous friend Lorraine, (left front) is leaving this month on an amazing adventure. She has packed all of her belongings into storage, given up her condo, and will take off in her car for parts unknown. Actually she'll start in North Carolina. But from there who knows!

It's her version of On the Road! Wouldn't this be a great opportunity for a about it Lorraine?? You have a laptop.....

Well, if there are no blog posts, I'll be looking forward to postcards from the edge.

Hasta la vista , Lorrie!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Finger Lickin' Ribs

My dear friend Gayle, who passed away suddenly in December gave me this recipe. I didn't think I could make ribs until I did it this way. Tbese are THE BEST..hence the name: Finger Lickin' Ribs.

Here it is:

1 rack of baby back ribs ( about 3 lbs.)

1 T. sugar
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp. pepper

Mix spices together and rub all over ribs. Line a pan with foil, place ribs in pan with meaty side up and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Meanwhile make barbeque sause:

Mix together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered 25-30 minutes:

1 c. ketchup
1/2 c. white vinegar
2 T. brown sugar
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 tsp. worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce (or to taste)

When ribs are done, brush sauce on baked ribs. Grill 12-14 minutes basting once or twice.
Broil in foil lined roasting pan.

Cut into serving pieces and serve with remaining sauce.

Make plenty. These are the best.

Thanks, Gayle.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Garden Hotline

Remember Ralph Snodsmith of the Garden Hotline? I loved his name and his southern drawl......who according to the website "answers questions in a down-to-earth, professional and gentlemanly manner?" He's still there answering questions on the radio. I used to listen to him years ago.

Here's what's hot in my garden right now.

The only poppy I can get to bloom. I have others that come up each year, including a white one....but who would know if it's really white. I can't get it to bloom.
Digitalis, running rampant. Supposed to be biennial, but it comes up all over my garden each year and reseeds itself with abandon.
Stone Crop (a ground cover with white flowers) lambs ear not yet sending up those tall purple flowers and the rose bush I diligently saved from aphids!

More about soap tomorrow....

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Three Green Salad or what I've learned from my daugter

Sarah has taught me to take a few leftover things from the fridge...and make something out of them. Hence: Three GREEN salad.

I started with these. Three red potatoes. Some leftover, uncooked swiss chard, and baby arugula. The third green....frozen peas.

I cubed and boiled the potatoes. Made pesto from the arugula. (garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and grated cheese) Mixed the pesto with the warm potato cubes and set aside while I steamed the leftover chard and peas. Mixed it all together. Salt and pepper to taste. Added a chicken cutlet. (which I always keep on hand in the freezer) Voila! Pentti did say it looked a bit like the soap I made today with Nori......but there wasn't any leftover!!