I learned to make jam a few years back at a class at The Brooklyn Kitchen taught by Kelly Geary. That day, she made a thick and syrupy, crazy lemony blueberry jam with no pectin. My early experiments didn’t turn out as well, though, so I started using pectin. This year, something changed. I wanted to perfect a simple small-batch jam-making technique I could use to quickly preserve summer berries (which always seems to be on the verge of expiring) without anything special on hand. [Read more…]
It shouldn’t be this way, but my fridge ends up as the warehouse of all the projects I want to complete, those that I have put off too long, and remnants of past projects – jars half full of sauces, ketchups, salad dressings, pickles, syrups, and caramel – it’s the debris of work and life all jammed up in that (thankfully huge) white box.
A few weeks back, I spotted a table of blackberries at the market. The late berry harvest was in – some of the last fruit of real deal summer – and I had to pick up a couple pints. But the fragile fruit wasn’t even up to the short walk home, and already smushed ones had to be rescued as soon as I got home. Quick action was needed. [Read more…]
I’m not having a productive summer and it’s getting worse. Despite waking up late most mornings, I’ve now napped two days in a row. My coffee game is off. Getting work done feels like it depends on some strange alchemy. If I sit in the right spot, glasses cleaned and aligned just so, and the coffee’s fresh, maybe I’ll make progress? Nope. I wander out to the garden instead.
Billowing thunderheads, the deafening roar of the cicadas, minuscule progressions in the growth of my watermelons (you guys – I’m growing watermelons!), all seem far more important than work right now. [Read more…]
A weekly summer produce guide to what’s in season right now based on the contents of our CSA share, with CSA and farmer’s market recipes and inspiration. This week: blueberries, blackberries, basil, jalapeños, and chioggia beets.
I’m currently running about a week behind on everything. Editors aren’t happy, the children aren’t happy, and I’m definitely not happy. But you didn’t come here to hear about my problems. You’ve got illegal fireworks to buy, beers to put on ice, and a stars and stripes salads to make. So let’s get into some great local produce and then peace out for a much-needed weekend of relaxing, grilling, drinking, and sitting in lawn chairs. [Read more…]
As the calendar ticked over to the unofficial start of fall and our pool closed up for the season, something unexpected and entirely unwelcome happened – summer started. Suddenly it was hot and sticky. The cicadas which had been quiet returned with full voices. Summer storms cropped up. As someone who loves wool, overheats easily, and has hair with serious frizz potential, I take this late-onset summer very personally.
On the other hand, there are a few things I’ll miss about summer. As we get the first winter squash in our CSA share, I’m still clinging to all the summer ingredients poised to disappear at any moment. Among them, blackberries. [Read more…]
This week has been beastly. Sometimes, parenting should be hilarious but isn’t, because it’s actually happening. There you are cleaning cuts, or puke, or both, and then sort of getting on with your day. [Read more…]
Memorial Day is upon us and Brian and I have big plans for the weekend. My benevolent in-laws are taking our girls for a few days, leaving Brian and me with the time to sleep in, wander a bit, and lounge by our favorite swimming hole without fear of our little ones drowning, getting poison ivy, or slipping on wet cement. I usually do my best to deny summer’s arrival right up until the time I start contending with sweat stains, but this year, I’m being proactive. Bathing suits and sun screen are in hand. Bring it on, summer! [Read more…]
October blackberries are totally a thing. Consider them a gift from a mild fall. We’ve been delighting in the occasional, kind of pricy, half pint of berries for a few weeks now. But since these late season berries are delicate and maybe even mushy, they are ideally suited to fall baking.
It’s been a pleasantly soggy June, and, owing to a certain amount of angst, I’ve been spending too many hours staring out into the rainy afternoons. My self-imposed anxiety stems from a desire to clarify what the move from Brooklyn to Virginia has meant and figure out what’s next. But the thing is, school is out, the days are long, and we have other things to do. So I’m giving myself a temporary pass and plan to spend the coming weeks meandering in the sunshine, or rain, as the case may be. If I ever do figure something out, you’ll hear about it, I promise.
For now, I’m listening to the rain on the roof, walking along the river with the girls, and daydreaming whenever I can. Inspired by these simple pleasures, I made this spare blackberry tart, a faithful take on this black raspberry one from a few years ago. [Read more…]