You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2010.

a very happy july 28th to you!

as i sit here, in the cozy library in elk rapids, mi, overlooking the grand traverse bay, i can’t help but smile. and breathe deep. a break’s been a long time coming.

july has been the month of transition. as such, my cooking, photographing, eating, consuming, and life have been all out of wack. in the best of ways, of course.

a lost (but not forgotten) muffin monday

this month i am just plan behind. and out of my mind. moving places, shifting jobs at work, saying good-bye to amazing friends and hello to new ones. while i’ve forgotten the recipes for what i’ve made, i know my stomach’s been overfed and grateful this past month. the great joys of comfort eating.

so i leave you the photographs (of the food i remembered to take pictures of) and wishes for a merry end of july!

strawberry jam bars

some garlicky hummus

carrots and dates muffins

shredded zucchini and yellow crookneck squash for bread

also, a quick update– i wrote a piece on earthworks featured on the etsy blog. check it out!


i feel like june and july have been the months of jamming and pickling. obsessed with fresh, local produce, and soon to be moving, i think i’ve been super hyped on these processes because they preserve this great produce in forms easily movable. and, they just taste so good.

after spending the fourth of july with my family and dear family friends in northern michigan, i came home with booty. michigan rhubarb, perhaps the last of the season, and michigan blueberries. my great idea? blueberry rhubarb freezer jam!

i made strawberry rhubarb freezer jam earlier this year, with the berries i picked with nanny and poppy. aha! i thought to myself. if the strawberry rhubarb was so tasty, blueberry rhubarb will be divine! and purple! i must give this a try, i thought!

and so i tried it. delightful. royal. fantastic. tart, sweet, satisfying.

the funny thing about my jam adventures is that i don’t really eat all that much jam. i mean, don’t get me wrong, i love it! but not the healthiest processes of food preservation. but, dear friends, that just means i get to expand my experimentation of jam use! keep an eye out for sweets featuring said jams. quite lovely indeed.

blueberry rhubarb freezer jam

3 cups blueberries
3 cups rhubarb, chopped
2-ish cups of sugar (i didn’t put the full amount in because the berries and the ‘barb were super ripe)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons  cold water
1/4 cup boiling water
1 package pectin

1. combine fruit, sugar, lemon, and cold water. bring to a boil, stirring often, allowing to simmer for 10 minutes.
2. in  a small bowl, combine boiling water and pectin, whisking to combine.
3. stir pectin into blueberry rhubarb mixture, and bring to a boil for a minute. remove from heat, and continue to stir, for 2 minutes.
4. ladle into sterilized jars, leaving an inch for head space and expansion in the freezer. enjoy!

i’ve been obsessed with these onions since wednesday. well, since before then. but wednesday, earthworks volunteers and apprentices harvested a bunch for our meldrum fresh market. i missed out on the harvesting action, moving topsoil to some raised beds at a community church nearby. but, no worries. i think this actually stirred an even greater reaction within me. i freaked out–shocked, amazed, overwhelmed by these baseball orbs of delicate white grinning up at me. i’m not sure anyone had ever seen such onion enthusiasm as i shrieked and carried on wednesday morning. i can put on quite a show, you know.

i am easily excitable, i know. but these onions deserve such joyous proclamation, these pearly fist-sized spheres. for those of you who live in detroit (or, as i say to my beloved brother, day-twa), consider coming and purchasing your very own at next week’s meldrum fresh market. stop by 1264 meldrum, detroit, 48214 from 11 am-1 pm to take your own home.

this post, too, comes belated. in fact, so belated there’s not garlic scape pesto left in the fridge or freezer. it’s long gone.

after posting about my other two pestos (also DELISH), a friend asked me about garlic scape pesto. last year, i made some based off dorie greenspan’s recipe. this year, i combined her recipe with some other inspiration, that is, cleaning-out-the-freezer ingredients.

i must say, it was a smashing success. i don’t know if i even ate any with pasta. i just smeared it on carrots and bread like hummus. fantastic. sadly, because of the great delay between preparing, eating, and posting. i don’t remember my exact proportions or ingredients… but here’s the rough idea! improvise! i always do!

garlic scape pesto

12-16 garlic scapes, false flower removed (and composted)
1/2 cup toasted nuts: at least 1/2 almonds, the rest sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds
large splash lemon juice
1/3-1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. in a food processor, pulse the scapes, nuts, and lemon juice until well broken down and well mixed.
2. slowly stream in the olive oil while machine is running.
3. add the cheese and salt and pepper and pulse to combine it all together.

this turned out so delectable: sweetness from the almond, salty from the cheese, tart with the lemon juice, all deepening the lovely mild flavor of the garlic scape. enjoy!

greetings, dear friends.

it’s been a crazy time of year here. the bustle and hustle of farming is definitely in high gear right about now: harvesting berries (gooseberries, black raspberries, currants), harvesting greens (rainbow kale, red russian kale, curly kale, dinosaur kale and collards), harvesting garlic (!!!!!), harvesting and more harvesting, checking bees, composting (mr. urban prairie calculated earthworks has picked up 88,000 pounds of spent grain in the past 3 months from atwater brewery. that is approximately 44 tons. i am happy to boast i’ve shoveled about 38 of those 44 tons!)… needless to say,work has been wild. and socially, between ice cream adventures, trips to see family, trips to see cute cows, and soccer, i’ve been very busy.

delicata sunshine is a bit behind.

these are beautiful berries. no? they are from the booming bluffton, ohio. from suter’s, from an excursion dating back to the middle of june. about a month ago. (yikes!) how time flies.

fruit picking with nanny and poppy is becoming a tradition. but it’s always been– especially strawberry picking. and, this lovely monday morning, i ventured happily with them and my uncle jeff to harvest ourselves some berries. and we came out with quite a booty.

after sorting, i had the delightful pleasure of making freezer jam with nanny. she knows her stuff when it comes to freezer jam.

and i benefitted the most. strawberry freezer jam, made with love, vivid red to prove it, safely resting in my freezer. oh, sweet delight! summer in a jar! fantastic.

strawberry freezer jam
4 cups strawberries
4-6 cups sugar (depending on low sugar or regular pectin)
1 1/2 cup water
7 tablespoons pectin

1. combine the strawberries and sugar and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. after the strawberries have been juicing out for about five minutes, mix water and pectin and put on high heat in a small saucepan. bring to a rolling boil for a minute, stirring constantly.
3. combine pectin with berries, stir for three minutes.
4. laddle into freezer-safe containers (i use old glass jars–pint sized, usually– or old molasses jars, salsa jars, etc). be sure to leave enough space at the top of the jar (head space) to prevent the glass from cracking as jam will expand as it freezes. enjoy!

stay tuned for updates on garlic scape pesto, pickled foods, ice cream, and much more….