Archive for ‘Friends’

March 4, 2013

Taking Tea | Afternoon at the Harrison House

I see why they do it in the south and of course, it goes without saying, in the UK.

Taking time for afternoon tea is an immeasurably nice way to spend an hour or so in the afternoon.  And if you’ve got a girlfriend to catch up on some gossip, all the better.  The Harrison House, right now, kind of has a little secret.

But the scones and tea are so nice, it won’t be secret for much longer.

If you’re looking for an exceedingly quiet place to take tea, a few scones (good ones, with the exception of how they are cut, according to a very knowledgeable British source), some savories, some fruit, and a gorgeous dessert, let me recommend them.  No hustle and bustle here, just attentive service and the charm of a Victorian Village house.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The afternoon tea service run by Savvy Spoon Tea is a pop up of sorts, taking advantage of off time in the Harrison House kitchen and its cozy parlor in which to serve it in.  All the better for us, who get to enjoy the scones that pop out of the oven as you’re arriving and being seated.  The tea menu is varied with all good selections, I chose the rose black.  The scones were marvelous with a little lemon curd and I was completely enamored with the mushroom pasty.  The pear cake was moist and a real treat.

read more »

June 10, 2012

A Sadness and a Joy | Ball Jar Sour Cherry Pies

I had some sad news earlier this week.  We just won’t have a cherry season around here this year.  I think Michigan is all but given up hope of anything there, too.  And all the farms that might have had cherries this year have no you-picks, which make for some of the most beautiful shots of teeny little bare feet in trees climbing to help harvest.

Last year was monumental and to be remembered with deep affection.  Cherry shrub, pickled cherries, boozy cherry pie, cherry salsa, cherry shiso vinegar, cherry pound cake.  Oh my the pounds of cherries.

Excuse me.  I’ve wandered off remembering the bliss.

So I was of two minds about this sad state of affairs because I had been give exactly one large bowl of sour cherries from a friend in a new house with (what an amazing bonus!!) a mature cherry tree in her front yard. 

read more »

May 20, 2012

Precious Little | Strawberry Peony Jam

It’s the time of year that it’s hard to pin me down.  I’m outside.  Busy in the backyard, planting, weeding, sitting, contemplating.  I just want to be outside.  Watching for the return of Chestnut.  Seeing if we have any new baby rabbits in the yard.  I just find so much peace there, that you’re hard pressed to get a post out of me.  I have better things to do.

Because of this I was there, in the backyard, when the peonies bloomed this year.  They are my absolute favorite flower: profuse, heavy blooms; heady fragrance.  I turned the confetti of abundant petals into syrup.  I did this last year, but not as adroitly.

Marry to this that I went strawberry picking with friends last week.  And 17 pounds picked meant there was certain to be some jamming.  Did there happen to be some master pastry chefs along?  Why yes, there were.  (Thanks, B.)  So I asked them how to incorporate my peony syrup into the jam that was sure to follow all that picking.   Add the syrup at the last minute, they said, to keep all the flower essence.   But of course.

Ten cups of strawberries

read more »

November 3, 2011

Sharing History | Pierogi

There is a vast expanse of Europe between the Black and Baltic Seas commonly known as “Eastern Europe.”  Millions of Americans can trace their ancestry from this region, but many of them don’t know exactly where.  They came through both the front and back doors of the East Coast in search of something more.  They came to mine coal, bend steel, crunch numbers, and maybe raise hell.  Many of them saw the horrors of the 20th century up close, and came here to escape.  They might not have brought much, but they brought their culture, their spirit, and their food.

At the center of this culinary tradition are Pierogi.  It’s the unofficial national dish of Poland, and they are eaten, with different names, from Ukraine to Latvia.  They are traditionally filled with potato, cheese, sauerkraut, or fruit preserves.

But most importantly to me, it’s Hades’s favorite food and the in-laws’ official celebratory dish.  Needless to say,

read more »

August 17, 2011

New Friends, New Endeavors | Baking Brioche

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I have, admittedly, had trouble baking bread.  After a couple of missed attempts, I now tend towards simple recipes that are somewhat fail proof.

I am grateful to Dave, my new friend who is quite the talented baker (and thinker, improver and eater) for offering me a lesson.   So this past Saturday morning, he opened his kitchen (and his home, quite frankly, because Cherub tagged along and she explores just about everywhere) and gave me a course in bread baking 101 (he also fed me and Cherub lunch, natch, lucky us!).

I choose to tackle brioche.  Because I mean, come on.  Butter, eggs.  In bread?  It’s heaven.  It makes the most fabulous toast.  Not to mention French toast. 

read more »

%d bloggers like this: