Archive for ‘Local Foods’

June 1, 2012

New Adventures | Charlotte and Olivia’s Ice Creams

I went with a friend to my very first Meet Up.  Which, to be honest wasn’t something I would normally find within my range of regular activities.  But she tempted me with something: there would be ice cream.  And someone to give you some tips on making it at home.

She didn’t have to know that I have had a frozen ice cream maker bowl languishing in my freezer for a couple of months.  Or that I had, for some reason, an immoderate amount of Snowville Cream in my fridge.  That was just an extra reason that I should probably go.

Oh my.  Am I glad I did.

This unorthodox meetup was hosted in the lovely kitchen of  Jim Cushing, owner of  Charlotte and Olivia’s Sublime Ice Creams.  After introducing ourselves and chatting all things ice cream, Jim gave us an overview of how he makes an ice cream base

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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

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March 17, 2012

It’s Not Just for St. Patrick’s | Scratch Corned Beef

When we visited our farmer friend Dick Jensen a few weeks ago for maple tapping, we picked up some of his lovingly raised and delicious grass-fed beef.  We blew through the short ribs (I still owe you some posts on those, two ways) but we also bought a brisket with the full intention of having it as corned beef.

And everyone loves it for St. Patrick’s Day.  But consider it as something you could make anytime.  It makes enough for leftovers for a couple of days.  Turn it into amazing sandwiches with a little Russian dressing and coleslaw.  Add some leftover potatoes that you par boiled and then roasted in fat and turn it into hash.  This is not your out of the can variety.

It’s worth the effort.

There is a bit of wiggle room just how long you choose to brine your brisket. 

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February 19, 2012

French Crush | Pâtisserie Lallier

I have a new pastry crush.

It’s on Michelle from Pâtisserie Lallier.  She is a French-taught (Le Cordon Bleu, natch) pastry chef that has an almost mystical way about guimauves (that’s marshmallows to you and me).  Her Crème de Violette ones are particularly swoon-worthy.  The chocolate ones already have a loyal following.

And wouldn’t you know, she is lovely in every way else, too.  I met her recently when she and I judged at Taste of OSU, and after that I just seemed to keep bumping into her.  She is bright, kind and amazingly hard-working (she’s a full-time banker) all the while making marshmallows and pâtisseries and all manner of laminated doughs practically in the middle of the night for her Pâtisserie.  She also has a penchant for local ingredients, even making pawpaw Madelines each September.  She’s a girl after my heart.

She is debating a jump to full-time Pâtisserie work because it’s what’s in her heart and

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February 1, 2012

Wordless Wednesday | Tapping Maples at Flying J

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Playlist included Mr. Sun, by Kina Granis.

October 24, 2011

Final Harvest | Corn Milk Soup

It’s simply the best of the last of the garden.  Eight ears of the last of the sweet corn.  Cobs scraped completely clean, releasing all that sweet corn “milk.”  I think it’s what makes this soup special.

But perhaps, too, it’s that I added in the last few peppers still standing on my counter.  Another handful of tomatoes that were picked green in the back garden, but managed to ripen despite that deep insult.  And green onions picked up at the farmer’s market.  Plus two palmfuls of teeny purple potatoes (that were a growing experiment by me) from a more experienced gardener friend.  Generous pinches of fresh thyme from the terracotta pot on the patio.  Twists of pepper.  A blessing of salt.

Poach a few shrimp in the hot soup to make it more substantial.  Or some smoked haddock would be perfectly at home.  Or if you have leftovers, top bowls of soup with a crumbled a link of andouille and some sauteed shrimp for a take on a gumbo.  That’s what I’m going to do.

Corn Milk Soup, serves 6 to 8

4 strips bacon, sliced

2 green onions, thinly sliced

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October 5, 2011

Local Foods Week | Rabbit

 

Sometimes dinner is completely off the grid.  Tonight’s rabbit was an example of that.  Not purchased at a store or farmer’s market, simply gifted to me from generous friends who have local farmer friends.  The dinners, over two nights, could not have embodied the essence of local more than that.

Spot the backyard bunny. No, this was not dinner.

For the squeamish, let me tell you that a beautifully raised, local rabbit might strike you as tasting a whole lot like turkey.  For the more adventurous, it is light, meaty and absolutely delicious.  It is a protein entirely worth hunting down (albeit grocery shopping or the actual in-the-woods kind) to find responsibly-raised meat.

I wasn’t home last night and Hades took it upon himself to braise our rabbit with leeks and carrots and some decidedly non-local French vermouth.  He served it with warm red cabbage, beet and apple salad and a butternut puree.

I cannot begin to express my bitter disappointment at not being home for this meal.

Freakishly, there were leftovers. 

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