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After years of growing summer foods in containers, I’ve been a little taken aback at the amount of time it takes to properly care for a real garden in Virginia in mid-July. This weekend, my diligence slipped a bit and we got the first woody green beans and one way-too-giant zucchini. The difference between a tender vegetable and an overgrown one feels like 5 minutes. And what began as a nice handful of this or that a few weeks ago, is now filling a pint (or even a quart) basket daily. It’s overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time. read more »
At a time when so much good stuff is growing, it’s nice to have a copy of Erin Alderson’s The Homemade Flour Cookbook in hand. Erin, the lovely writer and photographer behind Naturally Ella, has created a beautiful book that details homemade flours of all varieties –– everything from traditional wheat flours to those made from legumes, nuts, and seeds. The most exciting thing for me is that Erin’s book gives readers the information they need to mill their own grains at home. And her simple, fresh recipes offer a great chance to play with all the best flavors of the season. read more »
Grilled fish is one of the purest pleasures of summer. The immediacy of it all –– fresh and simple –– makes for the very best kind of eating.
High on my personal list of skills I’d like to learn is fishing. I used to fish with my dad all the time, but one day in the peak adolescent years, sticking the hook through the minnows’ mouths was too much for me and I swore off eating any animals for 13 years. Now that I’m back to more omnivorous ways, the ability to catch my own supper is something I’d really like to reclaim. The dream of fishing goes hand in hand with my desire to become some kind of backwoods canoeing badass, but I think the canoe thing will have to wait until next summer. For this one, I’ll be perfectly content with trout straight from a Virginia stream. read more »
Let’s begin here: I hadn’t really meant to take a break from the blog, but it just kind of happened. At first, I was taking a little time to think about my blog and what it’s for. There are So.Many.Food.Blogs. And lots of them are the work of incredibly talented and passionate people. Sometimes it’s overwhelming to keep throwing my stuff out there, hoping that amidst all that greatness, my tiny slice of this huge internet will continue to be meaningful. (And please know, I am totally not fishing. These are just the cruel facts, people.)
So it started in March with me thinking I should take a small break. Meet some of the other pressing deadlines for my freelance stuff and give myself time to think on things. I’ve had a few ideas floating around for a while now, but never seem to find the pause button I need to see them through. read more »
Yesterday we had our third March snowstorm. What was predicted to be a dusting, changed to an all day, several inches type of affair. And somehow, blessedly, school was not cancelled. With the house to myself, I spent the morning watching the snow fall and cooking up some spring comfort food (even if the weather begged to differ). read more »
I’m prone to think myself an expert on too wide an array of topics. Brian’s similarly afflicted, so in this way, and the fact that we’re both not the dollars and cents types, we’re a bad match. Or at least, he’s not the absolute yin to my yang. One way we both learned we knew much less than we had thought we did was moving to Virginia. In Brooklyn, artisan products and farm-fresh produce (that you buy from the farmer) are available almost any day of the week at one of the city’s Green Markets and also at local specialty shops like the Bedford Cheese Shop or the Meat Hook. Not only that, but because vendors range from Vermont to southern New Jersey, we enjoyed a particular food’s season longer as it stretched up the eastern seaboard. Here in a small city in central Virginia, vendors aren’t exactly flocking, so eating locally has a far more strictly defined meaning. That’s one of the main reasons we were thrilled to have signed up for a CSA. (Have you sent in your check yet?) read more »