20 August 2014

An Aside ...

SB and I have retreated to the northern end of Vermont for a week of bicycling, sunning, and exploring ...

Like Champlain and his trusty native guide, my nose points toward the Lake and the sandy beach ... a perfect place to sit with my book and my hand sewing. Although, the view is a bit distracting and lends itself to daydreaming ...

15 August 2014

Canning Season !!!

Yesterday was a cool, breezy, 'preview of autumn' day! The tomatoes were mounded on the kitchen island and the makings for salsa were waiting in the fridge ... all I needed to do was get into 'slice and dice' mode.

11 August 2014

Summer Berry Crumble ... and A Story

Picking berries has always been one of the best of summertime pleasures. I remember long summer days when my ten year old friends and I would run the woods that bordered our neighborhood housing development. We'd ram back and forth along the pounded down paths playing hide and seek, having honeysuckle berry and acorn fights, and spending long hours building woodland forts, climbing trees, and looking for the next place to attempt the best ever Swiss Family Robinson tree fort. When banana bikes became the rage, we'd ride the paths and build 'jumps'. I was the builder and sometimes borrower of a friend's bike, as my family could never afford the latest craze. I never had my own bike until I was twelve, and then it was a traditional Schwinn. But who cared when I had a raft of friends with the latest, a thirty acre woodland to play in, and plentiful summertime berries ?!?

06 August 2014

Summer on the Terrace ... Virtual Supper Club's August BBQ

Come sit on the terrace, won't you? I've got a couple Paradise Cocktails poured and the grill pan is getting hot. SB and I are getting ready for a fast and furious weekend of activity, but this evening is meant to be an easy affair. I've got some Hendrick's gin, some peach brandy, some stellar Mineola oranges and plenty of ice. Let's have a cool cocktail and enjoy the greenery while the scallops soak up the peppery spices. I've got a beautiful start to the latest Virtual Supper Club's BBQ themed dinner, so get ready because this month's menu is a perfect late summer treat!

02 August 2014

Ottolenghi's Za'tar Roasted Chicken

There's something about the smell of a roasting chicken that I equate with the ultimate of cozy down home comfort. Take this latest Ottolenghi discovery, though, and it makes one feel like you're languishing somewhere on the beach near a Middle Eastern villa. I imagine the smells from this roasting bird wafting across the sands and enticing me back for a dinner on the terrace. The spices and colors are transformed to a crisp, za'atar dusted crust on the chicken. The onions and lemons are transformed to a soft tangy slurry that drapes well over your fork when you stab a slice of chicken and drag it through some of the accompanying green tahini sauce. Sigh ... Ottolenghi's recipes rarely disappoint and this one was utter bliss last evening, as SB and I dined on the cool back porch of our little grey cottage. No Mediterranean villa for us, alas, but the flavours? Oh yes,they were transporting !

31 July 2014

Zucchini Blueberry Bread

The dog days of summer are upon us here in New Hampshire. Pete the Smart Corgi flops in the sun most mornings while I get the baking done before the heat builds. This morning I dealt with the first big onslaught of zucchini and the huge amount of blueberries that SB picked up on Gap Mountain. The local paper printed a recipe for a zucchini blueberry quick bread that is lightened up a bit. The batter has plain yogurt, one egg and egg whites, and less oil than my other recipe. The bread is treated with a lemon glaze while it's still warm, which creates a densely sweet slice.

22 July 2014

Creamy Polenta with Broccoli and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

We're getting really beautiful broccoli from the garden right now! The other day, we picked a head that was as large as a bridal bouquet ... so lovely with nice tight florets and brilliant green stems with that lovely velvety look. Golly, I love the summertime produce!

21 July 2014

An Aside ...

I went to lunch with a friend last week at Pickity Place over in Mason, New Hampshire. After lunch, Diane and I meandered around the lovely herb gardens and saw a bird bath perched in the middle of a small raised flower bed. It had flowers floating in it ... so lovely. Well, I don't have a big ceramic bird bath, but I have a pretty pottery bowl and the hollyhocks are blooming alongside the wild daisies. My verbena is a pretty pink this year, too.

If only the Japanese beetles would leave the verbena alone! I have become a mercenary when it comes to Japanese beetles ...I make twice daily patrols of the flower beds, flicking sex-starved gnawing beetles into 'the can of death'. I have a young friend that lives in Brooklyn. She and her husband lament the passing pedestrian children that pick her flowers and wreak havoc on her little green space. I know how she feels, as the beetles are never ending at this time of year. A pest's a pest, I guess.