Is is strange that in this season of chai tea, pumpkin bread, and apple cider doughnuts, one of the treats I look forward to most is a salad?
This, to me, is the essence of seasonal eating - tender, succulent pears, sliced thickly and laid on a hearty pile of the last salad greens from the garden, scattered with a flurry of dried cranberries, blue cheese, and pecans, and very nearly drenched with a tangy-sweet combination of oil, lemon, and local raw honey.
Winter is coming, and I can feel it in my hands.
I don't know if it's a result of growing up in the damp and drizzly Pacific Northwest, but my hands can't stand New York winters. The dry, biting cold air sucks every drop of moisture from my skin, turning my hands into cracked, scaly lizard claws.
Few things say fall more clearly to me than a hot cup of chai tea.
Something about that ginger-y, spicy sweetness seems so perfectly suited to golden leaves, blue skies, and frosty mornings.
We had a frost.
I had plans to get this post out at the beginning of the week, but the first frost of the year, which my weather report told me was coming Friday night, showed up early. Monday night, to be precise.* Thankfully, I had spent Monday morning harvesting all the remaining eggplants and tomatoes, so the most vulnerable (and to me, the most precious) of the vegetables escaped harm. But the rest of the week saw me in full-on triage mode - harvesting the rest of the frost-tender plants, salvaging what I could, and preserving the damaged goods as fast as I could go.
Thus, a bit of a delay on the blogging front. But the harvest has been salvaged, and I'm back at it. And I've (finally) got Thai food!
Okay, I know I said you were getting some amazing Thai food next. It's coming! I promise!
But I couldn't let the warm weather pass us by completely without sharing one more summer recipe: the humble, but indispensable, zucchini bread.
As the growing season draws to a close, I wanted to take a few minutes and reflect on the successes and failures of some of the plants we grew this year.
When you move away from the few (usually lackluster) options available at big box stores, there is a staggering amount of diversity in the plant world. I'm always looking for the ideal plant varieties for my growing conditions, intended usage, and taste buds, but it can be really hard to wade through the masses of available cultivars to find the right plants for me. Hopefully, this post will help some people in similar growing conditions to mine (Western NY, zone 5b) to put together a few pieces of the puzzle.
Are you looking for a way to send out those last beautiful summer tomatoes and cucumbers in style? Do you need more genuinely delicious vegetarian recipes in your life? Do you crave Middle Eastern food?
If you answered "Yes" to any of the above, keep reading. We're going to falafel!
I feel like I’ve been heavy on the updates and light on the how-to’s lately. I’d like to tip the scales a little, starting with this – a recipe for the best breakfast creation I’ve found in a long while.
Vanilla. Browned butter. Steel cut oats. Throw in the cinnamon and nutmeg that I left out of that already long title, and a pile of fresh summer berries, and you’ve got the most decadent breakfast that makes your body feel as good as your taste buds.
I've been thinking about failures a lot lately.
Two weeks ago, I noticed a strange and unpleasant odor coming from our enclosed porch. Since my brother had just come to stay with us and was sleeping in that room, I (unkindly) assumed the odor had something to do with him. I made him wash all his laundry again and check through all his stuff for that container of old, uneaten food I thought I smelled. And for the first two days that week, I scoured the house for the source of The Smell, puzzling as the sickly, rotten food odor grew stronger almost by the hour.
Suddenly, on the afternoon of day 2, I stopped. With nausea worse than that induced by The Smell washing over me, I walked slowly to the big upright freezer that lives in the enclosed porch, and opened the door.
Seasons are funny things. Looking back at my garden update from the beginning of June, everything is so barren, so brown.
And now. Green. Rows upon rows of beautiful, exuberant life.