Category: Main Meals

Pear and Blue Cheese Salad with Lemon-Honey Dressing

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.

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Thai Coconut Lemongrass Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

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!

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Asian Steamed Buns (Char Siu Bao)

I'm pretty excited about this post. We're getting into prime vegetable harvest season up here, and these buns, besides being a family favorite, are the perfect companion to a quick stir-fry of fresh garden veggies.

What are char siu bao? Pork or beef, slow-roasted in a sweet-salty Asian marinade, shredded to bits, and wrapped up in a tender steamed bun. In one bite, you get the sweetness of hoisin, the richness of sesame, the saltiness of soy, the pungency of garlic, and the deep caramel taste of well roasted meat. And mellowing the intense flavor of the meat is the bun - fluffy, yet chewy - like the inside of a freshly-baked loaf of bread.

Besides being utterly, addictively delicious, bao are inexpensive, easy to freeze, and quick to reheat. Making them the perfect summer side to whatever veggies are growing in abundance near you.

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