berries frozen

Make and Freeze Blueberry Breakfast Cakes

Let’s talk preparation. The holidays are not far away and a little work now will make all the difference. Blueberry Breakfast Cakes will sit happily in your freezer, defrost overnight and in just a few minutes, warm up for a delicious breakfast. No fuss. No trouble. And you look like a genius host. Some foods just lend themselves to freezing. By the time we get to November, I’ve got a few bags of blanched green beans, roasted corn and frozen blueberries ready to get me through the winter months. (If you haven’t stashed away these foods all summer, there are excellent options available at the grocery store, too. Check the ingredients, make sure there’s no sugar or chemicals, look for organic produce, and the term IQF which means Individually Quick […]

Bowl of pickled veg

Giardiniera Pickle

We’re not done yet. There are still beautiful vegetables to pickle. Make giardiniera, a delicious Italian refrigerator pickle now, and enjoy it all fall. Make it again a week before Thanksgiving and have a crispy, briny, colorful addition to your holiday table. Buy the prettiest cauliflower you can find because that’s the star of this show. Like spicy? Add jalapeno, serrano or even a habenero or scotch bonnet (depending on your heat preference.) Or leave the chiles out. Your choice. Want to use this like Chicagoans do, atop a hot dog? Chop the vegetables extra small. Or, do as I do, and keep them big enough to sneak a snack from the jar on the way to making dinner. Book launch is 10 days away, friends. If you’ve […]

GreenTomatos

pickled green tomatoes

Autumn has arrived. It’s glorious. But there is some level of panic, too. It’s all ending. There goes that last truck filled with corn, here comes the first of the kale and pumpkins. Nothing makes me sadder than the tomatoes dwindling and dwindling until there is nothing but a basket of green tomatoes left. Don’t despair. Pickle some green tomatoes instead. xoMrsW Pickled Green Tomatoes Makes 4 quart jars 12 firm green tomatoes, stemmed, cored and cut into 6 or 8 pieces 4 tablespoons dill seed 4 tablespoons celery seed 3 cups white vinegar 6 cups non-chlorinated water 3/4 cup kosher or pickling salt 4 garlic cloves Pack the tomato pieces into the jars. Make ‘em snuggle in there. Add one tablespoon dill seed and one […]

12Pounds

the steam juicer and concord grape juice.

I am in love with my steam juicer. I got it last year and I did not rave enough, so I am raving again. It’s a tidy grape juice making tool. I have juiced 50 pounds of concord grapes and my hands are only vaguely stained. In years past, I would have had purple paws for a week or two. Beyond that, it’s so fast and efficient. It takes 2 hours from washing and packing the fruit to steaming and siphoning the juice. The yield has been much improved over the hanging bag method (an extra three quarts per 25 pound lug), and the juice is clear and not the least bit murky. Steam juicers are a little spendy, but just wait until you taste the juice. I’m […]

SFView

pear gorgonzola tart and the book tour

The light is changing and the air smells like crisp leaves. Beyond baking pretty savory pear tarts and pulling out the sweaters, finding boots, and generally welcoming fall. I can feel the crackle in the air. And whoa, my book will be released in six weeks. There’s been a flurry of activity. My excellent W. W. Norton publicist Lauren Opper has set up the most glorious, ambitious, slightly mad book tour. I will be in DC, Toronto, Richmond, New York, San Francisco and the Bay Area, Seattle, Baltimore, and Maine. It’s going to be a crazy time beginning October 24 and going right through to December 14th. I’ll be teaching classes, attending dinners, giving talks, doing signings, and even giving a talk at The Smithsonian. (I’m ridiculously excited especially about […]

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pickled watermelon rind

Watermelon rind pickle is not familiar to many people,  but I have fond memories of this weird and wonderful food. I wasn’t more than six or seven when the Cross and Blackwell jar with rectangles of the pickle suspended in a briny syrup called to me. My mother found me in the kitchen, an empty jar and a smile on my face. The pickle was assertive and crisp-tender, heavily spiced with cinnamon and clove. They were the most exotic food I had ever tasted. Time passed and a few years back, before I knew Stella Parks and called her my friend, I read about candied watermelon rind on her blog, The Brave Tart. Ever since, I have been making little batches of these pickles trying to figure out a way to take some […]