Canning/Food Preservation

tart cherries, sweet cherries and a Preserving Italy giveaway

The Northwest Cherry Growers from Washington State sent me a box of cherries. They were so delicious, I almost ate them all without preserving a single one, but I managed to set aside some for these delicious projects. Cherry Bounce. It’s a delicious cordial, George Washington’s fave tipple! It’s delicious and takes about 15 minutes to stir together and then a world of patience while it does its thing for weeks. Make it before the cherry season is gone and you’ll be serving it this fall. With all those gorgeous cherries, I turned to my good friend Domenica Marchetti’s lovely new book – PRESERVING ITALY – chock full of so many sensational recipes. It is a joy to read, Domenica’s writing is encouraging and fun, and the fabulous assortment […]

Stalking The Blonde Morel

Morel foragers are a secretive group. Loath to reveal where they unearth their quarry, each ground-gazing hunter has a theory of the most favorable conditions. Some claim they find their fungi deep in a shady copse. Others look at the base of stone walls. A few claim a symbiosis with certain trees, most particularly after a forest fire. These men and women are obsessed. They may hunt especially in mid morning or late afternoon, they may go out only after a rainstorm or never after a rainstorm, they find morels always under cottonwoods or always under oaks. No two foragers share the same set of theories, but there are some overarching themes. They all thrill with reverence when asked about the blondes. Those are Morchella […]

a meditation on biscuits

I’ve been messing around with buttermilk biscuits. As with so many good things that come from the kitchen, these musings started with butter. For those of you who have The Book, I detail a method for making butter. It’s a ridiculously easy thing, particularly with a stand mixer. I’ve written about making butter here, my friend Carol wrote about it, and I even did a podcast once.  I wrote a recipe for this month’s AllRecipes Magazine, too. Making butter led, ultimately, to making biscuits. I realize there is a world of biscuit-making talk from the likes of Nathalie Dupree & Cynthia Graubert, Virginia Willis,  and Sheri Castle. I love these women with all my heart and hope they know how much I respect them. Yet, here I go. Me. A Yankee-born, Washington DC-living, […]

marmalade truths

Marmalade did not win. (shakes fist at the sky) When I was working on my book, my editor asked (more than once) why there wasn’t a marmalade recipe. It was hard to admit to her even though, a few years back, I revealed my deepest preserving secret here. Not only did I not like marmalade, I had never made it successfully. But I felt defeated. Unworthy. As a preserver, I couldn’t live with this failure. So, in January, while traveling through Texas teaching classes for the wonderful Central Market stores. (Three cheers for the fantastic people of Central Market and the welcoming Food52’ers of Austin, Texas!) I taught classes on making the most of the extraordinary fruits available during Central Market’s CITRUS FESTIVAL. Yes, a whole festival of citrus. Four pages of citrus […]

merguez, shakshushka, and more. my fall kitchen projects.

Even if I didn’t have a calendar, I would know it was fall from the autumnal projects in the kitchen. In the market, there are pole beans and some shelling beans, a few chiles and peppers, potatoes, onions, leeks and fennel. Squashes and cauliflower. Kale and chard and spinach. The pantry is packed with jars of tomatoes and grape juice, dozens of different jams and jellies, pickles and pie fillings. For me, these weeks before Thanksgiving are full of activity. This year, instead of pushing through the last round of edits, or just back after from 22 grueling book tour days. I will be home for the holidays. I’m going to bring back some old traditions and create some new ones and I’m using the next four weeks to […]

tiny scotch eggs

It all started with the quail eggs.  Will at Whitmore Farm is raising quail and every darn week those pretty speckled tiny eggs are there at the booth. Irresistable. I devilled a dozen a couple of weeks ago. The eggs are so tiny I snipped the top and removed the yolk with a demitasse spoon. By slicing across base, removing a small bit to make a flat surface, the egg sat upright. I filled them with a piping bag. Very pretty. Oops. No photo. I am not sure where the idea of scotch eggs came from, but I couldn’t stop thinking about making small scotch eggs. I love a good scotch egg, but have never been able to finish one. They’re just a little too big for me. But with a […]