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charcutepalooza august challenge. binding.

Remarkable sausages have been made in the last three months. Really, you Charcutepalooza folks are making the most amazing foods. And taking gorgeous photos. Makes me want to sit at your dinner tables. Every last one of you. The Binding challenge will move us away from sausages, and use all those mad charcuterie skills you’ve developed. We’ll be making terrines. Molded, formed, weighted, chilled, sliced, and served cold. And bound with gelatin, egg whites, or natural gel from bone stock. This month, you have an opportunity to show us what you’ve got. Make the most of the pre-sen-ta-tion (do you hear my French accent? see my arms waving about?) It’s the perfect month – hot and steamy August – to celebrate chilled charcuterie. The Apprentice […]

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admiration of the apricot (four preserving projects)

I adore apricots. I ate my first fresh apricot at 19, in Paris, and it transformed me. Until then, I didn’t realize an apricot was available in any way other than dried. I know that must seem ridiculous. There’s a battle going on in my head – is my favorite fruit an apricot or a sour cherry? These two fruits share a short availability, both early in July, and then – sadly – they are gone until next year. And their flavors are unmatched. When I saw the lovely little blushing apricots at the market last week, I took home four pounds. I ate a lot of them right then and there, and had to stop myself to make sure there were three pounds left […]

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chocolate raspberry hand pies for a pie party

The delightful and whimsical Shauna Ahern, she of the Gluten Free Girl cookbooks, declared today Pie Party day. And I’ve never turned away from pie, or a party, for that matter. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know there are many pies made in this kitchen. There’s my blue ribbon sour cherry pie, the regular rotation Hippie pie, chick pea pot pie, and tarts galore. But this weekend’s pie was a party indeed. I used all the tricks I learned in the making of the chocolate raspberry preserves, and put it to work in a hand pie. You’ll find the recipe on food52, where I’ve entered it in the weekly recipe contest, this week’s theme is the glorious raspberry. So, here’s my suggestion. Make […]

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a dalliance with dilly beans

People either love them or have never heard of them. People raised with a vegetable garden are most familiar with a dilly bean. When you grow beans, the dilly bean is ammunition against plants that produce green beans every time you turn your back. Where every day’s harvest is a big heap of beans. Don’t despair. Dilly them. And then put the crispy, vinegary, spicy delights in a Bloody Mary, alongside your pulled pork barbeque, or eat them right out of the jar. They are a great balancing element on a cheese and charcuterie plate, or wherever you might serve a dill pickle. This was my first canning project ever. I can still remember it – standing up on a kitchen stool, next to my […]

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chocolate raspberry whatever

In Mes Confitures, Christine Ferber calls this concoction Raspberries and Chocolate. She does not categorize it. Truth be told, if it’s sauce, it’s a little thick. If it’s jam, it’s a little thin. You wonder if you should be disappointed. Nothing could be further from reality. There is nothing disappointing about this bit of heaven in a jar. Spoon a teaspoon into your lowfat yogurt to feel decadent. Warm it and pour over vanilla ice cream to BE decadent. Make a tea sandwich with date nut bread, goat cheese and this raspberry chocolate concoction. Fill thumbprint cookies. Swirl through French Vanilla ice cream. Make a fregolatta. Get the very best organically farmed raspberries. Buy from people you know. They should be picked when the weather […]

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pickle crazy

Look what I brought home from the market. There has been a crazy lot of food preservation going on here. I’ve been squeezing in canning sessions between regular site inspections on a fun landscape project, and recipe writing (some new canning projects are coming.) Wearing these two hats has forced me to be organized, and focus on projects that can be accomplished with a very limited time commitment. I made Luvey’s Eight Day Sweet Pickles, a ritual every Spring. It’s a project, but worth it. I hope this will be the year you try them out. I marinated some baby artichokes using Melissa Clark’s video as a springboard for the ideas. These are not shelf stable, but they’ll last in the refrigerator for awhile. At […]