The Nomming Bowl

Art and his blueberries. Considering how many he buys at the market, he brought his own bowl to just carry them home in.

4 quarts of blueberries (the three I bought last week we gone by noon Tuesday)
1 quart of sweet cherries and
1 pint of blackberries (not pictured)

[tags]locavore, farmers market, blueberries, blackberries, cherries[/tags]

Art and Carly Word Cloud

Art and Carly Wordle

I’m a little disturbed that the word “Cream” was the biggest! This was made using a new site caled Wordle. It creates a tag cloud based on the words from your blog or any text you drop in. The bigger the word the more frequently it appears.

It’s Ice Cream Time

Lavendar Lemon Balm Ice Cream
Lavender Lemon Balm Ice Cream

I have been an ice cream making fiend this weekend. Art works hard to grow all this great stuff, it’s my job to turn it into yummy ice cream!

Most of my friends are asking about the Rose Petal ice cream, which I’ve made 3 batches of so far.
In the collander!

Infusing the Roses into Cream

My favorite is the mint chocolate chip. It’s hard to imagine how good mint infusing in cream smells. I guess if you eat some of the ice cream, you can get the idea.

Chocolate Mint infusing in Cream

The total ice cream count so far is:

  • Rose Petal: 3 Batches
  • Mint Chocolate Chip: 2 Batches
  • Lavender Lemon Balm: 2 Batches
  • Locust Blossom: 2 Batches

Phew! I need more freezer space.

Here’s last year’s ice cream report, in case you missed it.

[tags]ice cream, herbal ice cream, cooking, spring, flowers[/tags]

Spring Grand Adventure

No other way to describe last weekend but a grand adventure.

Saturday
Can you smell me now?

We set out on a spring Ramp hunt. As you can see from the picture of Art lounging in the Ramps, we found plenty. But…we also found this sweet little toad
Toad on Guard

who posed for a few pictures and then lead us right to:
Fruit of the Forest

That’s right – $50/lb morel mushrooms. That shot is actually of the exact morel mushroom the toad was kind enough to draw my attention to! We found about a dozen more.
Thanks be to the heart of the forestmebeli

There was also a good deal of cooperative wildlife that day, including this snake who posed for several shots.

Eastern Garter Snake

Sunday
I can sum up Sunday in one word: Goslings.
The Parade

More insanely cute gosling pictures on Flickr.

[tags]spring, adventures, ramps, morels, goslings, foraging[/tags]

Half Sour Pickled Tomatoes

Making Half-sour tomatoes!!!! Not quite ready yet.

Gleaning Day!

 

 Just call me Ruth! It was gleaning day at our CSA farm, so I was out in the fields picking away. We came home with quite a haul. Art snapped this shot of me with my bag full of parsley. Thank goodness we have a pet rabbit, or all the parsley might have gone to waste! Needless to say it was not on the top of any one else’s list of things to get bunches and bunches of.

We also came home with tons of pumpkins, string beans, and green tomatoes. I’m off to try my hand at pickling half-sour green tomatoes!

Photo0075.jpg

x-posted from www.peelapom.com

[tags]csa, community supported agriculture, gleaning, farms, parsley[/tags]

Notice the Resemblance?


I think one of the reasons Art and I like hiking in the summer is the foraging! We found lots of wild raspberry bushes along the C&O canal. We also have a couple of raspberry bushes in our garden, which is where the picture of the teddy bear was taken.

When I posted foraging pictures to Flickr, I noticed quite a resemblance between Art foraging for berries and my teddy bear. 🙂

What do you think?

[tags]berries, raspberries, bears, fun, summer[/tags]

It’s Ice Cream Time!

Everyone has a different way of enjoying the bounty of the spring and summer. Some people have cookouts. Some people make jams and can vegetables and berries, like Art does.

Me? I make ice cream.

Herbal Ice Cream Mosaic

When spring rolls around and the herbs in the garden start to flower, I’m thinking about all the delicious ice cream I can make. It started with a recipe for rose petal ice cream about six years ago. Once I realized how easy it was to infuse the rose petals in cream, I started wondering what would happen with other garden goodies. Now, every spring, I gather up the bounty from Art’s garden and make pint after pint of ice cream.

Here’s the tally so far this spring:

The red clover ice cream was a new one this year, and it was quite a hit. The crimson clovers smell kind of sweet and melony, and created a really nice flavored ice cream. I was sad that the color didn’t transfer over at all — which happens with the mint. I looked at red clover tea recipes, not realizing I was using a slightly different type of clover, and many recommended adding a little mint to the tea. So for two cups of crimson clover heads, I added twelve mint leaves, which equaled about 4 clovers for each mint leaf.

The locust blossom ice cream was the other experiment this spring. Art and I had noticed how sweet the locust blossom flowers scent was, so we did some research and found that they are indeed edible. Some people equate the scent with a sweet vanilla. We have a small locust tree in the yard, but there is a really big one in the traffic divider across the street from our house. The city hasn’t sprayed for mosquitos this year, so we knew we’d be able to use them for ice cream. The flavor of the ice cream turned out to be a rich flowery honey.

We have a big patch of chocolate mint, so I was able to make a couple of batches of that. And, yes, you read that right. The herb actually has a chocolate mint flavor. The chocolate is subtle, but it’s definitely there. I use chunks of bittersweet chocolate for the chips, and the process of infusing the herbs in the cream usually transfers some of the green color too.

The strawberry ice cream is actually in the ice cream maker, as I type this. I opted for Philly-style strawberry, which means it’s just cream, sugar, and strawberries. I generally make the custard-based ice creams, but I wanted to see if the really simple Philly-style would bring out the berries without the extras.

Since I have two ice cream cookbooks, I don’t think I’ll ever run out of recipes to try. Mainly, I love to take whatever is fresh and use that — but that nougat ice cream recipe is still calling me. hmmm….

And for those wondering about the effect of all this ice cream on our waist lines — I should say that I brought 3 quarts to a party and this is why Art drags me hiking all summer.

[tags]ice cream, herbs, herbal ice cream, recipes, crimson clover, chocolate mint, locust blossom, gardens, simple pleasures[/tags]

Ramps & Trout

It’s spring and that means ramp hunting time.

The Ramp Patch
My Ramp Patch

Prepped Trout
Prepped Trout
Two farm-raised trout stuffed with ramps which we foraged for that afternoon. I threw in some herbed ricotta that Carly had whipped up a few days prior.

Grilled Trout
Grilled Trout
I have had trouble keeping fish from sticking to the grill, so I laid them on a bed of ramp leaves. The ramp leaves burned away and the fish came right off.

Smokin!
Smokin'!
After getting the (hardwood) fire good and hot, adding a piece of dripping wet cherry really got the smoke going.

Done!
Done!

Dinner – April 22, 2007
Dinner, April 22 2007
Grilled Trout stuffed with Wild Ramps and Herbed Ricotta.
Served on a bed of Ramp greens.
Bread: Seeded Pumpkin Bread from Firehook
Beer: Bell’s Lager of the Lakes.

It was pretty much a perfect meal. Just enough food. The beer matched well. The fish was smoky but still moist because of the ricotta. The bread had enough sweetness to complement the ramps.

[tags]dinner, trout, ramps, cooking, local, seasonal, foraging[/tags]

Whirlwind Week

Art and I had quite the whirlwind of a week last week.

Tuesday: 03/06/07
Dogfish Head Beer Dinner at the Reef

The Reef is a bar and restaurant in Adams Morgan that my sister used to practically live at. We actually found out about the beer dinner through the Dogfish Head mailing list. The evening began with hors de ouvres served with pints of India Brown Ale. As Art and I were drinking and snacking, we ran into a former co-worker of mine and his girlfriend. That turned out to be a great thing, because we ended up chatting with them off and on all night.

When the main event began the owner of the reef and the owner of Dogfish Head Brewery came out to give us the low-down on the evening. Among the highlights of what I learned from their introductions is that the Reef has a bit of an eco-mission (*yeah*) and tries to serves eco-responsible food and drink. For example, they only serve beer on tap, because there is a lot less waste without the bottles. An amusing connection I learned that night about the owner of Dogfish Head Brewery is that he went to the same prep-school as my grandfather: Mnt. Hermon. He got kicked out — my grandfather worked in the kitchen as a scholarship student. Oh — and of course it was about 60 years difference in time — but still.

The food for the evening was decent and the beer was fabulous. The pairings of beer and food were actually slightly better than the actual food. Everyone there agreed that the beet dish with both golden beets and crispy red beets was the best. Most people had never really eaten beats before, so it was a new thing for them.

Needless to say the evening reinforced our love of all things Dogfish Head.

Wednesday: 3/7/07
Hamlet in Hebrew
On Wednesday night we went to Signature Theatre to see an Israeli theatre company’s production of Hamlet. It had been translated into modern Hebrew with supertitles of the Shakespearean English. It was really interesting, the parts in Hebrew I could actually understand showed a great use of the language and poetry in the translation.

Beyond the Hebrew, the production itself was really interesting. The audience was seated in swivel chairs and the play moved all around us. It was very simple production wise, with minimal sets and costumes. The acting was great and some of the staging choices made left us with lots of things to talk about.

Saturday: 3/10/07
Philly Flower Show
To finish off the week, Art and I drove to Philly to meet up with Dad and Susan. We all trekked to the flower show and then through the flower show. Damn, that flower show is just huge. Dad bought us a funky carnivorous pitcher plant! Then we all ended up at Fogo de Chao for dinner. We had to hike a good distance from the convention center for a place that didn’t have an hour wait. Fogo de Chao is a Brazilian meat palace chain where the meat comes fast and furious. The salad bar alone is worth the visit, but the meats were really good too.

[tags]dogfish head, beer, reef, gourmet, hamlet, shakespeare, cameri, israeli, hebrew, flower show, philly, fogo de chao[/tags]

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