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]

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.

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

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]

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!


x-posted from

[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.

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


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]

I Made a Pie!

I Made a Pie!, originally uploaded by CarlenLea.

My first sour cherry pie of the summer! I love how the crust turned out. The trick is basting it with heavy cream before it goes in the oven. No, I’m serious — you cover it with a thin layer of whipping cream. I learned that from Martha Stewart!

I don’t think you can see it in the picture, but the air vent is the stem for two pie crust cherries. I think that’s super Martha!

The pie tasted good too, but Art says I need to practice more. 😉

[tags]pie, homemade, sour cherry, crust, yummy, martha stewart[/tags]

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