Sunday, June 17, 2012

Berry Season

The mild spring brought us early strawberries this year! We've had fresh strawberries for a couple of weeks now.

Strawberries 16 June 2012

For dessert I fixed a parfait. Homemade granola, fresh picked strawberries, fat free Greek yogurt and honey. A layer of granola, layer of yogurt, drizzle some honey, some berries, repeat. With a little practice anyone can make a very pretty dessert.

I'm strictly an amateur in the kitchen. If I can do this anyone can do this! And yes, those are mulberries arranged on top! They're a few weeks early too.

Mulberry oatmeal with wildflower honey

A bunch of robins have nested in the briars under one of the mulberry trees. They're not leaving very many for me.

You just can't imagine a more beautiful day than yesterday. It was dry. It was breezy. A little cool but pleasant. Real nice in the sun. I enjoyed a nice ride with L in the afternoon and there wasn't a bug to be seen anywhere. Every day should be just like yesterday.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Blissful Ignorance

Beef. Comes from the supermarket. Right?

A familiar sight on almost every kitchen counter

This is about factory farming.

I love veal. I haven't eaten veal in 20 years. I accidentally channel hopped by CNN one night. There was a film regarding how calves for the veal market are treated. I wouldn't go out of my way to see something like that. I'd rather not know. I haven't eaten veal since.

CA Senate Bill 1520 has me thinking about this. It bans foie gras in California as of 1 July.

I usually land on the animal rights side of things but I have to agree completely with this Bon App├ętit article that suggests the bill is misguided.

I love (almost) everything about food.

I just *love* old orchards.

And of course I *really* love vineyards.

They have weddings here

Now and then I visit New Bedford. For the most awesome seafood.

Our neighbors plant tomatoes...

Tomatoes. Thirty acres of tomatoes!

I love lamb. I'm lucky. I get my lamb from a family farm within walking distance from my house. I visit that farm and I pat the lambs on their fuzzy little heads and I kiss their wet noses.

I've thought about it and for me it's a quality of life thing.

Factory farming is horrific. It's an ugly thing and I admit - I close my eyes and I put my fingers in my ears.

I'd decided to use alternatives to factory farms at every opportunity. I do and I'm happy with that.

I've personally seen geese in France raised for foie gras and I've found nothing offensive about it. I understand Hudson Valley Foie Gras treats their birds well.

Frankly I think banning foie gras is a completely (ridiculous) empty humanitarian gesture.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Everyone's Summer Favorite

Summer is a little over a week away (the 20th, 7:09 pm) and I'm looking forward to one of my most favorite things of the season.

Lemonade. Of course!

I have a funny story. Some years ago I'm at a party. A Summer pot luck. A very highly regarded foodie was there and everyone, including me, was *crazy* for her lemonade. People still talk about that delicious lemonade. At the time she had leaned over to me and whispered "It's ReaLemon. The recipe on the bottle" :)

And that's how I've been making my lemonade ever since. Everyone is just as crazy for my lemonade. I don't think ReaLemon is a bad thing. I've even used it in dressings on occasion when I've come up short on lemons. Or maybe I'll use a spot in berries to brighten things up a little.

Over the years I've tried different bottled lemon juices. I've found the major store brand juices are indistinguishable from ReaLemon. The stuff in the dollar stores is just positively horrid. Read the label. If it's just lemon juice and preservative it's fine.


The basic recipe for lemonade (from the ReaLemon package) is 2 parts lemon juice, 2 parts sugar, 13 parts water. Interestingly enough, since ReaLemon and fresh squeezed lemon juice are interchangeable, that's a universal recipe.

So 2 cups of lemon juice, 2 cups of sugar and 13 cups of water make a gallon of lemonade.

Sometimes I use club soda instead of water. Livens it up a little. Sometimes I squeeze in a lime too. Dropping in a maraschino cherry reminds me of Bermuda.

Sometimes I squeeze some fresh lemons for a treat but that's really because I like having pulp in my lemonade. I can't otherwise tell the difference.

Nothing refreshes like lemonade on a hot summer day. No not even beer!
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