Friday, August 31, 2012

Wild Maine Blueberry Sorbet

I am doing another farm to table wedding on Sunday
A friend of the couple is making an armadillo cake
and I am to make the blueberry sorbet

Blueberry season is just winding down in Maine and I was able to buy
this beautiful box of organic blueberries from Blue Hill Berry Farm
last week at the farmer's market in Deer Isle

My recipe is pretty pure, pureed blueberries, strained through a sieve,
mixed with a simple syrup to sweeten, chilled and frozen in an ice cream maker

Here is where you can get crazy creative:
I steep tea bags in the simple syrup, for this batch I used a black tea called 
Paris from Harney that is fruity, but deep.
I heat equal parts water (2 cups) and honey ( 2 cups) to a boil,
add the tea bags (2 is plenty) turn off the heat and let it steep for
5 minutes, remove the tea bags and allow your syrup to cool completely

Meanwhile, puree your berries (5 cups) with 1/3 cup water in 
a food processor or blender

Pour them into a fairly fine mesh strainer and press out all the juice
into a bowl

leaving the skins, seeds and stems pretty much behind.

Mix your berry puree (you should have 2 cups) with 1 cup
simple syrup and add whatever whatnots you so desire,

I put freshly grated ginger and lemon zest in the batch 
for the wedding.  Ruthie, from the berry farm made her own
batch with mint and lemon.....the possibilities are endless

Place in the fridge until completely chilled and then
freeze in your favorite ice cream maker, or if you don't have one,
  simply put it in a bowl in the freezer, and stir occasionally until the consistency of
soft sorbet.  I then freeze it over night to make it firm.

and have a wonderful wonderful weekend

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Farm to Table Lunch

We did this last year for the first time and it was wonderful.
The farm and what it produces is just beautiful.
May I do it justice.

Tomorrow is mowing day at Lily's and then I am making
blueberry sorbet....a recipe here for Friday.


Monday, August 27, 2012

"Traveling" and a Recipe

You can feel it can't you?
Summer is coming to a close and my whole being is
telling me to slow down, gather, assess and preserve

Gather ~ food, energy, community
Assess ~ my space, my life, where I am
Preserve ~ all those tomatoes coming from the garden!
But also, just as importantly, the spirit and balance I have achieved so far
during this lovely year of pause

It's funny,
all this year and even before,
people consistently ask me where I have been traveling. 

I consistently respond with a blank look on my face and no words,
not to be rude, but because I have been traveling like crazy,
but not to Europe or Asia like they are assuming

How do you explain?

Then I read this quote yesterday from Pilar Guzman, Editor in Chief of MSL

"...Of course, travel is more about changing your state of mind -the departure
from routine, the act of discovery- than it is about taking a grand tour.
It is precisely the ability to seek out the new (or the old, with fresh eyes)
and to maintain a sense of wonder even in our hometowns......."

Seriously.  I could not have put it better.

So YES! I HAVE been traveling. Like crazy. and I am so grateful for
the place I live and the people I share it with.
Thank you ,  Thank you

In my "travels" I have discovered what many of you probably
take for granted about me, my favorite way to express gratitude for this
abundant life is to feed you!

Here is a delicious dish of pasta I made with a huge haul from the garden the other day:


1 pound of your favorite pasta, plus a little cooking water
I used the Sweet Potato Buckwheat noodles from King Soba
4 cups cubed eggplant
2 cups cubed zucchini
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 sweet onion, diced
oil, salt and pepper
1 +/-  cup basil pesto
A little bit of your favorite mozzarella like cheese

I used this wonderful goat's milk cheese I just found at the Blue Hill Coop:

Preheat your oven somewhere between 400 and 450 degrees
Cook your pasta in lots of salted water until al dente, drain - saving
some of the cooking liquid, not more than a cup-
and rinse in cold water, set aside

Toss your zucchini and eggplants (separately) lightly in oil, season
with a bit of salt and on separate trays roast them in your hot oven until
tender and caramelized, turning them occasionally to promote even browning
This should take about 20 minutes.
You are keeping them separate because they take different times to cook

meanwhile, put your pasta into a big bowl, with the fresh tomatoes,
diced onion and some grated cheese

Throw your roasted veggies in when they come out

along with the pesto and a little pasta water to loosen it all up
(If you don't remember to save some pasta water, which I often forget to do,
just add a bit of water from the tap.  You don't need much)

Serve warm or at room temp with extra pesto on top and a drizzle
of really nice olive oil for pure decadence.

 And travel through your days with your eyes and heart open

Happy Monday

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Pretty House

Dinner with friends,
 using freshness from the garden

Savon Marseille Soaps, 
half price at T.J. Maxx

and a loving home,
 these are a few of my favorite things...

Let's take a peek in Rhea's house

Wonderful use of color, textures and textiles to create a very
Anthropologie modern home, with warmth and individuality

Enjoy your weekend everyone
and take a moment to indulge in a favorite thing or two...

It just makes you feel better.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Luscious and Honey

Corn that is,
 two types,
Luscious and Honey
Bob gave me 6 ears straight off the stalks
 yesterday at Old Ackley Farm

I was supposed to tell him which one I liked best

That is like trying to pick between two of your children!
They are both awesome for different reasons

Luscious being juicy and sweet and
 Honey really had a hint of honey in it's milky goodness

After eating a little of both, almost raw, I decided to make
a very quick corn "chowder" with the remaining ears for dinner.
Wanting pure fresh corn flavor, I pureed some of the corn kernels
for the creaminess instead of adding any dairy

The flavor was outrageous


5 ears of the freshest corn possible
1 medium onion, diced
1 large potato, diced small
1/2 cup diced ham -optional-
3-4 cups stock or water
Fresh basil or a T of pesto
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the kernels from the ears of corn, pureeing 1/2 of them into a creamy wonderfulness, set aside.
Cut the naked corn cobs in half and place in a small pot, cover with water and simmer for about 20 minutes to make a stock.  You will end up with about 1 1/2 cups corn stock, I added 2 cups of chicken stock to this, or you can add water.  In a small soup pot, heat 2 T oil (I used grapeseed) over medium heat, add the onion and sauté until just beginning to soften, add the ham if using and potato and continue to cook for a few minutes.  Pour in the stock, season with salt and bring to a boil, simmer until the stock has reduced by 1/3 and the potatoes are very tender.  Stir in the corn and puree, continue to cook until heated thru, only a few more  minutes, finish with freshly chopped basil or I put in a T of
pesto I had made the other day.  Adjust seasoning with salt and black pepper - eat right away.


In loving memory of Chris Heanssler

Monday, August 20, 2012

Quilting Weekend

Way back in the winter I signed up for an August quilting workshop being
given by the queen of modern quilting herself, Denyse Schmidtt,
at Maine's very own awesome quilt shop Alewives Fabric

On my way down the coast I waited in line
to grab a seat at the bar at Lost Kitchen in Belfast

I really wish I had brought my camera in with me -
 no matter how tacky I would have felt- because this food was;

 the. most. beautiful.
I have ever seen.

Plus it was all locally grown, seasonal and delicious.

I stayed at a Oak Gables B&B in Damariscotta 
which I found to be old school charming

I awoke early enough to take a walk through town as it
was waking up

and then headed over to Alewives to get my sewing machine set up,

give Rhea a hug,

and have time to shop in this magical fabric store

filled with color, ideas and pure, pure inspiration

Then, downstairs to the new and gracious workshop space

Where we were fortunate to spend the whole day with Denyse and her
quiet, effective, mind expanding teaching methods 

The subject of the class was Pure Improvisation, taking us from
very traditional, to......

pure improvisation!

Barbara - the owner of Alewives and Rhea's mom - made us 
all a delicious lunch, served in Rhea's house which offers
so many decorating inspirations that I need to share it 
in another blog this week so you don't miss anything

I left for home Sunday afternoon, sad it was over so fast,
but my bag was filled with new projects and ideas that I can't wait to get
started on - makes the approaching autumn seem very promising.

More soon my friends, and
here's to a great week!