Thursday, August 19, 2010


I seem to have fallen into a summer slump.  The beginning of the week found me with one of those headaches that would not go away.  It lasted for two days and was accompanied by basic nausea, particularly when I tried to look at my computer screen for more than a minute.  Ugh.  I tried to get back to my lingering projects, shelf and blouse.  The shelves are like the headache.  Its a project that just won't go away.  I switched from spray paint to a can of gloss enamel, which smells infinitely better but refuses to apply without brush strokes.  Sigh.  I'm just going to have to make due and relax knowing that no one except me will give my shelves a super close up view.  I didn't attempt to tackle the blouse with my headache.  In the meantime I have managed to photograph some of the other things that I've been doing.

Making Tiramisú.
The recipe makes one loaf pan cake and two smaller portions.  
A cross section of one of the smaller portions which have been wrapped tightly and frozen for those times that I have a dessert emergency.  As in I need it and have nothing on hand.
I followed a recipe from the book "In Late Winter We Ate Pears: A Year of Hunger and Love," by Deirdre Heekin and Caleb Barber.  A collection of fairly simple Italian recipes based on those that the couple have learned and developed over the years that they've lived in and visited Italy.  They run a restaurant in Vermont called Osteria Pane e Salute that focuses on slow and local food, and have a blog.  I couldn't find the recipe online anywhere and it's too long to transcribe.  (Summer slump remember?)  The book is part memoir and part cookbook, and I like the recipes but was underwhelmed by the memories.  I really wanted to love it, but the prose seemed like it was over-embellished for literary effect instead of reflecting an authentic voice.  The wife's writing is the same on their blog but I still can't imagine that she speaks that way.  On the other hand the husband writes the recipes in a much more down to earth tone.

And on the home front, some of our local produce.

Yesterday's harvest.  I like the ombre effect of this composition.  The tomatoes are clockwise from the left: Brandywine,  San Marzano, Sasha's Altai.  Beans: Kentucky Wonder pole beans and one Chinese long bean.  Herbs: summer sorrel, mint, tarragon.  Cukes: Armenian cucumber, and Mountain Pickling cukes.
The fig was dug started from a side shoot of an unknown variety.  My guess is Turkey brown.  It produces  lots of small fruits and it is totally winter hardy in our climate.  
Last night we put up a batch of tomatillo salsa (posted recipe last year).  We tend to freeze it rather than can it because it holds up well that way and we usually make it in small batches.  Tonight we are going to make refrigerator dills.  Anyone got a favorite pickle recipe?  I've been using this one with the modification of added garlic for dills, and also plan to make more bread & butters since the turned out so well last year.  I'm also thinking of pickling some of the Armenian cukes and adding a cinnamon stick and some cardamon to the brine.  Haven't researched that one yet but the idea has potential, don't you think?

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