Archive for the 'food' Category


Sunday, September 30th, 2012

We had a gentle, slow-moving weekend. Some of us read a novel and watched orange leaves moving against blue sky, after the rain had stopped.

Some of us found new places to nap.


I cut up an amazing heirloom Goldman’s Italian American tomato from the garden to make what may be the last bruschettas of the season.

Goldman's Italian American tomato


And enjoyed them very much.


Friday, September 14th, 2012

‘Tis the season of abundance. I am stashing food like a crazed squirrel, stuffing tomatoes, ratatouille, corn, peppers and beans into the freezer daily.




The sweet autumn clematis sounds like a hive of bees when you get close. They’re like me, gathering food in a frenzy.

Food and fuel.

dinner tonight

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

first asparagus crop

Home grown.

first asparagus

Yeah baby!

right on time

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

My stash of frozen tomato sauce was parsed out over the winter and spring, and I defrosted the last jar just as the new tomato crop started to color.

last of last year's sauce


I want more jars of sauce in the freezer this winter, and planted twice as many tomato plants, but we’ll see how many tomatoes get into the sauce pot once leaf spot diseases and tomato sandwiches have had their way.

Thank goodness there’s always the local farm stand.

tomatoes — the final chapter

Friday, October 8th, 2010

It’s getting chilly. I picked a load of parsley and pulled up all the basil plants yesterday, and spent the evening processing them and stocking the freezer with pesto.


I’m still in squirrel mode. I have half-ripe tomatoes sitting around the house and they continue to ripen on the vine as well, where the zinnias compete for the most colorful award, poking their heads out above what has become the tomato hedge.




According to my journal, last year’s first recorded frost was on October 19th. I can feel it creeping closer…

stalking the wild blueberry

Saturday, August 14th, 2010

The Shawangunk ridge above Ellenville is covered in wild blueberry (or huckleberry) bushes, which a hundred years ago supported a berry-picking industry.

While living in New York I never went to Times Square or Central Park unless friends were in from out of town; to this day I still haven’t been up the Empire State Building.

It’s the same here, there are unbelievable hikes and views just minutes from the house but we never seem to go unless we’re entertaining visitors. So it was a lucky coincidence when family came to stay at the peak of the blueberry season, and got us out of the house.

We went up to Minnewaska Preserve and followed a narrow path on the far side of the lake, climbing down the side of the mountain to where the blueberry bushes were plentiful.

Look down and see blueberries all around. Look up and see this view. Pick, pick, pick.

Afterwards we sat high up on the rocks where one of the hotels used to be, looking down at the lake and some long-distance swimmers cutting through the water with perfect form.

A couple of days after our guests left I cooked up a small batch of intensely-flavored blueberry jam.

So good. So unbelievably good.

summer fest: cukes

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The first cucumbers and tomatoes are in. Or I should say, they’re gone. Gobbled up after passing feline inspection. But there are more on the way.

I’m growing two kinds, Boothby’s Blonde (described by a friend as a naked Kirby), and Suyo, which is pretty spooky-looking but delicious.

Last night I picked some of each and made them into a salad that was made for me when I visited Serbia several years ago. I don’t have a recipe, it’s so simple you can make it however you like it. More or less garlic or dill. Creamy yogurt or low fat…

I sliced the cucumbers thinly using the slicing side of my box grater and put them in a colander in the sink, salted them heavily and let them drain for a while.

In a bowl I mixed some plain yogurt with a couple of cloves of garlic, crushed, and some chopped up dill. I rinsed the cucumbers, dried them a little, and tossed them in the yogurtey mix.

All done. Simple and refreshing.

I thought I’d post about it today since it’s Cukes & Zukes day on the cross-blog Summer Fest. Find more cucurbit recipes and info on Summer Fest at

new year cake

Friday, January 1st, 2010

I made a Cranberry Upside-Downer Cake for the New Year’s party I went to last night. It was yummy. Emphasis on past tense.

The recipe is from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking from my Home to Yours. I came across the book at the library and have since realized that every baker on the internet has been using it for years. Where was I?

I once had a German roommate who baked a cake every Saturday. God, that was a great year. We would sit perched on Indian bedspread-covered chairs and couches and eat our way through her delicious kuchen.

I’m thinking 2010 should be the Year of the Cake. I love to bake but almost never make cakes — time to rectify this. In my old roommate’s honor I think I’ll try a Bundt next.

happy boxing day

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

There is a “wintery mix” coming down outside and after shoveling the walks and bringing in wood for the stove we do not plan to venture out again today.

I turned the rubber plant into an ersatz tree and so far it is surviving the excited onslaught of the wee ones.

We have a fridge full of leftovers. For our vegetarian feast on Christmas Eve I made Nutmeat Paté in Brioche from the 1972 classic The Vegetarian Epicure.

(A cookbook worth checking out if only for entertainment value since many recipes list MSG as an ingredient and there are notations on what to serve after “sharing a pipe”.)

M, despite his Texas roots, was entirely satisfied. Although who can complain about any meal that ends with pie?

Today I picked some lettuce from one of the raised beds!

I couldn’t believe it when I saw the perky leaves, I had given up on them and yanked off their row cover last week.

Spring is feeling very far off so it was a treat to carry the handful of green indoors.

catch up

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

Beware what you wish for – I have so much jewelry to make that I feel like I’m in a tightly choreographed dance, moving from beads to chores to paperwork and back. I am not complaining; it’s the good kind of busy, plus there’s cat play and coffee breaks, and excursions to the village board meeting and pilates class (variety is the spice).

In the middle of this twirling we’re going to Scotland and England to visit my family. A welcome break from the daily busy. Or at least it will be welcome once it’s here. I can’t wait for the moment when there’s nothing more I can do to prepare. Too bad if I’ve forgotten something; they sell toothbrushes in the UK. For this glorious “it’s too late” moment I have purchased yarn, and I plan to knit as many of these as I can. Mindless pleasure perfect for airport/airplane/visiting with relatives.

Since posting has been slim, despite my camera being full, before I leave I give you a little catch up of the past weeks here:

I made jam for the first time.

And it was good.

The kittens learned the value of a perfectly-sized box,

the importance of packing toys as well as yourself,

and the usefulness of recycled materials in lieu of those pesky packing peanuts.

The blight took out my solo tomato and all my potato plants.

My harvest was a few pounds of Dark Red Norland spuds,

and five green tomatoes which were respectfully chopped up and cooked into a chutney. (I’m hooked on canning.)

There were wonderful moments of feline détente between the young and the old.

Even, miraculously, between Miss Hissy and Maxie. (Actually I’m not sure that she knew he was there.)

And just in the last few days the leaves from the maples along the drive have taken flight.

As we’re about to do.