Sugar Shack Season

syrup samples in the window

Here in New England winter usually lasts a few more weeks than we’d like it to, as you may have guessed from all my grumbling lately. It snowed again last weekend, and then a little more Thursday and Friday.  But truth be told I wouldn’t have it any other way, because cold winters and the slow, gradual arrival of spring make for a bountiful maple sugaring season. Continue reading

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Blueberry Rhubarb Crumble

The temperature has been hovering above 90 degrees all week and this weekend I had my first tastes of sweet corn this summer. Last night on the porch at the Blue Heron, we had it grilled and cut from the cob in a salad with cherry tomatoes and pickled red onions and blue cheese. This summer I’m going to pickle a lot of red onions and eat them on salads with tomatoes and corn and blue cheese. There were fireflies on the porch and fireworks everywhere driving home. This afternoon we grilled some more corn and ate it on my back porch and that was it for dinner. Just some corn, sprinkled with a little salt.

This week was also the start of blueberry season. This is the time of year where every week there’s a new kind of fruit to be baked into a pie. The strawberries are just about all gone now, but there’s still plenty of rhubarb  in the garden. Crumble means a little less time in the kitchen than pie, which is nice when it’s 90 degrees. So blueberry rhubarb crumble it was. Continue reading

Sour Cherry Season

When I was in California last month, I had the most delicious breakfast I’ve ever eaten at Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland. We ordered a buttermilk biscuit to share while we waited for our meal (we should have each ordered our own), and on the table there was a pot of sour cherry jam to eat with it. After we’d polished off the last crumbs of the biscuit, I contemplated eating the jam right out of the pot with a spoon. That morning I vowed to finally get my hands on some sour cherries this year and make some jam. Sour cherries have a very short season and are far more fragile than the sweet ones, so unless you have your own sour cherry tree, you really have to be on top of things to get your hands on some. I’m usually not that on top of things. Continue reading

Peas and Greens

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Continuing on with our year of wacky weather, April seems to have returned to New England. We’ve had about 2 1/2 inches of rain in the past week, and on Monday we had a high temperature of 57 degrees! It’s hard to believe that in March we were worried about drought. Though we have had a few breaks of sunshine, there have been a lot of cloudy, dreary days lately. The tomatoes and peppers are growing slowly, but the greens don’t seem to mind this weather much.   Continue reading