Full Sours

When I started canning, one of the first things I put up were dill pickles. I love making pickles, and I’ve always loved eating them, but for some reason I was never really very interested in eating the ones I made. It took a few years and a little bit of reading up on pickling to realize that I was doing it all wrong. The half-sour and full-sour (or kosher dill) pickles I grew up eating in New York did not come from a jar full of vinegar. Though there are countless recipes for “kosher dill” vinegar pickles out there, the only way to make a real kosher dill pickle is by fermentation. Continue reading

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Salsa Verde

Mexican food is a staple of my diet, and living in New York City I always took for granted that I could walk down to the corner store and pick up a pound or two of tomatillos any time I wanted them. Now that I live in a much smaller town, I’ve found that tomatillos can be much harder to come by. When I signed up for my community garden plot, tomatillos were at the top of my list of things to grow. Continue reading

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