The upside of seasonal eating has gotten enough play. Today we turn to its darker side. To the part of eating seasonally where summer ends and I am supposed to set aside perfect peaches for pumpkin soup and root vegetables. What kind of solace is that, I ask?
This jam is equal parts peaches and tomatoes by weight, but the result is more sweet than savory; the umami notes of tomato and balsamic add just a whisper of intrigue. As you’d expect, it’s most at home alongside a soft cheese or spooned over a piece of salmon, but it’s no slouch in a sandwich or vinaigrette either.
Each summer, I fill my freezer and pantry shelves with jam and pickles and applesauce and roasted tomatoes and pesto and all the tastes of summer that I think I’ll need to make it through the Seattle winter. And each year, right about this time, I either start wondering where it all went or wondering how we’re ever going to get through it all. This year it’s the latter.
So here we are: the chickens are laying again, green rows are peeking up in the garden, and although even the rhubarb is a few weeks off, all signs indicate that spring will come again. Which means that it’s time to be working through our winter stores.It was in that spirit that I hauled the last of our apple harvest out from the back of the fridge today. Last fall we borrowed two dehydrators from a friend and dried a few gallons of apples that lasted, oh, right until whenever the girls found them. They loved them. So today when the counter was piled high with apples and I started talking sauce, an intense lobbying campaign was launched from around the height of my bellybutton. Who could resist?
By “panini,” as you’ll see from the photo below, I mean the American usage (any toasted or grilled sandwich) rather than the Italian original (referring specifically to a small bread roll, the panino). (At least if you believe what Wikipedia has to say, which, of course, I do.) And by “grilled brie and apple panini” I mean sweet and salty, gooey and crisp, crunchy, savory, wow, that’s good. Go ahead, have another. They’re tiny.Continue reading →
You guys are the best! All day today, I felt like we were all standing around in the kitchen together, chatting about how to pull off a last-minute Thanksgiving dinner. It’s easy, you reminded me. Stuff a winter squash, roast some veggies, make a soup or a good salad, put out cheese or olives. Easy is perfect. And just as perfect were the reminders that it’s not the food that makes a holiday special; it’s the excuse to gather as a family and enjoy each others’ company.
And…that’s good. Because we arrived to find our rental-with-kitchen unsavory, and decamped to a hotel suite with only a mini-bar fridge instead. So no kitchen, no Thanksgiving cooking. We’re going to have our Thanksgiving dinner this weekend instead, back in Seattle. Which I already have planned now, days in advance—I’m so uncharacteristically organized! But seriously, thank you–I am so lucky to have met so many wonderful cooks and epicures and readers and writers in this little place called the internet (interwebs?) and I’m thankful to know you all.In celebration of life with a mini-fridge, and especially for those of you on the road this weekend, I’m sharing my favorite hotel-room breakfast today. Continue reading →
After all five of us have eaten an apple a day, and we’ve made gallons of applesauce, tray after tray of dried apple rings, yards of apple-based fruit leathers, and an apple pie—our fridge is still full of apples. So here’s a nice way to celebrate a fridge full of apples. Especially on a pancake day or when you have guests for breakfast over a long holiday weekend.Continue reading →
I always make at least one apple pie a year, on Thanksgiving, with the last of the apples from our trees that are tucked away in the fridge. I always use this recipe.Today, Election Day here in the U.S., seemed to call for an extra apple pie. There’s the Americana kitch of apple pie, of course, and there’s the fact that a pie is always welcome at a potluck. But making a pie is also meditative, soothing, distracting. By the time I arrived at our usual Election Day party with three little girls and a warm pie in my hands, I was calm and confident and I had stopped obsessively refreshing polling data on my phone. This was our fourth Presidential election in a row with the same savvy, snarky, deeply caring group of friends, and I rather think that we all deserved an apple pie tonight. So do you. Continue reading →