Saturday, September 11, 2010


Last week, I awoke to a story on NPR about canning featuring a blogger new to me, Mrs. Wheelbarrow. It was a great piece, full of enthusiasm about the serendipity of the farmers' market and the simple joy of preserving fresh fruits and vegetables for another day. I've already made pickles this summer, but Mrs. Wheelbarrow inspired me to want to do more. I was particularly intrigued by her simple, but beguiling recipe for fig confiture. As luck would have it, I found some beautiful figs on sale at Whole Foods this week, and so I made a batch.

The figs are soaked in boiling water to soften, quartered, and married with some thinly sliced lemon, honey, and a bunch of thyme. The resulting loose jam is divine with a good cheese. A lovely gift for your favorite lover of food.

I had so much fun with the confiture, that I followed up with a variation on Mrs. Wheelbarrow's cardamom peach pie filling. The peaches, which have been particularly fragrant this year, are just ending here in the midwest. I did not have any clear gel on hand, so my peaches loosely swimming in syrup, but I figure I can thicken them when I use them, or not depending on the recipe. Wonderful stuff! Thanks for the inspiration, Mrs. Wheelbarrow!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Late Summer Dinner Party

Nick and I got up early and headed to the Green City Market to see what looked good. It was only 7:30 a.m., but the market was already quite crowded, and we spent an enjoyable hour wandering, tasting, talking with purveyors, and filling our market bags. We were having guests for dinner; here was the menu:


Marcona almonds
Manchego cheese
Crocodile tears from Capriole Goat Cheese
Assorted grapes from Mick Klug Farm


Smoked turkey
Marshall grilled for five hours on the rotisserie over hardwood. It was moist, smoky, and delicious.

Watermelon, feta, tomato salad with basil vinaigrette
A nice, late summer salad. Used heirloom tomatoes from the market and basil from my garden.

Zucchini and summer squash with chili, mint and toasted almonds
Found some beautiful yellow squash at the market. OK recipe, could have skipped the almonds.

Sweet potato gratin with creme fraiche, bacon, and onions
A fantastic recipe, sweet and savory, and perfect with the turkey. Beautiful fresh sweet potatoes from the market.


Peaches poached with basil, served with vanilla ice cream
Absolutely delicious, prepared ahead, light and fresh dessert. Would use more basil next time. Would be outstanding with some creme fraiche or lightly sweetened marscapone cheese.