While cleaning out my fridge, I found this jar of pickled ramps that I prepared at the end of April (when ramps were in season…). While it may not be pertinent to the summer harvest, I still enjoyed making these photos and the shoot that accompanied it, and am sharing them here.
For ingredients and instructions on how to make these addictive pickled ramps, head on over to my piece at EatBoutique.com.
Turns out, making candied ginger is really easy. And much cheaper to make on your own as opposed to buying a small package in the store. Plus, once you make your own, you’ll have a long lasting supply of candied ginger that you can access at home, at the office, in the car…wherever!
I was never a hardcore fan of the store bought variety. I actually don’t think I’ve ever purchased a package of my own. But there was a quality about the flavor and the small, sugary slivers that I did enjoy. So that is what lead me to making my own.
The process is pretty simple. If you can boil water, you can make these candied ginger treats!
- Ginger Root (As much or as little as you’d like to make)
- Peel the outside layer of the ginger root off using the concave side of a spoon
- Slice ginger root into thin rounds
- Bring equal parts water and sugar to boil and add in the sliced ginger root. Lower the heat and let simmer for about 30 minutes
- Strain ginger from liquid.
- Place sliced ginger on baking rack and let dry for at least 5 hours
- Toss ginger slices in a bowl with sugar
I know I still have to update my reupholstery project progress. Until then, here’s a post and some photos I did for Eat Boutique. It features the amazing creations of EHChocolatier out of Somerville, Mass. You’ll be able to experience them in person at this year’s Eat Boutique Holiday Market in Boston in about two weeks!
I have heard great things about EHChocolatier for quite some time now, but had yet to experience their products first hand. It took me a while, but now I understand why everyone who enjoys quality chocolate is so excited by this maker.
The assortment of bonbons and confections available from this Somerville, MA operation are as appealing to the mouth as they are to the eye. Just one glance at any of the products offered by EHChocolatier, and you can tell you are in for a rewarding experience.
These chocolates are made with love, which gives each of them a unique glow one can see and taste. When discussing the business with Elaine Hsieh, cofounder of EHChocolatier, I inquired about her favorite product to produce and/or consume. Her response -“ Egads, that’s a difficult question to answer!” – sums up the product line and its appeal. She went on to say that “All of our products are especially delicious when they’re still a little warm and just made. I never tire of making ganaches and watching them come together through all the different stages while I’m stirring along. It’s a thing of beauty and it never gets old.” Her passion clearly carries over to the final products.
Find out more about the Eat Boutique Holiday Market and EHChocolatier by using this link!
After wanting to take an upholstery class for a while, I finally was able to get in and sign up before all of the spots were filled in this 9 person learning experience. I also purchased a spot for my husband, as he is also interested in learning how to restore furniture appropriately.
I found this chair on Craigslist for $48 and it was exactly what I had in mind. It was an antique and had character in its bones, which I suppose were my only criteria. Upon starting to take this apart, tack by tack by tack, it became clear that this chair had originally been crafted with great care. The instructor noticed this as well, and commented on the hand sewn details of the interior, the hog hair filling, the burlap crown on the inside of the cushion filled with more hog hair, and the different sized tacks used for differing details.
Another interesting part which I loved about the chair, as did the instructors, was the backrest of the chair. The fabric had been sewn, tacked and held in place with handmade buttons in an intricate way which would have taken great skill and talent to accomplish. It may not show in the photo below, but it is quite impressive in the flesh (fabric?).
The underside of the chair was dusty and dried out, and was easy to take apart. With each tear and pull, more dust floated out and I was able to get a clearer view of the springs.
By the end of the three hour class, I had removed EVERY tack, which was one of the most meditative and relaxing things I have done in a long while. There was something so satisfying about pulling and picking out each individual spike. The only thing left intact is the fabric and hog hair on the front of the backrest. This is to preserve the uniqueness of the chair, and replicate it when reupholstering it.
I will update my progress here as the weeks go on. Now to decide on a fabric….
We had already made a tasty dish this week utilizing a pint of tomatoes from our CSA box from Saltbox Farm in Concord. There was still another pint waiting around the kitchen, nearly a week later, with not much inspiration to be found for it.
I was flipping through Jennifer Perillo’s book Homemade with Love for dinner ideas and found a simple recipe for slow-roasted tomatoes. I headed into the kitchen, grabbed the tomatoes and sliced them up. After following her simple instructions, I had a warm dish of late summer perfection to devour.
While the tomatoes were roasting in the oven, I ran out to the store for bread, apples, pears and fig jam. Oh – and cheese – Herve Mons Morbier; Emmi Gruyere Reserve; and Les 3 Comtois Comte. The tomatoes have definitely won out as the favorite cheese and bread compliment this evening. I am surprisingly full with nearly half of the cheese still remaining – quite an oddity in my presence.
The recipe, courtesy of Homemade with Love:
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 sprigs fresh lemon thyme, chopped
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Add everything to an 8-inch square baking dish and toss. Adjust seasonings to taste. Bake until tomatoes are slightly collapsed and tender, about an hour. Enjoy warm or store in fridge for up to two weeks.
Maybe it just occurs in my kitchen, but I’ve noticed a small collection of condiments rapidly taking hold over the shelves on my fridge door. Horseradish, chutney, peanut sauce, relish, and mustard – just to name a few of the residents. Looking more closely within the mustard neighborhood, I decided it might be time to try creating my own mustard. It’s really quite a simple process, and the customization opportunities are only limited by what you can come up with in your head.
I searched through my spice rack to see if any inspiration would develop, and then I came upon the caraway seeds. I added the seeds to a traditional mustard recipe and what developed was a spicy mustard with a rye bread familiarity. This would be perfect for both creating a filling reuben or for something more simple, such as dipping fresh baked pretzels.
Giving the flavors a day to settle in gave this mustard a completely different vibe. It went from a subtle tangy kick to an all out spicy attack on my taste buds, which I must say I enjoyed wholeheartedly. The level of heat you prefer can be negotiated. If you want a spread that is less spicy, do not grind the mustard seed too finely. The more you grind the seed, the spicier your mustard will become…
For my recipe, head over to Eat Boutique!
Sometimes two months goes by and I’m all like “Didn’t I just update my blog last week?”. No. That was 10 weeks ago.
Since then, I’ve turned another year older. Driven the Pacific Coast Highway from LA to San Francisco. Saw President Obama’s motorcade. Purchased a second car. Built a fence out of wooden pallets. And I’ve started running again.
I’ve been enjoying the warmer New England weather and the outdoors in general. The flowers are starting to bloom and there is life in the backyard again. One of my favorites, the columbine, is a simple flower that has welcomely taken root throughout my yard, and its seed pods make it super easy to spread to new spots.
While out for a walk a few nights ago, Joey and I came across this wooden rocking chair sitting next to someone’s trash barrels ready to be destroyed. We headed straight home, got in the car and claimed ownership. It’s rock solid, for real.
In addition to the rocking chair, I’ve added some new plantings over this past weekend, including the pink lupines below. They fit nicely in the border under the birch tree clump that I planted last year.
I’ve been working on some food related posts which will I’ll be sharing in the near future…but I guess I have been busy, just not blogging. And I miss it. And I’ll be back more often.