Images via The Scandinavian Cookbook
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Images via The Scandinavian Cookbook
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
It was shocking though to see peppers go from blossom to this:
in only a couple of weeks. Needless to say, we are excited that there is fruit sitting on all of our plants, from the first tomato at marble size:
to clusters waiting for the ripening sun, and a nice caprese salad.
Maybe the cool weather made our plants hardier, maybe it just made us appreciate what actually has come to fruition. Regardless, we now know patience is a virtue when dealing with our garden. I will not underestimate the power of sun, soil and seed again. And if you're lucky enough, we will be sharing seeds with all of you this winter. Save a sunny spot in the yard.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Two that we have been very fond of this summer are very different in their origins. First, the Pimm's Cup, which has seen a splendid resurgence thanks to people rediscovering the pleasure of liqueurs and light mixers. It might be the easiest to make, but with as much complexity to the flavor profile as you want. Our recipe is as follows:
2 1/2 oz Pimm's No.1
juice of 1/2 lemon
Our second favorite was born out of necessity. Ness needed something refreshing and didn't want another gin & tonic. Not that she has those to excess, nor are they a tired drink; she merely wanted something she hadn't had before. Looking in the fridge, we had recently purchased Trader Joe's Pomegranate Limeade. Possibly the easiest and freshest mixer we have ever found. Mint from the yard, soda, Hendrick's gin: the birth of Ness' Mint Lemonade Mixer.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
It isn't as though we had hoped to make wine from our lone vine in the yard, especially since it happens to be some odd midwestern varietal; but, come ON! We had to wait till mid June for the buds to break out? Now with a half dozen leaves unfurling, it is somewhat exciting to see that the weeks of sub-zero weather didn't shatter the roots or vascular system. With time, I feel like this could turn into more than a hobby.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Since Sam had been on the road for quite a few days and was feeling pretty shredded, I brought along a pound of Metropolis coffee to send home with him. It is our favorite local roaster, even though Intelligentsia has had more success in their nationwide growth. Sam reported that he and Cheryl, his lovely, talented wife, enjoyed the coffee over Mother's day weekend. That made us happy.
What made me even happier is when a package arrived from Sam this week. Enclosed were two bottles from their Francis Tannahill label; a 2005 Grenache, and a 2006 Blind Love. These were tiny bottllings; 138 and 93 cases produced respectively. While A to Z and Rex Hill might pay the bills, these bottles seem to represent what they can really do when unleashed in the winery. Elegant and balanced wines both.
The second wine was the 2005 Grenache from the Rogue Valley. We had this the following Wednesday while I listened to the fifth game of the Blackhawks/Redwings series. (a tragic finish, even as I write this. 2-1 Detroit.) Ness was home late from work and we wanted something simple for dinner, so we settled on one of our standby favorites. We call it Beans & Greens, but it is a recipe that we lifted from one of our favorite blogs, who in turn lifted it from Splendid Table. A fantastic filling salad with beans, baby greens, bread crumbs and toasted cheese. The wine was superb from the first taste; my first impression being that of a clean, young Chateauneuf. The color was rich and opaque, but by no means inky. It just had the look of a wine that had been given ample opportunity to develop naturally, and had nothing taken away from it in the racking ad aging process. The nose was nowhere near overpowering, instead delivering exactly what it promised; balance, backbone, and finish. As the night went on, we talked about how it progressed, ending with "plum jam on toast with white pepper." At that point, we decided to end the pretentious wine talk and cut ourselves off.
Sam, thank you for two delicious, elegant bottles. We had a great weekend and look forward to a summer of nice bottles, and good thoughts for good friends.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Another easy planter we have been using comes from my job in the fine wine industry. Many producers still utilize wooden cases, and these are sturdy, attractive, and are nice for their ability to eventually break down and decompose. Drilling 1/2 inch drainage holes in the bottom of the boxes prevent soggy roots and can even allow deeper root growth when placed on bare soil. While we are not even close to what one would call professional gardeners, we have always had good success with these boxes, yielding plenty of potatoes, carrots and whatever else we felt the need to grow. Plus it is fun to see potato shoots popping up where four hundred dollar bottles of wine once were.
I started our greens, tomatoes, peppers and carrots in a few small greenhouse trays in our apartment. The greens are cold weather friendly and grow much faster than the toms and peppers. It is always fun to grow your own food and to start to see nearly immediate reward.It is also funny how folks perk up when you mention even the mere potential of having fresh tomatoes and peppers. This morning I ran into Mary, out mail carrier, and she was already staking out a claim on any excess tomatoes. Even if only half of our plants start to produce, there will be plenty to go around! Come on sun!
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
We ordered the old standby "Queen City Blend", never disappoints with the full mouthfeel and lush nutty chocolate finish. If only we could go to Uptown Bakery and grab a couple of scones now.