May 29th, 2013 / Comments
Rhubarb heralds Spring in Vermont. Pink sprouts push up from the cold earth.
‘Still have snow?’
‘Is the sap running?’
‘Are the mergansers back?’
The familiar litany of questions heard around town – at the post office, the Creamery, the market, and at community dinners. And then the rhubarb appears – over night, huge green leaves pop up. The first garden harvest of Spring. Although technically a vegetable, I think of rhubarb as fruit, the primary ingredient in one of my favorite pies, as a lovely sauce eaten alone or topped with a dollop of yogurt (see post below), or starring in a chutney or relish.
Today I baked rhubarb with sugar and a bit of butter and finished it with heavy cream and fresh nutmeg. Very easy, yummy and with rhubarb from my garden and cream from the Farmer’s market,
Here’s how I did it. … read more
May 21st, 2012 / comments
Do you still have snow? Is the sap running? Have you seen mergansers on the river?
These familiar questions are heard at the post office, the Creamery, the market, and at community dinners in the early spring.
It was a bright morning last April, when I saw pink sprouts pushing up through the cold earth. Within a week, there were pink stems topped with dark green leaves. Rhubarb! It would be the first harvest from my garden. Along with the phoebes that nest in the rafters of the barn, it’s rhubarb that announces the arrival of spring in Vermont. … read more
February 29th, 2012 / Comments
I’ve invited Sarah Pinneo to share her thoughts and a recipe. Sarah is a friend, food writer, cook book author, and a novelist. This month, she celebrates the publication of her book Julia’s Child (Plume / Penguin U.S.A. 2012).
Her cookbook The Ski House Cookbook is on my bookshelf and I use it whether or not there is snow on the ground. Her new book, Julia’s Child, is a delectable comedy for every woman who’s ever wondered if buying that six-dollar box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.
Here’s Sarah….. … read more
February 15th, 2012 / comments
When I began to paint, my primary subjects were pears. No matter how imperfect my rendering, the shape was distinctive enough that neither Charles, nor my sons, said things like “Nice apple,” or even worse “What’s that?” At the market, I carefully chose each pear for its color or shape; pears were subjects, to be painted, not fruit to be eaten. Those days are gone, now I think that pears are to be eaten, any time of the day. Recently, I stirred pieces of pear into oatmeal for breakfast, made a simple lunch by putting a pear, a chunk of cheese and a piece of crusty bread on a plate, served roasted pears at dinner with sauteed flounder filet, and baked a pear cake studded with walnuts, crystallized ginger and poppy seeds for tea time. Serving whole or sliced pears is effortless, roasting pears is nearly as easy. … read more
December 28th, 2011 / Comments
Today marks the middle of a week framed by holiday feasting. For our family it began with tea, mince pies topped with whipped cream, shortbread and citrus cookies before a Christmas Eve service that was followed by Christmas Eve dinner. The next day began with a rich Christmas breakfast, followed by a mid-afternoon visit with friends over more tea and sweets, and then there was Christmas dinner complete with an extravagant dessert of banoffee pie.
Next weekend will be a variation on last weekend with what may seem like an unending parade of buttery sweets, rich cheeses, roasted turkeys, sublime wines, New Year’s Eve buffets and football feasts. The abundance of rich, artery clogging food that inspired my daughter-in-law, Alison, to suggest that we start each day with a bowl of oatmeal. … read more
November 2nd, 2011 / comments
When I returned on Thursday, from visiting my son in England, the trees were wearing white. I had missed most of the reds and golds of the fall foliage and was looking forward to getting back to Charles, Gracie and my friends. The only shopping I did in Brighton was at small, medium and large grocery stores and at a weekly farmers’ market in the center of the university campus. Welsh cakes, from the Marks & Spencer market in the Brighton train station, along with a bowl of stewed red plums and a pot of Earl Grey tea was my standard breakfast in England. … read more