Tea Time – Reflections on Tea

October 21st, 2011 / comments 3

Tea time c egbert Tea Time   Reflections on Tea

Carol Egbert

My thoughts often turn to tea, a cup of tea, a pot of tea, a tea cup, a tea pot.  You might enjoy an image I discovered this morning. Here’s the link. 

I drink English Breakfast tea  with lime.  Char, my friend with a green Aga, served Irish Breakfast tea with thin slices of lime studded with a four whole cloves. … read more

Concord Grape Focaccia

October 12th, 2011 / Comments 0

I found concord grapes in the market last weekend and they transported me back to my childhood and Ruby’s grape arbor. Ruby was a gardener and a cook who lived next door.

concord grapes co Concord Grape Focaccia

Concord Grapes Carol Egbert

She showed me how to use small clippers to harvest the bunches of fragrant, purple-black grapes. We sat on her back porch and watched birds feasting on grapes as we separated the ripe grapes from the stems, leaves and spider webs. Ruby always used the grapes we gathered to make enough grape jelly for a winter’s worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. … read more

Sour Cream Peach Pie

August 26th, 2011 / Comments 1

Last week, everywhere I went, people were talking about peaches, not just any peaches, but Pennsylvania and New Jersey peaches.peach basket c egbert Sour Cream Peach Pie

Conversations about where the best peaches where grown quickly turned to debates about whether peaches should be baked in a pie, poached in wine, sliced and covered with heavy cream or eaten out of hand. Not only were the peaches welcome for their flavor, they also provided a welcome diversion from the endless conversations about the world economic crisis, presidential candidates, wars and riots. I overheard a debate between two friends about the relative merits of lattice crust or streusel topping on peach pie. All the talk about pies, cobblers and crumbles made me hungry. I stopped at the market and filled a bag with peaches from Pennsylvania, the state where I was raised.

My peach extravaganza began by dropping three peaches into boiling water for a minute, then immersing them in cold water, slipping off the peel and slicing them into two bowls. I added a squeeze of lemon juice and a rounded teaspoon of sugar to each bowl and invited Charles to share a mid-afternoon snack in the garden. Perfection!Time to move onto peach pie. The lattice vs. streusel debate had me thinking. I remembered a recipe for a sour cream apple pie with a streusel topping and decided to adapt it. Here’s how I did it: … read more

Quinoa Salad – A Middle Eastern Dinner Salad

August 17th, 2011 / comments 2

Quinoa is the seed from a plant related to beets, spinach and tumbleweed. Who knew? Tumbleweed makes me think of Gene Autry singing ‘… rolling along with the tumbling, tumbleweed’, but quinoa originated in the Andes Mountains where it has been an important food for more than six thousand years.

A gluten free, complete protein it was called the ‘mother of all grains’.

With all of this to recommend it, I decided to add it to my pantry. My first quinoa creation was a resounding failure – a mushy mixture that tasted like wet laundry, (Actually, I have never eaten wet or dry laundry, but that’s the best description I can come up with). … read more

Whole Grain Seedy Bread

August 10th, 2011 / comments 2

I’d been doing everything possible to avoid going to the grocery store. I didn’t want to sit in the car, get stuck in road construction traffic or push a grocery cart up and down the air conditioned aisles of the grocery store when I could be taking our puppy Gracie for a swim in the pond. But, we still had to eat and, to Charles, lunchtime is sandwich time and he hasn’t figured out a way to make a sandwich without bread. The time had come for Charles to learn how to make a loaf of bread.

toaster c egbert Whole Grain Seedy Bread

Toaster

Making bread can be a long and complicated process. Some dedicated bakers begin by hunting, capturing and nurturing the wild yeast floating in the air. Sour dough starters begin as a slurry of flour and water and with a little luck, a fair amount of patience and enough time, nearly a week, it is possible to make a loaf of yeast bread. Although Charles was willing, lunchtime was looming. We didn’t have three days we had less than three hours. Luckily we had active dry yeast in the pantry. Rather than making a loaf of slow rise, knead-before-you-bake bread we would make a quick loaf of hearty batter bread. Here’s how we did it: … read more

Sesame Noodles & Ginger Sauce

July 14th, 2011 / comments 3


adirondack chair l Sesame Noodles & Ginger Sauce

Watercolor painting by Carol Egbert

Saturday, white puffy clouds danced across the cobalt blue sky, the grass was freshly mowed and my Kindle was giving me that ‘come hither’ look. It was a day to make one of my favorite (nearly) no-cook, (almost) zero effort dinners. This dinner has four steps:

  • Determine menu
  • See what’s in the pantry and fridge
  • Go to market for what isn’t
  • Pull dinner together

Charles and I decided to split the tasks. I decided we would have roasted chicken with pink ginger sauce, sesame noodles and a nectarine salad. I found soy sauce, cayenne pepper, vinegar, canola oil, garlic, honey, sesame seeds and sesame oil in the pantry and mayonnaise, sour cream, catsup and pickled ginger in the fridge. Charles went to the market to get a rotisserie cooked chicken, a box of pasta, scallions, fresh ginger and some nectarines. I got lost in my book and snoozed a bit.

When I woke up, I put a large pot of water on the stove over medium heat. In less than half an hour after Charles returned from the market, we sat down to an Asian inspired summer dinner. Here’s how we did it:

… read more

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