Monday, August 22, 2011

Notes from the Kitchen

Up in the north, we get a pretty short growing season. So we take our fresh produce seriously. And, as I've mentioned before, we signed up again for our CSA this summer. Things generally take a little while to get going, and so the early boxes are filled to brimming with greens. We like our salads and all, but geesh, we can be inundated with greens. And I don't much like sauteeing in the summer. Then we found Kale Chips. Our friend, Jaime, told us about them and I was hesitant. They sounded overly healthy, and undelicious, and Crunchy, like lentil loaf or some other dry health food concept. But the kale pile kept growing and was crowding "real" vegetables like zucchini out of the produce drawer. Action had to be taken.

Even though Jaime explained how easy they are to make, I found a recipe online, and discovered we're Johnny-come-latelys on this Kale chips thing. It's all over the place. I'm sure you all know about it. So then you of course know how crazy good, easy, fast, and healthy they are? I swear O ate about a bowl of them. Now we're experimenting with popcorn salts like Sea Salt and Vinegar or White Cheddar. MMMM good

We've also been living up to at least one of our summer wishes: make ice cream! With my Ciao Bella book by our side, we've made Blackberry Cabernet sorbet, Blueberry Lemon sorbet, and Strawberry gelato with balsamic glaze. Tonight, blueberry gelato.

And, since it's blueberry season in spades, a fresh blueberry pie. We use the recipe from the UP's own Hollyhocks and Radishes, one of those regional cookbooks full of character and questionable recipes. But we've found some goodies in there and that pie is one of 'em. [On a side note, one of Darling's other favorite cookbooks is also a regional one: Chesapeake Bay, by John Shields. We picked it up from the thrift for 69¢ (written in indelible ink on the spine) and it's made it through 3 cookbook purgings. Tasty stuff. I think Uncle Ben and Pap-pap would appreciate it as well.] 

Otherwise in the kitchen, we've been out of the kitchen. We had a big burn one weekend (brush piles and scrap wood) and decided to introduce the lad to mountain pies. [We even found the pie irons on the first try! This is happening more and more frequently as the clutter gets redistributed: ie. burned, sold, donated, put away, gifted, and simply thrown away.] We kept it simple with cheese pizza pies, but a spark was ignited. We're thinking we should haul the chiminea over and make some dinners. Or breakfast for that matter.


  1. Pat & I cooked some really good potatoes in the pie irons a few weeks ago...butter, potatoes (diced),and seasoning. They were really good.

    Also for using greens...I love the green monster smoothies ( I mostly do the plain combo of almond milk, banana, & spinach but I've seen kale used on different blog sites.

    I sure wish I was closer so I could try a bite of the pie & some of that gelato! Sounds so yummy!!!

  2. I agree! you and Pat need to take a road trip ;)