Tag Archives: summer

Summer’s almost gone

This week we noticed the mornings have been cooler. It’s mid-August and the thought of autumn is in the back of all our minds.

But the leaves of witch hazel trees are still vibrant green.

And kids are still on summer vacation.

Sunflowers are still bright yellow.

The shade of the forest is still a welcome relief.

But the corn stalks are tall.

And catnip plants have flowered.

The world is bountiful.

A small turkey tail and reishi harvest will mean hot tea tonight.

And meal planning for the coming week.

Summer may be on its way out but after canning these peaches, we’ll have a little taste of summer in the winter!

 

 

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Summer In Gilmanton

Bike tires on dirt roads

The wind whipping past my ears

Listening for frogs

Jumping in the babbling brooks along the way

To The Farm

Red Barn, yellow house

Tall grass in need of mowing

Steps made out of granite, framed by Brown-eyed Susans

Two old rocking chairs adorn the porch, strewn with fire wood and kindling

A black cast-iron wood-burning stove in the kitchen

Window above the sink

A view of the clothes line, yellowing pillow cases waving in the warm breeze

Floorboards creak, rugs heavy with dirt

Deserted rooms

Outside, crumbling rock walls section off meadows

Meadows dotted with tiny yellow and orange hawkweed flowers

Sheep to sheer and hay to haul

Wood to chop and birds to watch

This is summer in Gilmanton

Summer Days

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Here it is, the last day of August.

We’ve enjoyed these summer days.

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Backyard fires, complete with roasted marshmallows,

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Mornings in bed,

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Walks in milkweed meadows,

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Foraging forays,

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Beach days,

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Family love,

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Treks on backyard trails,

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Cloud watching,

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Rock hopping,

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Garden growing,

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Wetland walks,

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Warm sunrises,

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Lounging,

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And a deep appreciation for each one of these summer days.

The last day of August also brings us the first day of school.

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Peach Cobbler

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Nothing says summer like peaches. A ripe peach is succulent , its juices often drip down your arm as you bite into it. The flavor is reminiscent of flowers and sunshine.

Drop a nice batter over sliced peaches and you have yourself a cobbler.

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I adore the idea of a recipe handed down through the generations. This is one such recipe. Handed down to cookbook author, Katie Lee, from her grandmother.

Food can mean so much more than just energy for our bodies. It can be a link to our ancestors. A recollection of a sweet memory forgotten and brought back to life through the preparation of food.

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Peeled and sliced peaches are nestled into a dish. A mixture of dry ingredients, milk and butter make the batter that envelops the fresh fruit.

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There is a bit of layering going on with this cobbler. The batter is poured/dropped over the peaches and then a topping is prepared.

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The topping consists of sugar, cornstarch and a bit of salt, sprinkled over the batter and then a half cup of boiling water is poured over top of that.

We had some neighbors stop by while we were waiting for the cobbler to bake.

deer babies

They stop by from time to time and I offer them dinner…

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These plants are supposed to be in full bloom right now, but I believe that full deer bellies are much more important.

After baking for about an hour and after letting the cobbler cool slightly, we had Cobbler a la Mode. Delicious.

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Peach Cobbler

(Recipe from Katie Lee of The Kitchen)

  • 4-5 peaches, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Preheat oven to 325F. Place peaches in an 8×8 dish. Mix flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add milk and butter to flour mixture and stir until combined. Place batter over peaches. Mix remaining sugar, cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Evenly pour the boiling water all over. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool slightly to let the juices redistribute. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

 

Strawberry Pie

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The summer season is upon us. Saturday was the first day of summer and we were enjoying it in the Adirondack mountains, paddling a canoe on a glistening lake while birds sang and grills grilled.

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We enjoyed peaceful mornings cooking over an open flame while the fog took it’s sweet time to lift and the squirrels chided us for being there in the forest.

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Now, we’re back home and back into the swing of things. The sun shines brightly while the clouds float by and at the nearby berry farms, there are strawberries that need to be picked. Isn’t June just a charming month?

Have you ever gone strawberry picking? It is a work out. A squat work out that is definitely worth it.

So what of the multitude of possibilities should we make with these beautiful bright red berries? That is the question. Let’s let pie be the answer. Pie could be the answer to a lot of questions.

We’re making a lattice top strawberry pie. It’s going to be juicy and tart and bubbly and hopefully delicious. (shhh…I’ve never made a strawberry pie let alone eaten one).

We must start with the berries of course. They should be washed thoroughly with the tops cut off. Let’s slice them in half.

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This pie needs a crust. Let’s go with my basic pie crust here.  We’ll need a lemon, of course.

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The zest and juice of one lemon should suffice. Let’s add it to some sugar and a bit of corn starch to thicken the filling.

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Once the berries are added, let’s mix until every last berry is coated.

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We will let the berries sit while we roll out our pie dough. I love pie dough.

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For the top half of our dough we’ll cut it into ten strips about 3/4 of an inch thick and drape them into a lovely lattice.

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A bit of cream patted over top with a sprinkling of sugar should produce a pleasingly crunchy texture with a nice golden hue.

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That’s the ticket. Golden and juicy and gorgeously red.

Strawberry Pie

recipe adapted from savour

  • 2 crust pie dough
  • 6 cups strawberries, halved
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • juice and zest of one medium sized lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 425F. Combine strawberries with the 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch, lemon zest and juice and vanilla extract. Mix until strawberries are fully coated. Roll out one half of dough and place into a 9 inch pie plate. Pour strawberry filling in. Roll out second half of dough and cut into ten 3/4 inch strips. Place strips over pie in a lattice pattern. Brush  heavy cream over top and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 50-60 minutes. Cover edges with foil if it begins to brown too much. Let cool and slice. Enjoy :)

After careful consideration, we’ve come to the conclusion that in our opinions this pie comes in last. We prefer an apple pie, a blueberry pie or a cherry pie. But if you love strawberries, you’ll enjoy this beauty. Now go make a pie!

 

 

The 1st Official day of Summer

Ethan’s well deserved milk shake

Being that this is the first official day of summer which also happens to be the first official day of my boy’s summer vacation, I decided to whip up a summer treat. We got an ice cream maker last year for Christmas (or was it my birthday?) Now the reasoning behind buying an ice cream maker was that we thought maybe we’d save some money on our grocery bill by not consuming twelve dollars worth of ice cream in a couple short days  a week. We experimented with it, tried numerous recipes, but they were all somehow disappointing. They were either too creamy or the texture was not right. Let’s just say that we have not seen any reflection of a savings in our weekly grocery store outings.

Being that the temperatures are in the nineties and it would seem somehow inappropriate to operate the oven while the air conditioners are on full blast, I thought we would give it another try. My boy wants a vanilla milk shake. So that is what he shall have. By the way, he got all 3’s and 4’s on his report card (this is elementary school here, 3’s and 4’s are excellent) So he has earned himself a dessert made especially for him.

As I said, we have searched and searched for ice cream recipes that could handle our refined ice cream palate. I found this “Low-fat Vanilla Ice Cream” recipe on the Taste of Home website. Click here for it. I ended up cutting the recipe in half.

My boy had a bit of chocolate syrup on top and I figured I’d try some homemade granola on top of my serving. Check back for that recipe. It should be gracing the blogosphere with it’s presence shortly.

First combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt
Add fat-free half and half and heat until bubbly on edges
After the sugar, cornstarch, salt, half and half, egg yolk and vanilla half been properly heated through, place pot in an ice bath.
Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to cool in the refridgerator for an hour
Place the mixture in your ice cream maker and let it do it’s thing
After 20 minutes or so, place ice cream in the freezer to firm up
Mine topped with granola

1/2 cup serving contains 182 calories, 1 g fat (trace saturated fat), 53 mg cholesterol, 139 mg sodium, 34 g carbohydrate, trace fiber, 5 g protein.

Do you have any go-to ice cream maker recipes?!