Quickled Shiitakes

Shiitake happens . . . to be my favorite mushroom. It also happens to make a great pickle. I roasted a handful of them Sunday to toss in this week’s batch of grain salad (alongside carrots, red onions, blanched kale, and a miso-carrot dressing). But a glance at our schedule for the next few days…

Alli-yum

I wasn’t keeping count until a croquet-ball-sized one landed on my little toe this morning when I opened the pantry door, but as of a couple hours ago, we had way too many onions on hand. And then I made this sweet onion marmalade. And now Sheila’s asking me to swap for more onions next week….

I packed a pint of pickled peppers

Yesterday’s sharebox included a bag of a dozen or so decent-sized jalapeños. That’s a lot. More than we can eat before they start to go hinky. So I skimmed off 4-5 larger peppers for a batch of roasted salsa this weekend, and the remaining half pound split perfectly into to two half-pint jars that’ll feed us over…

That’s the Spirit: DIY Tonic

Peas—a must-plant for me—will go in the ground sometime in the next few days, and I didn’t sow nearly enough of them last year. So last week I reviewed my sketches of what grew where over the past couple summers—searching for a spot to squeeze in a few more rows—and I was reminded that I didn’t…

Swap-Box Hero: Roasted Pumpkin Butter

Five pounds? According to John Oliver—in an epic rant against all things pumpkin-flavored—that’s how much pumpkin the average American eats each year. Maybe so. Nevertheless, there were three lovely little Kikuzas and a Queensland Blue in the swap box at the end of last week’s pick-up. So I grabbed a couple. Five pounds. I’m doing my…

Ketchup for What?

For fries. For burgers. For schnitzel. For brats. And, yes, for dogs. Three test batches and a couple dozen spoonfuls later, I’m ready to stop tinkering and send Curry Ketchup to the cloud for safe-keeping. I’m going to want to refer to this recipe again. Curry Ketchup So good it made me violate the Chicago Dog rule. Also…

3-2-1 Blackberry Simple Syrup

Back from vacation, I spent a steamy half hour this morning gleaning the last scruffy blackberries from the bramble out back. They surprised me again this year, putting out roughly 10 quarts over the past month. I’d feared their production would be way down after the construction crew next door bashed in the fence to which my…

Blubarb Jam: A Sweet and Slippery Slope

If you’re new to making fruit preserves, blueberries are the perfect gateway. Widely available, rich in their own pectin, and relatively inexpensive, blues are a small-batch-friendly fruit. And with no hulling and no pitting, your prep is pretty much limited to a quick rinse and a scan for stray stems and bum berries. Lovely when sugared…

Squishy Squash: Spreadable Summer

Decades before Farm-to-Table was a nationwide THING, Madison’s L’Etoile (est. 1976), was championing small, local growers, constructing seasonal menus, and pushing vegetable-centric cooking beyond lentil cakes and baba ghanoush. A summer-squash compendium on the kitchn last week reminded me of a meal I’d had at L’Etoile close to 30 years ago—a meal that kicked off with a warm loaf of crusty bread and…

Old-Fashioned Father’s Day Cherries

Let’s set aside how ridiculous is seems for me, after the past ten days—a sticky stretch of picking, pitting, freezing, and cooking roughly two gallons (!) of sweet, sweet cherries from my own backyard—to actually buy a quart at yesterday’s Collingswood Farmer’s Market. These are different. These are sour cherries. And as of 10:30 this morning, Father’s Day, they’re now…

A Tree Grows in Philly

It’s not a giant tree. I think, actually, it’s a “semi-dwarf” tree. But now, in its seventh full year in soil, it’s cranking out quarts and quarts and quarts of sweet, plump cherries faster than we can pick and eat and process them. Over the past 18 months, the vacant lots behind us have gone from an…

Hand-Me-Down Muffins, Share-Worthy Curd

Kim Severson’s lovely and poignant Mother’s Day piece in last week’s Food Section sent me sorting through my stash of handwritten, handed-down recipes for one of my favorite fruit-spread vehicles, my mom’s Vanilla Muffins. Fragrant, moist, and simple, these were not muffins you studded with fruit; these were muffins you smeared with fruit. With, say, Aunt Harriet‘s peach butter, made…