Sunday, August 21, 2011

dreaming of cool nights , simmering apples, and a pot of beef boogie woogie.

The heat is hanging over the land like a wet woolen blanket, my skin is so damp as I stand out in the middle of our field, that it makes trickles of sweat pour down my spine. As I water the trees, and herbs that we have left, I wonder when summer will end.
I love summer; the smells, the sound of the bees, the abundance of herbs it usually brings, but..this year...we are having a record heat wave that I have not seen in many decades.
The tender herbs have given it up, they have shriveled and died before I could save them. The only thing we have left at our new farm is the lemon grass, oregano and rosemary who all thrive mightly in this desert-like season.
When I plan my products for the upcoming fall festivals I use what has survived and flourished in summer. So far, it appears that the thai and mediterranean herbs have lived the longest and made the most decent harvest. (does that give you an idea how hot it is?)
Wildcrafting the passion flower leaves, honeysuckle, blackberry, and soon- to-be
saw palmetto berries, will help give us a surplus with our cultivated herbs.
I will use all that I have to make teas and tinctures, balms and salves.
Here in town, the garden survived better with more water. I have been able to harvest the bergomots, lemon verbena, mints, basils, thymes, savories,
roses, St. John's Wort.
Today I am deciding whether or not I actually want to do a booth at the Rice Festival, the pickings are half of what they were last year.
Perhaps the new herbal flavored cookies and cakes that we plan to make can be doubled, the apple butter and jellies tripled.
The end of summer makes me tired.
We are all longing for the sweet cool evenings that fall will bring.
I think that I will take a little nap before I make my proposed list of sellable items; the heat has made me sleepy.
I can dream about autumn leaves, simmering apples, pots of stews, chowders,and chili. My husband, who loves Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon says, "When are you gonna make that stew? You know, that beef boogie woogie"?
He knows I only make it when the wind turns cold and the kitchen won't turn into a sauna. He's waiting for that.
yep...a nap is good.
I can hear the bees humming around the basil flowers..such a lovely sound to fall asleep to...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

lovely afternoon with a chicken

Spent the afternoon with a recipe from Rachel Ray.
Mediterranean Chicken Stack recipe"!
It can be found on her website for a 5 ingredient skillet; I just received it on my email.
I can't say enough about this recipe. It was fun and very tasty!
I did have to cut back on the amount of olive oil and the amount of breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat bread instead of white) and since I couldn't find a low fat goat cheese, had to use half the amount called for.
it was delicious!
And....very pretty to look at.
I was so proud of myself when I finally stacked it up on the plate.
It fulfilled my envie' to cook and kept itself within the limits of my new low carb diet. (I have missed cooking since I've started the low carb way of life.) Working on it this afternoon satisfied my creative cravings.
I'll say it: food is like artwork to me when I plate it up.
I know that's silly to most people, but I find it makes me happy. (I would rather create it now than eat it!)
The only thing I changed was to add a little bit of Cajun seasoning on the chicken, sauteed portabella mushrooms, sprinkled finely sliced basil and a added touch of fresh parmesean.
If anyone reads this blog and can't find the recipe, I will print it here.
I'm sorry to say, the picture is a poor one (I never know how to stage food, darn it!) and does not do it justice!