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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tomato Cucumber Salad

Tuesday was my three year anniversary with my wonderful husband. This past year has held a lot of new adventures: getting chickens, opening up our home to renters in need, becoming board members of our neighborhood farm, writing new songs together...the list goes on. There is never a dull moment in our relationship between our to-do lists and our fun friends.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sour Cherry Crisp

Well, friends, I had my very first urban foraging experience. It was exhilarating. (And no, it does not only refer to dumpster diving -- not that I'm opposed to that when done correctly).

I learned of a sour cherry tree on the corner of West Cold Spring Lane and the 83 off ramp. So, after work one day, I ambitiously drove over that way, parked in a nearby neighborhood, and walked over to where I imagined the tree to be. Plastic bag in hand, I walked. And walked. It was really only a quarter mile or so, but at first I was worried I wouldn't be able to find the tree. Suddenly, I saw a dirty sidewalk with smashed cherries all on the ground. Bingo!

Looking up, I saw the cherries. They were pretty high. I stretched out my hand, grabbed a branch, and pulled it down in order to reach the cherries. Stretching even higher, I picked and picked. After 20 minutes, I had a crick in my neck and half a pound of cherries. If only I'd had a ladder to get more!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Basil Lemonade

It was 102 degrees on the day I made this lemonade. Super high humidity. Luckily (or unluckily) I was home sick from work that day, so I only ventured out to water my garden(s), but wow, that was enough. Half an hour outside and I was covered in sweat. Justin got home in the afternoon. "Want me to make you some lemonade?" Sure! Picked a couple handfuls of basil and went to town.

I always buy lemons by the bag now. Who knows when you'll need some? They last for a while, and I always find an excuse to use them up before they go bad. When watering my garden, I noticed some of the basil leaves were huge. Better pinch those off soon, I thought. Even if just to feed them to the chickens for a snack. But then, lemonade is a much more fun use for basil.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Remembering Last Summer -- Pesto Pasta

This post and recipe is by my good friend Maggie. She is part of our meal share group, has a rabbit named Florence, and sings very well. She made this dish a couple months ago, just when it was starting to get warm, and we all loved the refreshing flavors. I asked her to write up a guest post. With all my recent food themes, however, I couldn't find a place to fit it in until now. Just in time to welcome summer. Enjoy!

Recipe and post by Maggie Loftus. Although I am very methodical about my grocery shopping list, trying to only buy the ingredients we need for what I'm making during the week (hello, debt-scorning wife of a medical student on scholarship!), it happens to me often that I will find an exciting ingredient whilst grocery shopping and wanttobuyitrightnow! even though I have no plans for it. An ingredient in this situation may sit on the shelf for several weeks or more, looking forlorn, waiting for its turn to finally find its fate and fall into a hot pan. When I realized I had been staring at a can of octopus for a month, among other strange, un-purposed ingredients, I realized I had a problem. (Like, really? Canned octopus? What could I possibly have been thinking on that one?)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Buffalo Mushroom Burgers [Summer]

Summer's here. Not according to the calendar, but according to my wardrobe, my tan lines, and the strawberries in my front yard. In honor of summer, I'm going to focus on blog posts that capture the bests things of summer. Ingredients, yes, that's key, but also the feeling of summer. The glass of lemonade, the cookout on the back deck, the bike ride across town to your favorite restaurant with outdoor seating. What images come to mind when you think of summer and food that are part of your history?

Recently I made buffalo mushroom burgers for the meal share group I'm in. The burgers turned out great, but even better was grilling them on the back deck at dusk, turning on the twinkly lights strung outside, lighting a candle, and enjoying the burger with a glass of chilled white wine. That's summer.

I'm looking forward to fresh salads. I already gushed over my growing herb garden and the wonders of dashing out to grab a handful of fresh herbs to throw into a dish at the last minute. I have strawberries, raspberries, and a fig tree, and I might even get a grape vine this year. Arugula is growing in boxes on the deck, lettuce in the backyard, and tomatoes and peppers in the community garden plot. (Is this making you want to start gardening yet? And I don't have a lot of land, either!) As much as I complain about the heat in Baltimore, summer is just so full! Full of good food, summery moments, being barefoot, and traveling to see friends and family.