Out of the kitchen and into the… outdoor kitchen.

This Saturday will be a banner day around our house.  The boys are participating in their second Farmer's Market of the season.  I'm getting in on the fun by doing a live mozzarella making demonstration at the market while the boys man their table. Or should it be 'while the boys boy their table?   Our local good things market, the Angelica Farmer's Market, is kind and clever enough to offer children's vendor tables the third Saturday of each month.  They provide a platform to teach kids about the entrepeneurial spirit, marketing, the cost of business and working for your money.    Last time around my kids learned a difficult but valuable lesson.  The jewelweed they spent hours packaging and labelling and selling was indeed a wonderful product, but it grows like the weed it is around here and most people can procure it for free.  A few kindly souls pity-purchased from my fuzzy-headed, big-eyed boys.  While they didn't make anywhere near as much Bionicle money as they hoped, they did get the privilege of educating people as to the myriad uses of the humble jewelweed.  And let me tell you, it took a while for the gentle glow of that accomplishment to sink through the disappointment of not getting Kopaka, Toa Nuva, and Hewkii.   The boys, after learning I was doing a mozzarella making demonstration, decided to sell mozzarella making kits.  I think they have a better shot at their goal of a $50 profit this time.  They're as busy as little bees behind me right … {Read on...}

Pumpkin Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing

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When Val posted her Rich Biscuit Cinnamon Rolls with Berries and Maple Butter Frosting yesterday I turned into a drooly puddle of self-pity.  I wanted a couple of those rolls badly!  Why oh why do she and Dad live 17 hours away?  Since my next visit from Dad and Val is not  yet scheduled, I had no recourse but to whip up some cinnamon rolls for myself.  And since the fall weather is rolling in *Can I get a big 'Glory!  Hallelu!' from someone out there who loves fall like me? I decided to opt for flavors that scream autumn to me; pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg.    In keeping with my philosophy of making mornings as simple and thought-free as possible I employed my usual morning bread modus operandi:  I made the dough the night before, rolled it out,    ...brushed the dough with butter and sprinkled with a cinnamon/nutmeg sugar.   ...Cut the the filled and rolled dough and put into greased baking pans and then into the fridge for the night.   In the morning they looked like this! After 30 minutes in a 350°F oven, they were almost ready to eat... Since they're healthy rolls made with pumpkin and whole wheat flour you can get generous with the cream cheese icing and they cancel each other out, right?   They're on the plate... I'm holding the kids off with a stick... Behold!  Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream Cheese Icing.  A more perfect fall breakfast there never was!       Whole Wheat Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Cream … {Read on...}

Val’s Berry Cinnamon Rolls

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  We have had an exceptional summer for wild berries up here. The upper peninsula has had several years of drought in a row, affecting both wild and domestic berry growth. But this past year brought lots of snow with plenty of rain following. Bumper crops of wild berries all around us, near our home and in several places at the camp where we work. Wild blueberries were especially abundant, and for wild berries, they were unusually large:       Earlier in the season we were able to harvest a good supply of red raspberries and now, at the end of the summer, we've been able to collect good amounts of black raspberries. But we are near the end of it all, and Jim went out a couple of mornings ago and picked what may be the last of the season for us, mostly black raspberries with a handful of blueberries.       It took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to do with these; I knew I wanted to bake something, I just wasn't sure on what I should settle. Scanning my shelves, my eyes lit upon a large bottle of ground cinnamon, and I KNEW!!  Cinnamon biscuit pinwheels with the berries rolled up with the cinnamon sugar inside the tender biscuit dough--we have a winner!   My mother used to make this version of cinnamon rolls (without the berries) as a semi-regular breakfast roll. She used a plain shortening-based biscuit dough, and left them plain once baked. Plain was very good--waking up to the smell of cinnamon wafting down the hall from … {Read on...}

Pickled Green Cherry Tomatoes

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Beautiful little green 'yellow pear' cherry tomatoes waiting to be pickled... Because there really is no such thing as a garlic clove that is too big.   When I got home from our vacation I didn't toddle over to our garden immediately.  I started doing laundry furiously.  I don't mean to say that I was doing it quickly.  I mean to say that I was furious that I had to do more laundry.  I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating.  I tried to clear out the wrappers and crumbs and sand that had invaded the van.  I scratched the dogs behind their ears, made a few meals, sat and finished "The Hound of the Baskervilles", listened to my kids' talk about how their second-cousin informed them there was a new generation of Bionicles being released just in time for Christmas, checked my email and did other various and sundry things before remembering that I had some plants that probably needed my attention.  I pulled on my barn boots and ambled out to the garden.   HOLY WUH!  In one week it seemed the entire garden had been taken over by monster heirloom cherry tomato plants.  I did some quick mental calculations and realized that there was no possible way we could manage to eat all the cherry tomatoes that were coming on.  A little more silent math and it was also plain that even freezing the excess ripe fruit for use in soups and stews would leave us with more tomatoes than my non-wasteful heart could bear to ignore.  What to do with all those gorgeous heirloom … {Read on...}

Essay: What I did over end-of-summer vacation.

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    I am back!  One week on the sand went a long way toward restoring what little sanity I had left...  I regained my mind and then proceeded to leave half of it on the beach on the Cape Cod National Shoreline.  You will not see a single photo of food from this vacation.  The food we had was outstanding- goat milk mozzie in pesto tossed with heirloom tomatoes served with crusty bread, char-grilled hamburgers, homemade garlic dills and bread and butter pickles, garlic bean dip with homemade tortilla chips and more- but we were so hungry from all our time on the beach that we laid into each spread of food like a swarm of locusts before thoughts of photography even occured to me.     We left our indelible mark on South Wellfleet.  We terrorized a very tightly-wound, perfectly coiffed and tanned surf shop owner  by merely walking in the door.  Can I help you?  Oh!  Don't touch that!  Or that!  Oh!  Don't touch that surfboard!  Is there something you NEED?  Just DON'T touch that!  I suppose the fact that my husband, father-in-law and I were all present did nothing to assuage the woman's fear that we would allow our little fuzzy-headed minions to run roughshod over her precious laid-back surfer haven and up-end all her painstakingly polished gear.  Interesting, because the first thing inside the door was kiddie-sized boogie boards, water pistols and kites.  Here's a thought.  If you don't want kids in the shop, put up a sign- or better yet- don't carry toys.  Poor … {Read on...}