Seaside Foraging: Beach Lovage, Sea Beans & Sea Plantain

Fall Foraging

Fall finds — just a handful of the edibles discovered with local forager Jenna Rozelle, who shared her wealth of knowledge with us on a recent walk (clockwise, from top left): parsley-like beach lovage or wild celery; crunchy sea beans or glasswort; and salty sea plantain or goose tongue. As an extra treat, she brought us Kousa dogwood berries. Though the rind is edible, Jenna showed us how to pop off the stem as the quickest way to the rich, custardy interior.

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10.6.14 National Noodle Day: Soba Master Tatsuru Rai

In answer to the question “What is Cooking?” Soba master Tatsuru Rai choose to demonstrate making soba noodles by hand. Though he remains silent, the process itself is far from it. His rhythmic movements beat out a precise rhythm, resulting in a kind of auditory performance as much as a visual one, and reminds us of how cooking demands the use of all of our senses — touch, smell, taste, sight, as well as hearing. Happy National Noodle Day! (Video link here.)

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2014 Master Food Preserver Volunteer of the Year

2014 Master Food Preserver Award

I’m honored to be chosen by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension as the 2014 Master Food Preserver Volunteer of the Year — many thanks to them for sponsoring this very special program, to food preservation educator Kathy Savoie for sharing her extensive knowledge of the subject, to community education assistant Kate McCarty of The Blueberry Files for her lovely speech, and to my fellow MFP’s for their always excellent company as we spread the preserving word!

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9.1.14 Labor Day

9.1.14 Labor Day

The summer’s been full of unexpected changes, with the garden remaining the one constant, providing comfort and moments of joy. Thank-you to all who’ve asked about our absence — as we sort things out, we’ll be posting when we are able. Though we cannot foretell the future, the long week-end spent canning and stocking the pantry became an act of faith in whatever may come. “The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.” ― Alan Wilson Watts

Harvesting: Fun jen, kale, chard, summer squash, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, radishes, favas, filet beans, shishito peppers, fairy tale eggplant, salad greens, arugula.

Preserving: Canning tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, dilly beans, dill pickles; freezing roasted cherry tomatoes.

Posted in cooking, garden, preserving, tomatoes / pomodorini | 13 Comments

7.7.14 French Valentines and Cherry Belles

7.7.14 French Valentines and Cherry Belles

“Find a bit of beauty in the world today. Share it. If you can’t find it, create it. Some days this may be hard to do. Persevere.”
— Lisa Bonchek Adams

We will be taking a breather from our weekly postings to invite some much needed time and space into our lives. Thank-you, dear friends, for continuing to visit us here, we look forward to rejoining your good company. Until then, we hope you have a glorious summer, and delight in its many pleasures and splendid bounty.

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6.30.14 Garlic Scapes

6.30.14 Garlic Scapes

“My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies.”
— Song of Solomon

While some no longer classify alliums in the Liliaceae family, we still consider garlic part of our garden lilies. They’re flowering now, sending out long slender stalks, or scapes, that remind us of swans, with their elegantly shaped heads dipping and swaying through the tangle of slowly dying leaves. Once the scapes have looped around a full arcing turn, they’re harvested to encourage the plants to concentrate their energy into forming bulbs. It’s an edible portion of the plant that helps to bridge between last season’s harvest and this year’s, and can be used raw or cooked. We’ll be assembling batches of garlic scape pesto, enough for a freezer stash, the rest will be kept fresh in the fridge for as long into the summer as they’ll last.

Planting: After the new moon — Shishito peppers, companion basil and French marigolds.

Harvesting: Music garlic scapes, shell peas, salad greens, arugula, kale.

Preserving: Quick Sugar Snap Pickles, freezing peas.

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6.23.14 Soaking up Solstice

6.23.14 Soaking up Solstice

With Solstice’s long, sunny days as encouragement, newly planted seeds worked overtime to emerge. We’re always glad to see signs in the garden that seeds have germinated, and on this particular day it seemed they got bigger every time we looked. To prove that we weren’t merely imagining things, we captured their first appearance, and six hours later that same day. Above: A double planting of Masai filet beans, looking a little scarred and battle weary at having pushed their way through.

6.23.14 Soaking up Solstice

Ta-dah! Six hours later, the beans (above) have straightened out and unfurled their first set of leaves, with a second one ready to go.

6.23.14 Soaking up Solstice

The Boothby Blonde cucumbers (above) have been reluctant to germinate this year, and this was just one of two that made it, looking a little tentative.

6.23.14 Soaking up Solstice

It’s like watching chicks peck out of their shells, the relief at accomplishing this seemingly small task is palpable.

6.23.14 Soaking up Solstice

In comparison, the Costata Romanesco zucchini (above) just shoulders through.

6.23.14 Soaking up Solstice

Seedling sun salutation — looking hopeful and robust, and portending zucchinis in our future.

6.23.14 Soaking up Solstice

Solstice also marks the last harvest of asparagus and, this year, the first harvest of peas. Our planting of Coral is an early variety, but is dying off quickly after bearing.

Planting: Tomatoes, leeks, celeriac, and a reseeding of Delicata winter squash.

Harvesting: First of the peas; last of asparagus; also rhubarb, salad greens, arugula, kale, agretti thinnings, and chive blossoms.

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