Tag Archives: fruit

Just Add Wine Cocktail – Yields One Chichi Summer Outdoor Experience

20 Jul

Dear Jess,
Thank you and Shannon so so much for coming all the way down to Canada (down, technically, right? when you’re coming
from Minnesota to South-Western Ontario…) in order to celebrate the 4th with us!  Your  patriotic cynicism and Shannon’s grill-mastery made the evening.
After this excellent string of BBQ’s, which you anticipated in April with your Portobello Mushroom grillers, I am starting to feel, well, thirsty.  And while Coors Light and Molson Canadian may have been appropriate for an All-American, er, Canadian cook-out, our subsequent ‘cues have lacked a certain classy, refreshing, thirst-quenching element.
Thus, I dedicate this post to summer, to sparklers, and to you, dear sister, who always bring the culinary class!
Love, Bec

happy plants from the Spring enterprise

Earlier this summer Nina requested permission from our landlord to plant a garden in our back yard.  Three days of dedicated digging and fertilizing and hoeing (bow chicka bow…oh nevermind) and deliberating about how much space tomato plants really need and how deep the holes need be (no bow-chicka intended) we finally had 1/2 of the plants we’d bought in the ground.  The other half has remained in their seedling pots on our front porch until today which, for anyone keeping track, is JULY! Continue reading


Melons in the Midwest

18 Jul


Dear Emma,

Honeydew melons remind me of you and of childhood. They flash me back to Stringtown Grocery with its gas-lamps and Amish ladies selling peaches, apricots, Muscatine melons and honeydews in bulk. Then rattling home in the “way-back” over country gravel roads, pretending that we were driving the car backwards while dust filtered in through the cracks in the van.

Our friendship, which spans the whole of both of our lives, is so engrained in my own history that I can’t help but be reminded of it all the time. Especially while standing at the grocery mulling over melons.

xoxo, Zoe

I worked briefly at a French restaurant in Milwaukee. During my two-month tenure of 10 shifts a week, I would wake up every morning, fling myself out of bed and immediately fall over. My feet were tingling stumps, an odd combination of numb, swollen and on pins and needles.

The evening kitchen was manned by a chef, a true Frenchman with a growling accent, a cloudy disposition, and an allergy to any politesse. The female servers were salopes and his male kitchen help had an equally endearing nickname (dumbfu*k). Though I made less money, I preferred working lunch shifts because the Frenchman was at home in bed.

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(Secret) Recipe for Summer Perfection

12 Jun

Dear Bec and Nina,

Summertime is all about perfection.  And from what I saw of your wedding weekend, it fit the bill!  I am so happy for you…as happy as I was one recent sunny Saturday making jam.  And so, I dedicate this post to you: to love, to happiness…to summer perfection!

Love, Emma

When it comes to cooking in the summer, I like to stick to cold salads and other meals that involve minimal cooking heat.  But I regularly make one exception to my hot-weather cooking habits; when it’s time to preserve the summer’s harvest I set no limit to the number of giant pots I might simultaneously set to simmer on the stove top.  To keep things cool in the kitchen I like a cool breeze and an icy cold drink.  This careful ratio of hot water baths to cool relaxation is often elusive.  But one recent Saturday in May, I reached the optimum summer-time happiness ratio: jam-making, fresh apple cider donuts, cold-brewed iced coffee, and a beautiful summer day.

Summer Happiness in a Jar

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Wild Fruits, Tame Table: Jellies and Jams

27 Jan

Howdy Gals — So, before we came to London I had these deluded hopes of finding the place covered with blackberries like Seattle – don’t ask me why, maybe because of the great lakes? When we got here there weren’t any blackberries, but milkweed, mint, chicory, and black walnuts grow everywhere in London. Best of all there’s wild grapes – tiny sweet clusters on their sprawling vines that choke out the trees like bittersweet. It turns out that those same wild grapes were good news for the medieval Norsemen that came and settled along the North East Coast of Canada a thousand years ago. According to one of the Old Icelandic Sagas I’m reading in class, they found so many grapes here that they named the country Vinland. I’m pretty psyched about that, as you might imagine.

Wild Cherries from Prospect Park

People v Picket Fence is all about taking the restaurant out of brunch, poaching your eggs at home and sitting as long as you please with your friends in your living room, with the bill already paid. When it comes to one essential component of the breakfast table, I find you can cut out the grocery store too, with more pleasure than trouble.

I’m talking about jams, jellies, marmalades and spreads. I love jam. Toast to my mind is a jam vehicle, and I tend to notice whether the diner’s little jam dispensers with the specially-sized pockets that fit exactly so many of those square jam packets with the peel-off-tops contain raspberry, grape, or if I’m really unlucky – nothing but apple jelly. Spreads tend to be  expensive items Continue reading