Now, where did I leave that?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's a Good Day

These were victories not just for those seeking same sex marriage rights, but for generations to come. Every step we take towards all people being considered truly equal is a step toward the country we can be.

50% There!

It's a very good day...can we go for a great one?!

Make It So!

Here's hoping that today this country takes a huge step in the direction of true civil rights and equality....c'mon Supreme Court--you can do the right thing!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Garlic Scape Pesto

I've been asked to provide a recipe for this ambrosia. Here's the thing....I don't really follow a recipe. I just start combining ingredients until Linda & I declare it perfect. If one goes poking about on the internet, one will find multiple renditions, some with pine nuts, some with almonds, walnuts or pistachios. There are those folks who miss the point of it being Garlic Scape pesto and insist on using basil. Don't get me wrong, I looooove basil, but if I want basil in my pesto, I won't waste those fleeting bright green curly gems on it. The point is, there are many variations on the theme, but I'll go ahead and get you started:

10 garlic scapes, chopped into 1/2"--1" pieces (use all of the scape, every bit)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (freshly grated, not the dry powder stuff that tastes so good on spaghetti)
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2-3/4 cup olive oil (choose an olive oil you would use to dress a salad)
Salt to taste

Put the scapes into your food processer & process until they are very finally chopped & starting to break down. 

Add some of your olive oil,. process for about 20 seconds.

Add the parmesan and some of the olive oil, process for about 15 seconds. Scrape the bowl, process a few more seconds.

Add the pine nuts & some of the olive oil; process at leats 30 seconds, even a whole minute, until it's looking kind of creamy, no obvious chunks of cheese or pine nuts. The pesto will definitely have a coarse texture, but you don't want to be chewing anything. 

Taste it....adjust as desired. Some people add a squeeze of lemon (I don't). Add your salt to taste. If it's too chunky, turn on the processor, add more olive oil through the chute, process some more. If it's too biting, try adding a few more pine nuts and a little cheese. It will mellow slightly after a day in the fridge, so keep that in mind. The key is to taste as you go along until it's the perfect-for-you flavor & texture (okay, yes, I'm also one of those people who sits down to Thanksgiving dinner no longer hungry because I've been tasting and adjusting all day--especially the stuffing; I could be a professional stuffing tester!). When it's done, serve with a rustic bread or crackers, toss with pasta, add to soup, eat it out of the bowl. It does freeze well (okay, I know it freezes for a few days....only once has it survived uneaten in the freezer for a whole month--and it was delicious; I usually pull it out of the freezer looonnngg before that. Have we ever discussed my instant gratification tendencies?). 

Bon appetit!

WARNING: The author of this blog is in no way responsible for any reader's subsequent addiction to Garlic Scape Pesto. She has considered creating an appropriate 12 step program for it, but is currently unwilling to abandon the green demon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Time in the Country

I've never been a city person. The year I joined Linda down in Baltimore was a tough one, and I'll never forget coming off the NYS Thruway at exit 21 and bursting into tears at the glorious site of the Catskill Mountains, so sharp and clear on a Winter's day. I hadn't realized how homesick I was until then. My soul needs trees and green, birds and open spaces, sunset over the mountains and early mornings when the air itself is sun-promising pink. 

So I get a kick out of those days that really personify and embrace the joys of a semi-rural life. Last weekend was kind of like that. Friday we braved pouring rain to go to the Country Living (magazine's) Fair:

Despite the rain, there was a good crowd, and lots of eye candy:

We lusted after this potting bench....this was our style more than anything else we saw.

Bad photo, but behind those flowers is a lamp made of small lights in a woven burlap net. Beautiful!

We ended with lunch....pancakes! Sadly, we didn't see the Beekman Boys; they were there the next day. The rain finally sent us home before we'd seen everything. It was fun to check it out, but I confess we probably wouldn't go again (unless we win Powerball, maybe!).

Saturdays are Farm Market day, followed often by a visit to Eger Bros., one of our favorite farm stands; they don't do the market. Eger's had sweet, luscious, perfect.....

We have nearly 15 quarts tucked in the freezer (thanks, Linda!!) and have been enjoying every bite.

And the surprise at the farm market was garlic scapes! There are plenty of things one can do with these intensely flavorful garlic tops, but for me, there's only one way to use them:

Last year, every time I made garlic scape pesto, I would put some in the freezer. The next day, I would pull it back out of the freezer and eat it. the goal this year is to sock away one cup every week and not pull any back out until Fall. It's highly addictive, so it's a challenge. If you like garlic, you'll love this: ambrosia made with scapes, parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil & salt. Try it!

And Sunday, we planted. There are still a few dozen plants left to go, but at long last all the veggies we bought as seedlings are planted, and we've moved on to flowers! Rain is coming again, at least 2" they say, but by Sunday, maybe we can get a few more square feet of porch back.  

Wishing you the peace and beauty of country living, no matter where you are!