Preserving Fruit With Alcohol

I am a New Yorker. I read the New York Times. I love the Wednesday NYT Dining Section. If I date you and you read the NYT Dining Section, it ups your cool by like………1000 points. That said, this week, I was included in one of my favorite weekly columns (IN THE NY-bloody-TIMES!!!!!) by Brooklyn-based food writer, Melissa Clark. She writes the must-read Good Appetite every week (and is soon releasing a book of recipe favs!) and this week highlighting the technique of preserving fruit in alcohol. I love a boozy piece of fruit, I can’t deny, and so I was thrilled to be included in her article. There are some great recipes that accompany it, as well. Also, for all you Pacific NWers plums are on their way OUT, so be sure to grab a handful and brandy them up – no fancy canning tricks applied. Just a little … Continue reading

Cucumber Pickles – the quick method

I love the casual rapport that happens when good friends email eachother. Gone are salutations, gone are general mentions of health or humor, and nine times out of ten, we cut to the chase. I love it. My Dear friend  Debbie (a most fabulous designer in case you ever need) wrote me tonight: “Um. I want to make crispy pickles because I bought a bag ‘o’ cukes today. I don’t want to boil and seal and all that. Thought I saw a recipe somewhere this week that says you can just pack em in some good juju and eat em in two days. True?” And with that, here is my response (as a recipe) for refrigerator quick pickled cucumbers, done right: Yes, pretty much. Tonight, soak them in a salt water brine. Salt water should be salty like the sea. Tomorrow, drain & add cukes to a large jar or … Continue reading

Spiced Pecan Recipe

I received an awesome email this week from Susan, over at the blog Not Quite June Cleaver. She found my book, Urban Pantry, and decided to do a short write up and give away to her readers. How cool! On her blog, she notes,”I am all about being at home. In my cozy little green house at the end of the dirt road. My best days are when I don’t leave this place,” and I have to say, I quite relate. While I now live in a small apartment in the heart of Seattle, my heart is never farm from the blue-grey house I grew up in at 4 Ridgedale Drive on the end of quiet road in Long Island. These days, as when I was a little girl, I can’t think of a better way to spend my day than at home. This recipe is perfect for visiting friends … Continue reading

Preserving Fruit in Alcohol

Last week I came home from eastern Washington with a small handful of Greengage plums. I love love love Greengage plums, as they have a super subtle sweetness that is smooth and almost flower-y. Because I had so few, I decided to preserve them in spirits. Covering them with brandy, I immediately knew that come December, I would strain the plums out and use them in a boozy upside down gingerbread cake. Ah, the life of a foodie – I’m not thinking about my next meal, but I am already thinking about a dessert I’ll make in the middle of winter! Preserving fruit in alcohol is quite easy and produces two delicious outcomes – boozy fruit & infused spirits. Quite simply, I fill a clean glass jar with fruit, submerge completely in alcohol, add a few spoons of sugar, cover & shake. The recipe is truly that easy, which makes … Continue reading

Rooftop Farm – Before & After

One of my clients was running out of growing room this year. The three beds I gardened last year weren’t enough to satisy, so we wanted to expand. Lo and behold, we decided to farm out the top of their garage. A few yards of soil and compost later, and VOILA – we’re in business. The most challenging part of starting a large garden is cutting in rows. I didn’t want to do standard row-farming. I wanted to create the illusion of fullness. To accomplish that, I zig zagged some rows in. When all the plants are full and in bloom, it will look abundant and nearly overcrowded. That’s the goal!