food, glorious food

Hi sisters.

I have felt my creative cooking energy returning with the influx of fresh produce with the start of summer. I thought I’d share with you what’s been happening in our kitchen recently.

My love affair with rhubarb continues. I’m so intrigued by it. It’s used mostly in desserts but it’s sour. I love that! I’ve been playing around with having it as the centerpiece of a dessert rather than always pairing it with something else. Recently I made this galette which turned out great, so I made it again. Caution: use less sugar than what is listed, if you want the nice sour flavor to come through. I used maybe 1/3 a cup the first time I made it and it was great. The second time I followed the recipe more closely (I probably added 1/2 cup, maybe more?) and it was a bit too sweet.

I also like to make rhubarb simple syrup for cocktails. It’s such a pretty light pink color and it adds a unique flavor to drinks. We made this cocktail with the simple syrup and enjoyed it (note: use less sugar for the syrup–you definitely don’t need a full cup!). You’ll notice that the cocktail and the galette both pair rhubarb with ginger–it’s a great combination.

All the rhubarb in all the things! Cocktails and galette.
All the rhubarb in all the things! Cocktails and galette.

I have to mention that Eve has taken quite an interest in cooking with me. I love it. Miriam hasn’t ever expressed much interest in joining me in the kitchen. Eve wants to do everything she sees me doing. When I rolled out a pie crust recently she begged me to “try try try” (one of her new adorable requests) so I let her.

mama's helper
mama’s helper

IMG_0955

Ah the cuteness! She’s at such a fun adorable age right now, learning new words and using them in new ways every day. It’s a blast. She loves food and is such an adventurous eater for being a little person. She’ll try anything.

We’ve been relying a lot on our hot weather staples. It’s already such a hot summer and we have no air conditioning at home, so we prioritize dinners that require little to no cooking on days when it’s high 80s/low 90s. We have been having this chicken salad quite often (we had it for dinner tonight, with greens from our very own garden!) and we also like this smoked salmon soba noodle salad.

I’m so happy that our house came with a nice, large, well-established mint patch in the backyard! We have been making lots of meadow tea and drinking it to keep cool on these hot days. I really think it is one of the most refreshing things to drink on a hot day, cold from the fridge. We can easily go through a pitcher in one day. Miriam loves it and will go pick a basketful of mint for me whenever I ask her to. Eve has learned to say “mint tea” with very clear pronunciation, so she drinks it too.

Of course I can’t talk about food this time of year without mentioning strawberries. I bought several quart boxes at farm stands, and I made strawberry shortcake and a strawberry rhubarb pie. Plus we ate a lot just plain. Strawberry season is over too quickly! Eve says “taw-bee” for strawberry which is also adorable. I really should be getting more videos of her chattering away.

What are you all eating these days? Martha, with the constant cool weather in Ireland I imagine you don’t really change your menu much with the seasons–maybe you do though? I should also tell that we’re still drinking the Irish tea we brought back with us. I love how strong it is. American tea is so weak in comparison. Krestia discovered that the Ithaca Wegmans carries Flahavan’s porridge oats, so he’s been having those for breakfast a lot. We also have been obsessed with making crispy eggs, thanks to you! We follow this method and we’re getting better at it. Delicious.

Oh, Jewel, I meant to tell you that I made the corn/black bean/avocado dip thing twice now–once to take to a birthday party in Ithaca, and once for the recent Grastorf gathering. It was a hit both times. I like how simple it is. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Wishing I could cook more for you all! Food is one of my love languages. Hoping you are all well fed and enjoying summer’s bounty.

 

Love,

Rachel

 

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