Strawberry Buttermilk Shortcakes

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, Food Porn, Produce, Recipes

Imagine my surprise when I saw strawberries from Crum’s at the Worthington Farmer’s Market on Saturday. Strawberries? From Ohio? In August? I know that there’s a fall batch that usually comes out closer to September, but this is way early. I had almost resigned myself to no more strawberries until next May/June, but for the ones I canned into jam this spring. Needless to say, I got super excited and bought 4 quarts.

strawshort

So, what did I do with 4 quarts of strawberries? Well, inspired by Nicole’s Strawberry Buttermilk Shortcakes, we whipped up a batch of our own, made with nearly all local ingredients (buttermilk, cream, butter). To say it was fantastic and that the shortcake was as moist and tender as she described it is an understatement. This was easily the best shortcake I’ve ever had, no doubt also because of the top notch strawberries that were sweet and juicy as could be.

And the other two quarts? My loving husband stood over the stove for an hour or so on Saturday night making a small batch of strawberry peach jam (also using ripe, juicy freestone peaches from the Worthington Farmer’s Market) that yielded us 7 half pints of yummy goodness. I’m really looking forward to winter this year. With all of the preserving we’ve done, we won’t be chomping at the bit for strawberries that taste like strawberries in January.

BreadBakingDay #02: Bread With Fruit Roundup

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Food Porn

 

 

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I was pleased as punch to be able to volunteer to host BreadBakingDay #02: Bread with Fruit, a monthly blogging event started by Zorra at 1x umrühren bitte. Since we were left to decide for ourselves what the theme would be, I went with fruit, as it seems to be very much in season right now. I’m amazed at the diversity of breads that I received, and am continually inspired by the passion and creativity of this wonderful group of bakers.

So without further aideu, click on through to see the roundup of all the wonderful breads baked for this event. If you’re too lazy to read the descriptions (kidding, kidding!) and just want to see all the pics, check out the Flickr set.

Read more…

One Local Summer 2007 – Week 6

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, Food Blogging Event, Produce, Recipes

For Week 6 of One Local Summer, yep – you guessed it. Another sweet corn recipe. But at least this time it was to complement the centerpiece of the meal, a completely local (well, except for the mayo) BLT Sandwich.

bltcornchowder

I used Vienna bread baked at the Anderson’s in Dublin, along with OMC Bacon, a beautiful two pounder heirloom tomato and leaf lettuce that I got at the farmer’s market this morning. On lightly toasted bread with some mayo, it was fantastic. The first BLT of the summer always is.

My sister-in-law and her family are visiting from Pennsylvania this week, and had picked up 2 dozen ears of corn at a roadside stand in Ohio on the way in. Needless to say, we had tons of corn left, so we made a huge batch of Corn Chowder. In addition to the leftover local corn, we used bacon from Thurn’s, Hartzler’s Dairy butter, onions, peppers, thyme, chives, and yellow potatoes from today’s farmer’s market run, homemade chicken stock (bolstered with some Kitchen Magic, which is based in Ohio), heavy cream from Smith Dairy.

For dessert, we’re having shortcake made with locally milled flour, local butter, local buttermilk, local strawberries, and whipped cream made from local cream. Unfortunately, it’s going to be made too late to make this entry. Can’t wait to dig in! With the other 2 quarts of berries we got, and the half peck of peaches, we’re making a batch of strawberry-peach jam. Great flavor combination.

Farm Fresh and Local Produce – 8/4/07

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Columbus, Eating Local, Farmer's Market, Produce

We have family in from out of town this weekend, so we got a little bit of a late start this morning. Even by 9am, it was already unbearably hot and humid. I really, really hate the dog days of summer, hate this heat wave, and wish we could catch a break with the weather. Even with air conditioning on full blast, I can’t get it below 74 in here. ::pant pant::. This coming from someone who doesn’t like the temperature to get above 68, ever.

But I digress. Even though it’s been unbearably hot, there is so much to be had at the market this time of year. We started out in Clintonville, where we picked up our usual selection of eggs from 2Silos (and a heads up folks – Denise will be at the Whole Foods farmers market next week). I’ve finally spied some watermelon at the market, but I ended up going with canteloupe instead.

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I saw some pretty purple peppers, too – but the farmer told me that they turn green when cooked, so I figured what’s the point of picking them up? I’m not doing a veggie platter…

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And for this week’s bright splash of color – these beautiful snapdragons.

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Off to Worthington, where the sun was beating down on me mercilessly, to pick up a few staples, along with red and green leaf lettuce, some bacon from OMC Farms, and a huge 2 pound heirloom tomato (not the one pictured below) to make my first BLT of the year for dinner. Needless to say, there were tons of heirloom tomatoes everywhere today.

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And the most suprising thing of all – strawberries at Crum’s! Yes, I waited in line, and got 4 quarts – 2 for local strawberry shortcake tonight, and 2 to make another small batch of strawberry-blackberry jam. Also got a half of peck of peaches as well.

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Look at all that basil! I got so many fresh herbs today it’s not even funny – parsley, chives, thyme…absolutely amazing!

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Glad to be home back in the (relatively) cool, but also glad that I took the time to go out this morning despite the heat. Hopefully it will cool down a little in the next few days, so I can hit the Dublin Irish Festival and the Ohio State Fair.

June 2007 Roundup

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Monthly Roundup, Rant

I’m really, really late getting June’s roundup out, because Bloglines had a major burp in July that ended up resetting pretty much everything, and with 1,800+ feeds, it meant I had to make my way through about 20,000 posts just trying to find the ones for June and July, and then I wasn’t able to sort them out until the end of July. Things are finally back to normal, though. :) Expect July’s roundup later today, once I’ve had time to format it. So let’s get going…

In savory recipes, I’ve bookmarked Dirty Risotto from Cooking in Kansas City, Orecchiette Fresche e Semplice from Is That My Bureka?, Fennel, Cherry Tomato Tartlets on Balsamic Crust from La Tartine Gourmand, Salmon with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze from Cooking in Kansas City, My Creamy Spanish Risotto from Sweet Cherrie Pie, Maple Sausage and Waffle Breakfast Casserole from What Did You Eat?, Blue Smoke Deviled Eggs from Serious Eats, Balsamic Chicken from A Taste of Home, Deviled Eggs from Annie’s Eats, Cauliflower Cheese Pie with Potato Crust from The Barmy Baker, Sweet Lil’ Smokies from Carries Cooking Adventures, Aracini di Riso from All Things Dolce, Spaghetti with Sausage from Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once, Sweet and Tangy Balsamic Grilling Sauce from Cooking in Kansas City, Easy Salsa Dressing from A Veggie Venture, Spinach-Cheese Bake from Culinary in the Country, Huevos Rancheros with Salsa Verde from Food “Blogga”, Cherry Chicken from Food Mall, Salad with Cherries and Queso Fresco from Food On the Food, Garlic Israeli Couscous from Fueled by Popcorn, Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Linguine from The Humble Housewife, Kasha and Bowties from Is That My Bureka?, Mafalda with a Goat Cheese Baby Spinach Cream Sauce from Kirsten’s Home Cooking, Egg Flan with Purpole Potatoes and Green Vegetables from La Tartine Gourmande, Chorizo Frittata from Leite’s Culinaria, Healthy Oven Fried Sausage, Onions and Potatoes from Mixed Salad Annie, Creamy Farfalle with Smoked Salmon from Once Upon a Tart, Twice Baked Cauliflower and Gorgonzola Souffles from stonesoup, Blinis with Smoked Salmon from Sweet Sins, Melt in Your Mouth Beef Ragout from What’s For Lunch Honey?, Go-to Pasta with Onions from the way the cookie crumbles, Angel Hair Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes from What Did You Eat?, Egg Salad with Shallot and Fines Herbs and Ancho Chile, Pork, and Black Bean Chili with Poached Egg and Crumbled Roquefort from Well Fed, and Baked Eggs from Tastes Like Home.

In sweet recipes, these look excellent:Challah French Toast with Strawberries and Honeyed Yogurt by Chalk & Cheese, Chocolate Pecan Pie from Confabulation in the Kitchen, Small Batch Black Forest Cookies from Cookie Madness, Kettle Corn from Besides Pizza, Lemon Curd Cheesecake from Culinary Cowgirl, The Joy of Cooking’s Cherry Clafoutis from Dinner in the Yellow House, Molten Chocolate-Cherry Cakes from hogwash, Buttermilk Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream from Home Cooking is What I Like, Green Tea Cheesecake White Chocolate Brownie from Nook & Pantry, Lemon Drizzle Cake from Once Upon a Tart, Strawberry Shortcake with Meyer Lemon Cream from Paper Palate, Espresso Brownie Mousse Cake from EAT DRINK LIVE, Chocolate Mint Bars from yumsugar, Boca Negra Birthday Cake from Alice Q. Foodie, Strawberry Tart from Cafe Fernando, German Chocolate Cake from a whisk and a spoon, Cappuccino Cheesecake from Annie’s Eats, Extra Thin, Extra Crisp Oatmeal Cookies from Confabulation in the Kitchen, Margarita Tart from Confections of a Foodie Bride, Apple Pudding Pie from The Cuis-Zine, Gateau Basque from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, Strawberry-Mascarpone Tart from EAT DRINK LIVE, Norwegian Apple Tart from Bunny Pie (via everybody likes sandwiches), Blueberry Hand Pie from Food Mall, Pains aux Raisins from Kitchen Wench, Chocolate Cherry Clafoutis from La Tartine Gourmande, Snack Size Apple Pies from The Laughing Gastronome, Cranberry Nut Bread and Gateau Surprise Chocolat Pistache from Milk and Cookies, Ricotta Tart with Vermicelli Pasta from Once Upon a Tart, Toll House Pie from Pie Day Friday, Summer Pudding with Rum Whipped Cream from pinknest, Chocolate Pear Cake from Egg and Soldier, Deadly Blondies and Beer and Apricot Clafoutis from Rosa’s Yummy Yums, Lemon Raspberry Bars from Something Sweet, Lemon and Cherry Posset from spittoonextra, Claudia Roden’s Apple Cake from Writing At the Kitchen Table, and Raspberry Creme Brulee from wannabeTVchef.blog.

In informative posts, learn how to sear scallops at Beyond Salmon, learn how to grow garlic at home and how to use a Japanese mandoline at A Veggie Venture, find out how to keep brown sugar soft at Baking Bites, read about six things to do with the exotic condiments in your cupboards by Kitchen Exhibitionist, and learn how to dry herbs with Wandering Chopsticks.

There’s been a back and forth exchange about food community and food snobbery, that I’ve been reading with great interest. And, as usual, I’ve got my own two cents to put into the discussion as well.

In her original post, Kate talked about Asheville, and its vibrant local food scene, and the lack of chain restaurants, mostly due to the hard work of its residents. She noted that a community gets the food culture it deserves.

While she makes some good points, I disagree somewhat with her initial premise. In the grand scheme of things, your normal citizen has absolutely no say about what restaurants are located in a particular neighborhood. In a small city such as the one I originally came from, which 10 years ago was almost completely local fare, the big chain restaurants mean tax ratables and growth to them. In this day and age, many residents of small to mid-sized cities expect big city culture and services for their tax dollars, and short of raising taxes all around, bringing commercial tax revenue in the form of a TGIF or Chili’s is common sense to city planners. Granted, this leads to a homogenous landscape across the country, but it is what it is. So with that in mind, I think the spread of big business is inevitable.

And don’t get me wrong – corporate chains have their place in food culture as well. I know I can go to my local TGIF’s and get edible food prepared consistently well and the same way every time. Although I love to support my local food culture, I don’t feel I’m “slummin’ it” if I go into Olive Garden rather than a locally run place. For a lot of people, Olive Garden is fancy enough, and local places are a scary unknown (and no, I’m not exaggerating – I actually know people who think Olive Garden is fine dining).

I think a happy compromise is for corporate chains and locally run gems to happily coexist in a diverse food culture. Here in Columbus we can get anything we want, literally. We have no shortage of either chains or local establishments. Given a choice, I go to the local place first. Does this mean that since I’m not going above and beyond to erradicate the chains, I deserve to spend the rest of my days choking down Applebees (which admittedly, I do loathe)? I’m not so sure about that. I hopefully do my small part by reviewing local places and talking about the great farmers markets and local ingredients and artisans we have here in town.

But I digress. In response to Kate’s original post, Laura accused her of food snobbery – that food is food, and it shouldn’t matter where it comes from. That we use our food and love for it to divide among class lines. That we’re somehow better than someone else because we support local establishments rather than the chains. And I have to admit, she also makes valid points. Food can divide people – case in point is my family, who thinks I am nuts for eating cheese that is not Munster, Cheddar, or American, or that I’ll spend extra money for grass-fed organic beef or local food or going to a nice restaurant. Although many people can try to argue otherwise, it does cost a pretty penny to eat organic/local/non-processed food. Why do you think there’s a high level of obesity among those in lower income brackets? When you’re eating heavily processed food because it’s all you can afford, a meal out, even at McDonalds, seems like haute cuisine. Why spend $10 on appetizer when you can get your entire meal at McDonalds for $3? And although I recognize the disparity about how I eat now vs. how I ate then, I don’t look down on people who do eat processed food/eat at chains regularly, although that’s not me anymore – it has its place, the hard reality is that these chains fit a niche, and they’re not going away any time soon. I’d be very interested to see the economic breakdown of Asheville’s residents. I’d be willing to put money on that the house values/average income is probably higher than the national average. For many, food isn’t about enjoyment and an experience to savor, its about not starving to death. I’ve been there, eating rice with pork and beans spooned over it just to survive. It tasted like ass, but it kept me from passing out from hunger.

So Kate responded with a essay on the economics of franchises, and about the importance of investing in your own community. While I do agree with her 100% on this, and it is important for me to do that, it *would* be snobby for me to impose my values regarding food on the other 1,000,000+ people who live in this metro area. I’m more than happy to inform and educate (via this blog and talking to other people), but I don’t feel that it has to be an either/or choice. Both can co-exist peacefully. Columbus, Ohio is proof of that.

More to come…

BBD #2: Banana-Pineapple Rum Bread

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event, Food Porn, Recipes

As the hostess of BBD #02: Bread with Fruit, you would have figured that I would have been the first one to put an entry up. The truth of the matter is that August 1st snuck up on me so quickly that my husband (great cook that he is) threw together this quick bread at the last minute.

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Judging by the title of the recipe, I was expecting something a little more “tropical”. What we ended up with was just a very tasty, moist banana bread. I’m not complaining. :)

Banana-Pineapple Rum Bread
recipe by Tim D. Culey

1/2 cup white rum
1/2 cup dried pineapple, diced
4 tablespoons butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 extra large egg
2 large bananas, ripe, mashed
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tablespoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

Liberally grease a 9-inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 350F. Place the rum and pineapple in a bowl and let sit, covered for at least one hour. In the bowl of a mixer (or by hand), beat together the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the bananas and beat in, mixing well. Beat in the yogurt curdling of the mixture is normal.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Add to the bowl and mix until well blended. Drain the pineapple and fold in the pecans. Transfer batter to a 9-inch loaf pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the bread passes the toothpick test. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 10 minutes, before turning out on a rack to cool.

Crab Linguine and Garlic Bread

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Food Blogging Event

It’s been a while since I’ve made a new pasta dish. This week for Presto Pasta Night, I decided to try to wing it and make a dish that I had in New Jersey, but that I have never made at home before – crab linguine.

crablinguine

Even after making it, I still don’t have a recipe for it. It was an exercise in improvisation. I had made garlic bread to go with it, and had made a compound butter (made with spreadable butter, garlic paste, minced parsley, and garlic salt) that I used as the base of the crab dish. To a pound of canned lump crab I added a bit more parsley, some olive oil, a splash of clam juice, a couple squirts of lemon juice, and a little more garlic. I tossed the crab mixture with a pound of fresh egg linguine from Carfagna’s. It came out very much like the dish I had in New Jersey, except not as fresh (you can’t beat fresh seafood in a dish like this). All in all, and excellent dish, and one I wouldn’t hesitate to make again.

Seven Random Things Meme

Author: swampkitty05  //  Category: Meme

I’ve been tagged by both Dhana and Christa to do the “seven random facts about me” meme that’s been going around. OK, I’m game – why the hell not? Here goes.

1. I am a high school drop out. Because I was a ward of the state from ages 15-18, I moved around a lot from youth shelters to foster homes to group homes and back again. I started out my senior year taking honors classes, and within one school year had moved so many times (3 times in the first marking period alone) that I just couldn’t keep up anymore. So I dropped out. I got my GED much later in life, and then went on to get both an associate’s degree (in 2003) and a bachelor’s degree (in 2006).

2. I married my husband after only knowing him for 5 weeks. We met online, then met in person, and were inseparable after that. Even though everyone thought it would never last, our 11 year anniversary is coming up in November.

3. My mother is such a hardcore geneaologist that she’s managed to trace back our family tree to like 100 AD. We’re related to the Fairbanks guy who built the oldest house in Massachusetts or something like that. My husband wants to research his family, but I think it’s a moot point because we’re all related in one way or another, right? That, and I have the patience of a gnat.

4. I have a sister that I’ve never met. I know she exists, and I think she knows I exist, but our paths haven’t crossed in this lifetime and probably never will. It kind of makes me sad.

5. I’ve got freakishly small ears. Easily the least serious of my physical imperfections, but one that people (read: my husband) comment on all the time. They are so small that I can’t even use the ear buds that come with my iPod.

6. I’m going to be 35 this month, and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I don’t know if this means I haven’t grown up yet, or that I just don’t have confidence enough in my abilities to stick with something. I’ve had a lot of false starts.

7. I love to enter sweepstakes, and have been very successful at it. So successful, in fact, that it’s lost it’s novelty. Even though I was entering hundreds of sweepstakes every day for about 10 years, I haven’t entered one in months.

If you’re reading this and haven’t done this meme yet, consider yourself tagged.