Thursday, June 23, 2016

Smores for St John the Baptist

Last year, I was grieving a miscarriage when the feast of John the Baptist rolled around. To distract ourselves from the reality at hand, my family decided to hold an impromptu neighborhood gathering. I sent my husband to the grocery store for s'mores ingredients and whipped up a pitcher of lemonade for general consumption and cocktails for the adults. While we weren't able to have a St John's bonfire, we made do with the flames of the grill while making the s'mores. The serendipitous evening requiring minimal effort has now become an annual event- now with bonfire!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Chilled Soup for Hot Summer Days

The weather has been hot, but that's no reason to put away your soup tureen. I serendipitously discovered that pureed cold vegetable soups are an easy way to get my picky vegetable eater to get important nutrition as well as to make use of some of the less popular portions of the plant- all the benefits of hot soup, with no burned mouths. 


This chilled cream of tomato soup is so easy that my incoming kindergartner can make it. Puree one 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes with a 15 oz can of coconut milk until smooth, then stir in a pinch of dried basil and white pepper. Chill at least two hours and serve in chilled bowls.

Broccoli was one of the first vegetables to come in at our farmers' market, and my family has been enjoying it grilled. But what to do with the stalks? Turn them into a delicate, fresh green soup. Dice three or four stocks very finely, and blanch stalks and a few scallions trimmed of roots, and a few stalks of any fresh herbs you can spare (lemon thyme is my favorite). Then puree the vegetables with 6 cups of stock and a dash of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt, white pepper, and dill.  Chill at least two hours and serve in chilled bowls.

Both recipes serve four.

Monday, June 20, 2016


Temperatures have broken the three digit mark multiple times over the last few weeks- summer is here! 

Farmers' market produce has been gracing our Friday night pizzas.

The strawberry season was mostly washed out, but I did can a small batch of jam (though I had to stretch it with rhubarb)

But peaches! Local peaches started last week, and at the farmers' market this past weekend, I bought a quarter bushel of seconds. About half a dozen were perfect for eating, another for a pie, 6 half pints of peach ginger fruit butter, and three pints of spicy peach preserves.  I have also been hard at work on my six pack- the hardest preserve category of the county fair, which consists of six different half pints of jam. So far I have five of the six canned- blueberry, peach, rhubarb, cherry rhubarb, and strawberry rhubarb.

And of course there is the on-going task of keeping a growing family clothed. In some ways, it will be easier this year, since my older son will be wearing a school uniform. In an effort to clear out the winter merchandise, our parish thrift store had a sale on separates last week. My younger son fell asleep in the stroller, so I was able to really look through the books and found some classics for our home library, including a beautifully illustrated copy of King Arthur as a Fathers' Day present.