Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Flow of Harvest!

Happy summer, food lovers! What a great time to enjoy the flowing seasonal harvest. Let's see we have already said, 'see you around' to ramps, fiddle head ferns, and spring mushrooms. Speaking of mushrooms, all of the rain we are having in Vermont is bringing us a raging mushroom season! Fava beans, snap peas, scapes (Garlic scapes are the flower/seed stalk that shoots up from the garlic bulb), lettuce, spinach, and kale all seem to be blessing our tables. We have a vegetable garden that just gave us a generous amount of scapes. The scape harvest was turned into pesto with almonds, Romano cheese, honey, and basil that went in between fresh pasta sheets, to make the best summer ravioli I ever had.

It seems every year on my birthday I get a very special present, strawberry season! This year was extra special, my first sweet and juicy bite was on one sunny Sunday morning. I started this year's strawberry celebration with plain eating, then jumped right into strawberry cardamom pancakes and hazelnut strawberry cake.
My sister and I went berry-picking at Pomaykala farm in Grand Isle Vermont. We came home with 24 pounds. I have found that some of the best strawberries come from this hard-working Vermont farm. The berries are big, red, and super sweet! Strawberries like these are not found in supermarkets! Explore your own town and enjoy finding some local farms to support.
I have stored most of the berries nicely tucked away for winter pancakes and margaritas.

Happy Summer boating, BBQing, and summer sports!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bug Buddies

Well it is official, Jim and I are bug buddies and proud to bee!
June 9th at sunset we drove about 1 1/2 hours to Orwell VT, where we picked up hundreds of bees from Singing Cedars Apiaries. Two nucleus colonies to be exact which is 4 frames full of bees and the important queen bee. This will give us two bee hives.

We enjoyed our ride home on Vermont's winding back roads telling stories, full of excitement for our new friends the bees.

At 9:00 we safely brought the bees home to our beautiful oasis. The setting is full of wild flowers, wandering deer, happy singing birds, and a fine red barn off in the distance. We filled the smoker with dried pine needle and sparked it up. By smoking the bees they gorge themselves on honey — a survival instinct in case they must vacate the hive and recreate it elsewhere. This gorging has a tendency to pacify the bees. We then carefully arranged the bees on an old refurbished farm trailer. After the bees were all setup we sat in the truck smiling at our accomplishment and enjoyed the fire flies sparkling in the twilight!

Bee well and keep in touch with yourself!