Typically when someone leaves our office, I bake a farewell dish for them. But this last person left during the hottest part of the year. There was no way I was going to heat up the house just for a farewell treat. So I made ice pops instead. Continue reading →
It’s hot. Oh I’m sorry; I meant to say Oh My God it’s freaking HOT! I was born, raised, and have lived most of my life in the Willamette Valley. I’m pretty certain that I can say with some justification that natives of the Valley, and the greater western Pacific Northwest for that matter, are complete whiners when it comes to summer weather. The thermometer inches anything over 85, much less for some people, and let the complaining commence.
It rained for 3-4 months straight, every single day, in winter? That’s okay, I can deal with that. A little snow or ice, sure that’s okay to. But when it’s hot enough that the only thing you have energy for is sitting on the couch sweating, well, something’s wrong there. Logically I know that I have nothing to complain about. We have a great climate and rank pretty low on the scale of major weather or natural disasters. Perhaps I’m out of practice since our summers have been rather wet and relatively cold the last few years. On the up side, I make actually get some tomatoes off my plants this year. I better anyway.
So what does all this complaining bring me to? It’s too hot to cook. It’s time to break out the grill and some easy recipes. Well, I wouldn’t even call this a recipe, just a great idea. I had some Carolina style barbeque sauce leftover from a trip to Brew BBQ in Corvallis and I had fresh corn on the cob. If you haven’t had Carolina style sauce, it’s vinegar based with peppers and herbs rather than tomato based. It’s not as thick as most barbeque sauces and adds a lot of moisture to the food. That is my understanding anyway, having never been to North or South Carolina I can’t say for sure. Continue reading →
Our interns have come to the end of their year and are moving on. Such a strange experience, at the end of every August we wait with anticipation, and yes some trepidation, for the next class. And at the beginning of the next August we say farewell and good journey. So, of course, I must bring them a treat.
What I intended to make turned out quite differently than what I did make. I had a brownie mix and a bag of butterscotch chips, I thought it would be tasty to have butterscotch chips in the brownie. That’s not what happened. Some of the chips sunk to the bottom of the pan, mixed with the chocolate, and formed a thin luscious crust. The other chips melted into the batter and infused the chocolate with butterscotch. It may have not been what I intended, but it was incredible. Continue reading →
Frittatas are a great way to use up ingredients, eggs or vegetables. This time of year those of you with chickens are looking for a way to use up eggs, it’s the season of plenty. I discovered frittatas many years ago, but quickly lost my taste for them. I had found five dozen eggs on sale and bought some, about a week later I found them on sale again and bought some more. Ten dozen eggs for two people, not my greatest moment. The menu was frittata heavy for several weeks and I quickly lost my taste for egg heavy dishes. BTW, did you know you can freeze eggs? Beat an egg, pour it into a lightly greased small container (you can use a ramekin for one egg or a muffin pan for multiples) and pop it into the freezer until hard. Remove the egg from the dish and store in the freezer in a bag or container. When your chickens aren’t laying in December you can use the eggs from the freezer. Sure wish I had known that when I had 10 dozen eggs I was trying to use up.
Firing up the oven is not exactlythe first thing that crosses my mind this time of year, but you can work around the heat. In my case I was up early canning anyway. The kitchen was already hot, so I might as well use the oven. Frittatas reheat so well that it’s easy to make them in advance and then just reheat in the microwave. You miss the pretty pan presentation, and this recipe is very pretty in the pan, but that’s okay with me if I get to avoid heat stroke in the kitchen. They also freeze very nicely. You can have home-made, frozen lunches or dinners that were fast and easy to make. Continue reading →