Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Let's Eat Post

We have ten (!) jars of strawberry freezer jam tucked away in our freezer. I can't wait to try my hand at blackberry and peach preserves, too. Or maybe a hot pepper jam. If you've been intimidated by making jams or jellies, start with freezer jam. No scary boiling or canning involved. Look for freezer jam pectin or try Pomona's Pectin.

The recent trip to New York included lobster rolls, clams and oysters on the half shell, Italian food, Greek festivals and German bakeries such as Front Street. I bought a new Tiffany blue kettle and one pound of Irish tea when I was up there - tea I can't find down here, including Punjana (from Cork!). (I also promptly renewed my gym membership upon my return. I think my derriere was the sole ballast on the prop plane back into Charlottesville.)

I bought my first cocktail shaker for dirty and fruity martinis. Maybe I'll concoct something with the syrup I made last week with local black raspberries. Whatever I make - it will seem supremely refined and grown up coming from that chilled stainless steel shaker. To me, at least.

Peaches-peaches-peaches. I feel as if, living near all of the orchards (including Henley's low-spray orchard), everything smells like peaches these days. Drizzle some home-made blackberry syrup over them. Or grill them. Or cut them up and freeze them for later use in smoothies. But I always have a brown paper bag filled with a half-dozen - softening and ripening.

I had time to stop by the Yoder's Shady Lane Greenhouses farm stand last Thursday - the one near the Hunt Country Store on Garth Road. They had organic potatoes and squash. I also bought a few melon, hot pepper and tomato plant starts. And a whoopie pie. Wait, two whoopie pies. One for me and one for Corey. Wait one-and-a-half for me and one-half for Corey. Actually, I hid them both. For me and me alone. I nyum-nyum-nyumed them before bed and I left pathetic whoopie pie crumbs in the bed sheets.

Make this burger. And as mentioned, don't forget the onions.

I know I talk often of the insanely awesome local food movement here in Charlottesville. But I have a confession to make - I rarely make it to a farmers' market. I try to buy at local shops or directly from orchards and the occasional farm stand. But my very active and curious toddler is drawn to all of the grab-able goodies - making strolling a farmers market tricky and kinda stressful. So, there's Relay Foods. Check out their on-line farmers' market. I have my eye on Babes in the Woods sausages, organic swiss chard, no-spray kale, Carpe Donuts, anything from Revolutionary Soup, fresh fettuccine-cut pasta and vodka sauce from Mona Lisa pasta and I plan on trying new-ish shops such as Holy Grael sorbet (mango or green tea chai coconut sorbet!), Ties and Pies bakery (scones!) and Agnes' Bagels with Salmon and Caper cream cheese. They've also added Whole Foods. I love what they are doing so much and I love that they are a young company.


That Girl said...

Such a yummy post! We also have several jars of strawberry jam and I am looking forward to more canning this year as well. It's so rewarding in the middle of winter. Thanks for the burger shout out -- it turns out they are also good with blue cheese!

Southern Lady said...

Wow, your post has made me hungry. I think I'll go pick some blackberries for a cobbler. Carla

Mary said...

Right in White Hall on sugar Hollow Rd. (near the Shiloh Baptist Church) are several chokecherries, and they make the most awesome delicious jam. Sweet, bitter, tart, luscious - like marmalade but cherry flavored. We made some when my folks lived at Piedmont House in White Hall. If you make it, I will come (to buy some from you :-)

Garden Much said...

I happen to have 4 kg of strawberry that I was wondering what to do with - will try and make some jam tnx :)