I spent three very delightful evenings this past week assisting down at the Charlottesville Cooking School with my friend Martha, who taught an Every Day Cooking Skills Series. It’s a three part class that is usually taught over the course of three weeks, but Martha decided to teach it over three consecutive evenings in one week as a trial summer run. The concept is sort of like a boot camp for cooking – it covers a variety of basic cooking techniques so that participants walk out with skills to throw together simple seasonal and delicious dinners regularly. Sounds too good to be true, I know, but Martha is an amazing instructor who can make this happen and I don’t just say that because she’s a friend. Martha is a trained chef, who has been teaching cooking classes longer than she wants to admit (which is also longer than I’ve been cooking).
Cucumbers are starting to come in and since I have a bit of reputation for pickling everything in sight, I’ve already started fielding requests for my favorite cucumber preserving recipes. I thought I’d go ahead and put all my favorites into one post, so from here on out, I can just send this link in response to “What are your favorite cucumber pickle recipes?”
The farmer’s market is overflowing with greens these days – cabbage, chard, kale, arugula, lettuces galore – as well as with lovely root vegetables with their greenery still attached – beets, radishes, carrots, turnips. How to use it all without wasting it? I am often asked how I go about doing that this time of year.
I needed a new raincoat. I didn’t want anything fancy, a simple old-fashioned rain slicker would do. Something I could wear in the summer months that wasn’t overly expensive. It didn’t have to be a name brand, it didn’t have to have a lot of bells and whistles, it just needed to be something sturdy and water repellent to wear in the rain. The bar was pretty low. I did a google search and after looking around the interwebs, I kept going back to this one particular rain jacket, a floral lined rain slicker by a company whose name I recognized as one that was frequently carried at The Bon Ton, the local department store in the town I grew up in. Not a fancy label, but the sort of label your mother purchased as a good, dependable, tasteful, well priced brand. You know the type. Continue reading
The rain of the last few weeks paused over the weekend, letting the sun come out for a few days.
I have decided to credit the last 16 days of rain for the miraculous recovery of my blue hydrangea. I walked out there the other day and noticed buds forming. They still look a little rough around the edges, but they are quickly making a come back. I really think it’s due to all the rain and this is how I’ve come to peace with the current and apparently, ongoing weather. Continue reading
I’ve long said that if you like making pickles, then you only really need one book on pickling – Linda Zeidrich’s “The Joy of Pickling”. In fact, I refer to it as ‘my pickle bible’. But I recently discovered another less known gem and I am revising that statement. If you like making pickles, “The Joy of Pickling” is essential, but if you love making pickles, then you also need “The Complete Book of Pickles & Relishes” by Leonard Louis Levinson.