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Friday Favorite: Fresh, In Season Food

April 29th, 2011

Each season has it’s special gifts. Strawberries last a few weeks in late spring. Cherries last a few weeks in the summer. Fresh basil is just for warm weather. Kale is sweetest in the fall after a frost. The more we live seasonally the more thankful we become for the little things. It’s about savoring and receiving with thankfulness. Good food doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Simple is best, right off the vine. Getting to that simplicity is the problem.

Jennifer R Bartley The Kitchen Gardener’s Handbook

This time of year I’m particularly thankful for freshly harvested veggies. We’ve been enjoying delicious fresh salads almost every day, always a perfect paired with just about anything from liver and onions to roasted chicken or even just a simple fried egg.

I’m super excited that the asparagus is coming in. I don’t have a large patch (that will happen in the new garden area), but I have enough for a few meals each spring. My asparagus is planted up in my front foundation garden amongst my perennials.

The morels are also starting to pop up, I harvested only 3 the day before yesterday for a delicious morel and asparagus omelet. I left the rest of them to size up a little before harvesting. We’re lucky because morels grow in our garden. We do still head out hunting in the local are for more, as with most hunters we have our secret hunting grounds!

I’m very thankful for learning to live seasonally. There’s something so wonderful of fresh, in season food. It really does taste best simply prepared, which not only saves time but lets the flavor come through. I’d have to say at the moment asparagus is what I’m really enjoying.

What’s your favorite fresh, in season item at the moment?

The Flavors of Fall

October 15th, 2010

One of the things Mr Chiots and I love about where we live is that we have a wonderful little local cider mill. They sell unpasteurized cider that they press in a little mill behind their home. They have the best cider in the area (and we’ve tried them all). They put up a few signs on the road and you buy it with the honor system, one of the beautiful things about life in rural Ohio!

The best part of this cider is that it’s unpasteurized so it gets “zingy” as I say. It starts to ferment from the natural yeast after about a week. I prefer it when it’s slightly fermented because it’s less sweet. I don’t particularly like it cold, but I love it mulled. During cider season we enjoy mulled cider almost every evening while we read or watch TV.

We don’t just drink this cider, we buy extra for many other things. I usually make a few batches of mulled cider jelly for gifts. We also boil a gallon or two down into cider syrup, which is fantastic on french toast, pancakes or drizzled over ice cream. I also buy 5-10 gallons for making apple cider vinegar which I use for canning and cooking throughout the year. This cider makes great cider vinegar all by itself since it’s unpasteurized. I’ll post specifics on this when I make by 2010 batch in the next month or two.

Are you a cider lover? Do you have a special place to buy it? Have you ever had unpasteurized cider?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.