Wednesday, September 7, 2011

End of Summer

It's bounty time here in Traverse City and I find myself busy, busy, busy.  I've been shucking corn, boiling tomatos, slicing cucumbers, picking blueberries, peaches and everything else that I can possibly find.  It's a bit of a mad house, in a way.  There is so much fresh food that is coming into season, that it is hard to find time for other things... like bathing! Like taking care of the doggie... oh well... winter is for that!
So, my sister and her daughter were up last weekend and we picked some peaches.  Okay, we picked a half bushel of white peaches and red havens. It took all of 20 minutes and our bushel was full of firm and luscious orangey peaches...  It was fun.  These gals should be farm hands...
I'm thinking of peach compote, peach pie, maybe peach and raspberry crisp... peach butter...
oh my...Here is a beautiful poem about the summer harvest...

From Blossoms

From blossoms comes
this brown paper bag of peaches
we bought from the boy
at the bend in the road where we turned toward
signs painted Peaches.
From laden boughs, from hands,
from sweet fellowship in the bins,
comes nectar at the roadside, succulent
peaches we devour, dusty skin and all,
comes the familiar dust of summer, dust we eat.
O, to take what we love inside,
to carry within us an orchard, to eat
not only the skin, but the shade,
not only the sugar, but the days, to hold
the fruit in our hands, adore it, then bite into
the round jubilance of peach.
There are days we live
as if death were nowhere
in the background; from joy
to joy to joy, from wing to wing,
from blossom to blossom to
impossible blossom, to sweet impossible blossom.
- Li-Young Lee

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Eggster

I know, I know- I haven't been around… I've been hibernating.  That's what one does in the winter… and by the looks of it, I should still be sleeping away.  I can't believe it is April 20th and snowing!  Yes, the snow is beautiful... BUT IT DOESN'T BELONG HERE ANYMORE!

Oh well, I don't think anyone is listening. So, let's just forget about that for the moment.  In the mean time, in the spirit of spring, let's dye some Easter Eggs the old fashioned way. 
Natural dyes make for some lovely colors. Since there is so much talk about color additives causing more health concerns than we ever realized, I thought that it was time to experiment with food based colors.  I looked around on the internet and found a lot of suggestions for making colors, like purple from wine or grape juice and blue from blueberries.  My favorite, until i blew the egg up in the microwave while sitting in beet juice, is beet juice. But, based on the color of the inside of my microwave-the color is beautiful- it really can't be improved upon for magenta.  Unfortunately, I don't have a good example of the magenta...

Every color that I have here, is from a natural source.  (except for the luscious blue egg in the rear of the basket- I just had to have a beautiful blue-I am a photographer, first and foremost!)
I mashed about a cup of blueberries into a small glass with two tablespoons of vinegar and about 1/2 of a cup of water.  The blue is a nice dusty grey blue.  The uneven color and mottling on the egg is because of my leaving the blueberry pulp in the glass. Vinegar allows the color to set.  It will probably also flavor your egg if you leave the egg in the color long enough.
I was able to get a luscious yellow by using 2 Tablespoons of Turmeric in about 1 cup of water.  The yellow will deepen the longer you leave the egg in the solution.  Wow!  Really beautiful...
The  warm brown was the result of using coffee grounds in 1 cup of deeply brewed coffee... I love the mottling that occurred because of the grounds rubbing up against the shell of the egg.
Anyway, it's loads of fun to be creative with your dyes.