Tuesday, September 21, 2010

summer eating.

As promised, in following are some summer food photographs. I'm well aware how belatedly I'm posting this, but for a few more hours, I remind you, it is still officially summer. Besides, the temperatures climbed into the eighties today here in GR, so I think this remains relevant. Enjoy!

Hot oats are my winter staple; this summer, I replaced them with homemade muesli for the sake of staying cool. My version builds from this recipe, and it's a bit different each time, depending on my mood and the fruit in season. (The photograph below might actually be some variant on simple toasted oats, but I cannot remember, and it's close enough to muesli to include it here, I'd say.)

When I spent the summer in Phoenix two years ago, I became quite enamored with the Health Muffin served at a great coffee shop that also introduced me to latte art and created all kinds of baked goodness in its tiny kitchen in the back. When I left Phoenix, I asked if they might be willing to share the recipe, and they happily told me that it springs from the one found on the back of bags of Bob's Red Mill flaxseed. Perhaps someday I'll post my version, but until then, go find yourself said package of flax and simply substitute fresh summer fruit (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, peaches or a combination) for the apples and zucchini for some or all of the carrots. You will be pleased with the results, I am sure.

Sweet Green Pea Crostini, quite heavenly indeed. Recipe found here.

An excellent meal prepared and enjoyed with Sarah G. and Ben on the fourth of July.

Plum-Rosemary Upside-Down Cake, recipe compliments of Mark Bittman in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, baked with Taylor in hopes of speeding Ben's recovery from surgery midsummer. This was also the night on which Taylor gave me my 50mm prime lens, which I am in love with.

This cake is called Blueberry Boy Bait. What a name! I felt the same way this lady did...how could I not bake a cake with such a great name--and a great story to boot? (Effective, you ask? Perhaps. I did say it was a lovely summer. But I disclose nothing more.)

And finally, a nectarine and blueberry tart that I baked with my sister the first time she and the dear brother-in-law stayed at my little place. Inspired by two other recipes, we came up with our own version, which Sara posted on her blog. Here I have adorned it with some Greek yogurt. Incredible.

All that said, bring on the apples and butternut squash and sweet potatoes and dark leafy greens. I have extra blankets for my bed and have unearthed my stash of scarves. I am ready for fall.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

summer in review.

Though it is not officially fall, summer has undeniably begun to slip away, marked by shorter days, cool morning air and the occasional gold leaves at the fingers of trees. Summer has flown by, and I'm astonished that it is over, but it was a delight, full of good times with lovely people, notable happenings, some wonderful travels, much fresh produce and the simple joys of the season.
And before I begin to speak of tights and scarves, brisk winds and fallen leaves crunching underfoot, apple cider and winter squash, I give the following photographic review of the summertime (note: stay tuned for an addendum of food photos later this week).

There were days at the beach
and beautiful sunsets
and lazy Saturday mornings spent at coffee shops
and the farmers market.
(That girl is my favorite farmer.)

There was a trip to Chicago with dear friends,
and numerous visitors graced the city of Grand Rapids.
These folks got married,
as did these.
(There was much celebration.)

And in culmination of everything, my dear sister and brother-in-law returned to these United States, a delight I'm still reveling in.
It has been a lovely summer.

We have picked berries,
and we have picnicked... What more could a girl ask for?

In the summer, the song sings itself.

--William Carlos Williams

Thursday, September 2, 2010

i have eaten the plums.

This Is Just To Say
by William Carlos Williams (1934)

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

I love this poem. However, it is rather irrelevant to my situation; indeed, there are upsides to living alone! Anyway, my friends, I wish you all a happy September. Enjoy these lingering days of summertime (remember, it's not over until it's over). More of an update to come shortly, I promise, and in the meantime, be generous and gracious when it comes to the summer stone fruits in your icebox. But perhaps buy a few extra, too, just to be safe.