ReLocavore: Redefining "local"

A locavore moves from Wisconsin to New Hampshire and rediscovers what "local" means.


4 Comments

Dog Mountain Financiers


We spent the afternoon at the Dog Mountain Summer Party. There were 50+ dogs, and ripe blackberries all over the mountain. 

Some background, Dog Mountain is the former home of Stephen Huneck, an artist that did woodblock prints and sculptures with dog themes. His black Labrador retriever, Sally, featured prominently in his work. He bought land in St Johnsbury Vermont, built studios and a home. He built a dog chapel and designated the land as an off leash dog park. Dog Mountain is pretty darn awesome. 

We took the dogs for a long walk around the mountain and found hundreds of blackberry bushes with beautiful, plump, ripe berries. What is a locavore to do? Pick berries into any available container and make blackberry financiers!


(Blackberries in the dog’s collapsible water bowl.)

Blackberry Financiers (they’re rich!)

7 tablespoon unsalted butter

1¾ cup sliced blanched almonds

½ cup granulated sugar 

½ cup powdered sugar

5 tablespoon flour

⅛ teaspoon salt

4 large egg whites

½ teaspoon almond extract

6 ounce blackberries (or raspberries or blueberries

1. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven
to 400 degrees. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin. (I use mini muffins instead.)

2.
In a skillet, heat the butter until it begins to sizzle. Continue to cook  over low heat until the edges begin to darken and the butter gives off a  nutty aroma. Remove from the heat. 

3.
In a food processor, grind the almonds with the granulated and
powdered sugars, the flour and salt. While the processor is running, gradually pour in the egg whites and add the almond extract. Stop the  machine, and add the warm butter, pulsing as you pour until the batter  is just mixed.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the buttered muffin cups and poke 3
or 4 berries into each cake. Bake for 18 minutes, (14 minutes for mini muffins) until puffy and deep
golden brown. Let stand a few minutes then remove them from the
pan and cool on a rack.


2 Comments

Kimchi is done. Time for Korean BBQ.

2016-07-04 18.06.26

I declared that the Kimchi had fermented and was ready to eat! That means a celebration with Korean BBQ. I put the grill basket directly onto the charcoal to generate maximum heat.

The side dishes were:

2016-07-04 17.35.55


2 Comments

The best pie… EVER

Strawberry Icebox Pie from Cooks Illustrated is the best pie I have ever eaten. Icebox pie is a gelatin-based pie with fresh fruit in a pie shell, topped with strawberry whipped cream. It has all of the qualities of a perfect dessert:

  • Ripe strawberry flavor really shines through
  • Pieces of real fruit
  • Cold, refreshing and you eat it when its hot outside.
  • A positive uplifting note at the end of the meal.

I do one minor variation. I substitute goat cheese for cream cheese in the whipped topping. The slightly goaty and tangy flavor is unexpected in the topping and is a wonderful complement to the fresh strawberries.

My mom used to make these pies when she worked at Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant in Dayton, OH. Seems like it’s still on the menu. No way it can be this good.

 

  • 2016-07-02 18.35.142016-07-02 18.35.50


7 Comments

Cold Soba

When it is hot outside, I love to eat cold soba noodles. We dunk them in an ice-cold strong broth made from mirin, soy and sake. The trick to good soba is to cook them in just-boiling water, then cool them in multiple changes of cold water. I also “scrub” off the excess starch as they cool so the noodles don’t stick together. 
Other dishes on the table are pickles, broccoli raab in mustard and chili sauce, steamed egg with wakame seaweed, and Chinese style pork with hakurei turnips and hoisin sauce.