Wednesday, June 29, 2011


June came in with a fireworks finale as the Rhody bushes and then the Peony bushes exploded in color. For such a short time our yard and tables were vibrant with color, now at the end of the month the best we can do is pick a bit of green Andromedia for our the table while the more sedate day lilies and foxglove add some color to our woods. The spring show is over mid-June.

June flew by and the Asparagus was finished around the 20th leaving Ed (perhaps because he traveled during much of the season) and me still wanting more.  Strawberry picking beat the usual "Father's Day start" by several days and I still easily picked several quarts today. Haiku/hakueri turnips and radishes appeared early month and scallions, snap peas and shell peas appeared just after the asparagus disappeared. Zuchini and other summer squashes have just started.

In addition to April and May offerings which continued into June, this month we have been especially enjoying:

Strawberry Shortcake and Strawberry Short (Pan)cakes

Haiku Turnip Saute

New England Peas

Hummus with snap peas and radishes

So far we have just grilled the zucchini and scallions but will no doubt have Fried Zucchini soon.

On a few of the hot nights we have had this month I have served cold chicken on bok choy and scallions with Spicy Szechwan Peanut Sauce.

As we end the month, a more subdued centerpiece - prunings from our Pieris Andromeda - graces our table.

After a day of picking strawberries in the hot sun, you may need to visit Make Strawberry Stains Vanish.

Reviewed 9/19/2017

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Strawberry Short (Pan)cakes

One of the few times a year I buy whipping cream is strawberry season.  In addition to Strawberry Shortcake I use it to make one of Christopher's favorite breakfasts - pancakes with strawberries, maple syrup and whipped cream. Since I most often make pancakes on the boat I use a mix, Arrowhead Mills Buttermilk Pancake and Waffle Mix*.  While this mix is good using just vegetable oil and water, if I have skim milk available, I use the milk instead of water. When making this on board a whipped cream maker is especially useful.

Alternate pancakes with sliced, slightly mashed strawberries and top with whipped cream and maple syrup.  This is also good with frozen sliced, mashed strawberries.

December 2013: Leftover strawberries and cream again beg for pancakes and maple syrup....

Strawberry stains on that crisp blue shirt? See Make Strawberry Stains Vanish.

* May 2017: For pancakes from scratch see Alex's Almond Pancakes.

Reviewed 5/12/17

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spinach Salad with Rhubarb Vinaigerette

The idea for this recipe came from a recipe for "Spinach and Fennel Salad with Radishes, Turnips and Rhubarb Vinaigrette" I found in a newsletter on the AKA Bistro (now closed) website.  I liked the idea but like a lot of "restaurant recipes" it had too many ingredients and too many processes/steps (for example the radishes and turnips are pickled with spices). I simplified the ingredients using part of a beautiful bunch of multi-colored radishes I found at the farm stand this morning and the seasonal touch of sliced strawberries picked yesterday to compliment the rhubarb. BUT I thought the salad was just OK and Christopher, who likes Strawberry Rhubarb (with minimal sugar added) but prefers balsamic Tuscan style dressings, did not like it at all;  too sweet.  I decided not to post it but Christopher said that would be a mistake: "When someone searches 'rhubarb dressing' they should benefit from your experience."  Indeed, I think adding the strawberries was a mistake and the addition of the fennel and pickled radishes and turnips (though I would be inclined to just bring to a boil 1/2 c of tarragon vinegar and 2 T sugar, pour this mixture over the sliced radishes and turnips and marinate for 2 hours) would have cut the sweetness considerably.  This might also work well with slightly more bitter greens. Stay tuned.


In a small sauce pan combine:

1/4 # rhubarb
1 T raw sugar
1/4 c tarragon or wine vinegar

Simmer until the rhubarb reaches an apple sauce consistency. Cool the mixture slightly then push through a fine mesh strainer; some residue will remain.

Wisk in:

3/8 c olive oil
1/4 t Dijon style mustard
Salt to taste


Mix the greens and vegetables (see notes above) and lightly dress.

Reviewed 6/18/2017