Tart Blueberries, Sugared and Baked

As summer was ending, we were increasingly disappointed with our fresh blueberry purchases. The blueberries were so tart at times that they were literally inedible. One evening, in frustration, I took the berries I had rinsed and picked over for dinner (stems and mushy berries removed) and dumped them into a baking dish. I liberally sprinkled the very tart berries with natural cane turbinado sugar and baked them at a high temperature for a bit. They baked and cooled while we finished dinner and cleaned the kitchen. We ate them while sitting in the fading light of the early autumn evening. Yum, yum, yum. It was like eating blueberry pie without the crust. I do love pie crust, but the blueberries baked without any crust literally swam in a delicious, sweet juice that almost defies words. Sometimes, no wheat is a very good thing!

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Cherries and Blueberries

I am in awe of food stylists and photographers:

"Cherries and Blueberries In A Bowl"

A sublime, yet simple dessert – fresh berries.

Fresh cherries, in season (organic)

Fresh blueberries, in season (organic)

Rinse thoroughly, drain thoroughly. Serve.

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A Special Dinner with a Childhood Food – Summer Sausage

Yesterday I had a special dinner. It was my daughter’s birthday. We live nearly half a country apart, so while she was not with us in person, she was in spirit. My wonderful husband stopped at the grocery store on his way home from work for some Schaller & Weber Summer Sausage for an appetizer for our dinner. I eat almost completely “organically,” but some events require a special treat. Summer sausage reminds me of my childhood and all the associated happy memories; therefore, it falls into the category of treats. One of my favorite memories from my childhood is the hours I spent swimming with my brothers and sisters. We would often sit on our front porch on summer mornings watching the thermometer slowly rise to the seventy-two degrees required for swimming. Only rarely were we disappointed with a cooler day.

It is possible to indulge yourself, even wheat-free, if you take the time to ask questions at the grocery store. I check ingredients on processed foods every time I buy them.

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Caramelized Onion Soup (Wheat-free)

For the best results, see the entries on Homemade Chicken Stock and Caramelized Onions before beginning this recipe.

6 large onions

6 tablespoons olive oil

6 cups homemade chicken stock

Sea salt to taste

Soup pot with heavy bottom

Cut the onion into thin slices. Pour the olive oil into a soup pot with a heavy bottom and cook the onion slowly (very slowly), stirring continually, until the onion slices are lightly browned and caramelized. This takes me about one-half hour. Add the homemade chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer the soup over medium heat for 10 minutes, then salt lightly. Serve in warmed bowls.

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Asparagus in Olive Oil with Egg Garnish

I buy organically grown asparagus and use a high quality olive oil.

Asparagus

Olive oil

Hard-cooked egg(s)

Filtered water

Wash asparagus thoroughly. Snap tough bottom ends off. When I am in a rush, I snap just one stalk, then cut the remaining stalks at the same point. Place the washed and trimmed asparagus in a saucepan in which it fits comfortably. Cover completely with filtered water. Place on high heat and simmer until just tender (still a little crisp). This will take only a few minutes; I wait and watch (and poke). Drain, leaving asparagus in the pan and place on burner with the heat turned to low. Add some olive oil and shake the pan back and forth until the stalks are thoroughly coated with the olive oil. Leave on heat until the olive oil is as warm as the asparagus. Place on a warm serving dish and sprinkle with chopped hard-cooked egg (amount depending on the amount of asparagus) and season with just a dash of sea salt, leaving the last seasoning to each person.

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Poetry For The Kitchen from The Poetry Foundation

April is National Poetry Month in the United States. I thought I would share this delightful poem:

Deep In Our Refrigerator

By Jack Prelutsky

Deep in our refrigerator,

There’s a special place

For food that’s been around awhile . . .

We keep it just in case.

Read the complete poem here.

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Fried Eggs and Ham

Serves 1

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 thin slices of hickory smoked, all natural ham (no additives)

2 fresh eggs

Sea salt

Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over low heat. Heat the ham in the skillet, just until warm. Gently break 2 eggs onto slices of ham. Cook gently until desired doneness. Slide a spatula under each slice of ham and egg and place on a plate. Season with sea salt.

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