Search Results for: a trio of spring pickles

A trio of spring pickles: ramps, rhubarb and fiddleheads

My spontaneous pickling session last week began with a spotless kitchen. Few things are as inspiring as the blank canvas of pristine counters, an empty dishwasher, and every tool at your disposal.

I had just boiled the kettle and made a pot of tea. The afternoon stretched out open ahead of me, a rare block of time when I didn’t have something pressing to attend to.  My mind wandered to the ramps on the forest floor that were rapidly being taken over by dense foliage. Their season had nearly passed and I had only foraged for one handful. If I wanted pickles, today would have to be the day.

Come to think of it, my rhubarb was filling in nicely; I had also wanted to put up a few jars of pickled stalks. I may as well combine the projects. And if I was really going to do this, why leave out the fiddleheads in the refrigerator? Pickled fiddleheads are a must for future salads and cocktail garnishes.

Before I had time to question my ambitions, I filled my canning pot half full of water, lowered 6 jars onto the rack and set it on my gas range. I grabbed a notepad and jotted down a flavor profile for each batch. [Read more…]

Weekend links and photos

This week was a range of ups and downs, including a wisdom tooth extraction for me which I’m still slowly recovering from.

On the bright side, warm rains melted nearly all of our snow, I found the first ramp on the forest floor, and we had sap running all week. I’ll be bringing you a short update on our small scale sugaring off operation later this week, but first, here’s what I’ve been loving around the web.

Hit the jump for a few of our Easter photos. Brunch, lunch, and more brunch.

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Simple Entertaining: Build a Bagel Bar

These days, you only have to tap into Twitter for about eight seconds before at least three people offer up a (delicious! decadent! do-ahead!) suggestion for your Easter brunch.

I’m just as guilty as any of them, recently recommending you add this citrus salad with honey-cinnamon syrup to your menu. Sure it’s simple, but it’s one more thing to plan and execute, when perhaps you’re already exhausted at the thought of entertaining for Easter.

So today, I have another idea – a plan for those of you who seriously have. no. time. but will be receiving hungry nephews, uncles, neighbours and friends regardless. It’s simply this: build a bagel bar. You can delegate people to contribute toppings or shop for them yourself, and everything is assembled the morning of your brunch. Let’s look at the breakdown and a few suggestions for a creative buffet.

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This time of the year…

Ah, springtime, the awakening season. When all green life shakes off the dream of winter and reemerges in slow splendour.

This time of the year brings about such a surplus of new topics that I have a difficult time narrowing my focus. My mind wants to goes in every direction, like the seeds on a blown dandelion puff, chasing passions of mine like gardening, entertaining, camping, canning, cocktails, seasonal ingredients and more.

This week, May comes to a close and June begins. So where do I start on today’s blank WordPress page?

Do I tell you about that double batch of ramps that I pickled the day before leaving for London? Or the rhubarb syrup I am currently straining for jelly? We could talk about preserving the season. Oh, we could just talk about pickling and have plenty of fodder for dicscussion: pickled strawberries, pickled green beans, pickled asparagus or just plain garlic pickles.

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Herbed Avocado Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

Originally, I thought I’d keep this post short and sweet. It’s egg salad, after all. How much could I say on the subject?

Quite a bit, as it turns out. As I was working with each ingredient, I thought about why I prepared them the way I did, and how the sum of their parts all add up to a sublime sandwich that has everything going for it: taste and texture, crunch and creaminess.

These Herbed Avocado Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches recently graced the tiered serving plates of an afternoon tea baby shower I had the pleasure of hosting. A few guests asked for the recipe, and since Mother’s Day is coming up soon, as well as picnics and other spring parties, I decided to share my method here.

We’ve also just picked up six spring chickens from a nearby farm and are already getting our first brown eggs from the pullets. Also, my chives are starting to take off in the garden. So you see, eggs and herbs are always the first harvest from our urban homestead, and these delicate tea sandwiches are a perfectly appropriate way to celebrate.

Let’s get cracking (pardon the pun) and see how they are made.

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