Our sage plant survived the winter. Our sage plant survived the winter, got going on its plans for world domination early in the spring, and is now the size of a small trashcan. It's also doing that thing where it makes flowers way way way too early in the season (once it starts making flowers, it spends less time making leaves, and it's there for me to eat its leaves, so that's not ideal).  So I have done a bud massacre. And now it's time to do something with the buds.  Working on the theory that capers are pickled (or [...]

June 4, 2020|


We made herb salt this week.  If you've been around for a while (and if you pay alarmingly close attention to the nonsense I get up to), you may be thinking it's a bit early for such a thing.  And this is totally true...we usually wait until October or even November for this project. But this year?  This year that's not an option. We're moving this week (the movers come Friday), and if we wanted to have a batch this year, this was the moment. We've finally managed to pull off that move to Maine we've been working on (we've been [...]

September 19, 2017|


So I don't know about you, but where we are, it's winter and gray and gloomy.  And while normally I can deal with that this fine, somehow this year it's wearing on me.  The obvious cure is sunshine.  And this is about as close as I can get to sunshine in a jar. We've talked before about how to do this.  The gist is chop up your citrus (I've gotten much more casual about leaving the seeds in and the tips on over time, but you can totally remove them if you're so inclined). Jam them in jars, dumping in [...]

January 19, 2017|


Sometimes? Sometimes you have good timing.  On Saturday, we grabbed the last of the herbs from the yard.  Normally we do it earlier, but this year we kept putting it off. We spent an hour or two stripping herbs, peeling garlic, and putting the food processor to work. And later that very afternoon, we got the first snow of the season.  I'm calling that just about the best timing ever. This has become a yearly tradition (I talked about it in more detail back here if you want to do it yourself, and there's a bit more about other years [...]

November 22, 2016|

Not just rhubarb

The shrub thing really is a sickness around these parts.  I did rhubarb and strawberry just a little while ago, and now I've got some cherry going as well.  This really is ten minutes of chopping, two minutes of stirring with the sugar, 30 seconds of glugging in the cider vinegar, and two weeks of waiting followed by an entire summer and fall of sipping on delicious things. I'm not sure why we're not all doing it all the time.  It really is the best thing to do with all that extra fruit you find yourself with all summer long. [...]

July 9, 2016|

Tiny bubbles

So it's summer, which means I can't go to the grocery store without bringing home more fruit than any two people can eat.  And when you have a whole bunch of extra fruit (and you've made your fill of pies, because really there has to be some limit), clearly the thing to do is make shrub. Now we talked about this at some length before, and you can go read that if you want. For now I'll just say it starts with sugar + rhubarb. An hour later you've got this. And an hour after that you've got this. A [...]

June 26, 2016|


The making of a giant batch of herb salt has turned into a yearly event.  We first did it (complete with something resembling instructions) back here.  And we did it again just about this time last year.  And this week we did it yet again. We use this salt in everything we cook (well...everything except sweets, because that would be odd) and more or less wouldn't want to cook without it.  You absolutely need to make some of your own. And this year?  This year we learned something very very important.  You can totally use the food processor instead of [...]

October 8, 2015|


So it seems my domestic urges are tied to the calendar.  In the dead of winter, I preserve lemons.  In the middle of summer, I make herb salts and syrups.  Once it's properly cold, it's hot chocolate paste.  And when fall starts to set it, it's shrubs. I went to the grocery store, found figs on sale for some ridiculously good price, bought pounds and pounds of them, and made a huge batch. It's percolating on the counter right now, all bubbles and good smells. And before you ask, yes, it does seem ever so slightly gross to think about [...]

September 21, 2015|

Fig Syrup

The grocery store had fresh figs.  The grocery store very rarely has fresh figs (they seem to have a shelf life of about 47 seconds, so I understand), so I felt I had to take advantage.  Of course, there is a limit to how many you can just eat out of the bag, but you really can't let the others go to waste.  So I made fig syrup.  Fig, rosemary, pepper simple syrup to be precise. I used two figs, four biggish sprigs of fresh rosemary, and two tablespoons of peppercorns, plus one mason jar of white sugar and the [...]

June 25, 2015|
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