The culinary adventures of a non-foodie foodie yearning to learn more. There are recipes, commentaries and tidbits that our aspiring domestic goddess has come across in her journey.

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Last Few Days of September...

When I think of September, a bright red apple comes to mind.  There is a slight crispness in the air and school is back in full swing.  The leaves haven't turned yet, but football is in the field and on the TV and chili is on the stove.

But in recent memory, September is just as balmy and hot as August.  The AC is still on overnight and it's way to hot to make apple pie in my kitchen (aka The Hot Box).  Grrr...where have my cool September days gone?

This weekend, even though it was 80 degrees in my area of New York, I was able to catch a breeze (aided by an electric fan) and curl up on my couch and break open a fall harvest book with a warm cup of cider and imagine what I would be doing for October (the time when it will get really crisp and chilly).  My book of choice this weekend?  Homemade Harvest by Gooseberry Patch.

Gooseberry Patch was founded in 1984 by Vickie Hutchins and Jo Ann Martin, two women who loved sharing recipes.  They have created a wonderful line of cookbooks (mainly) that are compilations of submission from others who love to share their recipes from all over the country.  They each carry a theme, memories and stories about that theme and/or recipe along with tips and tricks from the staff at Gooseberry Patch.

My first encounter with Gooseberry Patch was Homemade Harvest.  This beautifully simple spiral bound book has beautiful illustrations and fall inspired recipes and crafts.  It covers soups and breads, suppers and a section that focuses exclusively on Halloween.  There is a chapter called Fall Festival Favorites, but it's mainly Friday Night Lights and tailgating friendly recipes and stories and another section that prepares you for a camp out or your next night beside the fire pit (for those of us that don't camp).  There is also a section on fall breakfasts full of eggs, sausage and pumpkins - YUM!

I spend the later half of Saturday afternoon reading this book from cover to cover.  If definitely put me in the fall mood, even if the thermometer was trying to convince me it was still Summer.  I'm sure that everyone could find at least one recipe or craft to try at home.


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The First Annual NYC Honey Festival - An Afternoon in Rockaway

So I pick up my most recent edition of Edible Queens and I see an ad for the First Annual New York City Honey Festival on September 17th.  What fun!  I love honey and it would be awesome to spend the day at Rockaway Beach and taste local honey.

I think a lot of people had the same idea we did.  We showed up at about 2:30pm and the place had almost run out of honey already.  Sad, but we did each get a small jar of local honey before the supplies were depleted.  We checked out the vendors which included the likes of NY Bee Keeping advocates and local farmers.  There was a pickle vendor (Horman's Best Pickles), a HOT honey vendor (Mike's Hot Honey), two honey based craft beers (Six Point Brewery) and screen print your own bee hive t-shirts.  There was also a tasting/ranking of your favorite honeys.

We ate at Ode to the Elephant (Thai food) and AND Coffee (the BEST Hot Chocolate I've had out in a while, though they were out of marshmallows) both located in the Rockaway Beach Club (aka the NY State Park pavilion on the boardwalk).

The weather was perfect, the location was beautiful, the festival was educational and fun but the only thing missing was Stella, my sister's pup.  She would have had a blast with all the sand, surf and bees.

These hard workers didn't stop to wave to the crowds.

NY State has approved bee keeping the the boroughs -
roof tops of Brooklyn, here they come!

This poor little guys just didn't want to let go!

Honey Extraction - scrapping the wax from the comb to
get that beautiful golden liquid from its caves

The difference between a dark, amber looking honey (late season)
and a pale, golden honey (mid summer).  You can see the light color
on the top of the light wood and the dark combs in the metal racks.

No rest for these busy bees...haha...get it?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Kiss the Cook - My Ode to Nigella Lawson

During my class, one of our assignments was to write a short description of a TV personality. I chose my culinary idol, Nigella Lawson. Enjoy...

A medieval and modern language student gone cook (via food writing for The Sunday Telegraph and The New York Times), this British Cookbook author and TV personality is deemed The Domestic Goddess by her fans and the press alike. Nigella Lawson’s classic beauty and use of sensual (and at times seductive) descriptions for the simplest of ingredients puts her at the top of the list of cooks you'd want to kiss.