5. – The San Francisco Chronicle Posh Squash “Nature seems to have had some of her giddiest moments in the pumpkin patch, judging by the winter squash and gourds for sale at Bay Area markets these days. They have warts and bumps, ridges and furrows, stripes and speckles, and come-hither curves. Few denizens of the produce world are more alluring – or more confusing.”
4. – The Boston Globe CheapSteak “Call it the meat index. If you want to know whether times are tough, ask your butcher. “We are selling so much more hamburg,” says Charles Silva, owner of New England Meat Market.”
3. – The LA Times The Bagel: An L.A. Story “Friedman is not a stickler for a particular-size bagel and does not have a problem tweaking his recipe here and there to suit a customer, but he has been raised in a strict bagel-making tradition. Sitting in his glass-enclosed office looking out over his Brooklyn Bagel factory, the scene does not appear to have changed much in five decades.”
2. – The NY Times Eurpoe Relaxes Rules on Sale of Ugly Fruits and Vegetables “Misshapen fruit and vegetables won a reprieve on Wednesday from the European Union as it scrapped rules banning overly curved, extra knobbly or oddly shaped produce from supermarket shelves. Ending regulations on the size and shape of 26 types of fruit and vegetables, the European authorities killed off restrictions that had become synonymous with bureaucratic meddling.”
1. – The Washington Post Oolong, the Tea Lover’s Tea “Asking a wine, chocolate or coffee expert to pick a favorite is like asking a mother to choose between her children. Not so for tea connoisseurs: Oolong “is the tea that got me hooked on tea,” says importer Brian Wright.”
photo from The Boston Globe
Work is the curse of the drinking classes
— Oscar Wilde
Filed under Beverage, Quote
With Labor Day quickly approaching, it’s time to hurry up and get those summer cocktails out of your system (along with the white shoes and seer-sucker). While in Vermont a couple of weeks ago, we had an incredible dinner at The Bearded Frog in Burlington. I started off with one of their specialty cocktails, A Gin and Tonic with a refreshing twist – cucumbers with the necessary lime! The result was the perfect drink – refreshing from the tonic and lime all while making me feel like I was drinking a spa healthy drink as a result of the cucumber infusion!
Try it – I promise, it’ G&T heaven!
Now that the weather is warm, I can barely make it to 5:00 on Friday’s before making one of these little suckers… Here are the proportions I use to make the perfect mojito!
Mojitos for Four
12 fresh mint sprigs
8 tsp simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water heated until sugar dissolves, then chilled)
12 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
6 oz light rum
Using a muddler or a fork, crush most of the mint (leave 4 sprigs for garnish) in a pitcher. Add the simple syrup and lime juice and mix. Top with ice. Add rum and them top off with chilled club soda. Add a lime wedge and sprig of mint as garnishes.
Something is brewing in Leesburg, Virginia!
Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, a National Trust Historic Site, was established in the early 1800’s by George Carter as a wheat plantation and became the base for numerous business enterprises until the time of the Civil War. Now the site offers seasonal afternoon teas, as well as mansion tours and self-guided tours.
I had the pleasure of attending one of Oatlands’ holiday teas prior to Christmas. The historic atmosphere is the ideal setting for enjoying scones, tea cakes, and a cup of the plantation’s own afternoon tea blend.
Fortunately, teas at Oatlands are not exclusively a holiday event! Upcoming spring teas will be held April 4th, 5th, 18th, and 19th.
Visit their site at www.oatlands.org for more information on how to have your own fabulous afternoon in this picturesque setting.
When putting together one of my favorite finds today, I realized that, in fact, I have quite a few that all hail from my darling husband’s home state of Vermont.
American Flatbread (think pizza cooked with lots o’ love)
You can’t get much closer to wood-fired flavor from a frozen pizza than this. The cheese and herbs is great as is the Revolution, which is topped with mushrooms and caramelized onions. Available from Whole Foods Stores $10 each
Jasper Hill Farms Cheeses
Another set of product that benefits greatly from handcrafting are the cheeses from Jasper Hill Farm. My personal favorite is the Constant Bliss. Just like it’s name, each bite is so perfectly creamy and pungent that you feel as though you’ve entered a state of nirvana.
Green Mountain Granola
With no corn syrup and no Red #40, this granola is a grass roots as it gets. Containing almonds, sunflower seeds, pecans and dried blueberries, this granola is a great way to start each day. A 22oz bag is $14 and that includes all taxes and shipping charges.
Long Trail Blackberry Wheat
This is one of my favorites (forget the Magic Hat)! Long Trail’s Blackberry Wheat beer is crafted in the traditional wheat style with a few blackberries thrown in there, giving it a slight hint of sweetness and complex flavor. The brewery also has a tour and tasting bar.
I have to admit, I have stopped ordering cocktails (other than the standby gin and tonic) in the states because they always seem to fall flat of my expectations. Either the ratio of alcohol to mixer is off or the flavor combinations are just wrong. Well, my faith in cocktails is officially restored. While in Bangkok, at the Peninsula we had the most fabulous array of mixed drinks I have had in a long time. Here are some of our favorites…
Another One Please – vodka, smashed strawberries, muddled lime and mint – all served in a rocks glass after being gently smashed together
Lychee Martini – vodka, lychee, and a splash of Cointreau (garnished, of course, with a fresh lychee and served up)
Mai Tai – the perfect proportions of dark and light rum and orange, pineapple and cherry juice. Served nice and tall, just the way it should be!
We ordered a daiquiri, knowing we love the flavors and were delighted when it arrived in a martini glass and contained only fresh lime juice, rum and a splash of simple syrup – none of that frozen slushy business here!
So will the reputation of sub-par cocktails still stand back in the US? I guess I will have to give them another try upon arrival when I get back. Know of a great place for delicious cocktails? Leave a comment and I will check them out!