Thursday, July 8, 2010

It's Too Hot

My, my - I admit I have been very lax in my blogging - it's just been too darn hot here in Malvern to do much of anything really. I don't quilt when it's this hot - not sure why - my house has central air - it's cool in here - I just don't like quilting when the temperature is above 90 degrees.

So what have I been doing - let's address that in 3 separate topics.
1. Books - Little Bee by Chris Cleave, A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick, Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann, and Born Round by Frank Bruni

2. Movies - Secret in Her Eyes, I Am Love, Winter's Bone - all three absolutely amazing must see's.

3. And lastly cooking and farmers' marketing - it's never too hot for this activity. I am obsessed with my fresh produce this time of year - I lose all control when I'm at the farmer's market. This past week I bought an overabundance of blueberries - turned them into lovely blueberry conserve using the recipe from The Blue Book.
It has an intense blueberry flavor with an added zing from the lemon and orange slices.

"What you ask is The Blue Book" - it is the book of all things preserved - canned, pickled, frozen, dried. This is an old version, and this time of year it takes up residence on my counter to help me decide what to do with all of the excess produce I purchase. I love preserving my fresh produce to enjoy all winter long.

Too many peaches - no problem - Peach Granita to the rescue.

I love making granita with my excess fruits. What is Granita??? - an Italian ice, simple, no fancy appliances required. Here is my fav cookbook for granitas - Granita Magic by Nadia Roden, who happens to be a textile designer (in addition to her many other talents)! The artwork in the book is inspired by 1950's textiles, particularly Lucienne Day, popular for her organic nature forms in her designs.

I adapted one of Nadia's recipes for my peach granita
1 1/2 pounds peaches, peeled, quartered and pitted
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
juice of 1/2 lemon.

Combine the water, sugar and lemon juice in a medium size stainless steel pot, heat to simmer to dissolve the sugar. Add the peach quarters and simmer for about 10 minutes, till soft, but not mushy. Cool.

In food processor or blender, puree the peaches and liquid. Pour the puree into a 9 x 13 inch baking pan - I use a ceramic pan, not metal. Place in the freezer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes use a fork to break up the forming ice. Repeat this step every 30 minutes another 2 - 3 times until your preferred ice texture is achieved. Serve!

Today I visited a new farmer's market - the Penn State Great Valley Market. I came home with a stash of beautiful carrots. I'm planning on making Ginger / Thai Basil Pickled Carrots.

Yes, it's too hot to sew, but rarely too hot to cook. Tonight - grilled pizza.

Baby Quilt Challenge Update - this coming Saturday morning I will be setting up shop at the Phoenixville Farmers' Market - please visit if you're in the area.

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