Blueberry Lemon Curd

Blueberry lemon curd

Don’t you hate it when your favorite site or publication has a “special takeover issue”, when they change the title and mess with the format purely for the purposes of advertising or to big up their latest feature? I didn’t like it when Whizzer and Chips did a “Chips and Whizzer” edition in 1979, and I don’t like it now. That’s the reason why we’re not temporarily changing the name of the site to “Curds with Knives” because, frankly, otherwise, that’s exactly the sort of thing we’d do. I don’t know if it’s the fact that lemon prices have dipped lately, I know it’s not because we have a glut of eggs (because out of seven chickens, only one of them is laying) but for some reason, we’re getting rather obsessed with making lemon curd and variations thereof.

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Strawberry-Basil Martini

Cocktail with strawberries

Strawberry-Basil Martini

It’s berry season, everyone! Sound the trumpets! Blow your kazoo! Get your strawberry costumes cleaned and pressed! 

After a long, cold winter, spring always feels like a greatest hits album of produce, with one favorite coming into season right after another. Asparagus, boom! Ramps, double boom! Green garlic! Morels! Peas! And then, when we’re all warmed up … berries

Just look at this shot of our haul from the Beacon Farmer’s Market last week. I mean, seriously, things are looking up.

Ramps, watermelon radishes, young leeks and pea shoots
Ramps, watermelon radishes, young leeks and pea shoots.

While the berries we’re growing won’t be ready for another week or two, fantastic berries are popping up at the grocery store and farmers market right now and there’s so many things we want to make with them! 

Seriously, you should see my recipe wish-list. It’s one berry dish after another, but this time we decided to kick off the season with a cocktail made with fresh strawberry syrup: a Strawberry-Basil Martini.

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Mini Dutch Babies with Lemon Curd and Blueberries

Mini Dutch Baby Pancakes cooked in individual cast iron skillets. They puff up and turn a beautiful golden brown before we spoon in homemade lemon curd and sprinkle with fresh blueberries.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake

A gorgeous and rich, cheesecake, flavored with rum and vanilla and topped with a summery compote of strawberries and rhubarb.

Hello Nerdlings!

Sometimes I wonder if we’re quite nerdy enough on this blog. I worry that our readers, steeped as are Westerosian Meisters in the lore of SF and fantasy, will flit from recipe to recipe, searching in vain for just the right clue that, yes, we too know the exact galactic co-ordinates of Gallifrey (*10-0-11-00 by 02),  we have read The Silmarillion (*Needed more dragons and fewer diacritics) and we have a perfect theory to reconcile, entirely within the Blake’s Seven mythos, Stephen Greif’s depiction of Travis vs Brian Croucher’s (*I have discovered a truly remarkable proof along these lines, which this blog is too small to contain).

Is it not enough to show you our collection of Alan Moore’s 2000AD, DC Comics and Vertigo works, including not only the obvious Swamp ThingPromethea and Ballad of Halo Jones but early Doctor Who Weekly? Must we dig out our Battlestar Galactica DVDs? Have we not mentioned that we named one of our pets (Arya) after a Game of Thrones character, and another (Bascule the Rascule) after the protagonist in the best of darling Iain M. Banks’ SF (although non-Culture) books, Feersum Enjinn?

Strawberry Rhubarb Cheesecake
Don’t worry. We WILL be talking about strawberries and rhubarb soon. Promise.

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Vanilla Custard Tart with Berries

Vanilla custard tart with berries

Vanilla custard tart made from homemade pastry cream and an easy graham cracker crust, topped with fresh summer berries. Perfect for summer parties!

If there’s one challenge to keeping chickens – there aren’t, of course, there are dozens: keeping the dog out of the chicken pellets and poop, keeping the chickens out of the vegetable patch and flower border; keeping Bernie Sanders, our runty salmon favarolle, from being bullied by the other, bigger, chickens – but if there were only one challenge, it would be: what the hell do we do with all these eggs?

With seven hens, even giving them away to our friends and neighbors, we’re never shy of around six dozen eggs on the counter at any one moment, with five or six being added to the stock every day. Yes, there are worse problems to have, and most of the solutions are pretty delicious.

Vanilla Custard Tart with Berries
We topped our tart with strawberries, blackberries. golden berries and fresh mint.

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