My entire kitchen-consciousness shifts in the summertime. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
The mindset moves from something that is predominantly focused on the oven and range to one that is all about live fires, crackling wood, and smoke. This usually leads me to the meat and hard veggies side of my pantry and fridge. After all, it can be difficult to cook rice, quinoa, or other grains on the grill without special equipment, and I've yet to find a way to manage cheese over charcoal. But an underrated grill item may be one that coincides with the best that summer has to offer: the explosion
No one's gonna argue against either the sheer joy or the benefits of a cooling, delicious popsicle during these blazing summer months. But though tasty, the straightforward punch of frozen juice and, most likely, lots and lots of sugar, can be a little one note, certainly to the adult palette. So this summer, up the flavor and complexity (and age of consumption) by making your own boozy popsicles, with any alcohol or spirit you like.
On a recent visit to Minneapolis/St. Paul, I finally got a chance to try the elusive and much touted SweeTango apple, a few blocks of where it was first, um, invented? at the University of Minnesota agricultural campus.
And? It was good; I liked it. Some parts I liked a whole lot. The texture was very unique, and it had a nice balance of sweet and tart. If they were sold in my local market, I'd probably buy some.
When you work from home, you look forward to little things that help break the day up: the mailman coming, the tornado siren test on Wednesdays at noon, the kids skipping along the sidewalk walking home when school lets out, and, most importantly, snack time. Often, it's just a handful of nuts, a bit of leftovers, but usually, a simple piece of fruit.
Which, after I saw this video last week, I've been turning into puzzles. Every day.
Do you remember when you were a kid, and your friend's houses always seemed to have snacks that your parents never bought? For me, it was Capri Sun, frozen pizza, and Fruit Roll-Ups. I mean, yeah, I guess I appreciate my parents watching out for our health growing up, but boy, what I wouldn't have given for just one of those sweet, spiraly chewies after a day playing in the sun. Especially those ones that had the tongue tattoos! Oh man, remember?
In my late twenties, I still have a soft spot for those indulgences, and I've been known to sneak a box of Bagel Bites into the grocery cart. And my favorite thing to eat while on a road trip? Fruit leather, which is basically the grown-up version of a Fruit Roll-Up.
In the late 1990s, there was the brief phenomenon of How Are You Peeling?, in which some guy realized that fruits and veggies sometimes look like faces when they unevenly spurt from the calyx of their flowers. Calendars and email forwards ensued. You remember.
Then, Carl Kleiner, the mastermind behind those amazing photos of ingredients from the IKEA cookbook, decided to play with the above idea...but, you know, make it way better.
Some sculptures opt for clay, some welded steel, and some plain old garbage. Japanese artist y_yamaden's medium of choice?
Call it a fractal, TriForce-inspired, or just plain geometric, this triangular upcycled fruit bowl is straight up awesome. Made from only recycled magazines and isosceles triangles, this guy'll have you rocking your 9th-grade math class and your glue gun skills all at once.
A few weeks ago, we featured a few how-tos for making "bachelor's jam," a preserving method that fuses alcohol and fresh fruit. The technique there, basically, is to fill a jar with fruit and cover it with alcohol.
Last week, the New York Times featured a few more thorough recipes, designed to take advantage of complimentary flavors and general tastiness. "Perhaps the best example of following seasons in a boozy fruit mix is rumtopf — a German preserve that spans the entire growing season. Classic recipes have you start in June by mixing strawberries with sugar and rum. As other fruits ripen, they are added in layers, then the whole thing is left to mellow until Christmas.
Artist Dimitri Tsykalov has carved this juicy and creepy series of skulls from fresh fruits and vegetables.
Whether the images point out the results of the wasteful attitude we take towards food, the evils of the factory farming system, or its just that the freshness makes them look crazy scary...we're frightened.
Many thoughtful, contemporary parents are a bit wiser than ours were concerning the snack foods they give to their children. Avoiding processed food products, excessive amounts of corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, and overt amounts of sodium, these post-modern era parents have gone back to the snacks that their own grandparents might have served - homemade and much more healthful.
Which is great...except for one thing: contemporary kids don't get the experience of eating, well, kid food. Thrown in lunch boxes or crunched into pockets for consumption in the treehouse, there are certain foods that just taste like childhood.
And for me, that's
Last summer, I took the plunge into home canning, and while I'm getting the hang of it, it's complex. It only makes sense when doing LOTS of goodies at one time, and there are particular recipes to make sure the produce is properly cooked for preservation.
So, we're loving this idea: bachelor's jam (or officer's jam) employs the bacteria-preventing power of liquors and spirits to preserve fresh fruit, resulting in two wonderful things - alcohol soaked fresh fruit, and fresh fruit soaked alcohol. :)
"[One] recipe calls for one pound of sugar per pound of fruit,layering the sugar atop the fruit in a nonreactive container and covering the