Friday, December 30, 2011

Your Smile Is Contagious: Goodbye Christina Choi

Rest In Peace, sweet lovely Christina.

Christina sparked my love of wild foods, made the best poached tuna sandwich you could ever dream of, fed me nettles and ramps for the first time, launched me up a six foot ladder the second time I'd ever met her, and was an absolute treat to have known.

The last time I saw her was on the last day that Nettletown was open. She was smiling, at ease, and excited for her new adventure. Just as I will always remember her.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Link Love! Gifts In Jars

My 300-ish square foot apartment is currently overflowing with jars of things. Three types of jam, tomato sauce, two types of liqueur, pickles, pears, and on and on. My general motivation here is not only to have beautiful summer produce throughout the year, but also to have a perfect stash of last minute gifts and treats to share with friends and loved ones during the holiday season. It isn't too late for handmade gifts by any means- and the perks of gifting something that can be both stored, and later eaten once the house is cleared of other holiday sweet things is truly hard to argue. I've also tried to include primarily recipes that don't require any special canning equipment.

- Despite the fact that Washington doesn't actually have a citrus season- it still is citrus season. I'm enamored with the idea of this Chili Mandarin Marmalade with a Spritz of Ginger from Mandolin the Mirthful. She notes its intensity and that it would pair beautifully with crackers and chevre. My kind of lady.

- On that note- this idea of gifting Marinated Goat Cheese is unarguably simple, and absolutely gorgeous. This would make a phenomenal host/ess gift, even when rushed for time.

- Homemade Coffee Liqueur from Food In Jars makes for another well received gift that uses a few straight-forward ingredients. The original recipe notes that it's best when allowed to sit anywhere from three to six weeks- but I've given gifts like this in the past that included a note one when it's best to open. No one has complained.

- Okay, I'm totally cheating on this one. It doesn't come in a jar, it's merely just being served in one. But I cannot get over how obscenely delicious this sounds. I cannot. Jen Altman's Black Spiced Rum Eggnog will be my first attempt at eggnog ever. I will drink it out of a jar, and I will probably not share. You should go ahead and make your own.

Bacon Jam. I know. Bacon is played out, and this recipe takes hours to make, and if you want to store it out of the fridge you need a pressure cooker. But I don't care about any of those things. It's bacon, and onions, and maple syrup. And I just don't care.

- I accidentally made myself a big beautiful jar of ginger syrup last year- it was the byproduct of candied ginger, and it was probably one of the best accidents I've had in some time. It makes for some of the best ginger ale I've ever had, and has stored perfectly in my pantry without any issues. Joy the Baker shares her recipe for Homemade Ginger Syrup for Ginger Ale and includes a perfectly simple recipe for ginger ale to tack on as part of a gift.

Are you making any of your gifts this year? What are your favorite homemade treats to give and receive?

Monday, December 5, 2011

That Week I Spent Eating Popsicles and Swimming with Whale Sharks

Oh, hi! Did I mention that I went to Mexico? Maybe? I flew down to La Paz, Baja California Sur the day before Thanksgiving with my brother and his lady. My mom and her partner are currently in the midst of a big crazy amazing adventure and we headed down to spend the week with them. We spent a tremendous amount of time talking to birds/stray cats/dogs, sitting in the sun, and eating the best popsicles of my life. We snorkeled with whale sharks(!!!), found a lagoon with wild horses, lived off of fresh avocados, and generally had a really miserable time.

Truly, it was dreadful.

Photos 6, 7, 15, 16, 17 were taken by my mom. Check my Flickr in the very near future for the rest of my photos!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Know You

I don’t suppose I really know you very well - but I know you smell like the delicious damp grass that grows near old walls and that your hands are beautiful opening out of your sleeves and that the back of your head is a mossy sheltered cave when there is trouble in the wind and that my cheek just fits the depression in your shoulder.
Zelda Fitzgerald, in a letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald 
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