Black Cherry Clafoutis: A Native Florida Custard Cake

I am always unprepared for the intensity of this season, ruled by the sun and violent storms. The heat feels suffocating and damp, and when the wind blows, it is a hot wind. Every day the shining white clouds build up into flickering, violet storms piled high in the hazy sky, and where they break…

Early Summer Garden Pizza

Someone brought a fellow gardener, introduced to us as a Master Gardener, out to see our garden, thinking that since we both are absorbed in the cultivation of earth we should get along great. Unfortunately he sneered at my companion-planted garden rows and the huge number of tomato plants I’m growing – one row to…

Bread, From Seed

“Our bread doesn’t shine like that,” said Cordelia. “That is the pity of it,” said the peasant woman.  “What makes yours shine?” asked Cordelia. “The sun in the wheat,” said the peasant woman.  -The Shining Loaf by Isabel Wyatt In January this year I planted four kinds of hulless barley, the kind that is easiest…

Spiderwort Soda, A Magical Elixer

I have always been enchanted with the herb Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohioensis I think is the Latin).  The thin, succulent leaves,  like grass leaves,  poke out at a pixie-like angle,  and the luminous blue three-petaled flowers, each petal delicate like a fairy’s wing, whose color delights the eye and changes even as you stare, shifting between blue…

Pink Sauerkraut

The winter garden is fading fast.  The onions,  once growing in neat rows, must be hunted for among the ragweed and evening primrose.  The lettuce has become tall spires of bright yellow flowers,  and the Brussels sprouts have been harvested all the way up the stalks. The cabbages this year have begun to split open…

 Coconut Chicken Curry

It’s been a very cool,  wet spring but now the days are longer and hot, and at noon the sun feels too bright and strong.  I’ve been waking early again,  going out in the cool,  misty mornings,  enjoying the gentle and almost alpine air to work in,  and spending the bright,  hot part of the…

Chicken, Chickpea, and Spinach Stew

The past two days have brought us grey skies and pouring,  drizzling,  sprinkling,  thundering rain.  Rain making a puddle out of the patio,  pooling in old buckets, pattering and rattling on the roofs, and pinging like chimes on the pile of junk under the eves of the barn. Last night between rains the sky flashed…

Pumpkin and Broccoli Casserole

The dreamy blue-skied spring weather,  so warm it is almost hot, has called forth the flowers of all kinds.  There is a narrow definition of flower in our minds,  the colorful,  the beautiful,  the many-petaled ones,  but there are so many more, such as the scaly dimorphous cone flowers of the pines, or the catkins…

Wild Chickweed Salad with Ranch-Style Dressing

All around the earth is greening. The forest looks lacy with new leaves,  and the pastures have begun to grow.  Not only have the summer grasses thrown off their winter sleep and have started to poke up their heads and send out new shoots, all the pretty weeds of spring decorate the ground between the…

January Chicken Pot-au-feu

The chickens are on my list lately.  Not only have the bold,  bad things been making raids on the kitchen, strewing the contents of the piggie bucket all over the place and devouring the cat kibbles,  but they have also been getting into the garden.  When I see them,  plump and nonplussed with bulging crops,…

Roasted Radishes, 3 Different Ways

I guess it’s cold when you turn the tap on in the morning,  and you get a cup of ice, and that’s only after it’s had some time to thaw.   In some ways it’s hardship out here in the cold, but at the same time i feel much stronger and healthier than when we lived…

Return Of The Light Grain-free Lemon Cake

It’s been unusually cold lately, cold enough to snow although we weren’t so lucky.   Hard frosts for several days in a row left  everything sparkling with minute crystals in the early mornings,  the ground hard frozen, and we marveled at the layers of ice on the water troughs that had to be broken through.  The…