July in Indiana brings two of my all-time favorite flavors: Blueberries and Basil. And they’re wonderful together. Things have been really crazy lately, with hot, long days working in the field. My body was crying out for a rest, with a long, hot, four days of Culver Lakefest on the horizon. I didn’t really have the time, but I opted to listen to my body and spend some time in the kitchen this morning. Haven’t spent any quality time in there since Hole in the Woodstock, anyway. So, I came up with these Blueberry Basil Muffins to celebrate. Continue reading
I love the flavor of oatmeal. But I loathe its texture. And texture is an important thing! So, when Xenia raved about the baked oatmeal at the dining hall, I was a bit reticent to try it. But, when I did, I could see what all the fuss was about!
Filled with apples, dried fruit, and oaty goodness, baked oatmeal is tasty, satisfying, and a breakfast that will stick with you. It’s great for breakfast before heading out to cut firewood on a chilly day. Continue reading
I wish I could make pecan rolls as good as Joann McCormack, “The Cinnamon Roll Lady.” Alas, I must limit myself to those little sticky plops of ambrosia to summer, when I can get them at the Tuesday evening Culver Farmers’ Market. Mine, though, are still pretty durn sticky-good. My version is also easy and quick to make. I can put it together in time for breakfast even on a busy Sunday with parade, chapel, or other commitments. Continue reading
Back to creative outlets for our zucchini glut. Zucchini for breakfast (or brunch)! Pancakes are an underutilized food group. They can be savory or sweet, salty or caramelized. Eggy, floury, or, in this case, loaded with zucchini. This is a great way to boost the nutritional profile of your pancake, yet still good with berries and maple syrup (grade B, of course!). Continue reading
It’s the heart of zucchini season, and so that means zucchini bread. I ran out of printed copies of my recipe at the market, and since, I’ve had at least a dozen people ask me for my recipe, with the urgency of most people with a refrigerator overpacked with squash.
Well, I promised I’d post it this week. I just barely made it, but here it is for your weekend!
I’m not sure where my blueberry buckle recipe originates from. I think it might have been 7th grade home economics class… Nonetheless, I’ve been making it for years, with a few alterations along the way. It’s a great way to celebrate blueberry season!
I’ve long made muffins using the “Old School Muffins” recipe in Alton Brown’s I’m Just Here for More Food. I like the tender texture and the more moderate sweetness of his recipe, as compared with more typical modern recipes, which are more like cupcakes. However, I wanted to make muffins to celebrate Wild Black Raspberries, but had not had time to make yogurt. It turns out our local “grocery store” doesn’t actually sell plain yogurt(!), so buying some was nixed. My wife, Xenia, suggested substituting sour cream instead.
The substitution was inspired! It did require a bit of fiddling with the leavening, because sour cream is not as acidic as yogurt. But the result is even better. Hence, in honor of Xenia, I dub these, X-Factor Muffins.
Nature provides us with many wonderful and important things. Among the most important are oxygen and wild black raspberries. Truly, I can’t think of many things better, and nothing that makes a better celebration of early summer than Wild Black Raspberries. Yes, that’s in title caps intentionally.
Picking them is a metaphor for life. Good things don’t come easy, and some of the best come with a good deal of itching: our raspberries grow in the same niches favored by poison ivy, stinging nettle, wild blackberry, wild roses, and mosquitoes, and the tiny berries take a long time to pick. But the reward is wonderful. This cobbler takes a bunch of berries, so I tend to reserve it only for special people, like myself and my wife. I bake it in a 9″ cast iron skillet, because I like it that way! Continue reading
Aunt Lola, my great-aunt, made wonderful, soft, chewy molasses cookies that I loved as a child – almost as much as the date pinwheel cookies, or her apple jelly. Somewhere along the way, well after she passed, I came across her date pinwheel recipe, and make those on occasion, but they are a ton of work. I never did find her molasses cookie recipe, though.
So, about 10 years ago, I conducted a 6 month long series of trials, attempting to re-create her recipe. My mentees and colleagues at Culver ate lots of bad cookies in the process! What I came up with is not the same as Aunt Lola’s. But they’re really darn good. Continue reading