Feeling all fruity

March 12, 2017

Fresh pineapple in between the yogurt and the granola.

I think it’s my fault it snowed.

Y’see, how it was, was, I was feeling all springy and such, and I indulged in fruit. Lots of fruit the past week or 10 days. Strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, pears, watermelon. I even toyed with the idea of adding some small watermelons and some canteloupes to my garden plan.

And Mother Nature said, “Uh, uh, no you don’t! Don’t you even start thinking about spring and such!” And that bitch dumped four inches of snow on us yesterday afternoon and last night. On the very day, in fact, that I was supposed to go to Lowe’s and pick up my order of bagged compost, fence stuff, and other assorted garden-y things.

Pffth. I just hope it didn’t get the early peaches.

Anyway. I’m enjoying fruit, whatever the weather is. I made yogurt the other day, and granola, and I’ve had that with both pineapple and with strawberries. Good breakfast fare, that; it’ll stay with you for a while.

Read the rest of this entry »

Strawberry shortcake with creme fraiche on top. Kill me now.

Strawberry shortcake with creme fraiche on top. Kill me now.

This time of year, the strawberry shortcake is just canonical. And there are as many ways to make it as there are cooks who do.

When I was growing up, we generally tended toward the sponge-cake-you-bought-at-the-grocery style of shortcake. You know, the ones with a hollowed-out top you put the berries in.  My former mother-in-law made a killer angel food cake, and was a devotee of using that as a base for berries. More traditional shortcake makers use a sugar-cookie-type cake, or a pie crust dusted with sugar and baked in flat wafers or strips, or something along the order of a sweetened biscuit.

You can even take a page from the esteemed Bulldog Drive In in Bald Knob, and put your strawberries over soft-serve ice cream, with shortbread wafers, whipped topping and peanuts.

Read the rest of this entry »

Strawberries!

May 10, 2016

Strawberry jam. Thirty half-pints' worth, waiting for biscuits.

Strawberry jam. Thirty half-pints’ worth, waiting for biscuits.

I do love a strawberry.  I love a strawberry shortcake, strawberries and creme fraiche, strawberries in yogurt, strawberry pie, strawberry cake, strawberries with sour cream and brown sugar.

And it’s strawberry season here in Arkansas, and strawberries are having an exceptional year. Big, sweet, plentiful.

So today I made strawberry jam.

Friend Kate was visiting, and she’s awfully fond of strawberry jam. We’d talked about making some last year, and just didn’t do it (and berries weren’t too good last year, anyway). We determined we wouldn’t let this year’s season get away.

Read the rest of this entry »

Road trip goodies

April 26, 2016

Arkansas' best dessert. Definitely worth a road trip.

Arkansas’ best dessert. Definitely worth a road trip.

What do you do to keep a trip from Little Rock whose primary reason, a business meeting, gets cancelled, from being an overall waste of time?

You spend the night with a good friend, who doesn’t mind that you’re drugged out on sinus meds and can’t stay awake (may be a Good Thing the meeting was cancelled!), and you take advantage of the trip to score big in the Road Food category.

Tonight's road-trip dinner -- asparagus, proscuitto, shrimp scampi. Strawberries not shown.

Tonight’s road-trip dinner — asparagus, proscuitto, shrimp scampi. Strawberries not shown.

Still enjoying the bountiful asparagus I’ve been dining on since the weekend, I had planned to take some with me to Kate’s house for our dinner. Just for good measure, I stopped by and picked up proscuitto in which to wrap it to roast. Then, on the way down, I celebrated spring by stopping off at the Bulldog Cafe in Bald Knob to have strawberry shortcake.

Read the rest of this entry »

Easter perfection

March 27, 2016

What does this Easter dinner lack, to make it perfect?

What does this Easter dinner lack, to make it perfect?

 

Just this. God is a better pastry chef than I'll ever be.

Just this. God is a better pastry chef than I’ll ever be.

Or maybe this. Key lime pie. Take me to the islands.

Or maybe this. Key lime pie. Take me to the islands.

Some years, the stars align to make a perfectly glorious Easter. This was one such year.

Spectacularly gorgeous weather (windows open, breeze blowing, sun shining). Kids all spic and span, shined up and dressed up for church (even if two of them were in Jackson, Miss., with two-thirds of my grandchildren. Bacon, sausage and pancakes for Easter breakfast at church after the early service, and a marvelous Easter dinner that didn’t leave me exhausted, because I did most everything the night before.

Read the rest of this entry »

Binge-watching fare

March 5, 2016

Since I mentioned it yesterday, here was the House of Cards dinner from last night:

Deviled eggs and homemade potato skins. Great TV fare.

Deviled eggs and homemade potato skins. Great TV fare.

Not to be ignored, though, were the first strawberries of the season:

Spring on a plate. Baseball season cannot be far away.

Spring on a plate. Baseball season cannot be far away.

Dinner, and House of Cards, were both good. No spoilers as far as HoC goes, I promise; I will just say that the series is looking up from last year, which I thought was something of a disappointment. I have three episodes left to finish today, and then I may go back and watch the original BBC version again.

“You may think so. I couldn’t possibly comment.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Let there be spring!

May 3, 2014

I won't attempt to name 'em in order. Or even name 'em. Herbs.

I won’t attempt to name ’em in order. Or even name ’em. Herbs.

And about damn time, too.

In honor of the occasion, I have:

  1. Gone to the first farmers’ market of the season. Strawberries, green onions, asparagus, radishes, some all-natural lotions and creams, and some other stuff that I forgot about already.
  2. Hooked up the gas bottle I bought when I moved here last summer, and grilled some steaks. Too done, but who’s counting? They were good. Also large.
  3. Planted the herb garden. All 10 pots worth of it. And made myself a hefty vodka and tonic with which to recover.

All in all, it’s been a fine day.

Steak, baked potato, corn, asparagus. Hello, spring.

Steak, baked potato, corn, asparagus. Hello, spring.

Read the rest of this entry »