Summer

farmerbrown4When I was little, I had a Little Golden Book about Farmer Brown's Farm. 

I was thrilled for Mama to take us to Farmer Brown’s Market in Montezuma, Georgia as children ...... and to tell you the truth, I still have the same thrill today!

Mimi and I went the other day for Elberta Peaches. Farmer Brown’s grows and sells the iconic peach in late July and into August in the same county from which they came. Though not the same Farmer Brown as in my Little Golden Book, the story is very much the same – a farm full of beautiful fruits and veggies and flowers set in a lovely land. This land called Macon County, Georgia, has stories upon stories of its own, but one in particular relates to peaches and thus our pilgrimage Farmer Brown’s.

Mimi and I went the other day for Elberta Peaches. Farmer Brown’s grows and sells the iconic peach in late July and into August in the same county from which they came. Though not the same Farmer Brown as in my Little Golden Book, the story is very much the same – a farm full of beautiful fruits and veggies and flowers set in a lovely land. This land called Macon County, Georgia, has stories upon stories of its own, but one in particular relates to peaches and thus our pilgrimage Farmer Brown’s.

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blackberrypeachesYa’ll, this is my go to summer dessert. Well, it may be my go to dessert period. I love to interchange seasonal fruits, but this version may be my favorite. Peaches by themselves are perfect for this dish, and I find myself throwing blueberries into the mix as well. You really cannot go wrong with this recipe!

I have this in A Time to Cook as well but this version calls for steel cut oats – I love the crunch effect they create. The tidbit of almond fairs so well with peaches since they are all in the same family. Speaking of family, yours will be running into the kitchen for this crisp!

You can make it in two separate, deep dish pie pans or a good ol’ 9x13 pan – trust me, you and yours will be just smitten either way! Enjoy ya’ll!

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whitegazpachoEven before cucumbers are in season, one of the first things I think of making with them is gazpacho. So when they do come in season—and right now my garden is producing some of the best cucumbers—it's only natural that I make one of my favorite cold raw soups. Gazpacho is very popular this summer and it seems to be on many restaurant menus in New York. So why not make your own?



An Andalusian specialty, gazpacho was originally made with only stale bread, garlic, oil, and vinegar. Nowadays the most well known gazpacho is with tomatoes, but white gazpacho instead has cucumbers, white grapes, and almonds. It may sound unusual to have a soup with bread and almonds, but actually they are often used as thickeners in the soups and sauces of many Mediterranean cuisines. Marcona almonds are a specialty of Spain, and I love using them in this traditional way.



In this soup, cucumbers lend a refreshing note and the grapes, a slight sweetness. In Spain this soup would traditionally be made in a mortar, which is a great way to finely grind the almonds. But I take all the ingredeints and purée them in a blender. Whichever method you use, make sure to get the soup very smooth. Serve up the finished gazpacho in bowls or glasses as an appetizer—it's sure to whet everyone's appetite at your next outdoor party.


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From The NY Times Magazine

CrabWilliam Brinson for the New York TimesThere are two ways to get crab this season. One is beautiful, hard work. It requires only a chicken neck, string, a net and access to coastal Atlantic waters. Tie the string to the neck and dangle it into the shallows where you can see the bait. Here comes Mr. Crab. Here comes Mr. Net. Repeat until you’ve got enough for dinner. Children can do this — and will — until you’ve got enough crabs for two dinners. Steam them and start picking.

The other method is easier and more realistic for the majority of us who don’t live near coastal Atlantic waters: Buy some. For this weekend’s cooking, get picked blue crab — pasteurized, refrigerated Callinectes sapidus, known as the savory beautiful swimmer — at the market, jumbo lump or backfin meat, from an American harvester. The most famous blue-crab fishery in the world is in the Chesapeake Bay, but the crabs are caught north of there and South to Florida waters.

A pound will do for dinner for four, though there are those who can eat a pound alone. These people can catch their own dinner. Crab is expensive. It is also rich.

You might make crab cakes, stretching the meat out with ground crackers or bread crumbs, binding everything with egg. But a higher, better summertime use of crabmeat is to dress it simply and pair the result with greens in a salad, or to warm it in butter and cream, scent it with sherry and serve it with toast.

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bestchicken.jpgHave you ever attended a grill shindig where chicken is the star of the show and what you are served resembles eau d'ashtray or worse the bird is literally still raw.  Bleck.

For some reason, people feel the need to char the heck out of grilled chicken, leaving it dry and literally unpalatable.  But you eat it anyway to be nice. 

And then there are those who remove the chicken from the grill too soon because they put the grilling sauce on way too early and now it's burning.  Their solution...take the uncooked chicken off the grill... a very dangerous choice.  There seems to be no middle ground.

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