Fair Amount of Fun
I had a fair amount of fun this afternoon demonstrating for the fifth year in a row at The Great Allentown Fair. I showed how to bundle and label herbs to use all winter, how to make herb oil and how to make herb cheese. This year’s Fair Queen, Ayla Blatt, even helped out with plating. You never know what will happen at a fair.
Process clean herbs in a food processor until it’s nearly a paste. Remove to a small pot, cover with oil and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit aside at least 5 minutes. Strain through a lined strainer without agitating and use immediately or store in the refrigerator up to to weeks.
Back to School
It’s as inevitable as taxes, traffic, morning alarms and packing lunches, it’s back to school time...again. Back to school time means weekday morning reminders, chaperoning football games, homework, planning, dreaming and did I mention traffic and packing lunches? What to do? What to do? Grin and bear it. What else?
Fresh Fair Essence
I will be demonstrating this coming week at The Great Allentown Fair for the fifth year in a row. To mark that special anniversary, I thought I would focus on herbs for a sort of fresh fair essence demonstration. As you Dear Readers know, I struggle with my garden. The only thing that seems to grow happily are herbs and stuff the birds poop (I mean plant) so I thought I would share with my demo attendees what to do with what they got.
What I got right now is shown above- parsley sage, oregano, chive, lemon thyme, Greek basil, various edible flowers and mint. What I also got is a yard sale dehydrator. Put the two together and what do you got? Yup. Dried herbs! Usually I just air dry herbs but I’m experimenting... Dehydrators are kinda boring but they are useful. It’s been a bit cooler here too so it’s been running, a lot!
All I did was harvest, wash and tie the herbs in bundles (this makes for a little longer dry time but looks prettier). Next, I layered the herbs on the dehydrator tray, grouping the ones together based on how long they take to dry (I used the machine’s reference book), adjusted the heat, plugged the thing in and started sipping mai tais. Below is how they look. The chives yellowed but the others look nice. They will go in labeled bags and used as needed.
I also like to tie assorted herbs together in bundles, dry them, bag and label them and then toss the bundles in soups or sauces and such all winter. I will do that soon as fall is approaching.
Blue Skies, Butter and Blueberries
Have you ever been inspired to bake something by a sunset? You know, Dear Readers, the type of sunset that follows a thunderstorm, where pinks and violets dance across a gray-blue horizon. Yep. That type of sunset.
Last night my husband and I helped to chaperone our youngest daughter Mia’s first, last high school football game. (Her school clobbered the other team by the way.) Anyway, I figured Russell and deserved a lovely treat, especially after enduring a bumpy ride through the Pocono Mountains while 30+ hyper high school teenage musicians screamed...I mean ...sang Queen songs ALL the way home. Badly. It was adorable but bad none the less. (I say this with love because these are a great group of kids!)
So, this morning I set about to create a pie inspired by yummy things like blue skies, butter and blueberries. Well, Dear Readers, I think I did. I created a Blueberry Rose Pie.
Blueberry Rose Pie
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons lightly salted almonds
1 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3-4 tablespoons ice water
Blueberry Rose Filling
2 pints fresh blueberries
1. cup sugar
Pinch of Kosher salt
1/3 cup all- purpose flour
3 candied hibiscus flowers, minced (optional)
2 teaspoons rose extract
1 tablespoon rose liquor
Rose Crisp Topping
1 cup all- purpose flour
1. cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons pesticide-free rose petals
1/2 cup butter
To prepare the crust:
Avid home cook and passionate instructor