Tag Archives: summer flavors

Sweet summer treat

I’m going to admit it – I am pretty damn lucky. I live in an amazing part of the world surrounded by farmland, friends, mountain views and great food. Top that off with a job that allows me to combine all of these things and, well, things are pretty damn sweet. The past few weeks I’ve been grabbing some delicious fruit from the Market and nibbling on it throughout the week but the truth is, I can’t eat the fruit fast enough. So instead of letting it go to waste, I’ve been making the most delicious, simple and summery treat I can think of: cobbler.

Last week it was cherry cobbler, this week it’s been peach and next week who knows? Maybe plum? Yum! Cobbler is so amazingly simple to make, the toughest part is waiting the 45 minutes for it to cook. It’s best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (Battenkill Creamery is my choice) but I’ll fess up to eating it cold, straight from the pan for breakfast too!

Easy Fruit Cobbler

4 T butter
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt (I usually skip)
3/4 c. milk
2 c. fresh fruit (sliced if needed)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Put butter in an 8-inch square pan and set in oven to melt. When butter is melted, remove from oven.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together. Add milk and whisk until it forms a smooth batter.
  4. Pour batter into the pan then scatter the fruit evenly on top.
  5. Bake until batter browns, about 45 to 50 minutes.

Eat and enjoy!

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Hanging on to summer flavors

This summer will go down in the record books as one of the hottest and driest on record. We’ve been lucky in New York. The worry of drought damage hasn’t disappeared, but the summer storms have finally hit parched fields. In my farm family at least, people are breathing a little easier. And while analysts and economists predict a rise in food costs come fall, I’m currently focused on savoring the taste of summer for as long as possible – well into winter.

 Summertime is the peak for New York vegetables and right now farms are ripe with edible possibilities. My family owns and operates a dairy farm. This means that the fields are full of corn and soybeans, both crops intended solely for the animals we keep and care for. Our garden is pretty pathetic too, thanks to a fertilizer mishap by my father. What it doesn’t mean though is that we can’t reap the bounty of fresh veggies summer offers.

 Anyone can easily enjoy the delicious harvest New York farmers provide. Local farm stands, farmers’ markets and produce auctions are great resources for produce – either a few ears of sweet corn for diner or a few bushels of beans to pickle, can or freeze. My father and mother spend Saturday or Sunday afternoons doing the latter. Freezing farm fresh veggies is an economical, convenient and amazingly delicious endeavor. One afternoon’s labor and $25 or so provides green beans as a side dish for nearly a year. And don’t get me started on the corn which tastes just as sweet and summery in January as it does right off the cob in July.

 Taking the time to preserve local produce connects the consumer to the farmer who raised the fruit and veggies. It continues the heritage of agriculture that has shaped New York State and ensures local agriculture continues in our communities. Most importantly though, it brings a smile to your face in the middle of winter as you savor the taste of summer.

 Here is quick and easy pickle. Though it isn’t processed, or sealed tight to keep in the cupboard till winter, it will keep in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for a month or so.

 Hungarian Pickles

3 large cucumbers (sliced paper thin)
1 t. salt
¼ c. sugar
1/8 c. water
¼ c. distilled white vinegar
½ t. celery seed
¼ t. paprika
½ medium onion (sliced thin)
  1.  In a large bowl, combine the cucumbers and salt. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2.  In another bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is incorporated.
  3. After 30 minutes have passed, squeeze the cucumbers to remove most of the liquid. Add the squeezed cucumbers to the brine mixture. Mix thoroughly. Let sit in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. After the mixture has had time to marinate, remove (with a slotted spoon) the cucumbers and onions and fill canning jars tightly, pressing down often with the back of a spoon. Pour the remaining brine over the cucumber mixture in the jars, filling the jars with liquid up to ¼ inch from the top.
  5.  Place sterilized lids on top of the jars and seal.

 Pickles can be kept in refrigerator for up to one month. I also pickle green beans using this quick and easy recipe.

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