Eating

Tomatoes-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

9.8.14 All Juiced Up

It's been a strange season in the garden. Unusually cool temperatures have resulted in a glut of cucumbers, thriving greens and herbs, and not a single summer squash. A year without an onslaught of zucchini just feels unnatural! The tomatoes have been a mixed bag: lots of Green Zebras and Brandywines, other varieties decimated by blight, and many falling off the vine green. I see green tomato-lemon marmalade in my future, not to mention green tomato chutney and plenty of fried green tomatoes. But with what's left of the ripe ones, I envision perhaps one more gazpacho, one last tomato sandwich and definitely some fresh tomato juice. Nothing else comes close to capturing the essence of the season. (Except perhaps a perfect peach. Or buttered corn. Or blackberries.) I make it with my Hurom juicer, ordered from Williams-Sonoma a couple of years ago and now a staple of my kitchen. (The Elite version looks very tempting.) It's a slow-masticating design that first crushes food and then presses it to extract maximum yield with minimum oxidation, meaning you get the most nutrition from juice produced this way. The smell and taste of fresh tomato juice is one of the great pleasures of late summer.
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Bite-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

9.2.14 Bundle Up

So there went August. As fleeting as a summer romance. And not nearly as steamy. The weather was downright cool, in fact. We even lit a couple of fires! There was little time in the hammock, I'm afraid. No dangling of toes in pools. Can you see the fine lines my hair shirt made in the soft white flesh of my back? Ah, well. Perhaps next year I will live the summer of my dreams. This year, I was writing a book proposal. Dredging up my magnum opus and setting it down on paper. It felt plenty good to sift through all the photographs and recipes and musings and memories I have compiled over the years of this blog. To sample the fruits of my labor until the sticky juices of creativity ran down my chin. Thank you for being my sounding board, my inspiration, my partners in time. I am so excited for this book. Now, to find a publisher.

August was not without its moments, many of them enjoyed in the company of good friends. I cooked up a storm and can't wait to share some of my successes with you. (I also puttered in the garden quite a bit, and some recipes emerged from there that are being featured on Gardenista every Friday, so please stop by for a visit.) What I'd really love is to hear about your summer, to be regaled with tales from the shore, or wherever you were at liberty. I could use a little vicarious vacation. In the meantime, let me tell tempt you with tamales...
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Postcard-790-xxx
the living is easy

8.1.14 Leisure Time

I'll be back after Labor Day! Though I don't have the luxury of taking the month off work, August is a time when I try to live a bit easier and more carefree. This means no blogging and no Facebook, though you'll probably still find me posting pictures on Instagram (@laurasilverman). I really want to finish my book proposal, but I'll also be going on some long hikes, puttering in the garden, eating lots of corn and tomatoes, swimming across the lake and, hopefully, catching forty winks in the hammock with popsicle juice still clinging to my lips. I may take in a couple of State Fairs and I'll definitely bake at least one pie.

Before I go, I want to leave you with a bunch of links—to recipes perfect for this time of year, and to other resources and inspirations you can return to when you need a little shot of GFL. See you in September, dear friends!
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First harvest-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.31.14 Eat Your Vegetables

It's the last day of July. Summer is peaking! And I'm about to bid you farewell as we drift into the dog days of August. It's been strangely cool in these parts and the nights have been downright chilly, which makes for some powerfully good sleeping under a fluffy duvet. But the garden needs a lot of heat right now to keep producing—those tomatoes especially!—so I'm hoping it's just a blip. Speaking of the garden, ours is featured on Gardenista today; come for a visit here. Even if you don't have a vegetable-producing garden of your own, summer produce is abundant at farms and farmers markets. I stopped in at the Union Square market last week and came away with a big bag of red okra (I love it sliced and pan-fried, sprinkled with salt and cayenne pepper), another of English peas and 6 ears of sweet corn. These tastes really define the season for me and I can't seem to get enough of them!
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Dill potatoes-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.29.14 Playing the Tuber

Every year I take the month of August off from the blog and social media (well, mostly) so I can get in a little extra relaxation and outdoor time, which means this is the last week I'll be posting for a while. With that in mind, I have several juicy posts lined up for you over the next several days, jam-packed with images and ideas to get you even more fired up about these halcyon days of summer. Today I sat working by the open window as a storm rolled in, the gusts of wind carrying a spray of rain and the scent of crushed tomato leaves, fresh mint and ozone, and I took a moment to inhale deeply and remember that this is not forever. The day will end, the month will end, the summer will end...and all this lushness will be just a memory whose green contours will sustain us through the bone-chilling weeks that now seem so distant. So let's make hay while the sun shines, my friends, and not squander any opportunity to do whatever we like best: dangle feet off a dock, loll in a hammock, deadhead the roses, scream for ice cream, play Marco Polo, read in the shade of a big tree, go clamming, count the fireflies, and cook, cook, cook (eat! eat! eat!) the incredible bounty that is exploding all around us.
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Roasted3-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.22.14 Blenheim Bouquet

A good apricot is an elusive thing. As in the quest for a good man, you have to bite into quite a few before you find a winner. I read recently that Frankenstein farmers are taking the best elements from an apricot and the best from a plum and creating delicious hybrids with names like pluot, plumcot and apriplum. And yet I still want that perfect apricot, with its faintly downy curves, rosy bloom and fudgy flesh. Once in a blue moon, you might come across such a specimen, most often of the Blenheim variety. (Those of you familiar with Penhaligon's fragrances will remember Blenheim Bouquet, a bracing mix of citrus oils, spice and woods that has nothing to do with apricots but provided inspiration for the title of this post.) But somehow even the very best apricot never seems to quite live up to the taste I carry in my sense memory. Which is where roasting comes in...
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photos by gluttonforlife

7.18.14 Fresh, Direct

This is a quickie, just in case you've been eyeing those beautiful fresh beans at the famers market and been confused as to how you might eat them. They're not string beans—you don't eat the pod—but inside is a row of firm, buttery nuggets packed with flavor and nutrition. In the case of these cranberry beans, also called borlotti, the beautiful, red-streaked pod will catch your eye. The beans themselves are also flecked or striped with deep red, but they lose this color when cooked. No matter, they make up for it in other ways. Simply braised until tender, you can use these beans as you would dried ones, though they offer a distinct texture. I like them best drained of their liquid and tossed with a little sherry vinegar and some spicy green olive oil. Add whatever raw or cooked vegetables you have on hand—garlic, onions, celery, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, greens—for a dish that's delicious warm, at room temp or cold.
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Skillet-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.15.14 Let Them Eat Cake

There's just something about a skillet cake. In general, I find baking a bit fussy—all those steps, all that precision—so when I can make a relatively impressive dessert without taking out the sifter or the Mixmaster, without whipping egg whites or weighing flour, I'm quite thrilled. It's sort of the sweet equivalent of a one-pot meal. If you haven't already tried this apple version, or this plum one, try this recipe for a rustic cornmeal cake studded with ripe blackberries. They are the dark and glorious jewels of summer, their glossy black beads bursting with a subtly floral elixir. I love to see lips and fingers stained with their scarlet juices, which also seep into the cake much like a trifle. It's no work at all to throw this together and the soft moans of pleasure it elicits will only add to your satisfaction.
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Herbs-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.9.14 Herbiage

First order of business: the winner of my summer giveaway! The lucky recipient, chosen via Randomizer, is CHRISTA! Christa, come on down! Please send your mailing adress to me at gluttonforlife@gmail.com and I will get your box of treats out to you very soon. The rest of you, thanks for your wonderfully evocative comments and stay tuned for future giveaways. Summer's bounty always inspires me to share.

You may have noticed that I am not posting quite as regularly as usual. I'm still hard at work on my book proposal and it's taking up all my free time and a lot of my creative energy. But it's also been really satisfying to see how much writing and photgraphy I have stockpiled since I launched this blog in 2010. What began as a way to share the beauty of my new life upstate turned into something more. In the 4-plus years I have been showing up here and trying to stay honest I have learned a great deal about myself, about finding balance, and about cooking, gardening, making a beautiful home, foraging in the wild and communing with nature. All this will be in the book, which I envision as a colorful, richly textured collage of photography, illustration and words.

And now, a bit more about herbs...
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Tagged —
Elderflower-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

6.30.14 June Hot Links & a Summer Giveaway!

Nature is orchestrating her botanical display with flawless timing, as usual. Just as the irises are fading, the peonies explode and by the time they're drooping, here come the elderflowers and milkweed blossoms! In the fields and hedgerows, wild berries are setting up and soon we will be vying for them with the birds, chipmunks and foxes. Our neighbor's enormous jasmine bushes that have (happily) grown up and over our dividing fence are in full bloom and their dazzling perfume fills every corner of our little cottage. The garden grows by leaps and bounds every night as we sleep. Carpenter ants seem to have broken ground on a demolition project inside the window frame behind our bed and their incessant gnawing is rather horrifying. (The exterminator is on his way.) It's officially summer! To celebrate, I'm sharing my latest list of obsessions and recommendations...and I've got a delicious giveaway for one lucky reader...
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