I’m a big chutney fan. I love the juxtaposition of sweet fruit and savory vinegar. I especially love chutneys in summer, because they’re the perfect accompaniment to cold meats and cheeses. Add a little chutney to yesterday’s roasted chicken or the last few slices of sharp cheddar, and you have yourself a picnic. This savory feral pear chutney isn’t a thick, syrupy condiment. The firm, barely sweet flesh of the feral pears is bathed in vinegar, foraged spices, and just a little brown sugar. It’s sharp and spicy and goes with just about everything. Read more
I am not a tea drinker. I have nothing against it, but coffee is my go-to, hot beverage. But yesterday afternoon my thoughts turned to chai, maybe because it’s been cold and we got a late snow, maybe because I was in need of something warm and comforting, or maybe just because it was tea time. Once I realized that chai masala simply means tea blend, that opened up a world of possibilities. Freed from the recipes based on tropical spices, I came up with my own, foraged chai masala. It’s freakin’ amazing.
When it’s time for me to cook or bake something really special, I look through my foraged spice cabinet. I don’t do this for just anybody. Foraged herbs and spices take time and effort to gather, and I only use them when I’m cooking for someone I think will appreciate their specialness. Read more
Whenever I hear the word blancmange I think of the Monty Python sketch where a giant blancmange (from the planet Skyron) turned everyone in England into Scotsmen, so it (the blancmange) could win Wimbeldon. Which is only one of the reasons I smile whenever I eat this melilot blancmange. The other reason is because it’s delicious. Read more