Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Cherry Jubilee!

July 27th, 2015
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Montmorency cherries!

Montmorency cherries!

For the past couple of weeks, we’ve been crazy for cherries. The Montmorency tree we put in a few years ago (or was that 6?) has gradually increased its yield and is finally producing a significant harvest. These are sour cherries, perfect for cooking but too tart to eat. (Unless you’re Sadie, and are so blinded by their ruby perfection that you overlook the puckery part and gobble them by the handfuls.)

In any case, we’ve been putting cherries into everything, from syrup (snow cones! homemade cherry soda!) to muffins to galettes to this yummy coffee cake the girls and I came up with the other morning. It’s a rich, buttery cake that’s perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack–and gets even better the next day.

You can't see them, but this cake is studded with sour cherries

You can’t see them, but this coffee cake is studded with sour cherries from our Montmorency tree


Cheery Cherry Coffee Cake

Makes one 10-inch cake


3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

3/4 cup sour cream

3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 1/2 cups sour cherries, pitted

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and lightly flour a 10-inch bundt (or decorative cake pan, like the sunflower pan I used in the photo above).

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and the baking soda. Whisk to incorporate.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the vanilla and almond extracts. Add the dry ingredient mixture and beat until combined, stopping the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the sour cream and Greek yogurt, beating until combined. Stir in the cherries.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the thickest part comes out clean. Cool for at least an hour on a rack, then invert onto a plate and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

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Summer Restart

July 14th, 2015
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Snow cone with choice of homemade syrup: strawberry, rhubarb, or mint.

Snow cone with choice of homemade syrup: strawberry, rhubarb, or mint.

As soon as school let out for the summer this year, we hit the road. We spent the last two weeks of June on a family road trip (thanks again, goat sitters!), listening to Johnny Cash, eating crazy food, and sleeping in cabins and guest rooms across the country. We had an amazing time–visiting Gettysburg, Mammoth Cave, Graceland, and Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas, before making it to a family reunion in Kansas City. On the way back, we threw in a stop at Niagara Falls. It was fantastic to get away–it was the longest we’d ever been away from the farm, and a taste for the kids of our life during The Year of the Goat–but in terms of timing, being away for two weeks of Maine’s short summer isn’t exactly ideal.


New tractor for the turkey polts

New tractor for the turkey polts

Being away in June means that a lot of our summer farm projects are just now getting under way. The garden, miraculously, is mostly planted, with the exception of some bush beans and a few roots like turnips and beets that may just not make it in this year. But the list of summer goals is long: new tractors for the chickens and turkeys, better care for the fruit trees, reorganized perennial beds that do justice to the fresh paint and tight new chimney we’ve just put on the house. After ten years on the farm, the barn and the cellar are in desperate need of a thorough clean-out. And there’s the normal harvesting, canning and freezing that keep us eating our summer bounty through the fall. And clearing the brush that’s creeping out from the woods. And splitting all the wood we cut up last fall. And the list goes on. As with anything, the way to tackle is bit by bit, with time out for fun (snow cones!). This weekend was our summer restart.

Early Summer garden bounty

Early Summer garden bounty

Farming, Food