For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I got paired with Lisa from the Authentic Suburban Gourmet. Lisa is born and bred in the San Francisco Bay Area and loves to cook and eat (who doesn’t?!). Like many of us bloggers, she leads a double life. Corporate by day, blogger by night. Scrolling through Lisa’s blog I couldn’t help but drool. Her recipes all look amazing; I had a hard time choosing just one. I especially loved Lisa’s collection of Friday Night Bites with recipes like Mini Grilled Cheese with Jalapeno Apricot Relish or Apple, Gorgonzola and Pecan Salad on Endive Leaves, but I was really in the mood for a full meal. When I saw her Summer Corn Soup, I couldn’t resist.
It’s no secret that I’m a cookbook hoarder. Every time I try to “declutter” my collection I end up tossing one or two books, only to replace them with another three or four. But it’s the cookbooks that stay in my collection, the ones with dog-tailed pages and olive oil spilled across the pages that hold a special place in my heart. After owning it for just a few weeks, The New Greenmarket Cookbook easily earned a treasured place. Written by Gabrielle Langholtz, the book features 100 recipes that celebrates each and every season.
Being a member of a CSA often requires a lot of creativity. Generally my pick up involves a head of lettuce, a hefty serving of greens and a variety of other veggies. Pick up day is automatic salad day. As beautiful as those lettuces are, getting them to last beyond day one is quite a struggle. After lettuce it’s on to the rest of the haul. The challenging part is quantities. While dozens of tomatoes is never an issue, some of the other veggies can be a bit sparse. Two peppers, a small bunch of radishes, one Japanese eggplant–you get the idea. Most recently I had a pound of green beans to find a recipe for.
From the moment I realized a fig tree grows in Brooklyn, I’ve been dreaming of Brooklyn-grown figgy jam. I’ve stalked the greenmarkets, traveled to Williamsburg where I know the Brooklyn Kitchen often carries them and tried to forage for my own in trees around Brooklyn. All fruitless ventures. Last year, I thought I finally figured it out. We moved from a 6-story apartment building to a two family rowhouse. While the new apartment doesn’t give us backyard access, our landlord’s luscious garden has a pear tree and not one, but two fig trees. I finally had access to my very own figs. Then winter came.
I’m sure you’ve seen the news about the fig trees dying out all over Brooklyn. The winter was a bit harsh for these Mediterranean plants. Back in April and May when every other tree was sprouting it’s greens, fig trees around the borough remained bare. Luckily the rumors of them completely dying off aren’t true. Eventually the leaves started coming back and just a few weeks ago I saw some green fruit hanging off a few dozen recovering branches. But still a bit too late to harvest any ripe fruit this year.
I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to go broke with my $4 a day medium cold brew. The rest of the year I’m pretty good at bringing coffee from home, but I just can’t get on board with hot coffee on 80 degree days. The summer might be over but it doesn’t seem like the heat is going away anytime soon. In fact, for a fairly mild summer, it seems like some of the hottest days are ahead of us. Luckily, I’ve figured out a way to still enjoy cold brew every morning without the hefty price tag.