Wealth In Imagination

Artwork and sustainable agriculture are the two threads of my professional life. They mingle fruitfully beneath the surface as I sift through remaining evidence of ancient worlds, trying to sense how people of lost cultures met basic survival needs and also how they responded to the very human hunger for beauty, meaning, and story. In…

Dandelion Greens: harvesting, storing & cooking, part 1

Part cookbook, part herbal, and part gardening guide, these recent posts offer a collection of food-related notes on growing, harvesting, and prep methods. They’ve evolved over thirty-three years of combining my commitment to eat as much wild and home-grown food as possible with a life full of unrelated passions and pursuits.  I hope something among them…

August And Everything Tomato, part 4

WHAT ABOUT THE END-OF-THE-SEASON ABUNDANCE OF NOT-QUITE-RIPE TOMATOES? Make a multi-use spicy sauce base.  Use the same proportions of dried to fresh tomatoes as described in the previous post, but assuming all or most of the fresh ones never ripened on the vine, for every quart, add: 1 tsp. salt 1 T. sugar 1 T…

August And Everything Tomato, part 3

Combining dried and frozen (or fresh) into a thick, (relatively) quick, fresh-tasting sauce >> prep time: active 5 min. per quart, passive 1-3 hr. for any amount Place a bowl of warm water in the sink. Any size bowl will work, just change the water more frequently if it’s smaller.  Have another bowl or the…

August And Everything Tomato part 2

Preserving large quantities of tomatoes can be done in easy increments. Whether you are growing them or getting them from a farmer they will probably start to come in slowly. There is a way to work with this situation and avoid an end-of-season marathon. Harvest or buy 1-3 quarts at a time of ripe cherry…

Zucchini Interlude

. Overwhelmed with overgrown zucchinis?  Here’s something that’s virtually effortless, endlessly versatile, and practically imperishable. You need a dehydrating system, but even an oven on very low heat with door slightly open will do. SUMMER  SQUASH  FLOUR Summer squash flour can be used as a nutritious thickener in soups and sauces, and a substitute for…

August And Everything Tomato

Today, a simple, lush, versatile salad, a favorite from our 25+ years professionally playing around with goat cheese. In the next few weeks, how to process and preserve an ambitious amount of tomatoes as if it were no big deal. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….   TOMATO SALAD                      …

Preserving Cassis (black currant, ribes nigrum), part 2

This post picks up where the last one left off, using the ingredients developed there. Here’s the link for reference. DEHYDRATING, the other choice, has a nice bonus product. After 3 to 5 days at room temperature, the fruit will have shrunk to about ½ the volume of the jar, and the honey will be…

Preserving Cassis (black currant, ribes nigrum), part 1

I’ve refined two very different, delicious, and nutritious ways of preserving cassis. Today, FRESH CURRANTS PRESERVED IN HONEY Fill jars with the clean, dry fruit, to an inch from the top. Fill again with good local raw honey to cover. Using a narrow utensil, gently shift things around so any air pockets are released, topping…

The Small Fruits: Quickly Cleaning Black Currants

Can there can ever be too many of the exquisite small red, purple, and blue fruits  —  all the berries? Unlikely.  When there are not enough, they can be mixed with apples  (as sauce, pie, etc.) and their flavors will still shine.  While they are all wonderful, and fresh is the way to live while…