Spring 2017 Salute...Food, Life and New Adventures
Here we are with Summer in full swing and I'm amazed at how fast this year seems to be flying. So much has happened yet there is so much more still to come. Some days feel like a whirlwind of life with an extra dose of processing that leaves us just as quick grasping the edge of our raw renewed state. And even though we've stepped out of this former self we still catch ourselves dragging that shed part behind for a bit, like it's a some kind of badge of accomplishment. Then one day it disintegrates and we're left at the start of a polishing new adventure, with a new perspective and a bigger heart. I attribute Seasons as a catalyst to this process and cherish(most of the time, haha...somedays we can't help but fist pump the air) the casual instruction that nudges us toward bettering our wellness. So keep on reading and I sincerely hope you enjoy this Spring 2017 Season Salute Adventure:)
OK...It's that time of the year for Bloomsbury Farm's Summer CSA. This is my second season and let me just say they do not disappoint. Each week is loaded with bounty's of delicious fruits(when in season), veggies, herbs and sprouts. Lately I've only received a peck portion but at last weeks pick up became half bushel envy when I saw all the double love. I think next CSA is going to get REAL. So check out the Spring portion of goodies below as I LOVE to photograph their baskets. They're like a color wheel of authentic perfection. Enjoy.
Pulp??? you might ask. Why yes, this topic header is definitely about pulp. I love to juice but am not keen on waste and although pulp can be used in composting I'd much rather provide an edible alternative and maximize the creation of healthy food options. So I decided to become the mad alchemist and work through some variations. The first stop in this journey was dehydrated Pulp Crackers. Now this route is nothing new but it is the first time I had given it a go and since dehydrating is my zen I thought why not. I did two variations one that was predominantly Beet and the other Carrot with both having extras such as Dandelion Greens, Kale Stems and such. The mix was comprised of the pulp from juicing, seasonings of choice and a combination of seeds/nuts(chia, walnut, sunflower, pumpkin) then mixed together and spread across a solid dehydrator sheet. I found it best to carve immediately into desired cracker pattern before dehydrating away. Low and slow will take up to 12 hours but if your short on time fast and breezy will do it in half. It's up to you. And stay tuned for future detailed recipes. Check out the photos below and keep following along to see where else these pulp uses show up.
Kimchi and Broth
Occasionally Bloomsbury CSA baskets will come with a lovely Napa Cabbage and since the only thing I've really prepared with it is slow cooker soups I thought it might be nice to change the direction. Kimchi is one of those routes. I decided on the quick and easy version that requires just a few ingredients and can be thrown into the refrigerator for safe keeping. Sriracha, Rice Wine Vinegar, Salt, Chopped Garlic and Maple Syrup. Again measurements are lose here depending on if you go with the whole Cabbage or part. My philosophy is to just play with proportions, ingredients, etc. I know there are so many different versions far more sophisticated but if you want to get started simple this is the way to go. The other side of this topic is Homemade Veggie Broth, something I prepare weekly even in the Summer because my body likes warm food over cold and I can make some flavorful batches out of my CSA scraps. I keep it in the refrigerator and use as base to add to it anything I want. Check out the picture below of the Kimchi, Broth and yep you guessed it...Pulp Crackers. Told you there was more to come. So keep going.
Lately I've been mesmerized by all the toast ART out in the world of food creation. I mean some of them you just plain don't want to eat but simply stare at for hours in hopes of draining every ounce of inspiration that it deems worthy to emit. Of course I was like, heck yeah. I not really a toast person but decided to engage nonetheless because artful food is my spirit animal and as always try I must. So check out my brief foray into this beautiful world of creation and don't be shy to check out all the love floating around on Instagram. You'll be entranced.
I know food can't ALL be about art. One does have to eat. So naturally I do find ways to navigate this sometimes challenging territory. I mean come on...as you get older your body desires different things and I don't mean occasionally but weekly sometimes daily. Some days it likes one thing the next day not so much. It's mind boggling and fascinating and frustrating. It's an endless portal of change. Perhaps even an adventure through the house of mirrors at a circus. Ok that might be a bit drastic but kind of funny. The point is we're always being thrown into a state of culinary discovery and that in and of itself can be overwhelming. Each week I do try to create different options by connecting with my bodies needs. It can be hit or miss but I'm finding that by engaging I'm opening myself up to a world of possibilities. Check out some of the creations below. And YES this is where you'll find the last of the pulp commentary. In both the Cabbage Wraps and the Fiesta Salad I used Carrot/Beet Pulp mixed with Walnuts and Liquid Smoke then baked it all off to resemble beef crumbles. Quite amazing really and versatile as well. This mix has potential in multiple preparations. I've often used Cauliflower, Walnuts and Liquid Smoke in the same manner for a meat substitute in batches such as Lasagnas but now I think I might start using pulp. Or at least when its readily on hand. Ok now check it all out.
Jams and Cobbler
Who doesn't like either one. This Strawberry and Peach Season had my kitchen all in a frenzy due to the fact that I couldn't get enough. I admit though that for two weeks(ok three) I made Peach Cobbler every other day. It was the perfect amount of GOOD. So I'm going to include the recipe here since sadly we've only got a few weeks of the season left. But before I do check out the pics below as well as peruse prior food stores Happy Spring Parfait and Three Seed Morning Muffins as they are perfect compadres to any Jam filled adventure.
Homemade Peach Cobbler
3 cups(roughly) Frozen Peaches
2/3 cup Pineapple Coconut Water
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
1 tbsp Arrowroot Flour
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Organic Sprouted Wheat Flour
4 tbsp Butter
1 tsp Almond Extract
To a sauce pan add the Peaches, Pineapple Coconut Water, 1/4 cup Sugar, and Lemon Juice. Bring up to heat. At this point where the mix gets warm add in the Arrowroot Flour. If you add too late it can get gummy. Mix thoroughly. Let it simmer till thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and add in the Vanilla Extract. Then add mixture to a buttered or sprayed pie dish and set aside. Next in a medium mixing bowl add the Butter(softened), the other 1/4 cup Sugar, Organic Sprouted Wheat Flour and Almond Extract. Mix together with a fork until it forms a crumb like texture. Sprinkle the crumbs across the top of the Peach mixture till covered. Place in oven and bake for 50 minutes then blast for no more than 2 minutes under the boiler and voila...YUMMY Peach Cobbler. And for an extra special treat try adding frozen Bananas and Strawberries to a food processor for an instant delicious nice cream.
As I've already said in the Bloomsbury section about my love of photographing their baskets its now time to use that energy and bring this Season Salute adventure to a close. The weekly gift of spending time with their produce funnels my passion for fine art food photography. It's a way for me to get quite and allow the stillness of a moment to be my guide. There's something very special and enlightening when you're alone with food grown from this earth. There is so much it can teach us. I think perhaps our culture of instant gets too busy and simply forgets this art of receiving. Guidance comes in many forms if we only bother to slow down and hear. So Creative Meditation came into existence for this reason. A way for me to meditate and be open to what Spirit has to say. Because it's ALL there. We just need to listen.