Cool Stuff – Blog
“Ain’t That a Peach”

Meet Farmer Al. That is his full name. Like Madonna, or Bono. In most parts, all you have to do is say Farmer Al and people know who you are talking about. That’s because… …he grows these: Word on the street is that they are the best in the country, and all organic too. When no one thought it could be done, he did it — organic peaches. And they have […]

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“I Made These! (sort of)”

One evening, not long ago, I went to visit Charles and his chocolate factory. It does exist! Except it doesn’t have green elves running around and misbehaved children drowning in vats of chocolate. This is a much more classy place, (and it doesn’t give me nightmares). Chuck taught me how to make a bourbon pecan tart as well as these bourbon truffles. My first official chocolate making venture, we piped little dollops of […]

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“Grandma’s Bundt Cake”

“I just found the best bundt cake recipe in the entire United States,” so said my grandmother as she handed me a piece… she tends to modify recipes often, adding a bit of this and that along the way. Some yogurt here, some honey there. So you’re never quite sure how it got to be so spectacular… something in her kitchen air. The little bundt cake holes can be filled […]

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“The Pie Whisperer”

I recently listened to the cadence of five pies consecutively – my ear against the heavy thwump of throbbing apple, the crackling of a blueberry, the bubbling of two flawless blackberry confections, and the soft gurgle of perfectly sweetened huckleberry. It was a morning of passionate pie baking interrupted only by a blackberry picking interlude. Kate McDermott, (www.artofthepie.com), a pianist by trade, gave me an elegant lesson on pie making. […]

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“Purslane Salad”

You know that fleshy weed that grows in sidewalk cracks? That’s purslane. And it tastes very good if you know how to use it. I didn’t use it properly until this past week when Jon Rowley made me realize that I do like it as more than just an “acid accent” to my normal salad greens. He and I share a love of simple foods, with very simple ingredients. This […]

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“Scenes from Tulipwood”

At Tulipwood, everyone since my great-grandfather has left their mark. This is the summer of birds — wild Guinea hens with their keets, domesticated keets a day old that we picked up from a lady in Pennsylvania, so small and fuzzy, they fit into the palm of your hand… rapidly growing chicks, turkeys that loiter outside the kitchen door, a rooster named Buster and a white hen named Lucy who […]

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“Chicken in a Basket”

They patiently (sort of) waited in a basket while their paper was changed. It’s amazing how quickly they can cover the entire surface of their living quarters with bird droppings…. Meet Loretta, the Buff Laced Polish chicken… She’s tired after her bath. One of her favorite pastimes is to roll around in bird droppings.

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“Sauteed Oyster Mushrooms”

Look What I Found In The Woods! I was catering a rehearsal dinner for a wedding last week and on the menu was a platter of sauteed wild mushrooms for the table. Well I was out in the woods and found this, so I promptly returned the packaged mushrooms to the store. These were a hit, especially when I put one of them on a platter as a showpiece and […]

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“Meet My Chicks”

The post office was highly amused. There is nothing like a box of fuzzy chicks to ring in the Spring. There are a few rare breeds here. We ordered them for our neighbor who wants hens that lay green eggs. Maybe she wants green eggs and ham in the mornings? I can’t blame her. I would like green eggs and ham most mornings.

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