We cooked a birthday dinner last night for someone who is following the SCD, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which is designed to help heal digestive disease as well as other ailments. In short the diet is grain free, sugar free, starch free and incorporates only unprocessed foods. There is a list of "legal" and "illegal" foods that still left us ample ingredients mostly sourced from Path Valley Cooperative and seasoned with herbs from our garden at 1508. Birthday Menu:
Roasted Tomato and Peach with Basil, Peas with Carrots and Leeks, Eggplant and Chives, Cabbage with Beets and Fennel, Summer Squash with Olive and Preserved Lemon, Wood Grilled Chicken, Sorrel Egg Salad, Blueberry Coconut Crumble with Coconut Vanilla Sauce
A favorite preparation:
Slice kale very thin and dress with olive oil, apple cider vinegar, a tiny drop of honey, sea salt, pepper and cayenne. Mix thoroughly with you hands to make sure all of the kale is coated with the dressing, taste, adjust the seasoning and eat.
Loving this time of year when I can add touches from our garden to flower arrangements. This weekends wedding will be a mix of local tulips and ranunculus, flowers from far away with a generous amount of lemon balm and mint from our garden. This sample from earlier this week has beautiful roses and hydrangea from far away, local euphorbia–– and helleborus and chocolate vine both from our garden.
Our next door neighbor farms intensely in their 4' x 8' front yard. We do not share a language (they are Chinese) but over the years have shared produce from our gardens and admired each others efforts. Yesterday on my way inside I was gifted a huge bunch of mustard greens that had a perfect amount of spice to them–– not too overwhelming but very flavorful. We steamed them and dressed them with sesame oil, white vinegar, salt and pepper. They were the centerpiece of our dinner.
Nearly 15 years ago we planted Madame Alfred Carriere climbing roses thinking they were white with touches of cream and ivory. They are pink, which we probably would have not chosen intentionally but they have continued to supply buckets of the most beautiful, fragrant, cuttable roses year after year. The largest crop comes in late spring/early summer, more come in the fall and most years we even get some late fat gorgeous blooms in early winter. These photos are from this morning!!
For the last week our trees have been producing lots of figs! They are here earlier than ever this year, we used to harvest them the late August/ early September, the last several years they have arrived mid-August. Hopefully we will have them for the next few weeks.
We are eating lots of figs and using them at Home Restaurants– on Wednesday we plan to serve them with Lamb Sausage and for dessert with a Pistachio Torte and a Chocolate Sorbet. Most are going to John at Big Bear Cafe– tonight on the menu there is a Purslane, Black Walnut and Fig Salad and for dessert a Chocolate Cake with Figs.
Almond Torte with Frozen Lemon Verbena, Blueberries and Candied Almonds
3/4 cups sugar, 4 oz almonds, 1 1/2 teaspoons honey, 4 oz earth balance, 3/4 cup pureed silken tofu, 1/2 cup flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a food processor combine sugar, almond and honey. Process for 2 full minutes. Put aside.
- In a mixer cream earth balance and add almond sugar mixture, process until combined. Add pureed tofu, flour and baking powder and mix until just combined.
- Bake in individual cake molds or any shape individual silicone molds. Cook until cakes test clean, about 20 minutes.
Frozen Lemon Verbena
1 cup young coconut water, 1 cup young coconut meat, 3 cups coconut milk, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons coconut butter, 1/2 cup agave nectar, 1 teaspoon himalyan salt, 3 tablespoons leaves of lemon verbena
- Combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender. Adjust sweetness to your liking.
- Chill and freeze in an ice cream maker.
1 cup almonds, 2 tablespoons honey, large pinch of sea salt, large pinch of sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine all ingredients on a baking sheet and place in oven. Cook until golden brown, about 10 minutes.
To Assemble Dessert
Top torte with a scoop of frozen lemon verbena, fresh blueberries, a small handful of almonds and julienned lemon verbena.
Early last week we pulled up the last of the arugula, peas and red oakleaf lettuce knowing they would not survive the heat. In their place we planted seeds– Burgundy Okra from Seed Savers Exchange, Shishito Peppers and Red Amaranth seeds both from Kitazawa Seed Co.. Seven days later all have sprouted, we should be eating okra and shishito peppers by early August and amaranth sprouts in a week.