I skipped out on the market last weekend and went instead at my five year college reunion. It was one of those almost vacations, like a large family holiday gathering: no work, but so socially and emotionally intense that I came home wanting a weekend to recover from my weekend. I spent the days stumbling from one emotion to the next—heart-bursting happiness at seeing old friends, pride in the lives they're building, wonder to be sleeping again in the prairie, under the rumble and flash of Midwestern thunderstorms, and the abrupt grief of the airport when I realized I was about to lose it all again—unable, unwilling to slow down because the time was so brief. And now I'm back in Bellingham, and the people I love most are once again scattered wide across the country and the world. Maybe I can convince them all to move to Bellingham. Some of them to move to Bellingham? How do I tempt the young intelligentsia to this sleepy town?
Anyways, on to the bit your really care about: I have two new treats for the market tomorrow! I've been raiding ornamental plum trees for their tart, juicy, impossible to pit fruit, and now you can taste the fruits of my labors (ha!) in a frangipane and plum galette, and a cardamom sourdough plum cake, aka pflaumenkuchen. I also recommend you go eat some plums, hot off the tree. They're used everywhere in commercial landscaping, and the fruit is puckeringly good. And free. Don't forget that it's free!
I've also be introduced to the best summer drink ever. Hands down. I challenge anyone to top this: frozen watermelon, mint, and water, blended till frothy. Try it. You'll never drink anything else again.
Enjoy your breakfast watermelon slushy, and then come to the market!
First things first:
I will NOT BE AT MARKET next week (I'm headed east to my five year college reunion. I'm ridiculously excited to have so many far flung friends in one place!). If you want Smoky Vollkornbrot ($6), Hard Red Wheat ($6), or Honey & Cacao Granola ($8) send me a message by SUNDAY NIGHT. They will be ready to pick up Wednesday morning from my front porch. Bonus: you can admire my rambunctious garden and sneak a few peas from the vine.
In other news, my sweet peas are blooming, my roommate and I made our best ice cream experiment yet (strawberries, kirsch, yogurt, sour cream, sugar, and a little lemon juice), I've decided to work on overcoming my deep and somewhat irrational aversion to American yoga culture for the sake of my back and my meditation practice, and I'm moving away from sprouted grain breads for the summer. It's just too warm in the kitchen to keep sprouting grain happy. Instead, I'll be using a cold rye meal soaker in the Vollkornbrot and Mountain Rye (i.e. soaking coarsely ground rye in cold water overnight). The texture and flavor of these breads will change slightly without the sweetness and toothiness of the whole, sprouted grain, but I've been recipe testing and I can testify that different is still damn good. For now, I'll continue to sprout emmer and einkorn for the Ancient Grains bread. And of course, all the breads remain sourdough. Fermentation forever!
Summer is rushing towards us! Can you feel the urgency? Even now, working in the windowless kitchen under the deadly hum of florescent lights, I'm a creature of the seasons. In the winter I curl in around the dark days and sleep, but as the light grows so does my energy. I'm up while the streets are still quiet, and out after work in the garden deep into the gloaming. I love these over-full days, for all their edge of panic: for every project accomplished, there are always five more clamoring for my attention.
And so it's only appropriate that, as we tumble towards solstice, I'm scrambling to organize my increased production for the Growing Washington CSA, design labels, fix broken equipment, research packaging, build better baking schedules. One of the best things to come out of the current project list is a partnership with Claudia Art Studio (my across the street neighbor at the Bellingham Saturday farmers market) to rework my logo. It's going to be so cool! I'll post pictures on Facebook when we have a first draft.
All right. Time to get off the computer and start dreaming up ways to use up the flat and a half of overripe strawberries my roommate just brought home. Strawberry frozen yogurt, fermented strawberry soda, smoky strawberry hot sauce, frozen strawberries, dried strawberries, strawberries for dinner...