Family, friends and good food are the foundations of our lives. We celebrate with them, mourn with them and nothing can bring us comfort more than a steaming bowl of soup or a slice of chocolate cake except for the love of our family and friends...

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Taste of Summer - Berry Good Memories

I love berries; although I am allergic to Strawberries I have embraced the humble Blackberry as a replacement and use them often to make shortcakes, cobblers, etc. I also love Blueberries and would almost drive to Maine for a case of the small local berries I enjoyed eating there so many years ago.

I first fell in love with Blueberries picking them in Aunt Hazel's orchard when I was a child and we cousins would sneak warm berries right off the vine. That and taking a bite of the first apples from her trees are treasured memories.

My mother actually introduced me to picking berries and we spent many a day traveling to Allendale County to a small orchard to pick blueberries for a number of years. We took my daughters and while they sometimes picked they most often sat in the car and watched... last year that changed when we girls went on our first berry picking trip in years... Beth, Dorie, Becki, Althea and I drove back country roads to a small farm in Aiken County, SC and picked blueberries for the first time in years... this morning as I began the prepartion of Sunday Dinner, I thought about those berries in the freezer just waiting to be cooked and as I grabbed a container from the feezer I saw a container of blackberries as well hidden in the back (as they are the last).

Pulling a cookbook down I turned to my favorite muffin recipe and began the blending of basic ingreidents, adding my own touches here and there (fresh lemon peel and a dash of Nutmeg) then added both thawed Blueberries and Blackberries to the mix. Lastly I added a squeeze of fresh Lemon juice, stirred the dough, filled the pans and waited for them to bake... the wait was worth it, as was the hot summer day last year picking the berries.

Heirloom Tomato Salad

Fresh Heirloom Tomatoes
Fresh herbs such as Basil and Oregano
Sea Salt
Coarse Ground Pepper
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar

Cut up tomatoes into bite size pieces.
 Chop or tear herbs and mix with tomatoes.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Drizzle with oil and vinegar.