A Toast to Spring on the Farm

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I have a new piece up today over at Jewish Food Experience, a new online Jewish Food magazine based in DC with lots of great material and recipes. I will contribute one piece a month to the site related to farm life and food. You can jump over to read my first piece about chia seeds, frog eggs and vernal pools  which includes my first attempt at a cocktail recipe. Here is an image of our baby fig trees wrapped up for winter that our children thought was a Halloween display we made and forgot to tell them about. We …

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Purim is Coming: My Hamantaschen Wrap Up


This year I was determined to find my own “house” hamantaschen recipe because it seems every Purim I go searching through my cookbooks and Google and I have never come up with a recipe that I love.  I was looking for something bakery style with a thick cookie crust. So I sent out a plea on my Facebook page asking for suggestions and suddenly recipes were arriving by email and weblinks, even one from a friend of a friend which was so nice.  In the end I wound up combining two recipes but I did keep enough notes to repeat …

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Babka Inspired Challah

challah with a nod to babka

I had been thinking about making a traditional babka based on this amazing looking recipe from the Smitten Kitchen which emphasizes the key to babka is the combination of cinnamon and chocolate (plus lots of butter).  I took that inspiration and tried a challah with plenty of cinnamon, chocolate chips, and extra sugar.  Otherwise I used my regular recipe and 100% whole wheat flour, so it was sweet and healthy too. I will definitely be making this again, and I recommend it to any other bakers out there.  You just might have to be careful of little hands reaching in …

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Cucumber Water: Take that, heat wave

It is very hot and too dry in Maryland, right now. It is the kind of heat that comes with pages of warnings attached to it on weather.com. We are laying low inside, without central air it is an effort to keep cool and hydrated. Somehow, my husband is out there doing farm work anyway, mostly irrigating and trying to keep crops from frying in the field.  At least the tomatoes are happy out there.  And the cucumbers, we are picking three kinds right now – regular slicers, Armenian and Indian Poona. Inside, I have been coming up with all …

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Strawberry Summer Cake in Spring


I can’t believe how many people have landed on this blog from a comment I left on the Smitten Kitchen site about my twist on her strawberry summer cake which I wrote about in a post last winter.  I guess someone is always searching for a strawberry cake recipes on the internet. Since I made it last time with frozen berries, I decided to try again with a batch of fresh berries since we are harvesting lots of them right now, and I sometimes find flats like this waiting for me on the kitchen counter. Plus we had a lot to …

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Kale Chips: A Surprising Hit with Preschoolers and Recipe

Last week, my sweet boy turned 5 and we celebrated by hosting his preschool class at our farm for a treasure hunt, pony rides with a neighbor, and lunch. He originally requested a party at one of those indoor bouncy centers, so I was very happy that we were able to coax, sell, and redirect him toward a homespun farm party. The day before the party, my husband brought in a large bag of tender baby kale from the farm–the first of the spring new growth. When I asked my son what we should serve as a snack for the …

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More Kale, Less Vinyl — A Birthday Success

So my baby boy, my first-born — turned 5!  I am pretty blown away by this birthday and I am completely overwhelmed with pride at what an amazing person he is already. A few months ago, he asked for his birthday to be at one of those indoor bouncy centers where you can’t hear anyone talk over the sounds of the fans and machines running.  And all the blow up vinyl toys smell like a plastic factory.  And they serve unhealthy lunches in a little glass room on the side.  And the kids have the TIME OF THEIR LIVES, and …

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Strawberry Summer Cake in February

So it turns out Valentines day is a huge deal in preschool.  My son was looking forward to it for weeks and when the day finally arrived there was a party at school complete with candy, presents and yes dinosaur temporary tattoos.  He even brought home his first Valentine with a carefully lettered “I love you” message on the front. Fishing for compliments, I asked, “Is this for Dad or for me, or for the whole family.”   His answer was stunning, and humbling.  “It is for the whole world, I love everyone in the world.”  Four year olds are truly amazing creatures. I used to be a Valentine’s day …

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Life without a Stove and a Recipe

I have mentioned before that sometimes it seems like I spend a lot of life stumbling on common knowledge and cliches for myself. The past 10 days I have been learning the old “necessity is the mother of invention”. Our electric oven and stove failed us about 10 days ago and we still have a few more days to wait before a new one will be delivered.  In the meantime, we have been cooking with just the toaster oven, an electric frying pan and a very old crock pot. The electric frying pan came from my neighbor a few days …

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When life gives you organic lemons….

I am one of those disadvantaged natural food shoppers who lives many miles from a local health food store,  Wholefoods, Trader Joes or the like.  And since I refuse to negate the environmental benefits of shopping at these places by driving nearly 100 miles round trip, I make do at my local store. Since I live on an organic farm, this is usually not a hardship.  But there are certain things I miss.  So when my friend called me yesterday from Whole Foods where she was stopping in Silver Spring on her way to visit me and asked if I wanted anything — I was sort of speechless for a second. I …

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