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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It’s Tu B’Shevat – Happy New Year to the Trees

(Note: This piece originally ran on 1/24/13 in the Washington Jewish Week). Did you know Tu B’Shevat coincides with Shabbat this year and starts tonight?  A January Tu B’Shevat is one of the first signs that the Jewish holidays will come early this year. You may have heard that the first night of Hanukkah will fall on Thanksgiving this fall. We will have to stay on our toes and keep our Jewish calendars close at hand in 2013. It’s not just the Jewish calendar that seems to be coming fast this year. Spring is on its way to Washington early …

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The Fiscal Cliff and the Little Farmer

The following is a piece I wrote for my the Maryland Organic Food and Farming newsletter.(MOFFA).  If you live in DC or MD, come to our winter meeting (the 22nd annual!): details below. At the very end of the year, in the midst of fiscal cliff madness, Congress passed a controversial farm bill extension. Maybe you saw headlines like this one from the the Center for Food Safety, “Congress Passes Damaging Farm Bill Extension in “Fiscal Cliff” Package”. The extension of the farm bill contained many disappointments and has left the sustainable and organic agriculture community with lots of work …

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Babka Inspired Challah

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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Hurricanes, Elections and Croup (oh my!)

I want so much to make this little blog shine but I seem to be stumbling and falling over dozens of distractions and writing hurdles, large and small.  I will have to develop new strategies to keep writing even when it gets hard.  No need to leap hurdles gracefully when there are ways to crawl underneath, sneak around, or knock them down. Here are 7 reasons my blog has been so quiet this fall: 1) We all had colds by many names: croup, regular colds, bronchitis, possible sinus infections. I lost lots and lots of sleep and spent what would …

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2012 Season in Review

By Jug Bay Market Garden’s Farmer in Chief,  Scott Hertzberg This season was shaped by global warming more than any previous year.  We have never started the CSA so early. Prior seasons, we started in mid-May but this year we started in mid-April. Because the heat did not really kick in until late June, we were able to provide the CSA with weeks of spring crops.  We broke a record for how many straight weeks of head lettuce we harvested (8) and grew some of our best radishes, onions and potatoes. While climate change helped us have an extended spring, …

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Searing Heat – Nature Bats Last

So I never should have laughed at the heat wave and thought I had it covered with my cucumber water, nature bats last.  The heat has been unrelenting, overpowering, nerve fraying and exhausting.  Screen time in the house has gone up, creative play has hit rock bottom.  We are counting the hours until the heat is supposed to break. On the farm, first our chard and lettuce fried.  That was reasonable, it’s summer.  But than it got personal.  Our cucumbers, the cooling, abundant, gazpacho powering cucumbers — withered in the heat.  They are a summer crop, they got some water, …

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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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Compostable Toys and Farm Photos

Again, I am guilty of not keeping up with the farm blog now that the farm is kicking into the real season.  We are so busy with the CSA, selling flowers to a wholesaler and trying to connect with more chefs that writing has been falling by the wayside, and so many writing ideas are slipping away! That’s OK, I will keep trying. I have to share this photo I took of a project my two year old did with the newly harvested baby squash.  She spent a long time moving them around and arranging them until she was happy …

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A Talk with Sandor Katz about Pickled Peppers

I love the taste of naturally fermented sour dill pickles. Since I don’t live anywhere near a Jewish deli and I have lots of fresh vegetables on hand from the farm, I really want to learn to make my own. But my initial attempts at pickling have not been a success. Natural fermentation is the traditional way of making pickles taste like they are fresh from the barrel at a Jewish deli rather than fished out of a jar from the supermarket.  They are not packed with any vinegar and not refrigerated, giving them the amazing taste and some say …

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