Tag Archive for homemade liquor

The First Two Days of Christmas

Christmas Day –  dinner for 9.

Locally smoked salmon with creme fraiche tartines (homemade baguette)

Cream of butternut squash & parsnips with truffle oil (butternut squash from guest Wendy ‘s garden. This is Wendy’ second year of gardening only and she – unlike me – had a very nice winter squash harvest. Thanks for sharing, Wendy!)

Green garden salad (mache, lettuces, chicories, chickweed & arugula) with fresh persimmon slices, dry cranberries & toasted pecans. Blackberry vinaigrette.

Roasted leg of Piedmont lamb with garlic, rosemary & ginger. Fennel carrots, mashed potatoes & sautéed oyster mushrooms

Cheese platter (Virginia and other American cheeses), homemade quince paste

A fabulous chocolate torte AND profiteroles made by guest and professional baker Brooke Parkhurst of Triple Oak Bakery (amazingly delicious and gluten-free!)

Dainties, locally roasted coffee and homemade cordials.

Served with Virginia Wines:  Barboursville Brut, RdV Friends & Family 2008, and dessert Chateau O’Brien Virginia Apple Wine.


The First Day of Christmas – walk it off

The Second Day of Christmas  – make limoncello

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On Cherries

cherry orchard, June-07-11 007

I first encountered really fresh cherries when I was 15 – a defining age to meet a flat of just picked sun-gorged brilliant cherries, I can tell you. On the tropical island where I grew up, cherries do not fruit – they grow, but without a cold dormancy period, they do not fruit. Papayas, mangoes, longans, cherymoyas, pineapple, yes. But cherries are an exotic expensive luxury that travels a long way to get to Reunion Island – like litchis in Virginia. So I was 15, my family was living in Provence for year, and Provence has wonderful cherries. I was hooked. Read more

S Is For Strawberries

Or is it for Swiss chard?

because my chard is doing quite well, thank you very much. I am now harvesting two big bunches a week, and with all that rain, and that nice temperature, it’s growing and growing and growing – as you can see from the photo taken just after a harvest, a couple of days ago, of ‘Lucullus’, a chard with a white respectable-sized stem and pale green leaves. It has grown remarkably well in the 7 weeks since I transplanted it out.


I also have planted perpetual Swiss Chard, ‘Golden’ Swiss chard (with, you guessed it, has yellow stems), ‘Rhubard’ Swiss chard (with red stem) and another one with dark green leaves and white stem which label has been lost. And the one self seeding from last year. Those are not as far along as ‘Lucullus’, because I started them later.

Yes, I like Swiss chard.

I like strawberries too. And Tristar, is, again, not disappointing: small, abundant and bursting with flavor.


So, of course, I am making sorbet. I am also making strawberry jam Read more