Friday, August 5, 2011

Cherries and A Favorite Cookbook

I love the abundance of fresh cherries at this time of year but have to admit that other than eating them raw, I'm not overflowing with ideas about how to use them. We're fortunate here in Washington in that we have a large local crop. When they're in season, I buy a lot. We also travel quite a bit to the Flathead Valley of Montana which is brimming with beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring and boxes of deep black-red fruit right around this time.

On one of Peter's trips home from Missoula last summer, he stopped in at my sister's in Eastern Washington to pick a huge box from her orchard. I don't can often, but wanted to preserve these. We could only eat so many before the quality went south so I spent an afternoon washing, pitting, making syrup and boiling. It was a nice way to commune with my sister who I dont' see nearly often enough. When they were finished I almost hated to put them away because the ruby colored jars were so beautiful sitting there on the counter.......although it may have had something to do with how proud I was of myself for canning. Honestly...I think I left them there for weeks! 

Last night I tried a recipe for Cherry, Basil and Mint Salad that I've been eyeing for awhile. 'Tis the season and well...I was just a bit curious how the handful of ingredients in this dish would combine.  I thought the short list of sweet, spicy and citrus sounded interesting, and besides there is hardly anything I've used fresh mint in that I didn't just love. was good!

As much as I'd like to give you the recipe, it is not mine to share, but I will let you know that it comes from a cookbook that's been beautifying my kitchen and table for awhile now. Tender features food ideas from local chef, Tamara Murphy. It holds uncomplicated recipes as well as chef's notes that talk about foods she chooses to purchase, cook, eat and enjoy.  Each time I page through, I feel like I want to become engaged in a long conversation with her about food! 

I'm a very visual and tactile person, so feel compelled to add that the pages are not overfilled, the font simple and easy to read, and how much I love the feel and weight of the paper. Also....the photography is so well done: Generous, helpful, subtle and interesting, and along with the content of the text, allows you to have a bit more of a relationship with this chef. 

This is a year round cookbook, for sure, but is especially wonderful with the farmer's markets in full swing. I like to stroll through armed with a few ideas, but honestly if I'm not that organized, it's nice to have a volume to peruse when I come home loaded down with whatever produce I just couldn't resist buying.

Hope you're enjoying your summer. I am......especially now that after weeks of clouds and rainy weather, the sun has decided to make an extended appearance.


1 comment:

Josh C said...

Great photos, Margaret!

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