Friday, July 23, 2010

Kale Chips

Last night I woke up in the middle of the night. I had a funny feeling someone was watching me, my face felt warm, and what was that smell? I slowly opened one eye…and was greeted by a wet sloppy dog tongue. Arrluk waits patiently at the edge of the bed until he detects the slightest movement and then gets incredibly excited that someone is finally going to let him out. He is now big enough that his head is at perfect height for breathing in my face.
When I went to let him out I noticed something else, for the first time the upstairs hallway was dark. Not black, but dark enough that I debated turning on the light. This paired with the fact that I made my first batch of jam last week (cloudberry vanilla bean), and have a serious date with a blueberry patch this weekend makes me feel as though my summer is already coming to a close. I’m already looking at recipes for hearty fall soups and have grown tired of summer salad greens. I was happy to finally find some darker, beefier greens at the Farmer’s Market last week. I have been waiting for nearly a year to make Kale Chips and finally had my chance. I know I am a little late on the bandwagon, but if you still haven’t tried Kale Chips I recommend you give them a try soon. I used regular Kale, but next time I will try the heartier Dinosaur Kale. They almost seemed too delicate. I like a little heartier chip.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Radish and Mint Raita

I really want to branch out and try some new Indian recipes. Not only some main dishes, but I have also come across some great new flatbread recipes as well. The problem is that I have my recipes for Chicken (or tofu) Tikka Masala and Naan down to a science. I can seriously make these as a weeknight meal, which translates to under one hour prep and cooking time. I have been experimenting with a few paneer recipes, but nothing thrilling enough to share. The one place I still branch out is Raita. The great thing about Raita is that you can pretty much add whatever you have to yogurt and call it Raita. I recently picked up some of those beautiful early season spring radishes at the Farmer’s Market and my mint that I planted for mojitos is out of control. The result was a perfect raita combination. I liked the little radish kick without adding any additional heat to the dish.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bring on the Berries...

I need a vacation from my vacation. It was so great to see old friends and family, but I got back on the plane wanting more. I wish I had planned a longer stay.  I had forgotten how beautiful those Keweenaw summers really are. Although the Keweenaw days are long, they are much longer here in Alaska. There is no sleep to be had during the Alaska Summers,  there are berries waiting for me.  As they say, "Make Hay while the Sun Shines". I can't think of anywhere that saying is more fitting.
I hadn’t held out much hope for Cloudberries this year. In previous years we have had tons of flowers, but very few berries. This year I thought I would probably be away on vacation when they finally showed up. Somehow, this year everything aligned and I made it back just in time. I’ll be getting back to real cooking soon, in the meantime I’ll be out berry picking, and digging out the canning jars, and turning these beauties into jam.

At first I had them tied to one tree, but Arrluk managed to pull the whole thing down and come running down the boardwalk with Brody still attached. During blueberry and cranberry picking I let them roam free to eat berries. Cloudberries are too few and far between to have them eaten and stomped on by the dogs.
They forgave me after they got a big swim on the way out.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Houghton, Michigan

 Portage Lift Bridge, connecting Houghton to the Keweenaw. This is where I grew up and went to High School in Houghton.
 Ambassador Restaurant, I worked here as a waitress for many years and also lived in the apartment upstairs. I got my fill of Jimmy Buffet during that time.
The old train station.

The view across the canal to Hancock, Michigan.
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