Blackberries galore...need I say more?... Well, perhaps I should. After having picked several of them, we had to find something to do with them besides eating them all fresh. There were so many of them, they would go bad by the time we got around to eating them all. Thus, we decided to have a little fun with them in the kitchen.
We made an excellent blackberry pie with a whole wheat crust. It was delish, yet it could have been more satisfying had we used less sugar than the recipe called for.
And, of course, my obsession with oatmeal pancakes this time included about a cup of berries in the batter. We buttered them and left them without syrup or powdered sugar, which would have only muffled the bursting flavor within.
We decided to make blackberry syrup, which was actually quite thick and scrumptous. We have added this to plain oatmeal pancakes. Again, extremely fulfilling.
Shown here is our jam in the making. It was quite a laugh to begin with because it appeared to be syrup and our syrup ended up looking more like jam than the jam itself. It was fine, though, because the syrup isn't too runny and watery, and the jam ended up coagulating quite well, given some time.
Furthermore, we made jelly rolls that didn't look so pretty and the dough just wasn't right for the recipe, which is why I skipped taking a picture. We have also topped ice cream with fresh berries and with the syrup that, by the way, I used less sugar than the recipe called for...and it tasted fantastic, especially atop vanilla bean ice cream.
Thrown together dinners, once again, my friend. I used the only pasta in my pantry, tomatoes, freshly cut olives, fresh basil from our garden, parmesan cheese, onion, garlic, spices, and anything else I am not remembering. It was easy and oh so good.
Yes, another one. I just cooked some white and red quinoa, cut up a few veges, added some organic chickpeas, and tossed in some spices. An easy and pretty darn balanced meal, once again.
This one was actually planned, yet this butternut squash and sweet corn summer soup recipe ended up being made with a dominance of white sweet corn freshly sliced off the cob, which is why the soup turned out more white than orange, which would alternately indicate the likely dominance of butternut squash. I don't know why I didn't use the entire squash, but I probably should have. Either way, it was tasty and warm and sweet and energizing.... I do so love fresh produce!
In essence, you all should try to make a point to pick some berries soon, or apples and pears and figs... strawberries and blueberries...whatever you can find in open spaces...of course, not on someone else's property without their permission. It is a shame to see fruit going to such waste when it's life purpose is to essentially nourish the living and breathing.. Consider it a challenge...a produce-picking challenge for the upcoming months and in the future. And let us all know about your experiences in the comments below.
Oh, yes, and try a one dish balanced meal if you so choose. It is easy, often quick (unless you are dealing with brown rice, for instance, because it takes quite a while to cook), and tasty, even for little ones. I simply take a grain/cereal of some sort, a protien (not too much), and a variety of veges or fruits. The following items are a brief summary of some of the things we serve in our household within those 3 categories.
Grains/cereal might include oats, barley, wheat berries, wheat (keep in mind, these first four are glutenous), millet, amaranth, quinoa, triticale, cornmeal, various rice, pasta, etc... Buy in bulk when possible.
Proteins we consume are beans, lentils, peas, seeds, anything under the umbrella of soy, nuts, nut butters, and so forth. We also like eggs and some dairy, such as yogurt and cheese. This eating would indicate we are ovo-lacto vegetarians, but we sometimes throw in some ocassional poultry and fish.
Lastly, veges and fruits range too vastly to cover in general, but as far as dinners go, any vegetable can be somehow integrated into a meal, and some fruits to think about would be tomatoes, avocados, apples, pears, peaches, mango, cherries, cranberries, and more. It is truly up to you whether or not you want to stretch the boundaries of cooking with a variety of fruit at supper time. Try your local farmer's market or local coop for fresh organic produce.
Again, these can be combined or kept seperate. Additionally, a dash of sea salt, some pepper perhaps, some various other dried or fresh herbs and spices, maybe a sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, or balsamic vinegar, etc.... Either way, play around with it and when you discover a combination you love, write it down in a little recipe book, so you can refer back anytime. Or make it a way to use whatever you have on hand when you are in a crunch. Enjoy and Bon Appetit!