Did you know that the blackberry season has finally arrived? There is something magical about picking your own fruits and vegetables and when you throw in a few farm animals and a llama into the mix, well, the pull to go to the farm becomes irresistible. Sophia was so excited to go to the farm that she rushed through breakfast and barely let us finish ours before dragging myself, Evan, Eliza and my parents to Poolsville, Maryland where we went blackberry fishing. When I say we, I really mean Baba and Deda, Evan and Sophia (after she fed the goats and looked at the chickens and pigs, of course). I wish I had pictures of our time there but manning little Eliza was keeping my hands plenty busy. After picking well over ten pounds of blackberries and feeding the animals—again—we finally headed home.
We decided to share our pickings with my parents and my sister and eat our portion out of hand. The fruit is just so ripe, so perfect that I don’t see any need to add extra sugar and cook with it. Speaking of not cooking with fruit; I am finally able to eat moldy, unpasteurized, and stinky cheeses again—now that I am no longer pregnant. I don’t think you can understand my irrational love for these unctuous, luscious morsels of… goodness. I also don’t understand why it took me a month to realize and remember that they need to be added to my shopping list. Worry not, once I did, a Gorgonzola Dolce made it on the list and so did figs for this simple crostini with fresh fig and the gorgonzola atop toasted sourdough. mmm… try it for yourself, there is no recipe but you just put a bit of cheese, top with a bit of fig and you can also sprinkle with honey. Serve with a crisp white wine and a midday snack.
We didn’t just snack on crostini all weekend long. We benefitted from Baba and Deda’s culinary delights but managed to add our own such as this home-spun Cioppino with fennel and cod. The secret to the rich stock was potatoes and anchovies. I don’t follow a recipe per se, just a set of principles such as using vermouth to deglaze the shallots and fennel, adding anchovies to the olive oil and cooking the fish very little at the very end.
I also added a home-made tomato soup from Sprouted Kitchen and it won high praise from the diners. I suppose when you add a toast with melted, fresh mozzarella on top, almost anything will win high praise :-).
And saving the last for best … I got my hands untied for a little bit and it was glorious. Even though Eliza is not my first baby, I still learn plenty from those who’ve done this long before me and for much longer than I have.
This … this right here was simply the best. Sophia and my mom having “tea for two”. If you look carefully, you’ll notice they even decorated their table with a flower in a vase. Attention to details.
Perfection. I just wish my parents lived closer and we could visit them and the rest of our family more often. Then, we wouldn’t miss on fun events like our cousin’s 8th birthday bash :(.