Garlic Scapes and Gooseberries!

For those of you looking for new ingredients to incorporate into your cooking this spring-into-summer, I’m going to turn back to the unusual classics of cuisine! Spring-into-summer is a great time to try new ingredients, pull out old ones in a new way, or reinvent that delicious dish from your childhood. Let’s take a peek at two delicious ingredients and ways that you can bring fresh fruits and vegetables into your life.

Garlic Scapes are an incredible part of this traditional vegetable that most people overlook. In fact, I was just put on their trail a few days ago, and now I can’t get enough! They’re the twirly, curly, green-onion-y growth of the garlic (that thing that starts to sprout if you let your garlic sit too long). Cut off long before garlic harvesting, these sprouts are actually a delicious ingredient that can be chopped up into pestos, sauces, and other dishes.

Garlic Scapes
So what’s the best way to use garlic scapes? From what I’ve heard and in my personal opinion, it’s by making a pesto. Thick on crackers, thin in soups, pesto is a delicious addition to any lunch or dinner. Throw a dollop into your slow-cooker or spread a layer on a boring sandwich for a garlic-y, basil-y depth that you weren’t expecting!

  • 10 Garlic Scapes
  • 1/3 cup nuts (such as pistachios or almonds)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/3-1/2 cup olive oil

Blend and mix for deliciousness that you won’t forget! You’ll never go back to ordinary garlic cloves after this!

And what would summer be without the traditional but oft o’erlooked Gooseberry? Even better, let’s throw these tart-sweet treats into a pie that will wow any of your neighbours! These fuzzy berries can be used when they are firm and tart or soft and sweet, so be conscious of what sort of gooseberries you’re picking to put in your pie, as you may want to add or remove sugar tending to their ripeness.

Gooseberry Pie
I’m going to take this recipe from AllRecipes, but I’ve altered it, so if you would like to look at the original, go here. So, let’s take a peek at this pie, shall we?

  • 3 cups gooseberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 and 1/2 tblsp quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • double crust pastry
  • 2 tblsp milk
  • 1 further tblsp sugar

Gooseberries

  1. Stem and rinse berries.
  2. Crush 1/2 cup berries in the bottom of a saucepan. Combine sugar, tapioca, and salt; mix with crushed berries. Cook and stir until mixture boils. Cook for 2-3 more minutes. Remove from heat, and add in remaining whole berries.
  3. Pour fruit filling into pastry. Adjust top crust , cut slits for escape of steam. Brush with milk and sugar.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 40-45 minutes.

Good luck with your gooseberries and garlic scapes! Now you have two great recipes to try out and cook as the weather starts to get hot. Celebrate a ripe season with these great recipes and feel free to leave any comments about posts you’re interested in. We’d love to hear about what themes are your favourites and what you’d like us to write more about! Cheers!

-A.

Photos Courtesy Of:

How to Go Out in Style!

We often say that funerals are a “celebration of life”, but in most cases that phrase is just a way of dealing with our grief. Unfortunately, funerals have always been very generic in their décor and sayings. Happily, though, a trend to make funerals more personal is taking shape…

First off, let’s do a little vocabulary correction. Most people use the terms coffin and casket interchangeably, but they are not the same thing! A coffin has eight sides with the top (near the shoulders) being wider and tapering narrower and narrower toward the feet. A coffin is much simpler than a casket, and almost any box that the deceased is put in could be referred to as a coffin. A casket is not something only for burial. It is actually anything that holds something meaningful or precious. In today’s western world, most people are buried in caskets. According to An Uncommon History of Common Things, “The term [casket] became widely used among 19th-century U.S. funeral homes, in the belief that it had fewer negative connotations.”

Today, we have gone beyond finding a casket “fancy”.  Novelty caskets are becoming increasingly popular. People are being buried in cell phones, cars, and fish! With this trend, most people design their coffin before death (some many years before death) in order to make sure that it will suit their personality.

Biodegradable coffins, called ecopods, are also on the rise! These coffins are created for “green” cemeteries where decomposition is natural. They can be customized and look (generally) like a “normal” casket and will withstand all of the proceedings of a funeral.

And don’t forget the “do-it-yourself” coffin! Kits are now being made with pre-cut pieces so that you can turn making your coffin into a weekend craft! Paint it however you like (just make sure that it’s sturdy…otherwise things could end up badly…). These kits will not only save you money, but also make for a pretty interesting experience.

These coffins can be made by the most typical coffin-makers on request. If you don’t know your local coffin-maker (chances are you don’t) then order online! Just make sure that you check out the shipping first…that price might be enough to make you need the coffin sooner than you expected.

(and for everyone who would want to be remembered for their love of Doctor Who…)

-C

Many thanks for these outstanding pics:

http://en.nkfu.com/unusual-coffins-from-ghana/&docid=AbcxoQ6Rw5r8HM&imgurl=http://en.nkfu.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/coffins-ghana-6.jpg&w=650&h=425&ei=uSFpT9qCDOu_0QGyz5jvCA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=415&vpy=158&dur=936&hovh=181&hovw=278&tx=133&ty=97&sig=113850343524182226749&page=4&tbnh=118&tbnw=159&start=58&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:58

http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/camera-coffin/&docid=zssL1-Y7LXAPVM&imgurl=http://www.photoweeklyonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/Camera_Coffin.jpg&w=580&h=475&ei=ayFpT-jZOeLr0gHPnbCFCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=312&sig=113850343524182226749&page=2&tbnh=123&tbnw=158&start=18&ndsp=20&ved=1t:429,r:1,s:18&tx=75&ty=42

http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/content/images/2005/09/27/09_coffin_bag_413x300.jpg

http://www.geekosystem.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/coffin.jpg

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