Blackberry Buckle recipe

13 September 2013 § 3 Comments

A few weeks ago we had a lovely weekend with friends, Marianne and Erik, at their beach house. They love food and are fabulous hosts so we had a fantastically well-fed weekend – the culinary highlight being Erik’s 10-hour slooooooooooooow smoked ribs. During the weekend Marianne baked a truly delicious blueberry buckle that I became obsessed with. I tinkered with a few recipes – I made raspberry and peach buckle, which was fine, but blackberry was the winner. This blackberry buckle recipe is a perfect pudding for the slight fall chill in the air.  The recipe is in my What’s for Dinner? column on Barista Kids.


If you are missing summer already here are some photos of a glorious day we had at the Westhampton Farmers’ Market. « Read the rest of this entry »

Borough Market

1 September 2013 § 1 Comment

I have been to London many times but never made it that mother of all farmers markets – Borough Market.


I was determined to get to the oldest market in London and that is up against some pretty ancient competition.

The architecture itself is impressive dating back to the 1860s with an art deco entrance added on in 1932.  It used to be a real gritty wholesale market but with the advent of retail hours on Thursday, Friday and weekend it had become a very high end fine foods market. « Read the rest of this entry »

Market Update: Dandelions with pancetta

10 May 2012 § 6 Comments

I love this time of year. Each week the Farmers’ Market is slightly more colorful than the previous week. The choice of fresh produce seems to grow slightly each visit until it then explodes around mid June into a cornucopia of colorful fruit and vegetables.

Right now though green is most definitely in. It is so refreshing after the winter’s abundance of root vegetables. Last weekend there were fresh dandelions, herbs and asparagus aplenty. « Read the rest of this entry »

Pumpkin shortage

20 September 2011 § 1 Comment

Did you hear that the Northeast might be facing a pumpkin shortage?

Last weekend at the Farmers’ Market in New Jersey I was struck by the sight of pumpkins. In my mind on a sunny late summer Saturday it seemed too early. I realized it is mid-September so I really should not be surprised by their appearance.

This morning I heard on the radio that a high number of pumpkin patches were destroyed in New York and Vermont by Hurricane Irene. Pumpkin farmers were having a hard time already this year as heavy rain in spring meant the planting had to be delayed a few weeks, and now those young pumpkins are at risk if we have a cold snap. Also they have on store shelves pronto. It is a bit like Cinderella leaving the ball at midnight – the pumpkins have to be in the stores end September and sold by Halloween otherwise they are only good for composting.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Sweetcorn salad with tomato, lime and mint

7 September 2011 § 12 Comments

My Welsh sun-deprived childhood means I am programmed to lap up every last ray of sunshine. I can’t help it, it’s in my genes. That is why this post is about corn. I may be late to the party, but that late summer corn tastes the best it has all year. The corn we bought from the Farmers’ Market was so sweet and juicy. It was good enough to eat raw.

Try as I might to kid myself that summer won’t end the reality is the sunflowers of the previous week have been replaced by the rich hues of chrysanthemums. « Read the rest of this entry »

Summer beauties

20 August 2011 § 6 Comments

I wanted to go to the Montclair Farmers’ Market early for once, but made it just before everyone started packing up. I love leisurely weekends, but we really take it to the extreme.

Then my camera battery lost power so I only got a few pictures.

The summer colors were splendifierous – blood red tomatoes, orange colored peaches, the pastel yellows and greens of the summer squash. The first apples of the year were there, hinting that the summer bounty will soon be gone. In the mean time I will continue to enjoy the tomatoes: tomatoes were plentiful – cherry, campari, plum, mis-shaped heirloom tomatoes the size of melons.

I bought plenty of tomatoes and some beets, how could I not? So next week we will be enjoying cold soups: gazpacho and borscht (not at the same time though). The Russian soup is to go with the caviar and vodka King Marv brought home from Moscow. I feel that just caviar and vodka is just a tad too decadent, we need something healthy to go with it. Check back next week for those soup recipes.

Grilled baby artichokes

1 August 2011 § 4 Comments

Last week I bought some baby artichokes from the Hoboken Farmers’ Market. I’ll admit I was bullied into buying them by one of The Ladies™. Artichokes are not really a bad thing to be bullied into buying. I mean it’s not like they bullied me into buying them cans of soda and party-size bags of candy.

So Saturday came around and off we went to the Montclair Farmers’ Market to find something for lunch to serve with the artichokes.

The sun shone and it was a riot of colors with all the candy colored summer fruit and flowers. The Ladies did their usual rounds – which involved getting their fix of kielbasy, honey sticks and pickles which makes me wonder why they don’t ever get indigestion. They certainly did not complain about tummy aches as they ran from one market stand to another. Another thought – why do four-year olds find it so hard to walk – why do they have to run everywhere?

I ended up buying kielbasy as it is a winner with The Ladies™.  Then back home I decided to grill  it with the artichokes.

A lot of my friends are afraid of artichokes. They look intimidating with all those pointy thorn-like petals but they are actually easy to prepare and cook.

With baby artichokes you can eat the whole thing as they are a lot more tender that the full-size version. There is no need to remove the choke. Cooking them on the grill in a foil parcel is a really easy way and as they are effectively steamed they end up being very flavorful and tender.

Grilled Artichokes


  • Baby artichokes
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Chopped garlic
  • Some olive oil
  • Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

First of all wash the artichoke under cold, running water. Pull off the outer petals until you get to the paler, softer ones. Cut off about 1/2 an inch of the top of the artichoke.. Trim the stalk back. Then wash the artichoke.

Squirt lemon juice over them to stop discoloring. Finely chop some garlic and place in among the artichoke petals

Pour a little olive oil over the artichokes and season. Then wrap with the thyme in some foil.

Bake on your grill for about 15-20 minutes until soft.

So both of The Ladies™ did try the artichokes, but neither liked them. They were very interested though which I took as a good sign. To be fair to them I don’t think I ate it until I was at least twenty years old.

If you’re still nervous about preparing them, here’s a good website I found with more information about preparing them.

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