Shop Girl for Ice Cream

As we wrap up our week of ice cream we wanted to give you a few things we love for making this wonderful treat.  Memories come flooding back about summers of our youth.  Many a summer was spent gathering up supplies to make our fresh churned ice cream. Boring but was always the favorite, vanilla.  Sometimes adding miniature chocolate chips.

It was never super hard and would melt very fast on a hot summer day.  It always seemed at the time to take forever to make it, adding the crushed ice around the outside of the aluminum freezer.  Adding rock salt to help it melt and then adding more.

The first bite was so satisfying and worth every minute of the time it took to make it.  This first item reminds me so much of the summers when my daddy would say, ‘Let’s make some ice cream.”

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We found this on Wayfair.  There are many newer and less labor intensive models to choose from but this reminds me of what we used growing up.  This is sure to add many wonderful memories for you and your family.

If you need inspiration about what flavor of ice cream to start with, we would like to suggest a few books on ice cream.

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Chronicle Books

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Amazon

Not only are the photos fun to look at but the recipes are delicious as well!

If you want to jazz up your homemade ice cream offerings you can get fancy with what you serve it in.   We love pretzel cones.  The Chocolate Stout Ice Cream would be so wonderful in these cones.

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Joy Cone

There are so many special memories about ice cream for us.  I can remember visiting grandpa and him making peppermint ice cream.  He would take the giant candy canes and smash bits of it to add to the sweet vanilla cream.  I haven’t had anything like it since.  We would love to hear about your ice cream memories.

Grandma’s Biscuits

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Recipes by Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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Here is a tried and true recipe from my dear grandma who made these by the dozens for my family and boy did we feel special when she made them and  we ate them.  If you master these biscuits and know your biscuit basics you will be on your way to making a mouth-watering golden brown biscuit with a soft and tender interior.

My Grandma’s Biscuits

1/2 cup leaf lard, cold and coarsely chopped plus more to grease pan

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

1/4 cup of warm water (105F-110F)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon coarse pepper

3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup yogurt

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.  Grease baking sheet with lard and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, let stand until it becomes foamy (5-10 minutes).
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, pepper, cream of tartar and baking soda.  With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the lard into the flour mixture until pea sized coarse crumbs form.
  4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, add yogurt and yeast all at once and carefully toss with a fork until just moistened, careful not to over mix.
  5. Flour your work surface; roll out the dough to 3/4 of an inch thickness using a rolling pin.
  6. Cut the biscuits using a 2 1/2 inch round biscuit cutter.  Gather trimmings, re-roll and cut.
  7. Place the biscuits 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.  Leave to cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, serve warm.

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Modern Day Forager

Simple Freezer Jam

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Recipes by Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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We don’t know about your grandmas’ but ours made freezer jam every summer. We remember picking the fruit for grandma to use, she really didn’t get many since we were allowed to eat as we picked, but that was half the fun!

If you don’t like to can, this is for you.  Freezer jams use less sugar and you if you prefer you can omit pectin.  We are giving you 2 recipes today – one with pectin and one without.  We used Ball products for this jam, they have great plastic containers and we have always had success using their pectin for freezer and canned jams.

Freezer Jam – with pectin

4 cups strawberries or peaches (any fruit – peeled (if needed) and crushed)

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 package of freezer jam pectin

Combine all ingredients and put in plastic jars.  Let them set up for 30 minutes before putting them in the freezer.  Put one in the refrigerator a couple hours before you want to use.  And how simple that its no cook.

We love to eat this jam on homemade bread!  With fruit being just about perfect right now, this is something you could do tonight and use this weekend.

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Our grandmothers would never have made mango lime but we would!  So for this one we put super ripe mangos and fresh limes without pectin together.

Freezer Jam – without pectin

4 cups mangos – peeled and crushed

Juice and pulp from 4 limes – we used a citrus reamer

1 1/2 cups sugar

Combine all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and cook on low for about 30 minutes.  Let cool for a bit (8-10 minutes) then add jam to plastic jars (we used Ball) and let cool completely before adding lids and transferring them to the freezer.  You can also cool them in a water bath if you like to speed up the process and keep them out of the danger zone, 40-140 degrees.

You can substitute almost any fruit with this.  We chose mango and lime together not only because its tasty but also because the lime helps with the natural pectin that is lower in mango.  Both of these recipes  would double well if you want to make a larger quantity.

We would love to know if your grandmother made jam.  Did you get to help?  And if so, what part did you play?  Please connect with us in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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Modern Day Forager

Celebrating Our Grandmothers

Granny, grandma, grandmother, nana, nona. Whatever you called her we are celebrating her and time honored traditions this week.  For us at MDF, our grandmas centered around cooking, eating and family.   Their recipes were always lovingly prepared and harken back to a simpler time.  Everything depended on what was at hand, available and fresh in the garden and nothing was ever wasted.  No shortcuts were ever taken and many of the meals we have all grown so fond of, came out of the kitchen because of necessity to stretch a meal or a dollar.

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Our grandmothers stories, recipes and wonderful anecdotes enriched our lives and awakened our love for food and feeding people.

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Over the coming days we will share with you some charming stories, treasured family recipes, steeped in tradition and what we like to call “grandma-isms or  our version of grandma sayings.”   We would love to hear about your grandmother.  What do you remember about her?  Do you make recipes that she made for you as a child?  Please connect with us in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

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vintage place mat photo by Bob’s Your Uncle

Modern Day Forager

Green Gulch Farm

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Today we have the pleasure of introducing you to Green Gulch Farm in Marin County.  This place is truly magical.  For several decades they have been a model for organic farming.  If you have ever been to the farmers market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco you have probably seen their wonderful produce for sale.  The Greens Restaurant at Fort Mason uses the bounty from the farm in every meal they create.  The restaurant on the property, wasn’t on our itinerary,  but we look forward to eating there on our next visit.

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This really is a Buddhist Zen Meditation Center.  The calm that settled on us as we walked the farm was much needed and welcomed.  There was no cell phone service so no interruptions as we enjoyed the quite that this place provided.  We had to keep telling ourselves “this really is a working farm”  as all around us people were working in the patchwork fields of new lettuces and chard.

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The farm was ripe with fruit trees of all kinds.  Pears, plums and apples in several varieties and various stages of ripeness. Its not every day you get to see just how something grows.

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Your first introduction to the garden starts with these beautiful fruit trees then opens into a beautiful flower garden.  There are bees everywhere, from small hives scattered around the farm that added to the lovely sites and sounds.

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Spearmint had been harvested for the farmers market but we think it makes a lovely bouquet.  They also have a green house where all the magic starts.

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If you continued walking through the farm you end up at the Pacific Ocean.  As we walked we could hear the ocean long before we could see it.  It was a very cloudy day but still wonderful to see. We hope you enjoyed the tour of this beautiful place.  We would love to know if you have ever visited Muir Beach area or other parts of Marin County.

Modern Day Forager

Welcome to Farm Week

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Today here in Phoenix we are attending the fourth ArizonaFarmer+Chef Connection.  An event that focuses on developing successful farm to chef relationships by connecting food producers and buyers so they may talk directly to each other about product needs, availability and procurement of farm fresh honest food.  The day will be filled with education, facilitate collaboration, cultivate partnerships and promote growth for our local food system.

As chefs, we our schooled in knowing the importance of where our food comes from, but do we always take the time to get to know the people behind the food?

So this week we are taking you behind the scenes, we will be sharing information on this event, along with some photos of great small local farms in our own backyard and some farms we have had the pleasure of visiting across the country.

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The largest fig tree we have ever seen.  The fruit was almost ready to harvest.  This is where the chickens were hanging out.  It was about 100 degrees that day.  These chickens had the right idea.

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These goats were not shy.  One of them tried to eat our lens hood.

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This sweet old wooly gal looks like she is smiling, she must be oh sooo excited about farm week.

Thank you for joining us.  We are so excited to have you here.  Looking forward to hearing about your farm adventures, so please share, we just love hearing from you.

Modern Day Forager

Were gonna keep the collections coming…

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Great Articles:

Objects of Desire and Dreams by Philipp Blom

Why Do We Collect Things? by James L. Halperin

Uncovering the History Behind Collecting by Diane Fricke

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Great Books:

Collections of Nothing  amazon.com

Nearly everyone collects something, even those who don’t think of themselves as collectors. William Davies King, on the other hand, has devoted decades to collecting nothing—and a lot of it. WithCollections of Nothing, he takes a hard look at this habitual hoarding to see what truths it can reveal about the impulse to accumulate.

To Have And To Hold:  An Intimate History Of Collectors and Collecting amazon.com

The cabinets of obsessive Renaissance collectors were filled with rhinoceros horns encrusted with rubies and jaws of gigantic fish, stuffed birds in the most extraordinary colors, and glorious sea shells of all descriptions. Today’s collectors amass everything from Picassos to Pez dispensers. But why? In To Have and To Hold, Philipp Blom explores the history of the collecting passion from the Renaissance to the present.

Every collected object, be it a matchbook or a martyr’s fingernail, carries a meaning that transcends the object itself; it is a totem. Single-minded pursuit turns the collector into cultural anthropologist. For Alex Shear, his collection from the post-War period—from vintage radios, fallout shelters, and Jell-O boxes to elaborate hair drying contraptions, bobby pins, and Barbie dolls—preserves an age of innocence in the form of the familiar household items that served as the set props for the 1950s American Dream. Alex’s Renaissance counterpart is King Rudolph II, whose collection of the art and exotica of his day (housed in his ever-expanding castle in Prague) was breathtaking in its complexity and sophistication, representing the magnificent profusion of the treasures of a world newly explored.

Out of this glittering diversity of material Blom distills the themes underlying this seemingly elusive passion: conquest and possession, chaos and memory, a void to be filled, and the awareness of our own mortality. What emerges is the story of the collector as bridegroom, deliriously, obsessively happy, wed to his possessions, till death do us part.

Cultures of Collecting amazon.com

This book traces the psychology, history and theory of the compulsion to collect, focusing not just on the normative collections of the Western canon, but also on collections that reflect a fascination with the “Other” and the marginal – the ephemeral, exotic, or just plain curious.

There are essays on the Neoclassical architect Sir John Soane, Sigmund Freud and Kurt Schwitters, one of the masters of collage. Others examine imperialist encounters with remote cultures – the consquitadors in America in the sixteenth century, and the British in the Pacific in the eighteenth – and the more recent collectors of popular culture, be they of Swatch watches, Elvis Presley memorabilia or of packaging and advertising.

With essays by Jean Baudrillard, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, Nicholas Thomas, Mieke Bal, John Forrester, John Windsor, Naomi Schor, Susan Stewart, Anthony Alan Shelton, John Elsner, Roger Cardinal and an interview with Robert Opie.

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Wrap Up for Tomato Week

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Make your own Bloody Mary Mix

Just in case you missed anything this week, here is a wrap up of the week for you.  We sure enjoyed bringing you a start to summer with all of our tomato recipes.  Summer means so many different things to each of us.  For Heather its all about the bounty of what the season’s gardens have to offer.  She remembers all the time spent at her grandparents, picking vegetables from their garden.  Tomatoes were always a favorite treat.  There is nothing better then the smell and taste of a fresh picked tomato.

Traci and Rj spent summers in the Midwest and have wonderful memories of homemade ice cream and great times by the lake.  Grandmothers gardens and all the wonder that it has to bring.

We thank you once again for joining us.  We loved bringing you the start to summer for us.  Have a wonderful weekend.  Please stop our Facebook page and share with us some of your favorite eats and treats from your weekend.

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Tomato Lardon Jam

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Golden & Red Cherry Tomato Vinaigrette

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Fried Green Tomatoes and Classic Remoulade Sauce

Modern Day Forager

Fried Green Tomatoes

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Recipes by: Rj of Urban Table

Photo Styling & Art Direction by: Traci of Urban Table

Photography & Art Direction by: Heather of Heather Gill Photography

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Fried Green Tomatoes

4 medium sized green tomatoes

kosher salt

1 quart buttermilk

1 teaspoon hot sauce (we used Tabasco sauce)

2 1/2  cups all-purpose flour

 1 cup cornmeal

2 1/2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper

5 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons lard (you can use a vegetable oil if you are averse to lard)

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and refrigerate for 1 hour. Wash off salt in cold water.
  2. Lay tomatoes out in a container and cover with buttermilk and hot sauce.  Soak for about 8 hours.
  3. Combine flour, cornmeal, black pepper and salt in a shallow dish. (We use a pie plate)
  4. Heat lard in a cast iron skillet.
  5. Dredge tomato slices in flour mixture then back in buttermilk mixture then again in flour, shake off excess and place in hot oil.
  6. Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and then drain on a paper towel.

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Simple Remoulade Sauce

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons Creole whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon horseradish

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 dashes Tabasco sauce

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, flavor will get better the longer it sits.

Another simple classic sauce for Fried Green Tomatoes

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup ketchup

1 minced clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

fresh ground black pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, flavor will get better with time.

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Classic Remoulade

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup chopped celery

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons prepared horseradish

3 tablespoons Creole whole-grain mustard

3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard

3 tablespoons ketchup

3 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process for about 30 seconds.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, flavor gets better with time and can be made ahead of time.

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Modern Day Forager

FOUND for Tomato Week

Tomato week has been such a blast and has conjured up so many summertime memories for our crew.

We have  found some great items to go with your garden’s bounty.

How about doing pizza on the grill?  We love this pizza stone, it has a heavy stainless steal frame and makes the pie easier to transfer. So what are the benefits of a pizza stone?  It helps the dough cook more evenly and draws out the moisture which results in a crisper crust.  A great tool for your indoor or outdoor kitchen.

$59.95

pizza stone with frame pizza stone on grill

Williams-Sonoma

Good quality flour should be a staple in every well equipped pantry, we love the products from Hayden Flour Mills and their  pizza flour is a special treat .  Local heritage grains stone milled here in sunny Arizona, made from hard white wheat and white sonora wheat.

$8.00

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Native Seeds for Hayden Flour Mill

We have given you a plethora of tomato recipes but thought  you just might want a few more to add to your literary collection.  This book from Chronicle Books is not just pretty to look at it is also packed with some quick recipes.  We are thrilled to have this in our cookbook library.

$16.95

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Chronicle Books

You might like to try your hand at growing tomatoes in your own backyard patch and heirlooms are the way to go.  The flavor and colors of these little gems will look delicious on your pizza.  There are so many to choose from, we found some good ones to get you started on Etsy.

$3.75 and up

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Cubit’s – Ethical Seeds for Edible Gardens

We can’t leave out another local favorite for us, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar from Queen Creek Olive Mill.  Hand crafted and high quality flavored olive oils and vinegars, made from the only working olive mill in our state.  Great for baking as well as drizzling over fresh produce, dips and marinades.  The Balsamic Vinegar is a winning combination drizzled with a couple grinds of black pepper.

Starting at $11.00

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Queen Creek Olive Mill

Modern Day Forager