Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Jewelweed by Amy Tudor

The time came to try our hands at making a Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) tincture for bug bites and other skin irritations.  The magical forest we live in extends its reach to exclude poison ivy from growing here.  But if it grew here, this recipe would be good for poison ivy bites too.  Like many of the most enjoyable projects, this one came on its own.  We noticed. And we followed it. 

Ellie's course found her cutting jewelweed into smaller pieces.  I suspect it was the satisfying sound that led her on.  She was determined to cut the entire mound of jewelweed that we'd softly taken out of the perennial garden.  Jewelweed and I have an understanding that though I remove some, we always  touch the seed pods to send them on their bouncing way. With the newly thrown seeds, we rely on Jewelweed always being here.  Tasha never minded it either.  Her voice plays in my head "It comes out readily enough." 

We debated if the color was light orange or deep orange like the recipe desired.  We rolled it along longer, not a angry boil like the recipe said, but more of a coaxing. I remember my brothers, both older and younger, being jarred into wakefulness during the teenage years.  I hardly think herbs enjoy that anymore than people do.

The children had moved on to different pursuits, jewelweed project forgotten. Once the brew cooled to a reasonable temperature, or as two-year-old Kate says "just warm," I tempted them back with the prospect of more pans and a strainer.

After the first strain, the children, as children do, took straining to a new level never before seen in herbal circles, but often seen in children circles. Back and forth, back and forth.  Their beings absorbed all.  They were utterly focused.

After a night in the freezer, or as Tasha preferred to say, in the icebox, we pulled out the miniature cubes, placed them in bags and Katie enjoyed editing my labeling with her own writing.

 Short of sitting outside in wet places at dawn or dusk, we might actually be eagerly awaiting the next mosquito bite. 

Jewelweed…we thank you.   We'll let you know how the tincture soothes as soon as we have the occasion. 

~Amy Tudor

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lemon Chess Pie by Jen

Welcome to the Receipt* section of our website.  Food is such a very important part of life and it is more than just nourishment for our bodies, it is food for our minds and beauty to our eyes.  Tasha Tudor (my Granny) spent many hours teaching me to pull taffy, decorate gingerbread, make peppermints and of course, make the perfect cup of tea. I have so many fond and delicious memories that I felt it was time to share some of my favorite recipes with you.  Email me with any questions, I always enjoy hearing from other cooks! *Receipt is the old spelling of 'recipe' and was always used by Tasha Tudor.

Lemon Chess Pie 

Easter is on its way, even  though the snow is trying its best to halt the progress of spring here in VT.  Easter is another favorite holiday of mine that includes baking and decorating and traditions that carry on through the years.
Rabbits, chicks, violets, daffodils, tulips, chocolate bunnies, marshmallow eggs. Oh boy.  I still have decorated goose eggs from my childhood that I treasure and a collection of vintage collectibles for the table to highlight the children's easter baskets.

I start collecting items to "assist" the Easter Bunny months ahead of time. 
Easter food is lemon and meringue, hot cross buns, ham, asparagus and so many more delightful flavors including this Buttermilk Lemon Chess Pie. 
Chess pie is a traditional southern dish, a very simple pie not a custard but is compared to a cheese-less cheesecake! This lemon version is made with buttermilk and is a simple and delightful end to a Easter brunch or dinner. 

Next recipe to be posted online is a Pavlova. Granny was known for being able to make meringues without a mixer! We would eat the crispy sweet confections
with fresh fruit and custard. I'm still in awe, I couldn't do  it without my Kitchen Aid!

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/4 tsp fine salt
3 to 4 tbs ice water
5 tbs unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 cup shortening, chilled
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
For the filling:
2 cups granulated sugar
2 tbs all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine salt
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 tbs unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
For the crust: whisk the flour and salt in a large bowl until combined. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut the butter and shortening into the flour mixture until pea-size pieces, about 3 to 4 minutes Drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the ice water and the lemon juice and mix just until the dough comes together. (Add the last tablespoon of ice water if the dough is too dry, but don't overwork the dough.) Form the dough into a flat disk. Wrap it and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out.  Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough, fold the excess under itself, and crimp the edges. Refrigerate the pie crust until ready to bake. 
for the filling: Heat the oven to 350 degrees F and arrange a rack at the lowest level. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet. Whisk the sugar, flours, and salt together in a large bowl.  Add the buttermilk, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.  Add the melted butter and lemon zest and whisk until smooth.  Pour the mixture into the pie plate.  Bake until the filling is just set in the middle and the top is golden brown, about 55 to 65 minutes.  Place the pie on a wire rack and let it cool to room temperature before cutting.