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Beetsa

pizza with beets, arugula, pesto and goat cheese

I always did – and always will – love the rhythm of life in Spain. Getting up late, staying up even later, eating very late – no problem for me. So when my husband decided to go back to coaching soccer and I was faced with the fact that at least twice a week he would not be home for dinner before the time some folks already hit the sack, I was, let’s say, pleasantly motivated.

This meant that I would have to come up with late night meals for just the two of us, suppers that could be prepped ahead of time and finished off at the last minute. Dinners that taste wonderful, that make one feel welcomed, that remind one how good life is. What a wonderful little challenge to throw myself into!

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Meyer Lemon Squares (or: A tale of Love, Love and Hate, and Flirt)

 

meyer lemon tart

The beauty of being the mother of a son who works at a farm, is that he regularly brings home what ever there is too much of. This means we always have vegetables, fruits, sprouts and herbs that are very fresh and in season. Food that makes sense, tastes excellent and is healthy.

The down side of being such a mother is, that of what there is too much of, there usually is way too much. So at times, these foods turn into little dictators who easily can throw off a person’s half week’s schedule. Like when one is presented with 12 pounds (12 pounds!) of gorgeous Habanero peppers at once. Of course they can be hung up to dry and left alone. But seriously, who needs the flakes of the dried equivalent of a dozen pounds of hot Habaneros? So in vinegar and oil they go, jelly they become, and pickled they get. Which is rather time consuming. (And the fumes these potent tiny peppers release do not make time go by faster, let me tell you.)

Things also can get rough when a two digit amount of boxes packed with feather light chervil all of a sudden land on one’s kitchen counter. Don’t get me wrong: I love chervil dearly. And, as you might know by now, my life is – happily – centered around foods and the kitchen. Still a mountain of a very demanding little herb that – just like a spoiled child – wants one’s full attention, can be overwhelming. Let’s put it this way: The line between love and a love-hate affair is a very thin one.

cut meyer lemons

There is one thing though that does grow in abundance in the mild Florida winters, without ever growing annoying on me: Meyer lemon. I simply can’t enough of the smell, taste and look of this cross between a lemon and – depending on the source – an orange or a mandarine. The first sniff, each time I pick up one of the dark and deep yellow fruits, makes me long for a bath in its juice. And the first taste always makes me want to drink up that bath. Or reduce it into a perfume… The Meyer lemon is less tart and more sweet than the common lemon. It has a floral hint both on the nose and palate. It’s skin is thinner, the shape rounder and the size a bit larger than a lemon. Which, to use the words of a mother, makes it a very well behaved and easier to love lemon.

abundance of meyer lemons

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