We’re back to work at the studio.
My dad has started to send boxes again
and we’re slowly getting ready for the holidays.
That said, I’m not sure how it’s October already—
I’m still working on folders from July.
Also, young coconuts are amazing.
And I’ve started to cook from Tara’s forthcoming book, also amazing.
PHOTOS: Nikole Herriott
We took a few days off recently and went to our family cabin on Qualicum Beach.
We drank piña coladas, ate oysters and kind of lazed around in the sun.
It was surprisingly hot when we were there,
weather I feel like I haven’t felt in BC since I was a kid.
I cut a pile of rhubarb from my parent’s backyard
before making the drive up island.
I brought along the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book (shot by the super talented Gentl & Hyers)
for the task of making a rhubarb pie and was SO pleased with the result!
I love that the Elsen sisters suggest to freeze the chopped rhubarb
and then thaw and drain before making the pie.
Such a great tip to get a little extra juice to drain from the stalks.
It’s late in the season for rhubarb I’m told, but there was no shortage at my parents place.
I noticed only afterward that the recipe is quite similar to the one Jen Causey
made for my, For the Love of Pie series back in 2012,
also by the Elsen sisters, but I’m including the recipe here
just because I think it’s worth mentioning again.
And if you don’t have it already, go buy the book, it’s great.
THE FOUR & TWENTY BLACKBIRDS RHUBARB PIE
This recipe came from, THE FOUR & TWENTY BLACKBIRDS PIE BOOK by Emily Elsen & Melissa Elsen published by Grand Central. It makes one 9-inch pie that serves 8-10 people. While it's perfect just as it is, I prefer to omit the allspice and ground ginger in favour of the contents of a vanilla bean or a teaspoon of vanilla extract. I think it's best served at room temperature with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but a spoonful of crème fraîche would be nice too.
- FOR THE CRUST
- Stir the flour, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the butter pieces and coat with the flour mixture using a bench scraper or spatula. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture, working quickly until mostly pea-size pieces of butter remain (a few larger pieces are okay; be careful not to overblend).
- Combine the water, cider vinegar, and ice in a large measuring cup or small bowl. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour mixture, and mix and cut it in with a bench scraper or spatula until it is fully incorporated. Add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time using the bench scraper or your hands (or both) to mix until the dough comes together in a ball, with some dry bits remaining. Squeeze and pinch with your fingertips to bring all the dough together, sprinkling dry bits with more small drops of the ice water mixture, if necessary, to combine. Shape the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight, to give the crust time to mellow. Divide the dough in half before shaping each portion into flat discs.
- Wrapped tightly, the dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.
- Have ready and refrigerated one pastry-lined 9-inch pan and pastry top.
- Combine the rhubarb, brown and granulated sugars, allspice, cardomom, ginger, salt, and arrowroot in a large bowl and mix throuroghly. Stir in the lemon juice, egg, and bitters. Pour the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, arrange the lattice or pastry round on top, and crimp as desired.
- Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom rack, and preheat the oven to 425˚F.
- Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat; if your pie has a lattice top, be careful not to drag the filling onto the pastry (it will burn). Sprinkle the pastry with the desired amount of demerara sugar.
- Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown. Lower the oven temperature to 375˚F, move the pie to the centre oven rack, and continue to until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling throughout, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, 2 to 3 hours. Serve slightly warm or not at room temperature.
- The pie will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days or at room temperature for 2 days.
I can’t wait for this chocolate chip cookie recipe from Tara’s book.
Michael and I shot the new Bon Appétit Cover, find it on newsstands now!
This place looks amazing.
The design and photos in this story from the current print issue of Afar Magazine are beautiful.
Michael snapped this in NYC the other day, I love it.
This place looks nice.
And we updated the shop last week, have a look.
Photos: Nikole Herriott
We’re updating! Watch for new items tomorrow, July 31th at 6pm EDT.
In the meantime, find our NEW pantry items here sign up to our newsletter here,
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and follow along on instagram.
We have a small strawberry patch in our garden.
So small that it’s not really a patch at all,
more like a few strawberry plants in mismatched pots
on a small deck to the side of our place.
We don’t get an abundance of berries,
but enough that we can eat one or two a day
or if we wait, enough to have with breakfast on the weekend.
That works as I’ve been thinking of breakfast a lot lately.
We have new maple syrup over in the shop (something we’re pretty excited about!)
so I’ve been fitting it into cooking and baking whenever I can.
From that came the idea of these sweet crêpes with strawberries and maple syrup.
I’m sort of a traditionalist when it comes to sweet crêpes,
but I like that this recipe has beer, something I hadn’t tried before.
The result is really nice texture and a pretty sort of lacy feel (you can see it well in this photo).
And they’re simple to make.
I found that 1/3 of a cup of mix worked well
when cooked on an 11″ cast crêpe pan.
If you don’t have one, I recommend this one.
On the crêpes in the photo,
I topped with fresh cut strawberries,
a little sour cream and a generous pour of maple syrup.
You should try it, it’s so delicious.
This recipe is by Jehnee Rains but I came to it via The Kitchn. I've made it several times now and found that I like the crêpes a little sweeter than the recipe calls for (I increased the sugar from a 1/2 teaspoon to 2-3 tablespoons and added a teaspoon of vanilla).
- 2 cups warm milk
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar (I used 3T instead)
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup beer (any light lager beer will work)
- Melt the butter and heat the milk to warm, over the stove or in a microwave. Meanwhile, mix flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a large bowl with a whisk ready). Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour eggs and oil into the well and beat on medium speed with whisk using the mixer, or vigorously with your hand-held whisk. Slowly add the melted butter and milk mixture until batter becomes uniform in texture.
- Now pour batter over a fine-toothed sieve into another medium-sized bowl, pressing any lumps through with your fingers. Stir in beer, until just evenly incorporated (don't overmix). Refrigerate the batter, covered with plastic, for 8 hours or overnight, if you can.
- Pour about 1/4 to 1/3 cup batter onto a smoking-hot pan, swirling the batter to create an even surface. Add a little more batter if needed. Little holes are okay while crêpe cooks — just 2 minutes on the first side (peek to see if golden brown color is there), then about 30 seconds on other side. Keep warm with sheets of parchment paper in between each crêpe, in a low oven, about 200 degrees until serving.
We’ve got a few new pantry items on the way, find the first one here.
It’s the most delicious seashore honey, churned on the Gaspésie Pennisula in Québec.
It’s beautifully smooth with sweet floral notes and is made by the Trigaux & Potvin families.
Plus, our hand-dipped beeswax candles are back as well, find them here.
And we’re updating the shop really soon. Stay tuned!
I love a good sandwich.
I especially love a good sandwich with some sort of pickle.
But until recently I hadn’t made my own.
I found the inspiration to give them a try
when I was walking through Toronto’s Chinatown a few saturdays ago.
It’s a brilliant place on weekend mornings.
The streets are full and bustling then,
the shops feel like they’re overflowing with produce.
The woman I bought my onions from said she had grown them in her backyard.
They were tiny and pink and sort of beautiful I thought.
I like that she and other vendors form a long line up Spadina where Dundas crosses.
They sell houseplants they’ve propagated, vegetables from their backyards and other little things.
It’s a hodgepodge row of tables and upside-down milk crates
that runs up the curb toward College.
There’s something about that row of them for me,
something that’s kind of awesome.
All that said, try the onions.
They’re simple and pretty and super tasty.
A bit of history on Toronto’s Chinatowns
I love how simple these pickled onions are. The recipe is actually for quick pickled shallots but it's great for these small spring onions. It's from the Gramercy Tavern Cookbook but I came to it via the, Leite's Culinaria blog. As Michael Anthony mentions, it's a great place to start with pickles and will work well for a variety of vegetables.
- 5 shallots
- 3/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I like it with a little less sugar)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1. Halve each shallot lengthwise and pull apart the layers to form petals. You should have about 2 cups. Place the shallots in a medium bowl.
- 2. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour the pickling liquid over the shallots and cover them with a plate to keep them submerged. [Editor's Note: The shallots may not be completely submerged, but that's okay.] Let cool to room temperature.
- 3. Cover the bowl (as well as the plate) with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Transfer the pickles and liquid to a container, cover, and refrigerate for up to several weeks.
, plus some old visuals
PHOTOS: Nikole Herriott
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