Happy Independence Day everyone! Can you believe it is July already? I’m having some trouble wrapping my arms around it. The pace of the days is supposed to slow down in the summer, isn’t it? I think that expectation must be a hold over from summer vacation in my school days (which were a very long time ago but left a lasting pattern in my subconscious). Anyway, the pace of this summer seems to be speeding up instead. To my disappointment, I have only had time to post once or twice a week and I miss it.
I’m not trying to “sell” my blog and I am not a food photographer. The photos and recipes here are a diary of a sort, a snapshot out of time. If you enjoy the recipes and my ramblings, it makes me happy. It’s interesting to see how Spades, Spatulas, and Spoons has evolved over the past year. I love the community of other bloggers and visitors. I’m getting to know you, through the comments you leave and the links to your own blogs. It’s a virtual dinner party and I love a good party. I wish I could meet more of you in person. And yet, I enjoy reading about what is happening in Minnesota, and Louisianna, and Texas, and Australia, and South Africa, and Dubai, and Alaska, and places even further away. As I have written before, the world is not so huge!
“In my kitchen” is part of a community, this one started by Celia of the blog Fig Jam and Lime Cordial. Use the link to explore the world of food around the globe, you will get a snapshot of what is happening in July.
Now, on to what’s going on in my kitchen.
The Saturday Farmer’s Market was crowded today. I snagged three varieties of sweet potatoes to take to a BBQ we are attending this evening.
You will find the recipe for BBQ Sweet Potatoes with Miso-Sesame Sauce here.
We are coming to the end of the berry season and they are super sweet. I ran around the market tasting the organic strawberries at every stand before deciding where to buy a flat of six pint baskets. We ran out of last year’s batch of strawberry jam a couple of months ago and I haven’t had a chance to preserve some more. The time was right.
I was surprised to see raspberries as well and purchased enough to make a batch of raspberry jam.
Homemade jam is so much better than even the best commercial brand. Only three ingredients…berries, sugar, and lemnon juice.
I had the idea to add a leaf of lemon verbena to one batch of strawberry jam before processing. We’ll see how it turns out, an experiment.
My eye was caught by this wonderful bowl Made by Craig and Sylvie Telles at one of the stands.
The glaze is the exact shade of blue as the front door at our cabin up the coast. Even my husband said we had to have it.
The pattern on the edge even looks like kelp floating upwards.
Until we get a chance to visit the cabin, it looks wonderful with some heirloom tomatoes and the first “dry farmed” Early Girls.
And that is what’s going on in my kitchen this month.
I like the idea of adding lemon verbena to strawberry jam. The tomatoes look fabulous on the blue bowl…
Red and blue, add a bit of fresh mozzarella and you have the colors of the 4th of July!
I’ll see how the lemon verbena turns out. I tried adding a few leaves to the berries as they were cooking but the flavor didn’t come through. That’s when I decided to add a leaf to each 1/2 pint jar before processing it. Hopefully it isn’t too strong. I’ll amend the post and let everyone know. Thanks for visiting.
Hi Liz, I am always green with envy when I see so many berries. They are so expensive here.
I’m so sorry as I love berries. We are nearing the end of the season now for us. Do you have any wild berries? Up the coast there are wild blackberries. They are wonderful if you can manage to pick them from the side of the road before anyone else.
Liz, those sweet potatoes… A M A Z I N G!
Thank you Ania. I love sweet potatoes, any way. And it is such fun to have different colors.
Love those organic strawberries – and ditto to the last comment they would cost so much more in Australia!
I’m sorry they are so expensive Laura. If gobal warming keeps up at the current pace they will be the same here. The season was almost two weeks early this year.
Your sweet potato dish and your jam look divine! I wish I could try both now!
Thanks for this month’s kitchen view also!
Hi Joanne, thank you for visiting. I’ve been taking a summer vacation from blogging…somehow the food we eat in the warm weather doesn’t seem worthy of a post. I will be reinvigorated come fall.
I add a vanilla bean to my strawberry jam. I also made a honey and thyme strawberry jam this year. Lemon verbena sounds great as well. Lovely looking tomatoes and the bowl too!
Hello Gretchen, that sounds wonderful! Thank you for visiting. I’ll have to try it before strawberry season ends. So far this year I’ve made 4 batches but the way my family goes through jam I will need to make more. Love the idea of a vanilla bean.
Organic sweet potatoes and berries… are wonderful. Berries in particular are off my shopping list unless they are organic. Great markets 🙂
We have similar blog philosophies… I’m here for the community and inspiration!
Yes, isn’t it a wonderful community? I’ve been taking a summer break and look forward to being reinvorated in the fall. I hate that the organic berries are so expensive in the regular stores. It does force me to visit the farmer’s market though, and stay seasonal.
Everything looks super, but those tomatoes in that lovely bowl really caught my eye. We have a wait yet before our own tomatoes ripen, but seeing your photo I can hardly wait.
I wish they were from my garden, the farmer’s market is a close second choice though. I love summer tomatoes though and avoid them the rest of the year. They are a treat in the summer.
Ooh la la – sweet potatoes with miso sounds divine! I’ll be making a version this weekend for sure as it’s going to be very cold here. I love the photos of your jam making exploits. The jam looks so pretty in the jars.
Thanks for the tour
Hello Tiffin, let me know how you like it. I am ready for cold and rain. It’s been unseasonably warm here and very dry.
ooh the sweet potato looks wonderful! Lovely tomatoes too!
Hi Cate, thank you for visiting and your kind comments.
i adore that blue plate. isn’t it gorgeous? and yes it does look like kelp on the edge. how wonderful to have made all that berry jam. yes home made is best.