Monthly Archives: July 2011

The Garden Giveth

Bounty comes at last.



And we taketh away.


If you haven’t tried grilling pizza yet, you should really get on it. It’s SO EASY!

This post is not about making pizza dough, in fact we bought our dough at one of our favorite pizza places. It cost $1. Most pizza shops will sell you a doughball if you go in and ask nicely, prices vary since it’s rarely on their regular menu.

This post is not about stretching pizza dough.

Get your grill as hot as possible and brush the hot grill with a low-burning oil (canola, corn, soy, etc). Stretch your dough out and flip it onto the hot grill. This is scary! It’s hot! (I recommend tongs)! And you only get one chance! Brush the exposed side with some more oil, shut the lid, and let it cook until you smell burning and the bottom is starting to darken and char.

Flip your pizza over and as fast as possible (over the heat) top it with your choice toppings. Move fast! Shut the lid and cook until the bottom starts to darken and char. Remove from heat. That’s it.


Because of the speed of cooking on the grill you can’t actually cook any of the pizza toppings onto the pizza as you would in a normal oven. That means that all your toppings must be pre-cooked in every possible way.


Put whatever you desire on your pizza, but the one viewed here is nettle pesto (from earlier this spring), summer squash from our garden that was cooked in a little butter and pepper, and brie cheese. We had a second pizza of chard from the garden (sauteed in garlic and butter), tomato sauce, and topped with the rest of the  brie.



Overwhelmed by berries?

Gooseberry Galette

Wanted to try a new galette dough recipe from Good to the Grain but of the two in the book the first was too much of a pain in the butt at the time and the other seriously required the use of a stand mixer. I don’t own a stand mixer (I have my reasons). So I fell back on my old standby and used the Smitten Kitchen Zucchini Galette recipe. I decided to divide it into quarters as opposed to making one giant galette per usual to make personal sized galettes. Perfect to make a few more personal sized ones coming up since I suspect we’re about to experience The Great Summer Squash Explosion of 2011 in the next week or so.

The gooseberry part was borrowed from this Gooseberry Galette recipe and worked well. I enjoyed sprinkling my eggwashed crust with demerara sugar. Smelled great.

Seriously needed some plain old vanilla ice cream and I did not have any. P. did not seem to mind but I did.

The Booze Project

It is possible that when friends come over for dinner that they’re not really interested in the food. We’ve stopped trying to buy family and most friends yearly holiday gifts. We don’t give fruitcake or brownies. At our house… it’s all booze.

The Booze Project started in my rental house in Bloomington, IN circa 2006 when inspired by some friends who had their own Booze Project going on big time. They were deep into it and recommended the book Cordials from Your Kitchen which I purchased and followed the recipes faithfully for awhile. Except I’m not good at following recipes unless they involve chemical reactions (baking!), and I like to play, and everything in the book was way too sweet.

I still have a few remaining sugary bottles from those years. Now a days I make things up as I go along, play with fruit as its in season. I used to mostly use Everclear as a base, but you can’t get the full-proof Everclear in Michigan so now I use vodka and have been enjoying making a lot of brandies.

Since the main goal of the Booze Project is to produce enough Booze to provide us with stress-free gifts for everyone come holiday time we not only put down booze all year long, but I also spend a great deal of time trawling local thrift shops for unique glass bottles to put the booze in. Friends save bottles and corks for me too. However, we tell everyone who receives booze that we expect their bottles back in order to refill them, even if it takes them 10yrs to drink their booze. This year we’re finally printing legitimate gift tags to go with the bottles and those tags will say as much!

A morning of bottling.

Were you to come to our house and look in our cupboard you would see an entire rack of science experiments. There are the old bottles, some dating back to 2006 from when I started playing with the booze (all sugary) and then there are the many mason jars full of booze currently being infused with fruit.

Here’s what’s on “tap” right now:

– Rhubarb

– Strawberry Brandy

– Strawberry Liquor

– Shiso Leaf Tequila

– Elderberry Liquor

– Sour Cherry Liquor

– Wild Mint and Honey Liquor

– Apple Brandy

I need to go pick some blackberries before it’s too late! Blackberry brandy is awesome!

Do people who come to our place think we’re alcoholics? We drink very little of the stuff ourselves.