Dizzy Swallows

Summer Harvest & Chocolate Blackberry Financiers

October 11th, 2011

The dying throes of summer have lingered in the occasional crisp autumnal sunshine, but that fairer season will soon be buried by blustery winds and the omnipresent Seattle rain. However,
I take comfort in the knowledge of the lustrous little morsels of summer tucked away in our freezer. Like good Northwesterners, we managed a last blackberry harvest before the Fall weather came rolling in. I wanted to share a few photos from that expedition as well as a delightful recipe for gluten-free, blackberry and chocolate financiers!

Our chosen spot is a coveted family secret, but I can tell you it is on Whidbey.

It offers a perfection of rolling bramble thickets, accessible from both sides, with a view and sweet little meadow that can’t be beat.

My fellow harvesters also happen to be two of my favorite men in the world, my dearest Jacob and my cousin Brad.

Industrious gentlemen … Continue reading

Summer Scenes

August 17th, 2011

Knowing the long, hot days are waning makes me savor the small moments of glorious summer abandon all the more. The bright, saturated colors, the sweet, soft fruit, the crab…oh the crab, the romps and the hikes.

We’ve been making a concerted effort to fill every remaining summer weekend with something special. Last weekend it was a trip to Portland to visit my brother. A long walk through the city delivered a classic British car show.

…and nearly doughnuts. Damn you cash-only.

Ah, will I miss the cherries when they’re gone. Until next year my beauties.

The discovery of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust has returned that glorious dish to our table. Glory hallelujah, and layer on more sun-dried tomatoes.

The thicket of raspberries on the farm has produced more than can be eaten this year. Though we did do our best.

I should have kept a tally … Continue reading

On Fresh Fava Beans and Summer Pasta

July 22nd, 2011 4 Comments

Glorious weather not withstanding, summer is a feeling. It is that sense of freedom engrained from our schooldays, of long hours wiled away in hedonistic pursuits. Blue skies and golden sunshine certainly help, loosening limbs and warming faces. Sadly, as myself and others have noted, Seattle is having rather a dismal showing in the seasonal department this year. But summer be damned, at least the family farm is in full force.

On a recent visit we were presented with several beds of fava beans, ready for harvest. They are the strangest bean, growing resolutely towards the sky like so many impudent, fat, green fingers. The leaves are pliable and tender and, according to my mother, can be used to make a very pleasant pesto!

We harvested about a third of the crop, easily filling a large storage bin. I must admit, hitherto my only reference for fava beans came from … Continue reading

Little Bits for a Monday

July 11th, 2011

My dears, this morning I have a stunner for you from Warpaint. This new video was directed by Ted Newsome and creates a Technicolor parallel universe, underwater. The four women of Warpaint — Emily Kokal, Theresa Wayman, Jenny Lee Lindberg and Stella Mozgawa — step into alter egos and gather for an Alice in Wonderland style tea party. The magical underwater world is so enthralling, you’d never guess it’s just a public pool in Echo Park. See how you think it compares to the last Warpaint video featured on Little Bits.


Image and video via Warpaint

As the summer months progress, my thoughts turn towards flats of fresh berries. Preferably stretching out like a multicolored carpet across my counter-top. One of my favorite U-pick blueberry farms recently closed, so I have been perusing the incredibly useful site (though packaged in a woefully dated design), Pick Your Own. It … Continue reading

4th In The Sky

July 6th, 2011

Hello my darlings! How was everyone’s long weekend? Ours was packed full to bursting with family, food, sunshine, laughter, farming, and even an Ultimate Frisbee tournament! And now I am struggling to get caught up with work. Sigh. But I did want to share with you a few of the highlights from our 4th of July.

After a lovely, languid day together in the park, we packed off to my cousin’s 34th floor, downtown apartment with marinating jerk chicken and our miniature barbeque in hand.

I also made our favorite garlicky artichoke dip and a watermelon, feta, and mint salad. To add to that, the cuz presented us with buttery soft, smoked seabass, maple-smoked salmon, black truffle infused salami, and Texas’ own Shiner Bock beer. My mother also came down for the festivities, totting produce from the garden and a delicious green salad.

Heavily sated, we were later joined … Continue reading