My summer kitchen is for…

Capturing all the flavors of local bounty, then concentrating, preserving, blanching, drying or freezing them

…for the winter months. The feature photo is one of our weekly shares of organics from Stoney Acre Farms, harvested the day before pick-up. We eat what we can, freeze what’s left.

Five gallons of Oregon blueberries are washed, spun and frozen in recycled milk bags. Yes, stark locavore transgression, but I cannot find a better blueberry. A small Mennonite market north of us has them every summer in ten-pound boxes. Fresh blueberry cream tart topped with wild raspberries and sliced peaches is a summer must-have.

Our Amish friend Laverne has the corner on the market for the most delicious local tomatoes. A regular stop on Saturdays is the farmers’ market for our weekly portion of heirlooms for eating and a 1/2 peck of very ripe slicers for roasting. Mix halved or quartered tomatoes with crushed garlic, sea salt, olive oil and ground pepper then roast at 325 degrees F for about 2 hours, until they just start to caramelize at the edges…just heavenly! We eat our fill of these savory morsels. I freeze the rest in quart bags flattened so I can slice it by the tablespoon for soups, stews or pizza base. That’s an entirely locally-sourced pizza, with Stoney Acres flour, my garlic, basil and oregano, Laverne’s tomatoes and local WI fresh mozzarella (ok, Himalayan salt, Spanish olive oil, and South Asian peppercorns).


The kitchen is also home to our router, where the best internet service in the house is located. I had to wrestle more kitchen time from my full-time remotely working husband to meet all culinary objectives from this season. Not a hard sell there as he nibbles on roasted tomatoes right off the pan.

Fresh Fruit Tart by SAM

Crust: Mix 2 cups flour, ¼ cup walnut flour, ½ cup sugar, 1 cup cold butter (cubed), pinch of salt, then add 2 egg yolks mixed with 2 tablespoons of water. Roll out and place into tart pan, bake at 400 until slightly brown 10-15 minutes. Cool.

Filling: Blend til smooth 8 oz neufchatel cream cheese, ¾ cup vanilla yogurt, ½ cup whipped cream, 1 tsp vanilla, ½ cup powdered sugar. Fold in 3 cups blueberries, press into cooled crust, top with raspberries, blue berries and peaches.

Make the most of your summer kitchen!

Enjoy fresh flavors of summer all year long!

Photos by SAM Steiner

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