Monday, July 20, 2009

Watch Out Betty Crocker!

With the bustling of farmer’s markets in the area, it finally feels like summer around here. Growing up in Cincinnati, each weekend my father would throw me on his shoulders and take me to Findlay market to shop for meat, bread, fresh vegetables and juicy fruits. I have a strong favoring of shopping these markets and as the local produce trend begins to take hold, there is more and more interest for supporting organic and area farmers.

After dropping off my car at the shop in Medford, I was forced to take the orange line back into the city. The train crawled through each stop and I found myself being convinced to get off at Haymarket. While the vendors at Haymarket are as ripe as their produce, the prices are amazing. I stocked up on fruit and vegetables including the ultimate summer “vegetable” rhubarb.

Yes, even though it is a vegetable, rhubarb is prepared like a fruit and I was inspire to bake a pie…even in 80 degree weather.

Rhubarb pie is the easiest pie to make. Just combine crust, rhubarb, flour, butter and sugar... and you have a pie. The rhubarb’s bright red stalks bled juice as I chopped up the long celery-like stalks and threw them into the pie shell.

Here is the classic recipe that I used. I added another cup of rhubarb and put the 9” crust in a 10” dish, because the juice can overflow.

The pie cooled on the ride to the BF’s family’s lake house. A heaping scoop of ice cream only made it better.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Lost without Lulu's

I was very excited to hear that Lyndell’s bakery was going to be adding a location in the North End. Lyndell’s half moons are addicting. I was anxious to see how the new spot in little Italy, but I was shocked to find out that the new location is the empty shop that Lulu’s Bake Shoppe once filled with my favorite sweets.

What will I do without you Lulu’s? How can a bakery raved about on yelp and in Food Network magazine not survive. Even during tough economic times, doesn’t everyone need a cupcake?

While tourists stood in line at Mike’s Pastries, I was proud to visit Lulu’s for a cupcake or small cheesecake. Lulu’s was a hidden gem on Hanover street that visiting felt like unwrapping a secret only I knew about.

I would like to take a moment of silence for the loss of Lulu’s moist and rich red velvet cupcakes…

A box of fruit slices is a serving of fruit

Faneuil hall is a fat kid's dream with stalls of Chinese, Japanese, burgers, cookies, ice cream and pizza vendors. However in the North Market building, a building rarely frequented by anyone other than tourists, is the Boston Creamery & Confections.

In addition to pick mix selections of jelly beans, truffles, chocolate covered cherries and turtles I come to Boston Confections for their fruit slices.

I’m not sure where they get them, but the slices are thick, sweet and flavorful. These are not the typical cherry, orange and lime flavors, but the variety of unusual flavors and quality make them unique. My favorite is the pomegranate. There is also grapefruit, peach, green apple. I believe a box constitutes at least a serving of fruit, because these have to have real flavoring.

My family requests these specific slices every time I come home or send a care package. The obsession is so great that upon picking up dear old mom and dad from the airport last week we made an immediate visit to stock up…my addiction is clearly genetic.