Sunday, June 28, 2009

Bread and Butter. Cheese and Crackers

This past Wednesday evening we were invited to be a part of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretums annual fundraiser, Toast and Taste Event. The event featured over 20 of the best restaurants and local breweries and wineries. We shared a space with Steve Young-Burns of Pastureland, which is a cooperative of farmers from the southeastern portion of MN. They raise 100% grass fed cows, which result in their amazing Summer Gold cultured butter and artisan cheeses. Wednesday evening they were serving the first of this years butter. It was a beautiful yellow gold in color from all of the nutrients in the spring grass that the lucky cows of pastureland have been feeding on. The butter immediately melted in our mouths , flooding our taste buds with a sweet, creamy flavor. I can honestly say that I have never tasted butter like this before. They also sampled their aged cheddar that had all the flavors of a great ageing process, but stayed surprisingly soft and rich.
It did not take long for Steve and ourselves to figure out that our products worked well together and we quickly traded in the cream cheese we had brought along for pairing with our Raspberry Garlic Jam and our Blueberry Pepper Jam, for Pastureland's lovely Aged Cheddar and Summer Gold butter.
And so in the gorgeous evening among the height of the early summer blooms of the MN Landscape Arboretum two new and wonderful ideas for your next brunch or evening appetizer were born:

1 crusty fresh Baguette
1 Jar Lucille's Kitchen Garden Blueberry Pepper Jam (or your favorite other flavor)
1 Pound Pastureland Summer Gold butter
Simply slice baguette and spread with Summer Gold and top with Blueberry Pepper Jam for a savory twist on bread, butter and jam.

1 Package of your favorite Herb Cracker
Pastureland Aged Cheddar Cheese
1 Jar Lucille's Kitchen Garden Garlic Pepper Jam or Raspberry Garlic Jam
Serve up the classic cheese and cracker platter with some of the finest Minnesota flavors from Pastureland and Lucille's Kitchen Garden to your guests or just make a plate for yourself on days when it is too hot to cook. We like to have it with one of the many great MN wines, such as the Chardonnay from Saint Croix Vineyards.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Fool

Rhubarb season is in full swing at the Mill City Farmer's Market and to celebrate we have dusted off our favorite Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Jam recipe and sent Amy's mom, Jackie, to round up any of the neighbors extra rhubarb. If you have grown rhubarb before, you know that there is always extra; the rhubarb have and have nots if you will.

If you are one of the rhubarb haves, then you probably will understand the search for recipes that answer the question, "What am I going to do with all of this rhubarb?" That is exactly the question that led us to find one of our favorite non-low fat, non-lactose free desserts. The rhubarb fool.

I have tried to find the origins of this tasty goodness and am afraid that I have come up short, other then that it is a delightful treat which seems to originate in Europe, though the exact country of origin is a bit of a debate. The Swedes have a version that is primarily served with milk, while the Scottish and English go all in for the whipped cream. In our house, the whipped cream one wins. The process, however can take a bit of planning, and I am staunchly opposed to too much planning during our short season of beautiful weather, and an embarrassment of riches of fresh foods, so I tweaked the recipe to make it quick, easy, and delightful. The best part is that you don't need to be one of the rhubarb haves to enjoy it!

I recommend that you serve it with Bramblewood Traditional Shortbread. Amy, the founder of Bramblewood, uses her great grandmother's recipe to create this delicious Scottish treat. It is available at the Mill City Farmer's Market in a variety of flavors, however my favorite is the simple, classic butter flavor the really pulls out the flavors in the Fool. We hope that you enjoy this rhubarb season, and this new twist on an old classic. We will see you at the market.

Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Fool
Ø 1 Jar Lucille’s Kitchen Garden Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Jam
Ø One cup heavy cream
Ø 2 tbs Sugar
Ø Whip heavy cream and sugar to stiff peeks with mixer on high
Ø Gently fold in ¾ to 1 jar Lucille’s Kitchen Garden Rhubarb Strawberry Basil Jam into the whipped cream. You don’t want it completely mixed; just make sure that the jam is spread throughout the cream. A butter knife works best for this.
Ø Serves nicely in chilled Martini glasses and can be made several hours ahead and kept in the refrigerator.

Monday, June 1, 2009

For One Week and For Our Blog Readers Only

The Mill City Farmers Market has been in full swing for about a month now and we have been delighted to find that many of our blog readers are regular Mill City Farmers Market shoppers. In light of this information we have decided to offer a discount to our most loyal customers.

We are offering a pre-order special price of $4.50 per jar of your favorite Lucille's Kitchen Garden products on all orders of 4 jars or more received by June 5th, 2009.

You simply mention this offer when you pop us an email at , we will send you a pay pal invoice that you pay with your credit card or checking account, and we will have your jars of jam waiting for you to pick up at the Mill City Farmers Market on Saturday, June 6th between 8AM and 1PM.

You can order our regular online selection of Lucille's Kitchen Garden Products including:

Raspberry Pepper Jam

Garlic Pepper Jam

Green Pepper Jam

Blueberry Pepper Jam

As well as our farmers' market only flavors:

Raspberry Garlic Jam

Rhubarb Strawberry Basil