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Thursday, November 26, 2009

Fresh Cranberry Relish

Never thought I would ever have any connection to so vaunted a site as Design*Sponge, but here it is, a recipe for fresh cranberry relish, posted as part of the lovely Beauty Everyday's guest appearance. I didn't know it was up until this morning (I thought it was going to be on BE)—sorry to be late getting you all a recipe appropriate to the day; it's a quick one, though, so if you have a few minutes to spare and an extra bag of cranberries . . .

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Today's Most Photographed House in Madison County

It was a tough thing to do, but yes, we've put our beloved house on the market. If you know anyone who wants to live the good life here in Carlton, please direct them to our Realtor extraordinaire, Michael Littleton, at Full Circle Real Estate Group.

I'll miss the windowseats most of all.

In other news, the photography for my book is well under way, and I'm just thrilled with how everything is looking. Luckily for me and STC, one of the most talented photographers in the world, Rinne Allen, happens to live right in Athens, and, even better, despite her recent fame she was available and willing to take on the job of shooting my crazy pickles and preserves. Early indications are that this is going to be an amazingly gorgeous book. So I'm happy about that.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Carrie has this crazy, giant fig tree growing into the side of her house, and it's loaded with fruit, so T. and I went over yesterday to say hi and pick as many as we could before the heat, yellow jackets, and crankiness had their way with us. The first thing I did when we got home, while D. cleaned up the kid and kept her happy by talking about parties with her, was set aside three pounds for preserves and sear the rest in a skillet:

Seared Figs with Mustard Seeds and Curry Leaves

This is via my friend Regan, although I'm not sure if this is exactly how she did it that one time, and she says it came from Madhur Jaffrey's World Vegetarian. Now that I look at that page over on Amazon, though, I see that the dish has a squeeze of lemon juice and some cayenne—both of which would be nice, it's true. Also that recipe has quantities and everything. Fancy!
Vegetable oil or ghee (or a little oil and a little butter)
Ripe fresh figs, halved
Handful of fresh curry leaves
Yellow mustard seeds
Kosher salt
In a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, heat a bit of oil—just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the figs and arrange them cut side down in the pan, then sprinkle in the curry leaves, mustard seeds, and a pinch or two of salt. Cook, without disturbing, until the figs are nicely browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes. Use a thin metal spatula to turn the figs over and cook just until they're soft and glazed-looking, about 1 more minute. Serve warm.

Then I made some fig preserves, the first of this season, kind of winging it based on Regan's description of another fig dish she loved once, roasted figs with ricotta. It worked very well, and even though a version of this recipe will be in my book about canning and preserving (almost finished now, and due to come out next year!) I thought I'd post it here anyway for loyal friends and family who still have old Pie and Beer in their readers, blogrolls, or whatever.

Thank you, Regan, for passing along your extensive fig knowledge, and thank you, Carrie, for passing along the figs!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Texas Barbecue

Over on Flickr, I've posted some pictures of a weekend the elder Chalmerses spent in and around Austin. Lots of brisket, tacos, and donuts.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ten Kitchen Things I Like

A set of pictures over on Flickr, which I've been using lately as a sort of comfortable medium between blog (too hard) and Twitter (too easy).

Saturday, January 24, 2009

So Lazy

I'm exhausted today after a hectic week of work, but I wanted to point you over to Flickr, where I wrote up a really basic tutorial for sewing an easy tiered toddler skirt.