Bar Top: Cherry Manhattan

The other day I received news that my tenants had an offer accepted on a house and are moving out at the end of August. I truly am happy for them. This is their first home and I remember fondly the excitement of closing on my first home. They were great tenants and I wish them all the best.

On the way home, I asked Rico Suave to put two martini glasses in the freezer. One needs a good drink to accompany the brainstorming that follows news of this nature.

Pour me a drink, Bartender!

Pour me a drink, Bartender!

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Kitchen Tactics: Cleaning Berries

Once I got the black raspberries home, I saw how many bugs were in our collection of raspberries. Generally, because of their delicate nature, you don’t want to rinse berries until you are ready to eat them but there were so many that I needed to clear them of the bugs.

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Black Raspberry Jam

Raspberries have been the elusive berry in my preserving repertoire. I have preserved blueberries, cherries, blackberries, and strawberries but not once have I preserved raspberries. Their delicate nature and relatively short season make it difficult to procure enough raspberries, at a decent enough price, to do any preserving at all, so when Rico Suave asked about picking blueberries I jumped at the final chance to choose a farm that had pick your own raspberries.

Romantic notions of black raspberry picking are completely false!

Romantic notions of black raspberry picking are completely false!

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Sweet Cherries in Light Syrup

Growing up I had an idyllic American childhood. I grew up in a lower-middle class to middle class neighborhood in suburbia West Phoenix. Every neighbor was the typical 2 parent household with 2.5 kids and a dog. Every household was an extended family member. When one of us got into trouble, we didn’t just hear it from our parents but from our next door neighbor, our next door neighbor’s neighbor, and all the way down the street. We really did have our own little village.

Do NOT start a Cherry Pit War!

Do NOT start a Cherry Pit War!

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Urban Gardening

This is only my second year gardening and it’s in a completely different environment from last year.  Last year when I grew my first garden, it did very well. The main reason why it did so well was because I had a large yard with a lot of sun. Everything grew despite me. When I got this rowhouse in Baltimore, I was excited that it had a small patio yard and was excited to become an urban gardener– what I was not expecting was how much shade it would get.

Nope, nothing...had to dump all these.  These were bush beans and peas.

Nope, nothing…had to dump all these. These were bush beans and peas.

I completely underestimated the amount of shade that my patio yard would get.   Many vegetable plants need full sun at least 6 hours a day. There is only a small part of my yard that gets that much sun and not all the plants fit in that area.

All shade.  None of the peppers survived.

All shade. None of the peppers survived.

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Real Deal Limoncello, 2nd Phase

I bet you thought I forgot about this guy, didn’t you?

With all my preserving projects, traveling, moving, and learning a new relationship, I did kind of forget about my limoncello. The good news is that since I’ve forgotten about it, the limoncello had time to mature into a wonderful liqueur…however, I am late on giving the details on this limoncello.

Not forgotten!

Not forgotten!

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