Two Longtime Friends Cook Modern Comfort Food Guest Blog

Watercolor by Joanne -Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisins baked by Colleen

Joanne writes from Florida:

So …. one day last month I was on the phone catching up with my friend Colleen who lives in Nova Scotia.  As we were talking about her new cookbook purchase, Ina Garten’sModern Comfort Food“, my doorbell rang and a package was delivered.  I opened it while talking and it was a copy of the same book!  What are the odds?  My dear friend Ruth had sent it as a surprise.  Colleen and I decided we would each pick some recipes to try out and share our results.  Here are the photos of our month-long project.  Fun and nice way to keep in touch.  Overall we both agree that Ina Garten’s recipes are easy to prepare and almost always turn out looking exactly like her descriptions and photos. 

We’re looking forward to trying out another cookbook author soon.”

Colleen cooked:
Warm Spinach and Artichoke Dip
Spaghetti Squash with Arrabbiata Sauce
Seared Salmon with Spicy Red Pepper Aioli
Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisins

Applesauce Cake with Bourbon Raisins
Joanne cooked:
Brussels Sprouts Pizza Carbonara

Brussels Sprouts Pizza Carbonara
Fresh Zucchini with Lemon and Mint
Roasted Sausages, Peppers and Onions
Joanne has been featured with Tea Bag Art and recently the zucchini as cucumber confused produce sign

The Gift of Homemade Jam

Happy mail today.  Three jars of wonderful homemade jam made by Pam with the goodness from her Massachusetts garden. Wrapped so carefully, protected perfectly, the mail carrier delivered the unexpected box Friday afternoon. Not a drop spilled. They were well padded- Blubarb, Golden Raspberry and Red Raspberry.  Oh my. Which to sample first?

Saturday morning will require some toast and butter.  How you make the jam without pectin and just half the sugar sounds amazing!  Thank you for the delightful gift.  I appreciate your sharing your harvest and culinary skills.

The golden raspberry might be first as I don’t think I’ve ever eaten a golden raspberry.

 

Bee on Purple Asters

Bee photography in my friend Joan’s garden has been an interesting experience. Joan keeps two hives of bees. When we walk through the garden she knows which bees are hers. When I left the first time she gave me a jar of honey

My return trip to Joan’s I took her a hat of apple butter. As we sat outside, I was determined to photograph a bee on the purple asters. The bees wouldn’t land for long and my hand wasn’t that steady, coming up with lots of blurry shots.

My mother loved asters. Joan said last year she inadvertently cut them down to the ground thinking it a weed. And look at the gorgeous flowers now.

One more bee on a flower image.

What’s Your Comfort Food?

Last Thursday on our virtual knitting Zoom, my friend Joanne showed this lovely watercolor painting titled Comfort Food.

I had to smile cause I knew Ina Garten’s Modern Comfort Food cookbook was to arrive at Joanne’s house in Florida the very next day. I’d ordered it as a gift.

Here’s Joanne’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich and Tomato Soup painting, Thanks for sending, Joanne.

And here’s the cover of the new cookbook

Can’t wait to cook some of these recipes

And the back cover. Black and White Cookies.

What is your go to comfort food in the Pandemic?

My Friend’s Geraniums are Magical

These glorious geraniums on my friend’s porch are coming to the end of their blossoming season. But they’ll return next summer! We visited on her from porch this morning and captured these blooms, so amazing.

The very same plants. I’m not kidding.

How does she do it?

Here’s her method. Works for 5-7 seasons.

Get a large brown paper lawn bag, NOT plastic.

Take the geraniums out of the window boxes and knock off (gently) all the dirt that clings to the roots.

Place into the large paper leaf and lawn bag.

Carry to the basement. ( here in Pittsburgh we have basements, not sure what to advise other regions)

Thank you, TW. They are luscious.

And my friend wrote the directions I omitted -! “To continue those directions: next year, on May 1st, take the geraniums out of the bag. they will look very dead, leaves and flowers dry and brown. Cut the stems way back to where it looks green. Replant and water with Miracle gro. It will take a good month or more and all the sudden, you will see tiny leaves appear. Then, they grow on from there. A sure sign of hope and new life”. TW

Tea Bag Art

Joanne painted this tea bag art and created a greeting card for my July 4th birthday.

My friend Joanne, belongs to an artists’ group in St. Augustine, Florida, -Cafe Sketchers

“Mary Ann Miller is the leader . Our group is the Cafe Sketchers and the blog is Sketching in Provence as a group of them went a few years ago…
We meet at a different cafe each time and sketch and eat. Lately we meet via zoom and share what we’re working on
.” Joanne writes

The Sketchers in Provence founder, Mary Ann’s blog post says….

“the idea was to use a teabag in a sketch/painting/print in any way you desired. Ideas included painting directly on dried and emptied teabags (inspired by New York artist Ruby Silvious), printing with the wet bag and making something out of that shape, painting with tea or painting a picture of a teacup. I used tea to dye unbleached muslin to cover my T-Doodles books

The members painted tea bags and to see their artwork click here

Georgia Peach in Evening Light

Perfect ripeness

An unexpected surprise delivered to my house. A box arrived containing a baker’s dozen of Georgia peaches from dear friends. Thank you Kristin and Rick. They not only do they look gorgeous but are the sweetest, juiciest peaches, ever. Laura had just told me on the phone, they were getting a box of peaches delivered to their Columbus Ohio home this Saturday. And then these arrived for me. ❤️

A real spirit lifter arrived in Pittsburgh PA
Shipped from Pearson Farm in Fort Valley Georgia
Peach Still Life
The first one, devoured.
Breakfast the next morning in morning light. Rice Chex and peach slices.