A Great Summary of Plum Jam: Kate’s Kitchen


This tree could be my tree.

And I have a flood of Italian plums coming on one of my Foch-trees.

kate's plum tree



What to Do with your Scapes


Sautéed Garlic Scapes


2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
8 oz garlic scapes, trimmed
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 cup grilled haloumi cheese, diced

Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add sugar.  Stir to caramelize the sugar for about 2-3 minutes and add the scapes.  Cover and sauté over medium-high heat for no more than 3 minutes, occasionally shaking the pan to prevent scorching.  After 3 minutes, add the tomatoes and wine. Stir, then cover and reduce heat to low; continue cooking 5-6 minutes or until scapes are tender but not soft. Season, then add the parsley and haloumi.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Haloumi Cheese Note: Haloumi cheese is a goat and/or sheep cheese made in Cyprus.  It can be sliced and grilled or fried in a skillet, and it doesn’t melt. Other salty cheeses such as cheddar or aged chevre can be substituted.

Texas Beans

A sample from Texas Kitchen, a great cooking blog:


Jeff’s Beans. (you can start all the beans from scratch)

Jeff was my best friend’s brother-in-law when I was in college. He made some killer beans.  I don’t know if there was ever actually a written recipe, but this is my rendition of them.  A little bit sweet and a lot of savory, they are good with anything that you would serve with pinto beans or baked beans.

  • 1 pound bacon, chopped
  • 2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch parsely, chopped
  • 2 cans (15oz each) of black eyed peas
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) pork and beans
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) field peas with snaps
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) crowder peas (if not available, use 1 more each of black eyes and pork and beans)
  • 1 T cajun seasoning (I use Tony Chachere’s)

Cook bacon in dutch-oven or soup pot over medium heat until bacon is almost crispy. Add chopped peppers, onions and garlic, and cook until softened. Stir in parsley and heat for 2 minutes. Add all beans (do not drain) and seasoning, and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.

You can also cook the bacon and vegetables ahead of time, and then throw everything in a crock pot for slow cooking.


Beets: gnocchi

A very interesting thing to do with beets: from ironstef {from Bon Appetit, October 2004} http://chairmanstef.blogspot.com/2007/07/gnocchi-cant-be-beet.html

  • Beet Gnocchi with Rosemary
    8 first-course or 4 main-course servings
  • 3 small beets, trimmed
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese (skim or regular)
  •  1 large egg 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups flour, divided
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 8 3-inch-long fresh rosemary sprigs
  • Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wrap beets in foil and roast until tender, about 1 hour.
  3. Cool 15 minutes. Slip skin off beets; discard skins.
  4. Coarsely grate beets.
  5. Place 3/4 cup grated beets in large bowl (reserve remaining beets for another use).
  6. Stir in ricotta, egg, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.
  7.  Mix in 1 cup flour.
  8. Lightly dust baking sheet with flour. Place remaining 1/2 cup flour in small bowl. Using tablespoon measure as aid, scoop dough into rounds; transfer to bowl with flour, then roll each into 1 1/2 inch log.
  9. Hold in palm of hand and gently press centers with fingertips to make slight indentations. Transfer gnocchi to prepared baking sheet. See image below.
  10. Melt butter with rosemary sprigs in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Remove sprigs. Set aside.
  11.  Working in batches, cook gnocchi in large pot of simmering salted water until gnocchi float to surface, about 2 minutes. Continue to cook 1 1/2 minutes longer.
  12. Using slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi to skillet with butter and rosemary. Heat butter and gnocchi over medium heat, stirring gently to coat. Transfer to plate; sprinkle generously with additional Parmesan cheese and serve.

Stef’s army of little pink pasta:

Another source: very similar: http://dobetter.wordpress.com/category/family-meals/beet-puree/

Beets: soup with asparagus.

A warming, tasteful soup with beet puree. By: Bonny Reichert

Recipe: Asparagus Soup with Beet Purée and Crème Fraîche–which takes time to prepare if you can’t get it locally.


Roasting the asparagus before turning it into the soup concentrates and develops its flavour, and the beet purée adds complexity and a rich hit of colour. Crème fraîche is a great gourmet flourish, but you can use a bit of sour cream instead.

Beet Purée
2 large beets, cut into quarters
11⁄2 cups water (375 mL)
1 tbsp sugar (15 mL)
1 tsp salt (5 mL)

Crème Fraîche
1⁄2 cup whipping cream (125 mL)
1 tbsp buttermilk (15 mL)

Asparagus Soup
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends snapped off (about 1 1⁄2 lbs/750 g)
3 tbsp olive oil (45 mL)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced (you can skip it)
1⁄2 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chicken stock, store bought or homemade (500 mL) (or veg broth)
11⁄2 cups water (375 mL)
2 tbsp heavy cream (30 mL)
Sour cream (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Place beet pieces in the middle of a large sheet of foil. Bring edges of foil together to form a pouch. Place on a baking sheet and roast beets until fork-tender, about 50 minutes.

2. When beets are cool enough to handle, slip off skins and chop coarsely. Place in a medium saucepan along with water, sugar and salt. Simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered, until liquid is dark red and beets are very tender, 30-40 minutes. Purée with a stand or immersion blender and set aside.

3. To make crème fraîche, place whipping cream in a glass jar and stir in buttermilk. Cover and leave at room temperature for 8-24 hours or until thickened. Refrigerate until needed.

4. To make soup, preheat oven to 400F (200C). Lay asparagus spears on a baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with 1 1⁄2 tbsp (22 mL) of the olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper and roast until fragrant and light brown, about 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot and sauté, stirring, until onion becomes translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for a 1-2 minutes. Cut roasted asparagus spears into 2-in.- (5-cm-) long pieces and add to saucepan. Pour in stock and water and simmer soup until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes.

6. Purée soup with a stand or immersion blender until very smooth. Reheat, stir in heavy cream and adjust seasoning, if necessary.

7. Ladle soup into bowls and add a spoonful of beet purée to the centre of each bowl. Drag a butter knife or skewer through beet purée in a
circular motion to create a swirl. Garnish with a little crème fraîche (or sour cream).