When Life Gives you Lemons

Lemon Lavender Shrub on a  snow day

Lemon Lavender Shrub on a  snow day

We're pretty partial to San Juan Islands fruit - and love to labor with the good ol' stuff from island trees that have been producing fruit and sharing their bounty for over a century. But in the dark of winter, when the light tips beyond the solstice, we keep our hands busy with the citrus that accents all of our jams, organically sourced from California.

People often lament that we don't make a marmalade (we do, but not in the traditional sense -see Quince Marmalade.) It may sound silly to say it feels inauthentic to do so, in an era where local has multiple meanings (is the maker local? are the beans local?) but we count our blessings. We're blessed with legacy orchards, filled with luscious pears, apples, plums & quince. Not lemons. And yet what we do bring in to press for their perfect acidic antidote to sweet pomes, we want to make the most of. Enter our Lemon Lavender Shrub, hot off the copper pots. Island lavender meets bitter lemon oils from said lemon rinds & juice, organically sourced white wine vinegar, and fair trade organic cane sugar. The bitter/sweet/sourness is perfection for cocktails (French 75?) and refreshing spritzers. It captures winter in the south (lemons) & summer in the north (lavender), and reminds us that while we make throwback preserves and bow to the old dames, modern can be fun (and delicious) too! 

Just watching the late February snow melt away - I'm certain of it: cheers to spring! She's coming!

Before the flood

This should have been written first.  Like the Sweet Valley Twins prior to Sweet Valley High.  Before the westward ho bandwagon, before the buckets of strawberries, rhubarb tarts, and homegrown salad, there was granola.  Granola in my tiny New York City apartment was the only connection I could manage on a daily basis that reminded me of what 'wholesome' meant.  I don't mean whole grains, though my batches of granola included plenty.  I mean someone who walks into a kitchen and knows what to do, or wants to learn, or at least cares where their sustenance comes from and is thankful.  Someone who smells baking oats and thinks of their mother -- and then calls her. I didn't have a lot of time for either in NYC, but I did have time for the occasional huge batch of granola on the weekend.  Monday morning I'd bring a canister into work and sit it on the corner of my desk as my contribution to corporate well being.  It was generally gobbled up within a day or so unless I hid it in my drawer (a desperate act to get me through a rough week).  If you asked me for a recipe, I rambled off a list of ingredients but that's as far as I could get.  Making granola was an exercise in reckless and beautiful abandon.