August 2016: Smoke and Firewater



August, already.  The blackberries are sprawling in the unused places, advancing by hook and thorn and rooted tip, bearing sweet dark offerings of peace clustered at the tip of each branch. The taste, the feel of the rough vines grabbing sleeve and skin, the melting, seedy sweetness of the berries themselves, is a beloved kind of memory. So much changes, from generation to generation; technology, social norms, transportation -- but the taste, the feel of blackberries remains the same. The way they stain the hands and mouth. The plunk of berries into the pail, the smell of low creeks and sun on dust in the berry patch. The deep, simple, sometimes thorny work of tradition. Sweetness.

Blackberry Jam

 homemade blackberry jam

Fermentation is another ancient tradition, one that we practice in ways both innovative and timeless. The world is shrinking, or is it expanding? Miles of ocean can be crossed in an hour. Far-apart cultures can inform and be influenced by one another. Here’s a sign of the times, old world meets the new, a European vegetable meets an Asian fermentation method, perfect for crunching with good ol’ American hot dogs…or are they Frankfurters? Yes it’s a big, beautiful, small world. Embrace it with cuke-chi.



Grilled Cocktails

Well if you’re grillin’ dogs on the grill, you might like this next recipe. Throw down some fruit while the coals are hot. Lemon and pineapple and watermelon, charred and smoky, step outside the realm of fruit salad, and make a splash in your glass. Whether you drink this nectar straight, mixed with some sparkling water, or with a shot of the harder stuff, it’s a revelation. 

grilled pineapple cocktail

Smoky Corn Chowder with Fire Roasted Peppers

The grill’s for more than hot dogs, as you know well. We love to grill extra veggies every time we’re cooking out, to use as ingredients in future meals. The smoky flavors infuse everything they touch with a little bit of fire. Roast up a few poblano peppers, and a couple extra ears of corn, to make the most glorious, smoky corn chowder you’ve ever had.  Incidentally, the base for this soup is a great way to use up excess zucchini. Because, you know. Excess zucchini. It’s dairy=free, but the creaminess comes from blended zucchini. 

smokey corn chowder

Workshops & Events

This seems as good a time as any to remind you, dear reader, about some of our other favorite recipes that are in season again. Remember Karla’s excellent Dilly Beans? Still delicious, and in season once again. Likewise the fermented jalapeno recipe is a staple in our pantries, and now is the time to reap bountiful harvests of jalapenos to make hot sauce that keep our dishes spicy throughout the winter months.

Another way to fire that culinary spark again is to come to one of our free classes!

This summer we’re teaching at various Farmer’s Market’s across the county. This month, we’ll be celebrating the Peppers on August 16th at the Felton market. Fermented hot sauce, chipotle peppers and pepper jam will all be covered. Come join us!

As always, we leave you with best wishes for the month ahead; may your kitchens smell delicious, and may all your jars seal.

August Staff Pick: Stainless Steel Food Mill

Featured in our Blackberry Jam recipe, this stainless steel food mill is non-reactive and hygienic 18/8 stainless steel and comes with 3 stainless steel disks in fine, medium, and coarse. Perfect for making smooth apple sauce or chunky tomato sauce, baby food or fluffy mashed potatoes. The rests will hold the mill steady while you crank the blade. The wood handle fits comfortably in your hand.


It’s part of our mission here at Mountain Feed to help you make delicious, sustainable, homemade food more often. Stop by and say hello on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest. Or, as always, you can do it the old fashioned way and come by the store to speak with one of our in-house experts.