Wood coals glow red on a long summer evening. Ice rattles in a glass, and the sound of laughter echoes from the garden, where someone is picking lemons in the twilight, the small yellow fruits like half-shadowed moons, and the 5 pointed flowers fragrant stars. We leave the screen door open and the smell of smoke wafts into the kitchen, where friends are slicing fruit for the grill. First things first, while the coals are still hot hot hot. Mix up this fragrant spice blend, and dredge sliced fruit in its sweet, aromatic grains of flavor. In just a few moments on a hot grill, the fruit will be transformed.
The acidity of fresh citrus is mellowed on the grill, highlighting the warm, toasted flavors of fruit and peel. Infuse these grilled, spiced treasures into a dry rosé, for a perfect pink summer sangria.
Oops, we made dessert first. How ever did that happen? Keep the peaches warm while the sangria chills. Or heck, eat dessert first. It’s up to you. The high heat of the grill when the coals are fresh and too hot to grill meat or veg is perfect for fruits that just want a little warming char. Before they cool down, grill your salad.
You might want to eat something with barbecue that hasn’t been grilled. You know, just to change things up a bit. The creamy, crunchy contrast of Carolina slaw is a perfect foil to summer barbecue. We made this one with our friend Alex Lewin, who came down to the store a while ago to promote his new book Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond: A Fun and Flavorful Guide to Fermenting Your Own Probiotic Beverages at Home. Hi, Alex! That was some tasty slaw.
That slaw is delicious. But let’s grill some more things! How about this delicious Merguez sausage? Made with lamb, harissa, and Moroccan spices, it’s a slender, tender, fiery sausage, perfect for summer snacking, or anytime.
Don’t already have harissa on hand? Well, we have an easy, smoky, dark and delicious solution.
In the garden, peppers are beginning to come ripe. Tomatoes, too, and a green abundance of basil. Zucchini, beans, cucumbers, and more. Summer is the best time in the garden. Except maybe fall, or spring…Aw heck, it’s too hard to pick a favorite season, but all we can say is, this is a fantastic time in the garden.
Did that recipe for Carolina Slaw get you thinking about fermentation again? We surely are. The Santa Cruz Fermentation Festival is happening again this year, at Skypark in Scotts Valley. Last year, we did a recipe for a lovely Lime Sauerkraut that goes so nicely on tacos. This year, we’re thinking about a fruit and vegetable chutney, to spoon sweet and spicily over all the grilled foods. We’ll have a booth there, too, a little store away from store. Stop on by and see us, pick up some fermentation supplies, and listen to live music and awesome presentations and sample ALL the best fermented foods that the area has to offer!
You may have noticed that we’ve made some changes to our online store. Aw heck,why sugar-coat it, you may have noticed that we do not really have an online store anymore! While we will continue to offer periodic online offerings that relate to our content through monthly emails, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain the online store in all its glory. We’re brick and mortar folks at heart, and while we made every effort to keep the web store going, we have decided that the focus for us right now needs to be on our physical store and the customers whose faces we see across the counter from us every week. Sometimes a little tightening of the focus can lead to different kinds of expansion. Please stop by the store in Ben Lomond, the old fashioned way, or visit us when we come to an event near you. Thank you for all your support over the years, and we hope to see you in real life sometime soon!
That’s all for now, you darling foodies, fermenters, preservationists, farmers, dreamers, and folks! May your July be full of hot coals, cool drinks, and good friends.
This journal and the articles in it were written by Jessica Tunis, unless otherwise noted.