September: Serving Up The Last Delicious Drop of Sumptuous Summer

September picturesEight days remain. Eight golden days of Summer, until it swiftly departs at sundown on September 23, giving way to a crisp autumn morning on the 24th.

While we may lament the end of August, the month of September is the perfect time for what we Americans refer to as “al fresco” dining, a phrase borrowed from the Italians meaning “in the cool air.” (Interestingly, Italians refer to outdoor dining as “fuori” and “all’aperto,” since “al fresco” is slang for “in prison”).

What better way to celebrate the closing of the summer season then to dine outside in the cool September evening air, seated at an intimate table with pleasant company, surrounded by a picturesque, beautiful view of a distant mountain, still lake or sailboats in the distant ocean horizon, accompanied by fine wine and delicious food. Read more

The Season of All Things Strawberry

Strawberry Shortcake recipeStrawberry season is here and what better way to cool off than with some chilled strawberry soup and delicious strawberry shortcake?

“A symbol of the delights of summer,” strawberries or “fragaria” are rich in vitamin C and potassium. They are also a source of folic acid, vitamin B5 and magnesium and are thought to have tonic, diuretic, remineralizing, and astringent properties. Read more


Thumbprint cookie recipeAs part of our celebration of “all things Russia” for Valentine’s Day, be sure to read our post in Rose’s Ridge: “From Russia With Love.”

Enjoy a Russian meal with recipes below for Cabbage Soup, Chicken Kiev, and Russian Tea Cookies.

“Shchi” (Cabbage Soup)

“In Russia, cabbage soup…is made from cabbage, carrots, meat, onions, celery, and garlic, with a sour flavoring from apples, sour cream, or sauerkraut juice.  A favorite for at least a thousand years, it can be found in Russian poems and prose, on the table of both rich and poor, and in the fond memory of every exile.” –Taken from Life is Meals by James and Kay Salter
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Cooking “Au Pif”

Life is Meals Cookbook ReviewIn Life is Meals: A Food Lover’s Book of Days, American novelist James Salter writes:

“The meal is the essential act of life: it is the habitual ceremony, the long record of marriage, the school for behavior, the prelude to love. Among all peoples and in all times, every significant event in life – be it wedding, triumph, or birth – is marked by a meal or the sharing of food or drink. The meal is the emblem of civilization. What would one know of life as it should be lived or nights as they should be spent apart from meals?”

This quote could have easily been attributed to Julia Child*, the epitome of one who never lived apart from meals and who received a great amount of joy and pleasure from cooking – and eating! As she once said, “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” Read more