Chilled Melon Soup and Lavender plus it’s Not Too Late

The melons, along with the fall fruits are peaking now, and it’s the perfect time to make two of my favorite dishes of the season, Chilled Melon Soup with Lavender and Oven-Roasted Fall Fruits. You’ll find the recipes  in the Recipe section on thisIMG_0498 website. I’ll be serving the roasted fruits for the rehearsal dinner dessert for my son’s upcoming wedding in early October.

I’ll cook them in my outdoor wood-fired oven after the chickens have come out. Herb-stuffed chickens are the main course, along with a zucchini and gruyere gratin and a fresh herb salad with a cherry tomato vinaigrette.

Appetizers will be grilled toasts with bowls of garlic cloves and tomato concasse for the guests to make their own, plus a creamy white bean and rosemary spread made with the giant-size Rancho Gordo Corona beans, and platters of my Sultan de Marabout figs stuffed with our housemade jambon cru. A simple meal, but the best ingredients.

It’s is not too late to sign up as an early bird on La Vie Rustic and get $10.00 off your first order if you sign-up before midnight on September 3 when my on-line store officially launches.

I’ll send you a special coupon code to enter on your first purchase.

At La Vie Rustic you’ll be able to purchase my French seed collections – and the overpack and the 6 inner packets were printed on a 1950 Heidelberg letter press by a master printer who is also a friend of mine. I love to run my hand over the print and feel the faint rise on the letters and images. The seeds themselves are heirlooms, some dating back more than 125 years ago. You can also purchase DIY charcuterie kits, Sel de Figues – which, by the way is an amazing addition to the roasted fruits – Herbes de Provence, of course, and a ‘chicken scratch patch’ a nutritious pasture mix to plant for your backyard chickens plus other items.

In my garden right now, I’m picking okra and green beans, along with basil, the last of the summer squash and loads of tomatoes of all kinds. I like to cook the okra with some squash, corn from my neighbor, onions, garlic, and tomatoes seasoned with herbes de Provence and serve it with a chicken paillard.

okra photoI’m picking lots of the Sultan de Marabout figs right now and drying them to make my Sel de Figues for La Vie Rustic. It is such an amazing variety. Since it is a fig that needs fertilization, the seeds inside are crunchy and add a nutty taste to the fruits’ honey-perfume flavor. Everyone who has ever tasted this fig says it is the best they have ever eaten. Even my 7-year old grandsons like them and pick them right off the tree to eat.
La Vie Rustic still has some of the 1-year old trees for sale. They are $25.00 each. You can arrange to pick them up from me between now and Oct 15 by emailing me. After that, the trees will be available bare root in spring via shipping.

Right now and over the next month is the time to plant chicory seeds to harvest from fall through winter and into spring – endive, radicchio, and escaroles. Ours went in last week – we started with transplants this year – 80 of them. I harvest them with the cut and come again method, and they provide our salads for months.
It’s been a little too hot here to plant lettuces – those I’ll plant in the next couple of weeks for a fall harvest, and again in January for a spring harvest.

179And, last but not least, my quinces are almost ripe- another few weeks. This year I’m going to make Vin de Coing – quince wine. It’s a delicious aperitif over ice, or added to sparkling with a twist of orange.

So much to look forward to.