Friday, December 4, 2009

By George, I Think She's (finally) Got It!

I am super excited. I've been working on developing my own business. Business is a daunting word. Being the simple girl that I am maybe endeavor is better. Or just doing what I love. I love to cook, entertain and feed people. I love to host and take care. I also love to play with kids, read, knit, be crafty, garden, etc, etc, etc, so it should be no surprise it's taken me a while - a long while - to come to this. nourish, is the name of this endeavor and "teaching you to feed those you love" is my goal.

I've been working toward this for a long time, teaching many classes, doing many demos and an occasional private classes. My goal was to find a place to teach consistently which would allow me to do my own thing.

By the grace of some wonderful people I met through the green market, I've found a home and sent out my first class schedule a few weeks back. The first class, Easy Kitchen Gifts was held on Tuesday and was tons of fun. I was blessed with a great group of participants that were receptive to the many ideas I shared and, I hope, left inspired.

I really enjoy making food gifts and have done it for years. I had an abundance of ideas and up until that afternoon was putting little treats together. Above is a jar of Spiced Plum Jam that I made in September. I topped it with a scrap paper and adorned with a vintage sticker and paper ribbon. I knew the total score of a box of vintage paper goodies would come in handy. Isn't it adorable. I think it was my favorite gift, at least aesthetically.

A cute take out box from the dollar store (i think), filled with Layered Peppermint Crunch. A layer of peppermint ganache between peppermint topped white chocolate make this even better - and more habit forming. Another score, green velvet Martha ribbon for 50 cents and a bit of greenery finished the box.

This by far, was the hit of the evening. Rosemary-Orange Salt uses basic ingredients with stellar results. Warmed salt, fennel and peppercorns are infused with orange zest. Rubbed on a pork loin or to flavored roasted vegetables. I used a recycled jar and made a label with my trusty rubber stamps. Teeny, tiny roasted potatoes skewered and dipped in the finely ground salt made a tasty hors d'oeuvre.

There was also a great Balsamic Cranberry Drizzle, Joy the Baker's Salted Cocoa Roasted Nuts and fruit liqueurs and brandied fruit and......

So many ideas and things to share. I think I've found what I love and it only took 40 years.

Rosemary-Orange Salt

1 cup coarse sea salt
2 T. fresh rosemary leaves
1 t. black peppercorns
1 t. fennel seeds
Zest of 6 oranges

In a saute pan, combine the salt, rosemary, peppercorns and fennel seeds over medium-high heat and cook, shaking the pan gently, for 2-3 minutes, or until the pan gets hot and the salt and fennel seeds begin to crackle.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the orange zest, and toss with the salt or until the pan begins to cool.

Spread the salt over a dry baking shet and set aside to cool completely.

Transfer small batches of the salt mixutre to a mortar. Using a pestle, crush to the consistency you prefer. Alternately, grind the salt mixture in a spice grinder or a coffee mill reserved for spices.

Store the salt in an airtight container, in a cool place for up to 4 months.

1 comment:

Georgine said...

I am so sorry I missed this class, because it looks like it was awesome!!! So many good ideas. You are so cool, so entrepreneurial!