Last month, I was invited to join Idaho® Potatoes on their Harvest Tour 2016. What a privilege! I had never been to Idaho before and to be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I had arrived a few days before the rest of the bloggers to stay the weekend in Boise with L and her husband D. The 48 hours spent in Boise felt like twice as long because L had planned so many incredible things for us. We had the most incredible time in Boise and I seriously can’t wait to go back. If you’ve never been, GO. I know most people would think “Really?!” “Boise?!” Yes. Boise. The food was on par, we rode bikes everywhere we went and had some fantastic wines. I may have to do a follow up post on Boise, because I loved it so much. I’m sure that it had much to do with L, her outstanding itinerary and her wonderful husband who is such a love.
Onto the HARVEST TOUR!!!!
The Kitchen Prescription. This tea has been my “go-to” for years when I’m under the weather. Lemon, mint, ginger and honey tea soothes your throat and warms you up to get you get through even the worst colds. Winter in most of the northern states is serious. Temperatures hovering in the single digits for weeks on end, plummeting to -20 at night, leaving you so cold that you simply can not shake the chill no matter how many layers you pile on. I hate winter, let me rephrase: I loathe winter. I loathe the snow and ice, the freezing temperatures, the slipping and sliding down sidewalks that haven’t been cleaned, chipping an inch of ice from the windshield, car doors that are frozen shut… You get the picture.
And then you get sick. Watery eyes, stuffy nose, scratchy throat and a cough that rattles your insides like gunfire. You have been taken down by the common cold. Once it gets you, it takes weeks until you start to feel human again.
This is what comes to mind when I think of my father’s mother. Sitting in her kitchen, eating a slice of gingerbread and having a cup of tea while she leaned against the sink with the sunlight shining in through the window on her smiling face.
The memories I have of her are few and far between. She lived in Newfoundland and I lived in Ohio. Spending time with her and getting to know her wasn’t very easy given the 1600 mile separation. I was about 16 years old when I asked her for this recipe, somehow even back then I related through food.
If you know nothing at all of Newfoundland, this is one thing I experienced over and over: Visiting is practically an Olympic sport and they excel at it. You are offered a cup of tea as soon as you cross the threshold and of course something to eat with the tea… whether it be toast, cookies, cake, etc.
At first I thought this was just something that my relatives did. Then I quickly realized after nearly bursting out of my jeans, it was what everyone did.
For weeks I’ve been craving cake… so, enough talk and a little more action. I decided that since I had been to the farmer’s market and had eaten a relatively healthy lunch that cupcakes were definitely in order.
If I’m going to make cupcakes, more often than not I would go all in. Chocolate. The darker & richer the better… however since it is spring and this weekend marks the “un-official” start to summer I wanted to lighten it up a bit and do something a little different.
If you are anything like me, sometimes you forget all the little treasures you have stashed in your kitchen. I buy things that interest me and then put them away for when the mood strikes, but the unfortunate truth is that occasionally they are forgotten until I stumble upon them (usually when I’m looking for something else).
Well, the latest treasure to be unearthed was candied ginger. I thought it might make an interesting garnish for the cupcake and that was basically my jumping off point. (well, that and my persistent sweet tooth…)
I am starting to think I missed my calling as a mixologist… I enjoy coming up with new drinks and playing around with flavors to see what the end result is and there is no pressure to get it right because I’m just having fun. Luckily there have been no casualties as of yet and surprisingly no bad drinks either.
The “Thai One On” post featured the flavors of Thailand and I adore those flavors. They are complex yet so clean and they hit every part of your palate. I thought “Why not make a drink with that flavor profile?”
So I started thinking of what goes together and what flavors I enjoy… It is fairly straight forward, nothing too complicated, yet unusual.
This is a drink I plan to break out when I want to impress. It is light and goes down quite easily… perhaps a little too easily.