Daily Archives: 5 July 2010

Happy 4th of July

For me, the highlight of the weekend was the new range. For some reason, the previous owners of our house in Maine opted to install an antique range from the 1930’s, the same kind that Howard spotted Mary Bailey using in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. It was cute and vintage, but not that functional. Rumor has it that the previous owners didn’t really cook. I think that must be true.

For one thing the oven never regulated. It had a thermostat, but regardless of the setting, it just kept getting hotter and hotter. That made it difficult to bake anything. I dealt with it, but it was frustrating. The stovetop worked, but, because the oven was on the side, the workspace was awkward. You couldn’t really use more than two burners at once. If the pot or pan was large, you could really only use one at a time.

So, after almost 6 years, we decided to get a new range. We found the perfect replacement, a new range with a vintage look that fit the original space almost exactly. Welcome to our new Aga range!

For the inaugural bake, I made a cherry crisp. We had some leftover sweet cherries, plus I bought a bag of sour cherries at the farmers market earlier in the week. I didn’t bring pans or a rolling pin to Maine, so a pie wasn’t an option. However, a fruit crisp has the same fruit and topping combo with much less fuss. I made a batch of topping similar to the crumble topping from the sour cherry tart I made recently, using ginger and sliced almonds instead of cardamom and pistachios. The oven did its job perfectly. I set the thermostat to 350F. After 40 minutes, the fruit was bubbly and the topping was browned. Nothing burned. Success!

For Howard, the highlight of the weekend was probably raspberry picking at Goss Berry Farm. We discovered this pick-your-own place in Mechanic Falls, Maine, maybe three years ago. Their bushes are planted in neat, perfectly tied up rows. Howard finds it inspiring for the raspberries in our own yard. It’s cute how excited he gets as we walk into the fields. This time, we saw the coolest mechanized picker that must go down the rows and gently knock the berries off the plants. We didn’t see it in action, so can only speculate.

We picked 6 quarts of the beautiful, perfect raspberries. I made about two-thirds of them into raspberry jam (similar to the strawberry jam I told you about a few weeks ago). The rest we’ve been eating for breakfast. But, before they are gone, I hope to make a raspberry tart. I put together the crust tonight. It’s chilling as we speak. That should be dessert tomorrow.