I’m so glad to be back home on New England soil. Except for today’s rainy chill, it’s warm and cozy and the soil is basically ready to be planted. Since I spent most of May in Ireland, I only got the garden ready for planting in the last week of May, cutting it a little close for comfort for this Yankee gardener.
Gardening on my mind: I spent a few days at the Ballymaloe Cooking School in Ireland and besides meeting some of the very best chefs in the world (serious), I walked the gorgeous kitchen gardens. Inspired, on my very first day back home, I rotated the soil in my raised beds, adding in compost and plant food, and also amassed a sizable lot of my favorite plants like basil, rosemary, tarragon, mint, tomatoes, cucumbers and every type of wild salad green to make their home in my plot. What are you growing this year?
I miss Europe, already: I’m pretty happy to be back for so many things, including two more weeks of French stories and recipes yet to be released on Eat Boutique. I find myself re-reading Denise’s story on Socca, a fortifying chickpea crepe that can be eaten any time of day, and can’t wait to gift her mix to my Francophone friends. I’m thrilled that Amy loved Breizh Cafe’s original Brittany-style crepes as much as I did. Champagne and crepes for all!
Early summer sweets: I’m hosting a birthday barbecue in a couple weeks, where I’m certain to make my take on Molly’s Rhubarb Rose Cake. The batter is rich, ladled with buttermilk, and the compote could be anything that you want. If rhubarb is out of season by you now, try a strawberry-vanilla version or maybe just layer in my favorite passion fruit curd. I may, however, go another way and make individual stone fruit tarts, similar to Molly’s Individual Plum Frangipane Crostatas. Yum!
Two trips this month: I’m only back a week but re-packing for a few days in Maine where I’m certain to stuff my face with lobster. I’m also attending the Wood Fired Grand Cru of the Kennebunkport Festival. And later in the month, I’ll be at the Summer Fancy Food Show in my favorite city, New York. Preparing for a trip to New York City is like picking a favorite lollipop in a candy store, so many restaurants and so little time. Since I got to meet April Bloomfield in Ireland, I’m hoping to get to The Breslin this time around, lucky me.
Ireland, the emerald isle: These are just a few images from Ballymaloe and I plan to post a bunch of my Ireland images in a couple weeks. Ireland was beautiful. We drove 2700 kilometers over 2 weeks, or about the distance of half way across the US. And between bigger cities and tiny towns, I felt quite at home there. I think, but don’t hold me to this yet, that the area around Cork was my favorite, but I just loved Kenmare and Galway and Howth, too.
I’m going to dig in deep to get my garden growing and get the new website up this month. I can’t wait to share both with you soon. Happy June!
Photos taken and styled by Maggie Battista.
Eat Boutique discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers and shares our version of #foodgiftlove. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop.
Eat Boutique is an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista–shop girl, writer, author, and creative business coach. After hosting pop-up markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie is working to open her first permanent Eat Boutique–a food-retail concept space with a new way to the very best food–as well as coaching women in food to reach life and business goals. Her second cookbook, A New Way to Food: 100 Recipes to Encourage a Healthy Relationship with Food, Nourish Your Beautiful Body, and Celebrate Real Wellness for Life, will be published by Roost Books on February 5, 2019.