What’s Happening at the Homestead

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Bet you thought I vanished, hm? Certainly not gone for good, but the last few months have provided a genuine crush of activity with visitors, birthdays, and trips out of town, and the usual baking, too. By way of catching up, and before we return to somewhat regularly-scheduled programming . . . there has been:

A cheeseboard. Beautifully and perfectly utilized with a spread of cheeses arranged by my loving person; all cheeses are displayed on a one-of-a-kind cheeseboard made by Mamie Breard of T-Vine winery from reclaimed wine shipping crates.

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Homemade granola. Loads and loads of it laced with dried fruits such as tart cherries and apricots, nuts like almonds and pistachios, shredded coconut, peanut butter chips, and candied ginger — the recipe changes every time.

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Preserved lemons and lemon bread, adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for a grapefruit loaf. Nick found an article noting several recipes to try with preserved lemons, so he assembled a concoction in a mason jar with lemon slices cured in salt, lemon juice, and lavender and sprigs of rosemary infused throughout.

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A trip to wine country for my dad’s birthday and incredible visits to Schramsberg, T-Vine, Madrigal winery, Charbet, and Laura Michael wines/Zathila Vineyards. This trip also included the discovery of Model Bakery’s famous english muffins. Huge, hand-shaped, and fried in butter, it didn’t take long before we recreated those muffins at home.

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A tour of Alcatraz, which provides stunning views of the Bay in every direction.

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Camping at Steep Ravine Cabins, which warrants a post all its own. An early Valentine’s Day treat, we spent two days hiking and just one night in a cabin perched right above the Pacific — it was like looking out at the edge of the world while the moon lit the waves lulling us to sleep. And it turned out our trip was well-timed; with rains earlier in the week, our hikes were muddy and verdant and blessed with creeks rushing and waterfalls around nearly every bend.

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A tour of Speakeasy brewery for a birthday party.

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Peanut Butter Pie. A bet I’m prepared to lose is one that includes dessert as the wagering token. The recipe for this pie comes from Homeroom’s own cookbook; Homeroom is an outstanding mac & cheese joint in Oakland. This pie can be served as an icebox pie, with an ice cream consistency straight from the freezer, or, when served closer to room temperature, it becomes silky, creamy, and oh-so-smooth. I prefer the latter.

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And, suddenly, there’s spring all around us and a trip to Boston ahead. More, very soon.

 

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