Archive for October, 2009

30 October 2009 by megan@spoon

Autumn in Michigan's Northern Fruitlands

When Justin discovered that my familiarity with the Leelanau Peninsula consisted of a single stroll through Sutton’s Bay and a similarly brief visit to Fishtown, he insisted that I get out and explore.  Now, while half the apple harvest hangs in the orchards and grapes still dangle from their vines.  Now, before the crimsons and the goldenrods and the bright greens of autumn fade into the browns and grays and blahs of winter.

23 October 2009 by megan@spoon

Easy Entertaining with Fig Conserve

I spent last weekend in North Carolina visiting friends and family, walking barefoot on the beach, and eating Fig Conserve. I’d anticipated a weekend filled with shrimp and crabs and big game fish, and there was plenty of all that, but our late afternoon cheese and fig snacks were among the weekend’s culinary highlights. The Fig Conserve is one of my favorite American Spoon products. It’s filled with chunks of honeyed figs and their tiny, crunchy seeds, all accented with the bright notes of citrus. It’s completely divine — sweet and fragrant and just a teensy bit zippy — and I’d be content to just gobble it up by the spoonful. Of course, it’s generally considered impolite to sit around eating jam straight from the jar, which is where the cheese comes in.

16 October 2009 by megan@spoon

From Apples to Apple Butter

During the summer, Charlevoix is a bustling resort town full of boaters and shoppers and beachgoers, but once Labor Day has passed, the crowds gradually disperse and quiet settles over the town like a blanket.  Charlevoix remains wrapped in this off-season somnolence until the second week in October when, just as the air has turned crisp and frost has begun to kiss green grass, she kicks off her blanket to host the annual Charlevoix Apple Festival.

9 October 2009 by megan@spoon

Cherry Peach Pumpkin Chili

Tart cherries and sweet peaches are no strangers to each other.  They often grow in the same orchards and their complementary flavors mingle together all summer long in pies and cobblers and fruity cocktails, but I would never have thought to combine those two quintessential summer treats with the cheerful orange pumpkins that mark the beginning of autumn.  And if by some rare stroke of genius I had, it certainly wouldn’t have occurred to me that such unlikely companions might make a tasty chili.  For that we can thank Gina Wittenberg, the American Spoon customer who dreamed up Cherry Peach Pumpkin Chili years ago.  It has since become one of our most popular recipes, featuring the sweet heat of our bestselling Cherry Peach Salsa and the rich, autumnal complexity of our Pumpkin Chipotle Roasting Sauce.

2 October 2009 by megan@spoon

Leelanau Bartlett Pears

If you’d stepped into American Spoon’s kitchen last week, you would have been enveloped in the soft, delicate perfume of 5000 pounds of freshly picked Bartlett pears, spread out across the room in shallow trays to ripen to a fragrant golden yellow. And while you were busy breathing in that deliciously sweet scent and imagining some sort of  idyllic orchard scene, a far more practical person might have handed you a paring knife and set you to chopping, because 5000 pounds of pears demand a bit of attention.