Friday, July 24, 2009

Fruit of the Earth

This morning's cool cloud cover is a nice break between a week of 95 degree heat and the upcoming week of 100+ degree temperatures. I spent some time watering the garden this morning, enjoying the sweet, earthy perfume of all the plants. The entire yard felt cooler and glistened with the look of a gentle rain. I harvested a handful of snap peas for a midmorning snack before I descend to my office for an afternoon of writing.

I'm 2 weeks into a new job writing pages for a start up website, TownMe. Their idea is really cool - to create a Wiki for every city. Right now they are launching in major cities nationwide with hired writing teams. They're still in the beta testing stage but ultimately the site will become a living, breathing entity as Portlanders (and her visitors) update and elaborate on content.

Last week I wrote a page for them about farmer's markets in Portland. During my research I discovered the Interstate Farmer's Market and can't wait to check it out. They have some raw food and vegan vendors I want to check out. A vegan diet is fun and delicious to me - a way to celebrate the perfect beauty of Earth's bounty (and honor the equality of all species) and this summer the Earth has been especially rewarding. My family is half-way through the 8 pounds of blueberries Justin and I picked out at Bella's Organic Farm on Sauvie Island 2 weeks ago. I baked an ultra delicious vegan blueberry pie, making up a simple recipe . First I must confess I always use those frozen pie shells they have at Whole Foods or New Season's. Here's my quick and easy 3 step vegan blueberry pie recipe:

3 Step Vegan Blueberry Pie

6 cups fresh blueberries.
1/4 cup water
2 heaping tablespoons agar agar flakes or organic cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar or 1/4 - 1/3 cup agave nectar
1 pie crust

  1. Smash about half of the berries with your hands and stir them together with the remaining whole berries.
  2. Stir the cornstartch or agar flakes into the water, pour that and the sugar or agave over the berries and stir it well.
  3. Pour into pie shell and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
The pie may be slightly juicy still but will firm up after sitting for 2-3 hours. If you use agar instead of cornstartch when you remove the pie from the oven you may notice the agar flakes didn't totally dissolve. If so, just stir the hot filling up and allow to cool. Agar thickens as it cools from hot temperatures and cornstartch thickens as it heats after being dissolved into cool water.

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