Welcome Summer! xoxo, Cafe Drake HRV

Memorial Day may the unofficial start to summer but we don't wait around at Cafe Drake HRV until the 21st of June to embrace the season.

Warm weather and slow gathering dusk are best enjoyed with icy gin cocktails. This week Cafe Drake HRV is partial to the Sage Gimlet, made like the regular drink but shaken and topped with fresh herbage.

The Vault at Cafe Drake HRV a/k/a/ kitchen pantry is still harboring a few treasures from last summer's canning sessions. Above, sweet pickled jalapeno peppers with onions, garlic and allspice berries.

Flat bread pizzas crafted from refrigerated, pre-made dough are perfect for light, summer suppers and require only a few minutes in the (very hot) oven. We roll out the whole wheat dough until quite thin and bake for 5 minutes in a 500 degree F. oven on a pre-heated baking sheet before decorating with whatever toppings strike our fancy. This weekend's pizza offered subtle Middle Eastern flavors with orange bell peppers, red onions, sliced tomatoes, feta cheese and Israeli black olives. After baking we dusted it all with sesame and coriander seeds and loads of fresh oregano and mint.
This year Sweet Woodruff has been added to the herb garden roster and its subtle vanilla and fresh hay flavors have made us converts. A rare herb that improves with drying we're snipping leaves already in prep for our proposed stove top smoking adventures.

Have we mentioned yet how much we love this stuff?

Matt & Arabella are enjoying some Summer Lovin'.

above: A casual mention of curried tomatoes and onions in a recent post on dressing summer hot dogs elicited three email queries in a week! So here's how to do it: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. while you cut 3-4 medium-size tomatoes into smallish wedges. Do the same with 1 very large onion or two smaller ones. Place on a baking sheet and toss with 2 T. olive oil, a pinch of salt, 1 T. brown sugar, black pepper and 2 t. good curry powder. If you like, add in 1 chopped scallion and some garlic and sliced hot chilies. Roast for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan once during cooking to prevent sticking. Best if allowed to cool to room temperature.


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