June Happens

Kristin joined us for Sunday morning coffee and lavender pruning. Snipped flowers were tied in to bundles and left hanging to dry on the front porch. Very soon herbal sachets will be found in the nooks and crannies and linen drawers of Cafe Drake HRV.

We were also lucky enough to have Kristin P. accompany us to Montgomery Place's annual Summer Porch Party and Fundraiser this month.

Where's the Chicken?? Can you spot our crackling, burnished poultry thighs in the two photos above? Cafe Drake HRV typically serves meat in the manner more of side dish than entree, two tiny chicken thighs per plate. We fill the rest of that valuable real estate with salad, veggies and whole grains. Above, 5-Spice Roasted Chicken Thighs were baked atop a cookie sheet strewn with sliced red bell and poblano peppers, onions and carrots. The roasted vegetables, rich and sweet from the chicken fat, were balanced by steamed brown rice and a mizuna and tomato salad. A lavish garnish of mint and cilantro leaves, sliced green chilies and scallions completed the Vietnamese-themed dinner.

Once an army of garden invaders began feasting on our kale, we sprang in to action by rescuing any remaining greens and spraying new, emerging plants with lavender oil and cayenne pepper in hopes of warding off the interlopers. The combo above of Tuscan, Red Russian and Lacainato kale varieties is good for both braising and salads.

Quickest Summer Side Dish? Halve about a pint of baby heirloom tomatoes - gold, yellow, orange, brown - and toss in a bowl with some sliced Vidalia onion, chopped mint, chopped basil and shredded lovage leaves. Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar, season with salt, black pepper and a large pinch of brown sugar, toss again and serve at room temperature. With anything. We love leftovers squished onto sandwiches and tucked into lunch omelets.


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