Wine Country

Fresh from the Farm

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Hello friends, how was your weekend?  Hope you enjoyed yourself and had some relaxing down time!  As for me, I can honestly say my weekend was one of the most productive ever ~ a trip to a U-pick apple farm, a new chandy installed in the kitchen, and the most exciting news. . . the carpet on the stairs is gone, baby, gone.  Oh, yeah. 

So I had a crazy idea on Saturday to load up four girls (age 6 and under) into my SUV and head on out to an apple/pear orchard in nearby Sebastopol for a picking adventure. 

  pears 1


I think kids who grow up on a farm truly are at an advantage compared to city kids. They learn all about hard work, tilling the soil, caring for plants, trees, and animals. 

My suburbanite kids certainly do not live on a farm, so I think it’s important to give them farm adventures whenever possible, so they learn from a young age where food really comes from.  

  girl with apple


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Syrah + Sorbet

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

syrah ripeningHo hum, life is moving at a slow pace this week and I’m getting lost in it. 

I’m catching up on some summer reads I’ve been waiting to dive into.

We’re watching our syrah grapes ripen in the sun.

We’re building tents out of canvas tarps in the backyard. 

We’re taking long naps under the ceiling fan during the hottest days.

We’re picking our share of blackberries.

We’re begrudgingly back to school shopping.


blackberry and boy  

And I’m making grown up sorbet ~ a healthier alternative to my ice cream fixation. 

blackberry wine sorbet


Blackberry Cabernet Sorbet

2 cups water

1.5 cups sugar

24 oz. blackberries

2 tbsp lemon juice

2-3 tbsp cabernet

(or any dry red wine like merlot or syrah)

Bring water to simmer in small saucepan, then stir in sugar until dissolved to make syrup, refrigerate to cool.  Meanwhile, rinse and puree blackberries, then pour through mesh strainer to remove seeds.  Add blackberry puree, lemon juice and wine to syrup, blend together.  Process mixture in ice cream maker per manufacturer’s instructions.  Freeze processed soft sorbet at least an hour before serving. 

Wishing you long leisurely days spent relaxing in the summer sun, enjoying what’s left of the season before the beauty of fall is upon us.