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I am UmberDove.

And by that, I mean an artist.  One who hears stories in the wind, who paints because it is what her soul tells her to do, who smiths because the muse moves through her fingertips, who loves nothing more than the promise of an unexplored trail, the sound of the ocean in her ears, and scent of a serious cup of coffee.


A Kitchen Frenzy and the Great Foodie Swap 2010


I've been trying to rest, promise I have, but the coastal summer that is dancing on these shores just teases me to the breaking point. And honestly, certain combinations work like a drug; take for instance:
Blue Skies + Temps around 65* + HOURS logged inside reading "Radical Homemakers" + The season's first plums and cucumbers, as well as bounties of strawberries and fresh lavender at the farmer's marker + A fire in my fingertips to create ANYTHING


It's that season again, the time of bounty, the time when the gardens jump into overdrive, pumping out beans and cucumbers and tiny berries smoother and sweeter than any factory could dream of. It's the time of year I begin craving long days in the kitchen, when I start counting the number of empty mason jars, factoring in fresh produce and deciding just how many different types of preserves a gal can make on strictly coastal produce.

plum jam

This weekend's frenzy included:
8 jars of Plum Jam
8 jars of Strawberry Lavender Jam (a la Sunny Rising)
2 jars of Dill Pickles
1 Cup of Lavender Honey Butter (I could eat it straight on a spoon. I could also gain a few sizes after smearing it on every surface in sight. Don't judge me)
1 mandatory batch of Whole Wheat Scones as the vehicle for jam consumption

I'm a strong believer in local foods, in swapping recipes at the farmer's market, in putting up food when the harvest is at it's prime, in knowing exactly what it is I'm putting in my mouth. There is a value in all this that feels far greater than strict monetary savings; there is a joy I derive from knowing I can produce food for my tiny family, that we are supporting our community by buying direct from the farmers, that the foods we ingest were grown thirty miles away from my kitchen.

All this has got me thinking.
I think we need a swap.
A swap of the foodie type.

So if you are interested, here's what I'm thinking:

"Foods" can include jams, jellies, preserves, pickles or anything else that is shelf stable. They must be either 1) created with your two ever-loving hands or 2) purchased from the ever-loving hands of their creator (if you are not a canner, or not ready to take on that kind of challenge but want to be involved, please be sure that the jars you purchase are locally made - farm stands, farmers' markets, and even neighbors are all good resources).


1. If you want to be a part, email me at by MONDAY JULY 12TH with your name, address (and blog if you keep one), what type of food you want to swap, and if you have any food preferences (if you are deathly allergic to blackberries, now would be the time to fess up). We'll be exchanging 1-2 jars (or items) - just take into account the general size and quantity that you are sending - not too much, and not too little. I will send you the name and address of your swap partner as well as any other details after the 12th and we'll all have a grand time!
2. The official swap date (meaning the date all packages must be mailed out) will take place July 30th, giving us all time to choose our jars carefully.
3. After you receive your swap package, please please snap a photo or two and email them to me! I'd love to put together a collection for all y'all to see our bountiful harvests!

If you'll excuse me, there is a scone singing my name and some strawberries doing a little lavender dance of sweet sweet temptation.

Cheerio me chickadees!