Before there was a film, there was the blog. Check out posts dating back to the inception of the project in April 2008.


The Film...

For those of you who have followed the blog, you may recall that this whole ordeal started with the idea that we were making a movie. Well, I'm pleased to announce that the movie is finally (almost) done. We're in the process of creating a new website (don't worry, we'll still archive the blog!) and we'll be releasing a trailer for the film early next year. We hope to announce screenings soon, so get ready to see "Eating Alabama" in 2012!

Directing the final scene of the film out at Snow's Bend. 

The film has received great support from the Independent Television Service (ITVS), Alabama Public Television, the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Alabama Humanities Foundation, among others. We look forward to sharing it all with you in the New Year!


Peach-Blueberry Crumble

Even though the blueberry and peach seasons have long passed, it still feels as if summer has its hold on us. The soil is parched, and the air is just as hot and thick as it was in July. Our only offering of fall is the changing of the guard - apples, pears, and muscadines have replaced the summer fruits, and our CSA bags are beginning to house bunches of greens and winter gourds.

In August we spent some time preparing for this transition, picking and freezing blueberries for the coming months. Out at our friends Jean and Carol's farm in Coker, the blueberries held out an extra couple of weeks, giving us procrastinators a chance to build our stores. The blueberries have found their way into smoothies and desserts, even as the season begins to shift, and though my palate welcomes the fall repertoire, it will always make room for this tart and tangy little fruit.

Recently, our frozen blueberries along with the season's last peaches, found their way into this delectable end of the summer crumble.


Peach-Blueberry Crumble (from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa at Home)

For the fruit:
6-8 ripe peaches, sliced
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c all purpose flour
1 c blueberries (I used more than 1 cup)

For the crumble:
1 c all purpose flour
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c light brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 lb cold, unsalted butter (1 stick)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice peaches into thick wedges (you may choose to peel the peaches first. If so, immerse them in boiling water for 1 minute, then put them in cold water) and put them in a bowl. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar and flour. Toss well. Mix in blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Place in baking dish or divide among small ramekins.

For the crumble, combine flour, sugars, salt, cinnamon and butter in a food processor. Pulse until the butter is the size of peas. Rub the mixture with your fingers until big crumbles form. Sprinkle crumble mixture over fruit. Bake for 40-45 minutes until crisp and browned and the juices are bubbly. Serves 5-6.



The French Melon

This year I grew my first Charentais cantaloupes. This heirloom variety hails from the Poitous-Charentes region of western France, and though diminutive boasts a superior flavor distinct from the hybrid, netted-skin varieties we are often used to. Its gray green skin hosts dark green sutures that sit slightly lower than the rest of the cantaloupe body, dividing the melon into a series of ten or so elevated segments. As the fruit matures and collects sugars within its flesh, the rind slowly loses its color, and reaches peak ripeness when the skin becomes a dull yellow. A sweet aroma, for which the melon is prized, is also an indicator that it is ready for picking.

Although wonderful eaten alone, in its homeland, the Charanteis is often enjoyed cut into wedges and wrapped in thin slices of prosciutto. The melding of sweet and salty will tease your palate, but in the end is oddly satisfying. Sadly, there is no Alabama prosciutto yet, so you'll have to settle for the Italian import (decadent I know!). And if this French snack doesn't entice you, then how about trying the Charanteis with a little port wine? Just halve, scoop out the seeds, and fill the center cavity with port, and the melon becomes a vessel for a tasty appertif or is transformed into a simple dessert. Still not convinced? Try this recipe for melon sorbet from Saveur.