Nothing like that temperature and humidity drop after the heavens open and hammer down upon us. No more going outside first thing in the morning and taking a deep breath of water. No more red-face and sweat stains from a sixty-pace stroll to fetch the mail. 

And, lamentably, after the especially punishing torrent last Sunday, no more osprey nest.

My heart broke when I checked in the next morning to find their new nest dangling, in shreds, from a branch several feet lower. Having returned yesterday evening from a week away for work, the ospreys are still flying around and the wrecked nest still hangs on, but it’s tough to tell whether they’ll try to repair it. Or even where they’re staying at the moment. The old nest? An Aeriebnb nearby? Back to the binoculars for me…

Not so much a Weekly Suppers flashback today, but a simple summertime kitchen tip for those of you fortunate enough to still be enjoying fresh-picked strawberries: Save the tops! The sweet-tart taste extends throughout the entire berry — the usual castaway portions included. As long as they’re not bruised or rotten, I rip off the leafy bits and transfer the already well-washed trimmings to a lidded glass jar.

The fun comes in deciding whether to be nice and cover with white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, even regular distilled white; or be devilish and cover with vodka (shown), gin, tequila, even white wine or rosé — pick your pleasure. Be more adventurous with a sprig of fresh basil or mint; a few orange or lemon peel strips; half of a split vanilla bean. Infuse in a cool, dark place 1 to 2 weeks, then remove the berries (definitely save to use elsewhere). Et voilà!

Enjoy vinegar-based infusions in vinaigrettes, as a finisher for salads and proteins, in pastas and grain dishes… Enjoy boozy infusions in cocktails, baked into or spritzed over a cake, atop ice cream… Either way, enjoy. (p.s. This also works with clean trimmings/stem tops of figs, stone fruits and pear + citrus parings + cherry and stone fruit pits.)

Give the updates + links below a look, and please send up your best wishes for our ospreys! Stay cool, Friends.

Cheers, Heather

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From the Author


  1. Deborah Hansen says:

    Excellent post! So sad to hear about the osprey nest; hopefully they’ll rebuild (how long does that take, I wonder?) or find an empty nest nearby to claim as their own. I love your “aeriebnb” suggestion!!! Too bad my strawberry tops are long gone, but that’s a great suggestion for them. I passed on to my sister the info about feeding horses pebbles to slow down their eating. My horse is an “easy keeper” and gains weight easily, so maybe this could help! And thanks for promoting Bluie’s need for a forever home- he really is a terrific cat and I ought to know seeing as I’ve babysat for him a couple of times.

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