“Farming is a strange combination of forced patience and instant gratification,” is how local farmer Tara Rockacy explained her endeavor, and she would know! The lady has been moving and hustling, expanding, growing and evolving with each season, from CSAs to goats emerging from new barns to mingle with the city’s top chefs. The “forced patience” aspect reminded me how a farm must work in tune with the season and the elements. Unlike a business startup, there can’t be a complete change of direction mid-season. There can’t be a last-minute decision to focus on flowers because that’s what the market wants. That decision has to be planned and put in motion long before the competitive scrambling to catch a bridal bouquet. That’s why a bloom, at long last, is so instantly gratifying.
Nonetheless, my dreamer, imaginative, event designer, stylist side gets swept away with the farm’s full potential, until a brief reality check finds me ensnared in visions of long tables, farm-fresh bouquets, wedding vows amidst the basil, banjo nights, yoga by the hoop house, drawing classes with edible still lifes, herbalism workshops, etc, etc, etc. The “forced patience” is remembering the main goal for this season: to repair the soil, grow food and feed people. Everything else will come in its due time. Due time means starting small: one picnic table, four friends, and one enjoyable evening of just being on the farm.
“This is the first time I’ve had people on the farm and haven’t put them to work,” the Urban Farmer joked, and though the work is rewarding, just sitting, laughing and eating sausages was a welcomed change of pace.
Starting small, or simply starting, can be such a hurdle, so this cookout was a much needed reminder for me to slow down, enjoy this season, and take advantage of the here and now. I should probably plaster that reminder all over my apartment: Start small, start small, start small!
Bricks that once clad homes on these vacant lots, were born again as a our fire pit, where we grilled sausage and smoky potato wedges with herbs. The Urban Farmer picked the salad straight from the ground- a flavorful mix with bitter, citrusy notes and crunch- a far cry from the plastic container of greens in the produce aisle. The watermelon was juicy, the cocktail was refreshing, the view of the city was stunning, and dessert was just the right mix of sweet and tart.
While my head will probably always spin with ideas and grand dreams, I’ll take plenty more of these small, first steps and remember to appreciate patience, albeit forced, and cherish the ensuing moments of instant gratification!
Whole Wheat Lemon Mint Olive Oil Cake & Sage Lemonade Cocktails
About These Recipes: Olive oil, lemon juice and lemon zest make this a moist, spongey cake fit for vegans and dairy-loving fools alike! Serve with homemade whipped cream, organic vanilla bean ice cream, or vegan whipped coconut cream. The cocktail is a loose recipe for a fruit-infused punch. Free of precise ratios, it’s an effective way to serve cocktails to multiple people. You’ll need a gallon jug or pitcher.
Whole Wheat Lemon Mint Olive Oil Cake (Vegan)
2 cups organic whole-wheat pastry flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
1 cup chopped fresh mint
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 cup fresh organic lemon juice
1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons organic lemon zest
2 Tablespoons organic lemon extract
Raspberry or Strawberry Jam
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, chopped mint, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, maple syrup,lemon juice, water, lemon zest, and lemon extract.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake for about 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it.
Transfer to a rack to cool. Remove from pan.
Spread a layer of jam on the cake surface, leaving about a 1-inch border on the edge. Top with strawberries, blueberries and fresh mint.
Sage Lemonade Cocktail
64 oz (half a gallon) Trader Joe’s Organic Mango Lemonade
60-64 oz (half a gallon) Ginger Peach Black Tea, brewed extra strong (such as this)
Fresh Lemons, sliced
Fresh Strawberries, sliced
Art in the Age Sage Liquor
Pour the mango lemonade into a gallon, glass jug or pitcher. Add fresh fruit and mint, to your taste preferences. Top off with the Ginger Peach tea. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
To serve, add 1-2 ounces of Art in the Age Sage Liquor to a glass with ice. Top with tea-lemonade combination. Garnish with fresh mint and fruit.
Need the perfect summertime cocktail for your 4th of July festivities? Paula Le Duc has you covered with this delicious Blueberry Sonata, the latest addition to our signature cocktail series! Original recipe from Paula LeDuc Fine Catering and photos by Josh Gruetzmacher.
Directions: Muddle blueberries, add ice; shake and strain into coupe glass. Using an Isi Whip Cannister that has been double charged with N20, top with Paula LeDuc’s house-made lemon-sage foam. Garnish with lemon sage foam; sage leaf and 3 skewered blueberries on a sword pick.
House-Made Lemon & Sage foam:
In an empty, chilled Isi Whip Cannister add:
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
2 oz Art in the Age Sage Liqueur
1 oz. sage Simple Syrup, more to taste as needed based on personal preference (equal parts sugar, water, fresh sage leaves)
4 oz Fresh, strained Lemon Juice
Seal tightly with Isi lid
Charge with one N20 cartridge and shake hard for 10 seconds
Remove spent cartridge and then charge with a second N20 cartridge
Shake again and then let chill in refrigerator for one hour. Shake well before each use.
Sure you may know Quaker City Mercantile for all the work they do with Art in The Age but they also rather creatively revamped Narragansett Beer.
Agency: Quaker City Mercantile
Creative Director-Ron Pushkar
Director: Ted Passon
Producer: David Dunn, Laris Kreslins
Writer: Ted Passon, David Dunn
Lead Designer: Thom Lessner
Lead Animator: Harvey Benschor
Sound Design: David Dunn
As the season of cookouts and get-togethers warms up, having the right beverages to pair with all your summer festivities is essential.
Ice cold drinks, made with the freshest of ingredients and local spirits… that’s what I’m talking about. Having a few good recipes on hand will make hosting your summer parties a breeze, so I stopped by Standard Tap here in Philly and enlisted the help of one of their bartenders (and also one of my best friends here in Philly), Brendan.
Standard Tap has been one of my favorite restaurants ever since moving to Philly — it’s the place where you can grab a drink after work, the place you go to on Sunday for the best brunch, or the place you take your friends and family when they come to visit. It has my five star rating without a doubt, so I was more than happy to spend the afternoon with B and learn a few cocktail recipes.
The best part? All of the recipes feature locally crafted spirits and herbs picked straight from their greenhouse garden they have growing on the roof. Get served a little taste of Philly in a glass with these summer cocktail recipes from Standard Tap!
2 oz of Rowhouse Spirits Gin
1/2 oz ginger simple syrup*
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker full of ice. Shake and strain in a coup glass, then garnish with a sprig of Rosemary.
*Ginger simple syrup is as versatile in the home bar as it is easy to make. Mix equal parts of cane sugar and water over medium heat on the stove until the sugar is dissolved. Then add finely minced ginger to taste. Allow to cool and keep refrigerated.
Rum and Rhubarb
1 1/2 oz white rum
1/2 oz of Art in the Age Rhubarb liquor
1/2 oz ginger simple syrup
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
5 shakes Peychaud’s Bitters
5 shakes orange bitters
Pour all ingredients into a collins glass full of ice. Stir, then top with soda water and garnish with a lime wedge and a sprig of lime basil.
1 1/2 oz vodka
1/2 Art in the Age Sage liquor
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 ginger simple syrup
1 oz cucumber juice*
Pour all ingredients into a goblet filled with ice. Stir and serve garnished with a cucumber slice and sprig of lemon thyme.
*Cucumber juice is surprisingly easy to make even without a juicer. Blend 3 large cucumbers and pass the puree through a fine mesh sieve (available at any grocer.) If you’re sure to squeeze every last drop, it should yield about 1 1/2 cups of cucumber juice.
What’s better than a fresh summer cocktail? A cocktail frozen into apopsicle! Art in the Age makes a line of organic craft spirits that blend perfectly with some of the season’s most delicious and vibrant fruits and herbs, and we’ve used them to create some incredible boozy popsicles. Mix up some of the recipes below for your next garden party, BBQ or backyard hangout.
SNAP SPICED COCONUT POPSICLES
— 3 tablespoons Art in the Age SNAP Liqueur
— 3 ½ cups coconut milk
— ½ cup toasted coconut
— ½ cups + 2 tbsp organic cane sugar
In a mixing bowl combine the coconut milk, toasted coconut, sugar and SNAP. Whisk to combine and dissolve the sugar. Pour mixture into the ice pop molds and freeze for 1 hour before inserting the sticks. Insert the sticks and then allow to freeze for 4 hours or until solid.
ROOT MINT JULEP POPSICLES
— 1/3 cup Art in the Age ROOT
— 2 ½ cups water
— 1 cup demerara sugar
— 1 cup mint
Add sugar and water to a medium pot over medium-low heat and stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat and add in fresh mint. Lightly muddle the mint with a muddler or wooden spoon. Let this steep until the mixture has cooled to room temperature (about 45 minutes). Once it has cooled, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Add in the ROOT and stir to combine. Then pour into your popsicle molds. Place this in the freezer and check back after 45 minutes (or longer depending on the temperature of your freezer) and add in the popsicle sticks. Keep in the freezer until frozen solid.
SAGE CUCUMBER GINGER BASIL POPSICLES
— 2 ounces Art in the Age SAGE liquor
— 1 large cucumber
— 2 limes
— 2 ounces simple syrup
— 1 cup Reed’s ginger beer
In a blender, combine the cucumber, the juice from two limes, simple syrup, ginger beer and SAGE. Blend this until the mixture is smooth. Then, pour the mixture into the popsicle molds and let it sit for 1-2 hours until the pops are solid enough to hold popsicle sticks. Freeze for 10-12 hours, or until completely solid.
RHUBARB STRAWBERRY BASIL LEMONADE POPSICLES
— ¼ cup Art in the Age RHUBARB Tea
— 1 ½ cups raspberry lemonade
— 1 cup fresh strawberries
— 1 cup sugar
— 1 cup water
— 5 fresh basil leaves
For the basil simple syrup: Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small sauce pan and warm it over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove it from the burner. Add in 5 fresh basil leaves. Once the simple syrup has cooled to room temperature, strain out the basil leaves and transfer it to the refrigerator to cool.
For the popsicles: Combine the 1½ cup raspberry lemonade, the 1¼ cup basil simple syrup and the ¼ cup RHUBARB Tea into a large bowl. Mix well. Pour the mixture into your popsicle molds. Then drop in the strawberries. Let this sit for 1-2 hours before adding in the popsicle sticks. It needs to be solid enough to hold the stick from sinking to the bottom, but not so hard that it resists going in. Let freeze for 7-10 hours, then enjoy!
Father’s Day Gift Guide: Picking the Right Booze to Match His Personality
Father’s Day: The one time of the year when it’s so difficult to shop for someone. What does dad really want and how best to purchase something for pop that pops out? THR thought, rather than getting a gift based on hobbies, interests or some misguided manly endeavor, why not pursue a present based on your progenitor’s personality type? We present 15 male personality traits and the probable wine, spirit or beer of choice for dad, making it easy to find a gift for the guy in your life who has had an indelible influence.
by Michael Cervin – 6/20/2015 4:08pm PDT
Quiet and reserved and interested in how and why things work, Engineer-Dad has superior skills with mechanical things. Usually interested in and talented at extreme sports he is uncomplicated in his needs. Trustworthy and unwavering to his peers, he has a knack for finding solutions to problems and will keep at it until the problem is solved. Therefore Engineer-Dad would love Root. It’s based on a 1800s Pennsylvania folk recipe, stemming from a 1700s recipe for root tea calling for roots that were fermented into beers. The nose here screams root beer, but the underlying tastes need some analytical mining. Best served chilled, this is a certified organic spirit. Billed as the first American liqueur in a century, that claim is not off the mark as this unique beverage is ripe with birch tree, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and woody notes. ($33, artintheage.com)
My dad loved camping. Still does.
Your editor … not so much. At least early on.
We spent my early childhood ensconced in the 10,000 lakes of northern Minnesota. He fished; I complained. He built campfires; I complained. We had a rudimentary tent, some REI-approved provisions and each other as companions and sources of amusement.
Looking back, I could probably have appreciated the peace and beauty a bit more.
But snazzier gear wouldn’t have hurt.
Here, then, is our essential camping gear guide. It’s got the goods for any situation, whether you’re headed into the backcountry, going downriver, glamping or just posting up summer camp-style for a long weekend.
Some things to help ease the load … and maybe the boredom of your ungrateful camp-atriots (hi, younger me).
The following are just a few ways (38 of ‘em, to be exact) to enjoy the great outdoors. Nothing against nature: these items will only enhance your experience.
Plus, some camping location recommendations from our friends at Hipcamp.
Now, let’s get packing.
A small compact washing machine that requires no outside power source other than … your feet? The Drumi is powered entirely by a single foot pedal located near the bottom of the machine. It holds up to five lbs. of clothes at a time and a wash cycle lasts about five minutes. It’s the most efficient way to wash clothes on your not-so-roughing-it trip.
Even if your campsite lacks butlers, you can still eat in style. With its decorative lid and cast-iron finish, this (pre-seasoned) portable oven turns a simple campfire into a five-star kitchen. And as they say, it makes for a great apple crisp.
Feel like camping but hate small spaces? Look no further than the Magnum wall tent. 10′x12′x5′ feet around with a back-screened window for ventilation and an adjustable stove pipe jack. Who needs a hotel?
This compact water tank gives you ten minutes of nearly 100-degree pressurized water, and it runs off the grid on portable batteries.
If you are that guy who doesn’t “get away from it all,” this is for you. The Power Bank creates an instant hotspot for ‘net connection (it’s 3G) and charges your phone to boot.
Make a damn good espresso no matter where you are. The Handpresso set is compatible with both ground coffee and E.S.E Pods, and features four “unbreakable” cups and a single-hand thermos-flask.
Plus: Always have a camping soundtrack with the solar-powered Rockout Speakers, which offer 20 hours of continuous tunes. Get clean water at a push of a button thanks to Bushsmart’s UV Water Filter. Camping’s hard work. Take it easy on the Intex Inflatable Pull Out Sofa, which doubles as a bed. And, for the truly lazy, the Poler Napsack Wearable Sleeping Bag can be hiked up to your waist and worn like a jacket.
Hipcamp’s glamping recommendation:
Big Basin Tent Cabins, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, CA: “These spacious cabins are the most luxurious place to camp while you check out Big Basin. The thought of a bed with mattress pads and a wood stove should motivate you to rest your bones after hiking through the many waterfalls, ancient redwoods and lush canyons in this park.”
Stylish enough for casual wear, rugged enough for your camping experience, the Mountain Jacket by Topo Designs is made of waterproof breathable nylon. Also: ripstop nylon liner. Leather hood toggles. Oh, and did we mention it doubles as a pillow?
Stylish enough for casual wear, rugged enough for your camping experience, the Mountain Jacket by Topo Designs is made of waterproof breathable nylon. Also: ripstop nylon liner. Leather hood toggles. Oh, and
A titanium frypan, water pot and silicone bowl combo. Easy to pack, useful for fish-frying and storage. Bonus: comes with short titanium spork.
did we mention it doubles as a pillow?
Water beats fire. Except here. Here, not only is your case secure and ribbed (for extra grip), it floats. And even if you do get your extended-length matches wet, they’ll still light.
When U.S. Army Rangers recommend a compass, you should listen. Enter the CMMG. It’s shock-, water- and sand-proof, functional in extreme conditions (from -50 F to +150 F) and comes with a magnifying lens and phosphorescent paint on the dials.
Here to bring peace of mind and peace of sleep: a three-person suspended tree tent. With rip-resistant insect mesh and a removable fly sheet, this portable treehouse will protect you from the animals and insects of the forest…while also providing a great view. Also doubles as storage or a wind buffer.
Plus: The Gerber Bear Grylls Fire Starter comes with waterproof storage for tinder, emergency whistle and a survival guide. Need a blade to cut through shrub and briars? The Classic Knife by Woodman’s Pal is American-made, sharp as hell and comes sheathed in a beautiful leather pouch. “Where the heck am I?” is what you won’t be saying with Beartooth, the new geolocator that allows for peer-to-peer and SOS communication without WiFi or cell service. Finally, carry it all in an Aether 60, a long-haul backpack with a custom-molded and padded hip belt for support and easy-to-load (and unload) side compartments.
Hipcamp’s backcountry recommendation:
Buckhorn Campground, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, OR: “Small, rustic and just shy of the ridgeline, Buckhorn is popular with summer campers, fishers and hikers, and is a popular hunting spot in the fall.”
Hey, June. It’s good to see your sunny self again. After yet another A++ weekend of nothing but blue skies, it’s time for brunch on the patio, barbecues with friends, and late night talks around the campfire. Summer in the Pacific Northwest is always my favorite time of the year. I have lots of Oregon travels, new eateries, festivals, and adventures planned and I can’t wait to share them with you.
One of my favorite parts of writing The Paper Airplane is being able to connect you, dear readers, with travelers, artisans, chefs, adventurers all across the globe that are creating new and authentic name for themselves in their own hometowns.
In keeping with the spirit of the season, my go-to drinks this summer are Art in the Age Craft Spirits. Based out of Philadelphia and inspired by Pennsylvania history, Art in the Age Craft Spirits serve as a nod to the old school. “Old school” in the sense that we’re talkin’ about Thomas Jefferson’s botanical garden and Benjamin Franklin’s rhubarb. This is precisely the pre-industrial, original Americana artisan inspiration for Art in the Age Craft Spirits that are certified USDA-organic to boot. And here’s the thing: these spirits are good. Really good.
The individual spirits: Rhubarb Tea, Root, Sage, and Snap each has a unique taste of its own, distilled from cane sugar and flavored with natural ingredients.
For a summer nightcap to swig around the campfire, Root is best when mixed with rye whiskey for a Root & Rye Old Fashioned. Root is derived from an 18th century folk recipe that later inspired the root beer we know today. Then there’s Snap. The spirit is a sweet and spicy yet buttery alcoholic interpretation of “Lebkuchen,” or the Pennsylvania Dutch ginger snap. Pair with ginger beer and rum for a sea-worthy sipper. Sage is the ideal summer garden party substitute for gin or vodka-based cocktails. The spirit is dry and smooth with notes of rosemary and sage, reminicent of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello botanical garden.
For an easy weekend brunch cocktail, I made the Rosy Madras (pictured) with Rhubarb Tea spirits and ingredients that I already had in stock: orange juice, cranberry juice, and an orange peel to garnish. The recipe dates back to the late 1700s when Benjamin Franklin first brought the herbaceous rhubarb to the States. So there you have it– a delicious organic spirit for every occasion this summer and a little American history while you’re at it.
I’LL RAISE A GLASS TO THAT.
Art in the Age Craft Spirits
Disclaimer: Art in the Age Craft Spirits graciously provided The Paper Airplane with samples to review. I received no further compensation and, as always, all opinions are my own. The goal of The Paper Airplane is to share the best of the best in travel experiences, products, food and entertainment. If it’s reviewed, it’s because the given entity is genuinely awesome.