Posts are going to be a bit scarce over the next week or so (and then depending on how long it takes to get internet at my new place). Yes! My new place! As sad (and trust me, I’m sad) to leave my beautiful house, I have to because my landlords are moving back into town from their year at Harvard. For some reason they want their house back (I can’t imagine why, I mean, the place isn’t perfect or anything), so I’ve been on the hunt for a new perfect situation. I’d been planning for a month or two now on moving in with friends to their house, but just this past weekend the opportunity arose to move to a cabin. Yes, a cabin. A cabin! A 150-year-old cabin in the woods, part-way up the mountain (but not too far out of town). A cabin with electricity (thank heavens) with spring water and a wood burning stove. A wood burning stove! (Do you know how long I’ve wanted to live somewhere with a wood burning stove??) Oh, and the kitchen is relatively huge. Pictures to come, but first I need to get the key, clean the place up, and move all of my stuff in by the 15th (which is oh-too-soon). So, dear readers, this blog will morph into vegan mountain living or something. Oh, and I’m going to get a dog. Too much excitement all at once!

Also exciting? The Lebanese Festival this past weekend! Ok, actually the festival was tiny and not all that exciting, but I was able to score the best falafel I’ve had in ages & an overpriced bottle of Lebanese pilsner, Almaza (which was surprisingly good–had no idea there was a Lebanese beer).Β  Both were perfect for the hot, muggy day.Β  Roanoke needs international festivals more often!

In other news, I’ve been gnoshing on these preserves lately (spread on Reinhart’s French baguettes, of course). I seriously can’t get enough of the stuff. Made out of fresh, local strawberries, turbinado sugar, and orange blossom water, the recipe is oh-so-simple and oh-so-good. It’s the perfect spread for afternoon tea or a snack with your morning coffee, and, given that a quart of strawberries produced just over a pint, it’s the perfect recipe for anyone who wants just enough for themselves (yes, I’m being greedy with this one). Early summer has never tasted so good.

Strawberry Orange Blossom Preserves

1 quart fresh strawberries, quartered
2 c sugar
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp orange blossom water

In a medium-large pot (I used my cast iron dutch oven) over low heat, cook the sugar and lemon juice until a syrup forms (about 10 minutes).

Add the strawberries and orange blossom water and increase the heat to medium high. Bring the strawberries to a boil, the lower the heat to a slow simmer. Cook until the preserves begin to gel, 45 minutes-1 hour (mine took about an hour).

Use immediately or follow proper canning guidelines.

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