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Last summer at the Joy Kitchen, we had a ridiculously large crop of sweet basil to put up around late August. Due to the large scale, we decided to make a freezer-friendly herb butter instead of what most of us usually want to make with basil: pesto.

     If fennel were a person at a party, it would be the sort of person you only invite to every third party or so.

            If you were standing with me on the front porch of the Joy Test Kitchen right now, you would see the chickens. They're beautiful. They have little feathery bell bottoms and ruffle their feathers and scratch and cluck and coo. The guineas are even more beautiful, like little round ladies with bustles. There are feathers and bits of straw everywhere.

By this point in the season, many grilling-obsessed cooks are beginning to tire of the same old methods and recipes they've come to depend on. If you haven't already tried doing a steak or two directly on the coals at a campfire or in your grill, it might be just the right antidote to cure a late-summer case of grilling apathy.

The onslaught of San Marzanos continues here in East Tennessee, forcing us to adopt drastic measures. As freezer space and canning jars dwindle, we find ourselves resorting to a very space-efficient preservation method: tomato paste. Not only does this method help keep us from wasting fresh tomato fruit, it also cuts down on food costs and spoilage. How, you may ask?

Back when I was writing about home cheese making, I forgot one very crucial cheese that is, frankly, the easiest of all and perhaps the most rewarding cheese to make at home. It is simple, dry and salty, it keeps for a long time, and it requires no pressing or special conditions for aging: feta. Dig it.


As we continue to drown in succulent tomato heaven, we decided that breakfast wasn’t really pulling its weight, so to speak, in our efforts to decimate these juicy kitchen countertop invaders. Of course, we turned to our trusty 2006 JOY for some ideas and immediately became fixated on this quiche recipe.

Have you gotten the impression that we're drowning in produce here? Good. We want to make ourselves clear.

Ever notice how "squash" suspiciously resembles "squish?" Perhaps it had not occurred to you, in which case it is probable that you have not eaten enough of it in your lifetime. Squash, that is.