It’s a sunny, Sunday morning and I’m listening to the inaugural concert at the Lincoln Memorial on my local NPR station. My little Grundig radio is cranking out the smooth tones of Stevie Wonder when the radio commentor breaks in to let me know the entire Obama family is on their feet doing a boogie. This is a good day.

Meanwhile I’ve smeared homemade Olive and Fig Jam (brought back from our recent trip to New Zealand) across a piece of toast and my taste buds are singing arias. This stuff is ridiculous, deserving (at the very least) a medal of honor for it’s contribution to humanity. This heavenly jam is the creation of Helen at Elaia Gourmet Olives…please check them out and order some of their goodies…they are delicious!:

Elaia Gourmet Olives –

We came across the jam while olive tasting at Juno Olives, a small family farm who recently opened a shop on-site for tastings. Their yummy olives have a very unique, not-too-salty, perfectly complex, rich and even sweet flavor which I can still imagine right now, a month and a couple thousand miles later:

Both farms are located in the food blessed Wairarapa region of New Zealand’s north island. So if you find yourselves in the neighborhood, search them out.

A Gift for the Southern Hemisphere:

In honor of my friends in the Southern Hemisphere enjoying the fruits of summer, I’m going to share a wonderful, summer salad recipe. Annalisa, yes, this one is for you. Like all recipes, this one is open to interpretation. I have no idea how much of an ingredient I use. I make it up and you should to. Warning: you’ll eat at least a serving of the salad in the making of it. This is required.


Quinoa, Corn, Fresh Herbs (any, but I recommend a combo of cilantro (ie coriander), dill, parsley, and mint), Feta Cheese, Olive Oil, Apple Cider Vinegar, Lemon, Salt


Soak 1 -2 cups of Quinoa for at least an hour (this is optional). Drain and cook quinoa according to cooking specifications (usually the same as rice: ie 2 to 1 water ratio, bring water to a boil, lower heat, add grain, cover). When quinoa is cooked, remove it from stove, place in a bowl, fluff, and place in fridge to cool. (You can make the quinoa a day before so as not to wait for it to cool.)

Meanwhile chop Herbs.

dill, cilantro (i.e. corriander for the Aussies), and parsley

dill, cilantro (i.e. coriander), and parsley

chop chop chop

chop chop chop

If using fresh Corn (which I recommend for taste!), boil water, turn off heat and place de-husked corn cobs in water for 10 minutes. Drain water and slice corn kernels off cob into a bowl (be careful of heat of corn…use a towel or let corn cool a bit). Place cover over corn and put in refrigerator to cool. (If using canned corn, just drain corn and rinse).



When everything has cooled, mix the Quinoa, Corn, Herbs, and Crumbled Feta together in a large bowl. Add Olive Oil to the mix. Add Apple Cider Vinegar and/or Lemon to taste. Salt to taste.

Store in fridge until serving. Enjoy!!



(I used RED quinoa in these pictures. Honestly, I don’t recommend using RED or BLACK quinoa– the taste is a little too earthy/pungent to my tastebuds. Instead, I recommend using the more common beige quinoa.)


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