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Superabundant dispatch: Strawberry-linden blossom compote with vanilla-buttermilk shortcake and news nibbles

Eating trees saves bees! Use extra berries in a moist buttermilk shortcake with strawberry-linden blossom compote. Recipe included.

OPB's "Superabundant" delves into the intricate stories behind the foods of the Pacific Northwest, offering a deep dive into the region's culinary ecosystem. Each week, culinary historian, food writer, and ecologist Heather Arndt Anderson explores different facets of the area's food culture. In this edition, she presents a recipe for a delectable buttermilk shortcake with strawberry-linden blossom compote.

As we wrap up Pollinator Week, it's time to celebrate the industrious bees that contribute to the bounty of our region with a special twist on a classic dessert: a revamped strawberry shortcake. The intoxicating aroma of ripe strawberries meets the delicate scent of linden blossoms in this delightful treat. Collaborating with whipped cream and a vanilla-buttermilk pound cake, this dessert is a harmonious blend of flavors. While any cake will do, the simplicity of this pound cake adds a unique touch to the dish. Discover the secret behind this not-so-traditional pound cake as you read on.

Contrary to early beliefs that Indigenous Pacific Northwesterners were solely hunter-gatherers, recent research suggests a sophisticated system of managing wild plant populations that resembled agriculture. A study from Oregon State University reveals that camas, a prized root vegetable, has been cultivated through controlled burns for thousands of years. This evidence challenges traditional narratives and sheds light on the advanced agricultural practices of Indigenous communities in the region.

A recent genetic study comparing data from the U.S. and UK suggests that a penchant for coffee may have hereditary roots. Despite coffee's relatively recent introduction to American and British diets, genetic predispositions for substance use and obesity seem to influence coffee consumption patterns. This intriguing link between genetics and behavior adds a new layer to our understanding of inherited traits and preferences.

As summer approaches and school cafeterias close, many families face challenges in providing meals for their children. The Oregon Department of Education offers free meals for kids aged 1 to 18 throughout the summer without the need for paperwork or proof of need. Accessing these meals is simple, with online tools like the USDA's Summer Meals Site Finder or by calling 211 for assistance. This initiative ensures that children have access to nutritious meals during the summer months.

In a recent interview on OPB's "All Things Considered," Crystal Ligori speaks with Portland chef and James Beard Award winner Akkapong "Earl" Ninsom. The conversation highlights Ninsom's culinary achievements and contributions to the local food scene. This engaging dialogue offers insights into Ninsom's culinary journey and success in the industry.

For those who find themselves with an abundance of strawberries, fear not! There are creative ways to utilize these berries beyond the traditional jam or smoothie. Freezing them for later use, infusing them in vodka for a unique cocktail base, or incorporating them into this week's recipe are just a few options. Embrace the versatility of strawberries and explore new culinary possibilities with this versatile fruit.

As cherry season kicks off, be mindful of recent weather conditions that may affect the sweetness of the fruit. Sampling cherries before purchasing ensures a flavorful selection. Raspberries continue to thrive, offering fragrant and plentiful options for culinary creations. Additionally, garlic scapes are in season, providing a unique twist to summer dishes. Explore the diverse array of seasonal produce and experiment with different flavor profiles in your cooking.

From blooming lindens to wild fennel fronds, the summer harvest presents a wealth of opportunities for culinary exploration. Collecting linden blossoms for teas, jams, and syrups adds a floral sweetness to dishes. Wild fennel pollen can elevate dishes with its unique flavor profile, showcasing the diversity of local ingredients. Embrace the bounty of the season and experiment with new ingredients in your cooking.

As fruit trees begin to bear fruit, consider thinning the crop to improve fruit quality and minimize pest infestations. Utilize excess fruit in creative ways, such as making chicken stock or experimenting with new recipes. Embrace culinary creativity and make the most of seasonal produce in your cooking endeavors.

Incorporating linden blossoms into desserts adds a unique floral note to traditional dishes. From tea blends to liqueurs, these blossoms offer a versatile ingredient for culinary creations. Try macerating linden blossoms with berries for a delightful topping on cakes or desserts. Embrace the delicate flavors of linden blossoms in your cooking and explore new ways to incorporate them into your culinary repertoire.

Indulge in the delights of summer with this decadent buttermilk shortcake recipe. Featuring fresh Oregon strawberries and linden blossom compote, this dessert is a celebration of seasonal flavors. The moist and tender crumb of the pound cake pairs perfectly with the sweet tang of buttermilk, creating a delightful treat for any occasion. Experiment with different variations of the recipe and discover new ways to enjoy the bounty of the season.

As you embark on your culinary adventures, remember to savor the flavors of the Pacific Northwest and embrace the richness of the region's food ecosystem. From seasonal produce to traditional ingredients, there is a wealth of culinary inspiration waiting to be explored. Embrace the diversity of local flavors and let your creativity shine in the kitchen.

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