THE U-Pick GARDEN will be closing August 20th. This will be the last year the garden will be open to the public. Next year I'll be operating as a CSA, supplying about 20 regular customers with weekly boxes. Thank you for your support over the last 8 years, but it's time to try something new.

To get a copy of my book, "How To Grow Vegetables In Sitka, Alaska" just give me a call....The books are $20 plus tax. If you live out of town and want me to mail you a copy, you can mail a check for $25.60 to:

Lori Adams
P O Box 6021
Sitka, Alaska

Down To Earth U-Pick Garden is located at 2103 Sawmill Creek Road in Sitka, Alaska. It is open usually from mid-June through late August. Hours are Monday-Saturday 12:00 to 6:30. On Farmer's Market Saturdays I am not open until 2:00. Children are welcome but may not run through the garden or chase the ducks. If you have any questions you can contact me, Lori Adams, at 907-747-6108 or 907-738-2241. My email address is

Monday, January 28, 2013

Vanilla Trials

Well, the tax work is basically done, so I took a break and did some fussing in the kitchen.

I've wanted to do a vanilla trial for some time now. I have three types of vanilla: pure vanilla from the grocery shelf, homemade vanilla from my niece, and Mexican vanilla from Mexico.

And what better way to trial them then in creme brulee? 

That's right, this happened....we each got to eat 3 creme brulee's in one sitting!

First we tried them without the sugar glaze to get the full effect of the vanilla. It took some time, but we all came to the same conclusion - and the number one choice was a was the pure vanilla from the grocery store shelf!  But a VERY close second was the homemade vanilla from my niece. There was no question though that the Mexican vanilla was more bland. I think when I cook with it I will use more than the recipe calls for just to beef up it's flavor.

Once we made our decisions we added the sugar glaze...

All in all it was hard work....but hey, someone had to do it!


  1. It would have been interesting to try fake vanilla as well, just to see how it holds up next to the real stuff! You'll have to try again in another 6-8 weeks when mine is stronger. :)

  2. looks like you are torturing those poor guys!!!!!