Sunday, August 30, 2009


Last weekend we dove into our summer squash. We had too much to use effectively for one weekend, so we grated the extra squash, blotted it a little, portioned it into 1 cup sizes and put it in the freezer for winter use.
And we made some zucchini bread. 

This acorn squash was ready too. Bill roasted it and turned it into risotto with the chicken broth from our earlier adventures. It was all delicious!



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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Productive chickens

Despite a bit of drama with a red-tailed hawk in our chicken coop on Friday (we lost a hen), we have been making use of the productivity of the chickens.

We're consistently getting one egg a day now. So Bill has been enjoying one home grown egg and one store-bought egg for breakfast. It is hard to tell from the photo, but the yolk in our eggs is more orange AND, our eggs (on the left) are now roughly the size of those found in the store:

Last weekend we cooked one of our meat birds. Bill boiled the whole bird in a stock pot for about 8 hours. When he took it out, the meat all fell off the bones - half of it was slathered in Dinosaur and eaten on a hard roll and the other half had garden beans and carrots added to it, along with a bit of stock and cornstarch and was eaten over egg noodles.

Yesterday we made our first attempt at canning apples (u-picked from our local orchard) to keep for winter baking. We learned valuable lessons on "packing" the jars. The first two jars looked really full to me...but then we added the syrup and processed them:

From Pictures

We did a little better on the third but there are still lots of air bubbles. I think I need special canning implements (and practice) to perfect this technique.

From Pictures

We also made our first jelly from local apple cider and store bought cranberry juice. Jelly is so easy - and very pretty:

From Pictures

Finally, we were inspired by Julie and Julia to start baking our way through a cook book. Ours, however, was probably a Barnes and Noble bargain book, though it is very pretty (also, as it is a cookie book, we won't have to worry about boning ducks.). First up: bacon cornbread muffins.

Reading through Julie Powell's initial blog, I came across this, alternative view of food, which I found interesting. Thoughts?

Enough of the $40 olive oils and imported semolina flour and "please, Turkish oregano only." If I read one more dining guru gushing about "honest ingredients, treated with respect," I shall vomit, sir. And "Market Menus"? Dont get me started. The well-meant "food revolution" Alice Waters instigated some thirty years ago has metastasized horribly. The Victorians served Strawberries Romanoff in December; now we demonstrate our superiority by serving our organic, dewy heirloom strawberries only during the two-week period when they can be picked ripe off the vine at the boutique farm down the road from our Hamptons bungalow. People speak of gleaning the green markets for the freshest this, the thinnest that, the greenest or firmest or softest whatever, as if what they're doing is a selfless act of consummate care and good taste, rather than the privileged activity of someone who doesn't have to work for a living.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

millions of peaches

Two weeks ago we got our second half-bushel of peaches from a local orchard. In addition to doubling our supply of peach butter, we made some honey-spiced peaches from the 2009 Ball Blue Book. After boiling the peaches in honey-sugar-water, we put them in jars and added cloves, cinnimon and allspice. I have high hopes for making some shortbread and turning them into delicious winter treats.

We also enjoyed our first ear of corn from the garden. We've been sharing it unwilingly with the indigo buntings. 

This morning we also shucked some coco rubico beans (and a pod of red kidneys). We have barely enough for a bowl of soup... next year we'll plant more. Now we know.


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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Local dinner

Thrusday night we had a lovely mostly local dinner of Farmers Market lamb steak and garden green beans (uncooked). 
The wine was not at all local (but it was good, which Indiana wine is not). 

Homemade bread with ginger-spiked peach butter that we made from local peaches for dessert.

Sugar approved as well - the sheep had lots of fatty edges, which were a nice treat for the dog. 

Today - we can more peaches! We bought a half-bushel (our second of the season) at the local orchard with plans to make honey-spiced peaches and more peach butter. 
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