Friday, October 17, 2008
The lady who waxes my eyebrows (yes, one of my little indulgences) gave me a recipe for Cranberry beans...the likes of which I'd never heard of. They sell them at our local fruit stand so I decided to give them a try. First of all, they're beautiful. Gorgeous. My photography..or lack thereof...does not do them justice. The color is amazing...I'd like to try and grow them next season for drying. I have to find out if they're heirloom or not...I'm not sure I want to grow anything that isn't. I'm pretty sure I don't...but I'm still doing the research on that one. If they taste as good as they look, I'll share the recipe with you next week! It's a good weekend to do some cooking!
Friday, October 10, 2008
This is the door in my kitchen that leads out to the back deck. As you can see, it's plain. It needed something. Some color. Some pizzazz. I achieved the color but I'm not so sure about the pizzazz part! Either way...I don't mind it.
Let me share how I did it. Since my door is metal I took two metal, magnetic clips and spaced them evenly above the window. I then took a cute tea towel I had purchased in a packaged set and folded it in half evenly (pretty much, anyway!). Then I put the folded side of the towel into the clips and...voila! An inexpensive valance. Major mistreatment...but I still like it.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
As I thought about this project I thought that it would probably be more beneficial to dry the tomatoes in my dehydrator next time. And I would also make sure I had other foods to dry, as well...to make the use of energy worth it. For this particular batch I ran my gas oven all day on low...and it wasn't even full. Next time...no matter how I do it...I'll dry more items at once. Maybe more tomatoes...some figs...maybe some apples and orange peels...and whatever other great recipes I come across in the meantime!
After: The sink area...just because I have a picture of it. And you may notice that this counterspace and the bit of countertop near the stove, are the only bits of counter space that I have. So you can SEE why I NEED my beloved island! You may also notice in the dark corner there (the lighting in my kitchen is horrible) my giant zucchini. I found it hiding the other day and I was so excited! My zucchini plants last hurrah...
So here goes...
Morning breezes blow
Clearing my thoughts, fresh new day
Cool air on my cheeks
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
My main goal was to pick up some pickling cucumbers because I was determined to learn how to make pickles. The selection was beautiful so I stuffed a bag full and moved on. And because I can never just get what's on my list, I looked around for more. I came across some Cranberry beans I'd heard about so I loaded a bag full of them. I bought green beans, lemons, limes, garlic (in case I decided to go Kosher..and I did), onions and some Asian pears...just because I love them.
After dinner on Sunday night I scrubbed cukes, stuffed jars and boiled vinegar and water and before I knew it I had (9) pints of homemade cucumbers! Some are cut in half...some are in chunks...some are in slices...some have garlic...some have chile flakes...some have both...and they ALL have dill seeds! And to add the cherry on top...every lid popped with that sweet sound we all wait to hear after removing our hard work from the hot water bath. I set the processed jars out on the counter on a clean towel and went to sit down a while (canning is hard work!) and to listen for those wonderful sounds. After about 30 minutes I'd heard all (9) *pings* and I knew it was a success. Now...for the real test...the taste. And from what I've read, we have to wait a week or two. I don't know if I can wait that long!
The picture below is of everything I've canned so far: 16 pints strawberry jam (minus about 7 or so that we've eaten or gifted!), (9) pints pickles, (5) pints peach halves. I know we can't "survive" on this small larder of preserves...but you've got to start somewhere, right? I've got a few plum tomatoes I'm going to dry and store in olive oil and I'm still going to do some Dilly Beans...I found a recipe I think sounds good on Recipezaar...I'll let you know how it goes!