Let's just begin here. The chickens are laying like crazy. We're getting so many eggs that one day we decided to decorate and hide them in the yard. We made egg salad, smoked a ham and had some friends over to share in the excitement.
For my birthday this year I received a chain saw from my in-laws. Bob gave me a safety lesson. I dragged downed trees out from the woods and chopped them up to make coals for the smoker.
Sarah (the stuffed monkey), is the new Meow(who went missing about a year ago). He has every meal with us. He never finishes what's on his plate, and yes, Sarah is a boy.
Most of our girls have started laying, and I remember how eggs just never get old. When they beggin to build up on the fridge and on the counter souffles, frittatas, challah and fresh pasta make thier way onto our table.
I used to have have a pasta roller, but I've found that with a little practice, a rolling pin (actually a sanded and waxed dowel) is much more efficient and satisfying. Instructions found here.
Nothing beats fresh pasta with this summers oven roasted cherry tomatoes.
They started, and they just kept coming. Anyone who come over to my house for dinner was served a platter of mixed grilled peppers, and the leftovers were pureed into a paste and frozen. Peppers were served for breakfast, lunch and dinner in omelets, on pizza, in chili, and slipped into lunch boxes, back-packs and parked cars.
Jars were filled with pepper jelly, pepper salsa and hot sauce. I found hot sauce bottles and directions here at Leeners, a great do-it-yourself supplier.
I made red, orange and green sauces and used vinegar and PH strips to make sure I was getting the acidity right for hot water bath canning. Leeners had helpful information about preserving the sauces.
I started by roasting the peppers, garlic and salt and then pureed them with water and vinegar. I roasted a few tomatoes, tomatillios and carrots and added them to the red, green and orange peppers to make them a little less spicy. They all came out great.
I would wear gloves in the future, the burning sensation did not hit me for hours and lasted for days. And to make matters worse, just as soon as I pulled the last few bottles out of the hot water bath, their tops exploded like shaken champagne bottles and made a giant mess all over the ceiling, cabinets, counters,and bounced off the ceiling and landed on my head. As I awkwardly rinsed off in the shower, trying not to touch my skin with my spicy fingers, the rest of by body felt the burn of the sauce washing down the drain.
I love "rustic pies" or gallettes as the French would call them. I think they are so pretty and the crust cooks up so much flakier. I roll out the crust on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and then slide the cookie sheet out half way through baking, so the bottom of the crust gets crisp and browned as well.
I cooked one large apple, a cup of raspberries, and 3 tbs of sugar into a sauce and spread it on the bottom of the crust. It worked well with the crisp sliced apples in the pie.
The apple slicer that I picked up at my GoodWill a few years ago never seems to get old with the kids. I remember squealing and talking to myself when I found it, still in it's original box. People are always talking to themselves at the GoodWill, it's hard not to sometimes. It can be a really exciting place.
I love fermented foods. I'd eat s*** if it were fermented. Kimchi is amongst my favorite fermented foods.
In the wintertime I buy kimchi by the bucket at my local asian food market. One day the guy at the counter asked me why I didn't just make my own at home. I told him that I had tried several times but that it never came out like the one I buy. Then he ask me if I use smoked korean chili powder.
Well I do now. I followed a recipe a foodie friend referred me to and it turned out GREAT. Next year I will grow more napa cabbage. I liked it so much I tried his second recipe, I like the first better.
Last fall I planted 100 cloves of garlic with a little project in mind. Pickled scapes.
I have this dreamy idea of sitting on my patio on a hot summer afternoon sipping bloody marys. Not just any old bloody marys, but ones made with home grown heirloom tomato juice, hot sauce ice cubes, and a long curly pickled garlic scape sitting on the edge of my glass.
I made one jar of vinagar pickles and another jar or lacto fermented pickles.
When the time comes, I'll have a pitcher of it so come on over.