Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The All Food All The Time Blog

I know.  You are just waiting anxiously to find out what I did with all that farm fresh produce!  And how were those pickles after all?  And what about the jelly?

And I just left you hanging.  I am sorry.  I've been busy eating.

The word Ray used to describe this creation was "fantasmagoric" I think.  Aidan's friend who was here for dinner said "Omigawd, Aidan, can I move in here?"   High praise, indeed.  Fresh ingredients, simply prepared - nothing more.

More of those vegetables were grilled an thrown into a yummy risotto that Ray made.  Leftovers of that will be my lunch today.

The pickles are delicious.  The bread and butter chips taste exactly like they are supposed to.  The dill that Ray made have a wonderful crunch and are just sour enough.

"But what about the blackberry jelly?" you ask....  Trial and error.  Super Confident Me did not do a test batch.  Super Confident Me cooked and processed about 30 jars in one marathon session.  Super Confident Me was horribly deflated to discover none of it jelled to Super Confident Me's satisfaction.


Deflated Me had to open up every jar.  Deflated Me had to clean and re-sterilize everything.  Deflated Me had to hubble bubble toil and trouble over the burning fire and bubbling cauldron for another afternoon.

Happy Me got jelly.  Happy Me made some cute labels of the cute berry pickers for the lids of the jelly.

Now I am back to Super Confident Me and saw the wild mustang grapes growing by the side of the road.  Super Confident Me went and picked a bunch.

Super Confident Me's kitchen looked like a murder scene as I rendered all the lovely, tart juice.

Super Confident Me has a couple of pitchers of juice which will make maybe about ten pints or so of jelly.  Should I do a test batch?  What do you think?

But dang.  I have to go to the boring old tire store.  The story of the wild mustang grape jelly will have to wait for another day.

Oh, the suspense!  What will you do!?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Meet your meat

I met my Thanksgiving dinner over the weekend.  One of these scrawny little guys will be the centerpiece of my Thanksgiving table come November.

They don't look like much (yet), but hopefully by November will look more like this:

The breed is a "Midget White" and it's one of many endangered breeds that are being revived by small growers throughout the country.

Mine is being grown at "my" farm over in Roanoke - just a few miles from my house.  I say "my" farm, because this year I bought a share in the farm and every Saturday I get to fill a bag with the week's harvest.

I'm looking forward to watching my turkey grow and learn interesting tidbits from Farmer Sandra about keeping poultry. 

And slaughtering poultry.

Yes, let's just put that out there.  Slaughter.  Turkeys really don't just magically appear frozen, featherless and shrinkwrapped with the giblets (read: guts) in a little wax bag.

Hungry yet?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This week in Pam's local kitchen

Top left:  potatoes, carrots & beets.  I think I'll roast them.
Tom right:  zuchinni, yellow squash, banana peppers and some other kind of mild pepper.  Salsa?  Zuchinni tart?  Grilled squash?  Risotto with some roasted carrots too?
Bottom left:  More peppers, including some really spicy Asian varieties.  Currently on the back patio getting sun dried.
Center:  Tomatoes of all sizes.  Salsa?  Freeze for sauce later?  Bake the little ones with chicken breasts until they burst and become a sauce?
Bottom right:  Purple hull peas.  Never had them before but apparently the peas are delicious sauteed with onions, and then you can boil the hulls to make jelly.

Providers:  Two different neighbors and my farm share.  Everything was grown right near me.

My sincere apologies to those who come here for updates on the kids, or absurd and amusing tales of motherhood.  While the crops are bursting, this is now the All Food All The Time Blog.  We will get back to our regularly scheduled programming once the kids get around to doing something amusing or absurd.

The wild mustang grapes have ripened and are calling to me.  That must mean more jelly making is in my future.