Sunday, September 11, 2011

September avalanche

Wow - I forgot how September hits like a brick wall. Combine that with harvest being a bit late this year, I think - at least the abundance of fruit and tomatoes seems later - and what with canning, pickling, freezing, and class prep, I haven't had any time to blog. My apologies.

So - here are a few highlights of the past couple of weeks.

Corn - we ordered an add-on and have had a couple of corn meals. It's easy and fast and everyone loves it; lightly boil corn and serve with vinegar cucumbers, pickled beets, carrots, tomatoes, and fresh bread, and it's on the table in 15 minutes.

Salmon with green tomato salsa, adapted from p. 112 Simply in Season cookbook. Grilled zucchini and bbq-roasted potatoes on the side. Another night, the salmon & kale recipe I blogged about here: I added fennel this time, which worked alright.

Pizzas - Our usual Friday-night specialty got a bit fancy. We had a variety of leftovers, so made a few different small pizzas. Kenneth's sister had left some homemade bechamel sauce from when she stayed here, so one pizza was a 'white pizza' with bechamel sauce, leftover chicken, sweet taproot onions sliced finely, garlic, and mozzarella. We also had a Tex-mex pizza with leftover green tomato salsa mixed with regular salsa, chicken, green peppers, broccoli, cheddar and mozzarella. Ria made her own creation of olive oil, broccoli, chicken, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella, and I finished up with a margarita: olive oil, fresh sliced tomatoes, lots of fresh basil, fresh oregano, and mozzarella. Yum, and leftovers for lunches too.

Salads - we have, of course, been making a variety of salads. The most unique one is maybe the Jamie Oliver 'root salad' - I adapted it a few weeks ago with the napa cabbage, but made the real version this week. Slice fennel, carrots, and celery as thinly as you can. Toss with olive oil and red wine vinegar, and fresh herbs (he calls for marjoram, basil and oregano) and salt and pepper. Let it sit for a bit for the flavours to mix.

Chili - on one of the gloomier days, Kenneth made a great fall dish: an almost-all-local chili. He's dictating to me: 2 lbs of ground beef, browned; 2 big handfuls of oregano sprigs from the herb garden, destemmed; 2 large onions, chopped; 1/2 chopped green pepper (celery and mushrooms also work, but we didn't have any); 3 handfuls of ground cumin & 5 handfuls of chili powder (but he adds that probably our spices are a little stale, so that seems like a lot); 3 cloves minced garlic. After this cooks for a while, put in a lot of tomatoes chopped in 1-inch pieces (he's estimating about 5 lbs). He cooked that all day on the lowest heat our stove could manage (drain off the condensed water on the lid occasionally) and paired it with freshly-made spicy cornmeal bread.

Pickles - we ordered an add-on of pickling cucumbers, and tried our hand at the Benardin recipe for low-sodium dill pickles. We'll let you know in a couple of months how those worked! We also dilled the last of the beans from the garden.

Desserts - Kenneth made a fantastic ginger peach pie, and a plum tart. I was sick of the bushelful of apples sitting in the middle of the kitchen (we don't have a cold cellar and there wasn't room in the fridge) so made applesauce to freeze (you can also can it). I also tried making apple-peel chips, so as not to waste the peels, sprinkling them with cinnamon then baking them on low in the oven - but they were a resounding failure!

Breakfasts - sausages from the meat share. Apple waffles from Simply in Season. Lots and lots of fruit every morning.

Snacks/lunches - fruit, carrots, cucumbers, green pepper, broccoli, etc. etc.!

Kenneth at present is a busy beaver and seems to be making a broccoli soup of some sort. Me, I'm packing it in for the night!


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