Showing posts from August, 2012

Canning Four Bean Salad

Okay I admit it.  Dilly beans are not our favorite side dish.  We eat them but not in massive quantities.  My son usually wrinkles his little nose up at them and says they stink and they taste bad.  So while my husband and I enjoy them, we only produce usually three to five pints a year.  More or less, one time of canning them.
So, I am always on the look out for a new good canning recipe for green beans as I get nervous keeping so much in my chest freezer.  God forbid, the power goes out for days on end and I'm left with rotting food and wasted money.
Recently we purchased a rather large box of green beans that were at an awesome price from Brad's Produce so this weekend we had our work cut out for us!
This morning, I just so happened to come along a recipe for Three Bean Salad at Doris and Jilly Cook that looked promising so this is how we'll be preserving a bit more of our green beans in a way that does not include dilly beans.  Now just a FYI, we only had green beans …

Fear & Uncertainty Escalates

This morning I brought in fresh Bing cherries to work that we purchased a week or so ago at our local commissary.  Anyone here on the East coast knows that cherries are no longer in season here.  Their time passed in June for us.   
As I snacked on these while I worked on reservations for passengers, processed schedule changes I was hit with the most intense uncertainty and fear right in between the eyes.  Two more full days before our challenge begins. 
This most recent grocery shopping we started with a list of about 5 items.  Deli meats; white chocolate; cheese sticks;  sugar; and zip lock bags.
An hour later we left with about $150 worth of filled reusable bags.  My husband and I both attritibuted it to simply that we were "stocking up" for the drought ahead.  We were buying the things that we know we will not be able to get starting September.
The thought of weaning ourselves off the grocery store is actually rather scary.  As of three days from now we will be able t…

Corn Cob Jelly

A few Saturdays ago we visited the Bel Air Farmers Market and I noticed one of the vendors sold "Corn Cob Jelly".
I can tell you my first thought was more or less disbelief that you could make jelly from a corn cob.  The idea kept gnawing at me though, so this weekend after a minature vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia we came home and I got to work.
I thoroughly love the idea of this recipe simply because I'm using something that I would have thrown away.  Now that I've made the recipe though and I've tasted it I'm thoroughly convinced that corn cob jelly will be made each summer.
My husband compared the flavor of the finished product to honey however I cannot really put my finger on what it exactly tastes like.
Honey? A bit.  Apples? Maybe.  Corn? No.  Most definitely not.
Try this for yourself and let me know what you think!

12 large ears of corn2 quarts water2 tablespoons lemon juice1 package powdered pectinsugar Boil corn; cut kernels from cobs and stor…

Why grow a garden?

Why should anyone grow a garden?
It's actually a good question.  I mean after all food is plentiful at the store right?
Plus, food seems so cheap, so inexpensive right?  Just stick to the middle aisles, maybe cut some coupons and you'll save a whole heck of a lot!
Why grow tomatoes?  Why raise chickens?  Why keep honey bees?

There are many out there around me who look at me and think I'm nuts.  I've lost it.  I have gone off the deep end and will never return.  Or when I do, my fingers will be stained green and I will be stuck with mud under my fingernails and around my toes.

Yet, I can list several reasons why one should plant even a modest garden.

The biggest and best reason in my book.  Your food will never taste better.  Tomatoes that are tart, sweet, flavorful.  Tomatoes that are not just pretty to look at but with a flavor that explodes in your mouth.  I promise. You will get spoiled. When the winter winds are blowing and summer is a distant memory I long for a bi…

Bountiful harvests, battling viruses, and farmers market finds

I feel like it's been forever since I've written and yet it was only earlier last week that I wrote!  So much has happened since the last time I wrote so, this is one of those moments when I take a huge sigh and try to figure out where to begin.
In Alice's Adventures in Wonderland the King said to the White Rabbit "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop".
Good Advice.
So first, our garden has stepped up production as of lately and we're eating from it non stop.  My parents recently visited and we made eggplant parmesan from eggplants out back which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. 
We're easily getting medium to large sized bowlfuls of tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants and squash every week now.  Coupled with the amount we get from our weekly CSA share at Brad's Produce, and well, it's a lot of food.

The tomatoes have been turned into sauces, diced tomatoes, salsas, dried tomatoes, and fireballs.  The corn has been fro…

Just a tad bit of canning going on

This weekend we have a lot that will be going on in our kitchen!

Now, I have to say, while I thoroughly enjoy shows like Masterchef, I am no where near as talented as the home chefs on that show. 

I do best following a recipe, tweeking it a bit, maybe adding a flavor or two and staying with that.  I know what flavors go well together and I know what flavors don't.
Ask me on any given day what ingredients are used in, oh I don't know, a flan, and I'll remark that I love flan but wait, let me look up the ingredient list and directions first.

With that all said, I'm going to post the following recipes and provide the links so that I may give full credit to the cook who created the recipe. This way I can kill the proverbial two birds with one stone.  You can see what I'm doing with natures bounty and I can go back two to three years from now and figure out which recipes I really loved and which ones not so much. 

Savory Tomato Basil Jam
Makes 4 half-pints

3 cups peele…

Tough Decisions

This weekend I decided to bite the bullet and tear out our lovely, beautiful lone tomatillo plant. 
If you remember right I posted earlier that I made the rookie mistake of only planting one tomatillo plant. 
You know, the old saying, it takes two to tango? Well that applies here.
Tomatillo plants are self infertile which means they need two plants to produce fruit. 
Since I only planted one plant the tomatillo was going to do nothing else in my garden but draw bees (good thing), take up room (bad thing) and bring shade to my pepper plants (also bad thing). 
So, it's gone. 

In it's place I planted some Cumin seeds that I hope will come up soon.  Edward and I love cooking with Cumin so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  This will be a new spice for me to grow.
I also have one other spice that I will be trying soon but a blog will be following shortly on that to cover that one.

So onto the state of the garden. 
First we had a few new discoveries.  We actually have now a …