Thursday, July 9, 2020

Purslane

For weeks now, at the farm share I've been eyeing the purslane that is growing like, well, a weed, in the kale patch. Last week they said we could pick it, but I didn't have time. This week I planned for it and picked about half a pound of it. It's ubiquitous and does well as a ground cover in between crops. I had pickled some once before but couldn't find the recipe so I made this one instead. I used a mixture of white, cider and rice wine vinegar because I didn't have enough of the cider vinegar for a double batch. Also, the dill at the farm is fully in flower and that's perfect for making pickles as a few flower heads per jar works better than dill seeds.

In the share was the beginning of a cucumber crop and, with a couple of cucumbers from my patio garden, I made one pint of dill pickles that I didn't process in the canner. Instead, I'm treating them as refrigerator pickles, just like the purslane. I'll let them sit for a week before tasting them. I'm sure there will be more cucumbers in the next share and maybe I'll plan to make bread and butter pickles then. 

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Farm Share Mixed Radish Pickle

The farm share always has radishes and Hakurei turnips the first few weeks and, since I'm the only one who likes radishes, even with just half the share they build up. (Note to self, they are not great on pizza.) But last week also had small Daikon radishes so I thought to mix all 3 into a quick radish pickle using rice wine vinegar and ginger. This is a recipe in Preserving by the Pint which I've made before, just not with all kinds of radish/turnip at once. They made exactly 1 pint, good for sandwiches and salads.

Another thing I had in abundance was fava beans so following another recipe in Preserving by the Pint, I made a fava-parsley-walnut pesto, using foraged black walnuts instead of regular ones. This made over 2 cups of pesto; I froze one cup, and baked chicken breasts coated with some of the rest. All of us ate it, some of us liked it. The rest were just very polite. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Wonton Soup

Wontons before simmering
After making dumplings a while ago I still had some of the filling in the freezer and another package of wonton wrappers. So last night I made wonton soup, using this recipe. I doubled it but used half stock (Ducken, I have only 1 jar left!) and half water. Also, since I didn't have scallions, I used garlic scapes. And I added noodles because I wanted to make sure everyone had enough to eat. It is very easy and very good.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Mulberry Jelly and Oat Milk

One of the things we have been trying is oat milk, for various reasons. It's not bad. But it can be expensive. So I thought I'd try to make it myself, which is easy, except for the straining part. Basically, you blend 4 cups of water and 1 cup of oats in a blender and strain it. I'm using my jelly bag. The hard part is that the pulp blocks the fluid from draining through the bag so I'm stirring it every so often to get it out of the way. The disadvantage of doing it at home is that it isn't calcium fortified but we can make more of an effort to get our calcium in other ways, I suppose. I am now thinking of things to do with the leftover pulp, once it has been dried. Maybe granola bars?

Also this morning, I made mulberry jelly with 4 cups of mulberry juice, 3 T. lime juice, 5 cups of sugar and a box of pectin. This made 7.5 cups of jelly. Now the birds can have all the berries on the tree they want!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

So Many Strawberries!

Last night I made strawberry shortcake with a quart of the berries we'd picked the day before. It's always popular and because we eat it so quickly it's hard to get a photo. This time I remembered to take one before we ate. We got another quart of berries from the farm share today which are already mostly gone!

My mulberry tree is really doing well this year and just today I got half of the mulberry juice I need to make a batch of mulberry jelly. I will likely do that over the weekend as I am working tomorrow.

Today I'm making bread. I managed to (finally) find bread flour in the stores again, and so now I'm making plain bread, just bread flour and all purpose flour, my starter, salt, sugar, milk and water. No teff, or spelt, or sprouted wheat flour (although I quite like that last one). Instead of an egg wash, I'm using water sprayed on just before baking. I did forget to get it started last night, which would have allowed it to ferment overnight and for me to be done much earlier. I woke up this morning, remembered that I hadn't made the dough last night, got it started by 8 am, so it's had all day to ferment and then about 3 hours to proof before baking. It's in the oven now. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Strawberries

Sometimes, when I'm berry picking, I can get into a meditative state, with the methodical picking helping me think about other things. Today I didn't have that experience. It seems that the pandemic has created an extra layer of anxiety over all things. Trying to pick berries and stay away from other people, when all of us would like to be oblivious and just focus on picking, is not too hard, but it does take some of the fun out of it.

Hey, at least the berry farm opened. We did not, however, visit the rabbits in their pen.

Once home, I made two batches of strawberry jam without added pectin. The peach jam last year was so much better without the added pectin I decided that maybe this year I should go for quality, not quantity. I'm not sure if the fair is happening this year, we still have time, but I'm going to focus on the things my family wants to eat and not on what makes a good fair entry. They are not always the same.

Anyway, these two batches made 15 half-pint jars of jam. Just strawberries, sugar and lemon juice. Mmm.

The family did nix my idea of adding dill to one of the batches. I suppose it's for the best.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020