Thursday, March 14, 2019

A Separate Note

So I don't lose it, I wanted to link to this very easy recipe for alfredo sauce. I made it last week and it worked out much, much better than what I've done in the past. The recipe I'd jotted down involved eggs, milk, and cheese, but this one has cream cheese instead of eggs. It's easy, and it clings to the pasta nicely. 10/10, would make this one again.... 

Pi Day

Once again, Pi Day has arrived. This morning the elderchild and I made a peach pie, using two jars of peach pie filling I made last fall. I had a little problem with the pie crust and I'm not sure why, but I ended up needing a lot more water and the crust ended up crispy rather than flaky. No matter. We had pie. We also had pizza for dinner so we had all sorts of circular foods!



Sunday, February 24, 2019

Beeswax Candles

Last year, for a project, the youngerchild and I collaborated on making a beeswax-based wood polish for one step in making a wooden box which would hold all of the other items in the project. Well, the rest of the beeswax/myrrh mixture has been sitting on the kitchen counter ever since, waiting to be made into something else. Basically, it was the same thing as lip balm (which is kind of weird, if you think about it) but it's also mostly beeswax and scent, so I thought I could make little candles instead.

I remelted the mixture and poured it into tealight molds. Voilá. Candles.

However, whatever else was in the mixture has definitely changed the melting point so they burn a little too fast. I think I should just use plain beeswax from now on. When I get more wax.

I wonder how my bees are doing?

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Golden Beets

In the farm share, we got a lot of beets. Fortunately, they last a long time in the fridge if stored properly. When I get golden beets, I make a plan to make this Golden Beet Orange Cake. Last Friday I had a friend visiting and finally made this cake. It did take several days, as I roasted the beets on Wednesday and made the cake on Thursday. On Friday, I rushed home from work and made the glaze. The previous time I made this cake I used lemons instead; I think I like the oranges better!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Many Tasks, One Canner

Last weekend, I cleaned out the freezer and made a whole lot of stock. I had bones from various turkeys, chickens, and even a goose. This was, however, the first time I roasted the bones before making the stock and it really did improve the flavor, so that will definitely be something I do again. For each type of stock I: blanched the bones in boiling water for 20 minutes and the roasted them at 450˚F for 30 minutes. Then I boiled them with salt, pepper, bay, and onion skins. There wasn't a lot of fat when I did them this way, maybe because the fat cooks off with the roasting? Not sure. Regardless I set the stocks aside to cool in the fridge so I could skim off any fat that was there. The only one that really needed that was the goose stock.

Since I had about a gallon of the goose stock, I used that plus turkey and chicken meat to make a "turducken" soup, I guess it would be "turgoosen" this time. This did not get canned; some is in the freezer and some is for eating now. I basically followed this recipe, including the farro and wild rice, but the meats and stocks were different, as I already mentioned.

Today I brought out the rest of the turkey and chicken stocks, reheated them, and they're now in the pressure canner together. Ultimately, this made 4 pints of chicken stock and 8 pints of turkey stock. That ought to be enough for the year? Maybe?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Remember These?

A while back I brined Meyer lemons with the intention to dehydrate them and grind them into lemon salt. While I never did get a dehydrator I was reminded by a friend who is currently making her own trail foods that I could use the oven. Well, it took two days, and I had to grind them, dry the powder, and then regrind that, but now I have a jar of a nice lemon powder which is slightly salty with a hint of bay. Last night I baked some chicken sprinkled with this and it was just lovely! Glad to have another project completed. Not surprisingly, it smells a bit like the ground lime used in Persian cooking. 

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Restocking

Since we'd run out of applesauce, I bought a bunch of apples at the store to make more. Which I did today. A dozen apples made just under three quarts of applesauce. I added maple sugar to these, to give it a little maple flavor. Which is good.

Learning from our history that we couldn't finish a full quart jar of applesauce without it going bad, I packed this in pint jars instead. So, five pints and some in the fridge.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

So Retro

A friend was coming over today and I got it in my head to make a pineapple upside-down cake. I've never made one before, in all this time! I remember my mother making one once or twice, back when I was a kid. It feels very retro to me. It was very easy. To be fair, it would have been easier if I used a cake mix, but I wanted to make it from scratch and this recipe fit the bill. It's a separated sponge cake and that was definitely fun to make. I even made sweetened whipped cream to serve with it. Mmm.

So I'm making a note of this because I definitely want to keep this recipe link!

Side note: I used my homemade maraschino cherries. Even better!

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Wild Duck Confit

As I previously mentioned, I got a bunch of game meats from my brother-in-law, including the breasts of 5 ducks. I decided to try to confit them, even though the legs usually work better. Two days ago I marinated them in an onion/garlic/parsley marinade and then yesterday I cooked them slowly in a combination of duck and goose fat. Today, I looked for something to do with them and I saw online that duck confit could be added to mac and cheese. I've certainly added lobster to mac and cheese so, why not?

Usually when I make mac and cheese I make a simple white sauce and melt in 2 cups of
shredded cheese (I've been buying the Mac and Cheese blend from Cabot recently) plus 8 ounces of cream cheese. This is enough for one pound of macaroni. Then I took about half of the duck and shredded it and sautéed it with some diced onion. Once all that was mixed in with the mac and cheese and put into a casserole dish, I mixed some bread crumbs with the leftover duck fat in the pan and added pepper and parsley and sprinkled it on top of the casserole. This all was baked for about half an hour.

It was really great and, in my opinion, even better drizzled with a little white truffle oil. My husband found a little birdshot pellet in his portion, whoops!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ran Out!

Of applesauce!

To be fair, this is my fault because I didn't make any in the fall, partly because I thought I had more than I did. Last night I pulled the jar out of the fridge only to discover that it had gone bad, in such a way that we threw out the entire jar. Ew.

But, to my surprise, that was our last jar! No applesauce. We used a pear-cranberry compote made by a friend to go with our pork chops which was fine, but not applesauce. I guess I should pay closer attention to the inventory.

However, since we finished off all the apples from when we went apple picking, and it's the middle of winter, I might have to go buy apples just so we can have more... 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

The Princess and the Nonpareils

As I mentioned in my last post, my mother-in-law requested gingerbread cookies. I decided on hearts this time, thinking I could get ready for Valentine's Day by making some cookies ahead of time and freezing them until February. I made them on Sunday and today I got to decorating them.

One thing I know - I should use the good metal tips rather than the cheaper plastic ones; the icing came out in globs. Despite that, the cookies turned out much cuter than they had any right to, considering my suspect decorating skills. And, speaking of that...

For Christmas, in my stocking there were various little sprinkle decorations, including a bottle of tiny white nonpareils. (Yes, I know nonpareils are the chocolate candy with the little white balls, but I think the term also applies to the white balls themselves.) Let's just say they are affected rather profoundly by static electricity and, the second I opened the bottle and poured some into a bowl, they scattered.

Despite sweeping, and roomba-ing, I am constantly stepping on these itty bitty, 1 mm-across candy balls. And I can feel every one. I have taken to picking them up off the kitchen floor by hand. And I haven't even checked out the dining room yet...

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Quite The Production

Holidays came and went, along with a quick ski trip in Vermont that was less "skiing" and more "staying inside and avoiding the rain." We did play a pretty awesome game, Betrayal Legacy, which kept us entertained for hours but needing to take a break once in a while because it was so complicated! We also discovered that ground venison is a fine substitute in tacos and spaghetti sauce. My brother-in-law sent me a bunch of game meat for Christmas; I sent him a signed copy of Hank Shaw's new cookbook: Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail.

One of the things on my agenda this weekend was to defrost the freezer, so exciting, but that meant I needed to get the four gallons of tomatoes out of there. Yesterday they thawed and this morning I boiled them and tried to run them through the food mill. I'm not really sure what happened except that somehow the food mill got jammed. I ended up scooping out tomato pulp from the hopper and pushing it through a sieve by hand, making a mess that the youngerchild suggested looked like a crime scene. Someone has been watching too much Supernatural, maybe? Anyway, after the liquid boiled off I was left with 3 and a half pints of tomato sauce; I added Persian spices to one pint, Italian spices to the other two and left the half-pint plain.

The other thing that I wanted to get done today was to make a batch of gingerbread cookies for my mother-in-law, who was envious that she didn't get any over the holidays. I got the cookies all made today - two different sizes of hearts - and will frost them tomorrow, hopefully. It's a LOT of cookies.