Monday, November 30, 2009

Did I Mention We Had a Turkey?

Thirteen and a half pounds, to be exact. There is only so much turkey 2 adults and 1 child can eat (the other child says, "no."). You see where this is going, right? Yup, you guessed it: stock and soup!

The turkey bones were boiled in 8 pints of water with kosher salt and 2 bay leaves. 5 pints of stock were skimmed off and processed in the canner for 20 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure. The rest of the meat was put back in the pot with an additional 3 pints of water, more salt, some sage, and veggies. Today we had 2 onions, 1 bunch of celery, 3 small rutabagas and 2 tiny little carrots. This yielded 4 quarts which are being processed for 90 minutes at 10 pounds.

When that's done, I will collapse into a little heap, considering I've only had 3 hours of sleep since yesterday morning. Good night!

Much Delayed Thanksgiving Post

Normally, I don't mind working over Thanksgiving. We've always held our Thanksgiving get together on a different day: "It doesn't matter when, just as long as we get together." This year, through a series of progressively more complicated events, that didn't happen. And I just finished working every other night (3 12-hour shifts in 5 days) through the actual holiday. Despite all this chaos, we managed to have some fun. Such as:

My wonderful husband cooked the turkey while I slept on Thursday, and he did an awesome job. Chestnut stuffing and everything! Even though it was just the 4 of us (and the 4 year old ate 4 bites of pumpkin bread and declared the meal over) we had the fancy china, candles, tablecloth, and the good silver. So thoughtful! (Astute readers will note the canned cranberry and cranberry habanero sauces in the foreground and, fyi, the pumpkin bread is made with my canned sugar pumpkin from last fall.)

To escape the turkey leftovers we went out one night to have crazy huge burgers at one of the most famous burger places in Cambridge, Bartley's Burger Cottage. (I had the Keith Lockhart, in case anyone is wondering!)

Yesterday afternoon, before my shift, the weather was nice enough that we went on a 10 mile bike ride. Even our 8 year old managed it! We did have a good halfway point destination - dim sum. I love the little carts! It was nice to get out and enjoy the good weather and get some exercise, and we rarely have this kind of family adventure.

Speaking of the 8 year old, I was perusing the local paper and saw a drawing printed there from OUR 8 year old! It was Thanksgiving themed and summed up the weekend nicely: "I am thankful for love."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Yet Another Soup Entry

A week ago I made a soup which I had expected to can: pork and vegetables. However, we had family visiting and so we put the soup in the fridge, thinking we'd eat it sooner. Of course, that didn't happen, so now I finally have a little time to reheat it and can it.

Here's the original recipe:
Pork (roast and a leftover chop)
8 c. water
bay, thyme, salt & pepper
4 potatoes
6 small carrots
2 turnips
1 celeriac root
2 small onions
kale (about 6 leaves)

Today I added 2 pints of turkey stock to stretch it enough to make 2.5 quarts plus some for lunch. All the veggies came from the farm share. I'm almost done with the farm share foods: I have mashed squash in the freezer waiting for Thanksgiving, and am left with a few carrots, some rutabagas, a red cabbage, one celeriac root, and some red onions and garlic. (Not really a lot to work with...) We ate the beets 2 nights ago using a gingered beets recipe from Sundays at the Moosewood Restaurant and they were AWESOME. I don't think I've ever enjoyed beets that much.

The pressure canner is humming along, and I'm going to go eat.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Now it's Time to Eat

During the past few months I have gradually canned so much food that the pantry is FULL. So full that I have started to stack flats of jars in the space next to the fridge, displacing all the random stuff that was stored there and eliminating the kids' favorite hiding spot. Time to start using all this food...

Last night we had a friend over for dinner whom we rarely see, as he lives in Europe and, well, we don't. I pondered what I could prepare which would be different, and hit upon a Persian-themed dinner. Truly, I spent all day in the kitchen, but it was worth it! Khoresh bademjan, polo with potato tadiq, boorani (spinach and yogurt) and toorshi as side dishes, plus roasted pumpkin (which isn't really Persian, but I've had it in an Afghani restaurant and thought it might go with the rest of the dishes). The toorshi was much spicier this time, certainly not overpowering, but the extra peppers were noticeable. For the khoresh bademjan, which is beef stew with eggplant, I peeled and sliced an eggplant, salted the slices and set them aside for 30 minutes. Then they were rinsed, dried, and fried in olive oil until soft. The eggplant was set aside until 15 minutes before it was time to eat. The stew itself was 2.5 lbs of sirloin tips, cut up and browned with 3 onions, chopped. To this I added 1 pint of the tomato sauce with Persian spices, 1 c. of water, and a handful of dried parsley. This simmered for several hours, and then the eggplant got added at the last minute. All of this was served over rice (polo).

For dessert, I made an apple pie. Now that I actually know how to make them successfully, it's become really fun and no longer stressful to make them. And this was the best one yet - it got baked for almost 90 minutes, and the apples were super soft.

This dinner also showcased the farm share, as the potatoes in the tadiq, the apples in the pie, and the pumpkin were all from the share.

And the leftovers are just as good!