The humble pear. How to fix him.

The humble pear. How to fix him.

It occurs to me I should have put recipes/directions for each of these. So here you ‘n y’mama ‘n ‘em go:

Pear Preserves

Peel, core and slice (or dice, as you prefer) pears. I put mine in a bowl of water with some vinegar or lemon juice, so they won’t turn brown.

For every five pounds of peeled and sliced pears, add three pounds of sugar. Add a glug of lemon juice (for my big 10-quart Dutch oven, I use about a quarter-cup) and about a teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for about three or four hours, or until syrup thickens when dripped onto a cold plate. I tend to judge by the color of my pears; I want them past golden, well into the reddish-brown stage.

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October 11, 2014

Have to admit, they're awfully pretty.

Have to admit, they’re awfully pretty.

That’s the name I’ve given to this influx of pear-preserving, honeying and buttering that’s taken over my kitchen for the past three days.

Yes. Three days. About 50 pounds of pears. That would, I’m guessing, be about a bushel and a half of pears.

  • Six pints and nine half-pints of pear preserves.
  • Four pints and ten half-pints of pear honey.
  • Five pints and nine half-pints of pear butter.

I don’t care if I never see another freaking pear.

But there is summertime preserved in those jars, yes, there is. Although my hand may be in a permanent cramp the size of a knife handle.

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The taste of summer

October 3, 2014

This half-bushel turned into tomato relish.

This half-bushel turned into tomato relish.

By my count, I’ve put up about two and a half, maybe three, bushels of tomatoes this summer.

I have tomato soup, marinara sauce, chili base, tomato relish, and just plain tomatoes (for when I’m doing red beans and rice or bean soup or vegetable soup or such stuff). I have frozen oven-dried tomatoes. I ought not to have to buy a canned tomato all winter.

And they all taste like summer.

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Puttin’ up

October 2, 2014

You 'n y'mama 'n 'em will want to come eat with me this winter.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ‘em will want to come eat with me this winter.

I have become my mother.

Well, let me clarify. I still have a long way to go before I am half as a good a person as she was, but, at least in the kitchen, I have become my mother.

The above is what I’ve been doing this summer.

When I was a kid, we lived out in the country, on a “place,” which is smaller than a farm but bigger than a lot. Ours was about five acres, one of which was house and yard and accoutrements, and one of which was garden, and three of which were pasture. And on those acres, we raised better than three-quarters of what we ate all year.

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Smooth move

September 18, 2014

Breakfast makin's. Healthy stuff.

Breakfast makin’s. Healthy stuff.

I am in the midst of one of my fitful attempts to eat healthy, get myself in shape, and lose weight. You understand, I do this periodically, with varying amounts of success. But if I don’t lose a pound (which I have not, yet), I have at least learned an excellent addition to the breakfast lexicon.

I’m making smoothies.

This post is a sad attempt to make me feel better because I missed my gym for the second day in a row, including yoga class today, because I was canning tomato soup and cleaning out the refrigerator of stuff that was old enough to vote. Hell, it was old enough to draw Social Security and go on Medicare. My guilt at this is only slightly ameliorated (now there’s a nice word for you) because my yoga instructor, who is also my personal trainer, is obviously a direct descendant of the Marquis de Sade. But I digress.

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Um. Hello. Anybody home?

September 12, 2014

Summer food. Some of the best of what's been going on.

Summer food. Some of the best of what’s been going on.

It’s been…well, I’m not sure how long it’s been, but it’s been several months since I last visited with y’all.

Have you MISSED me?

If you haven’t…Please lie. I don’t deal well with rejection.

I’m not swearing that I’m back on a regular basis, but as my travel schedule and thus my cooking schedule seems to have calmed down a bit, I figure I will at least try. With a caveat — I do have a couple of trips coming up in the next 30 days, but as one of them is to Kansas City and one is to Aiken, SC, I will at least get to eat in some different places. I plan to go to Arthur Bryant’s and just see how that KC barbecue stacks up to Memphis (my money’s on Memphis), and Aiken, well, who knows?

Been a decent summer, food-wise. The fresh produce has been plentiful; I’m a regular Saturday visitor to the Farmers’ Market, and there’s also a fresh produce place on my way home from half the places I go regularly that I can use to supplement during the week. We’ve not suffered from the lack of fresh okra , corn, tomatoes, purple hulled peas, eggplant, squash, and the like. You’ve seen all those, so I won’t belabor the point.

I even went (along with Child A) to the market’s Farm to Table dinner, which was quite excellent. Smoked brisket that was fork-tender, from the same farmers from whom I get beef. I must say that their brisket kicked hell out of mine. With both hands tied behind it. Veggies and appetizers were quite admirable. ┬áDesserts were killer. And I learned about the sourdough rolls.

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Good stuff!

May 25, 2014

First this....

First this….

Then this!

Then this!


So….this happened.

What also happened, and which you are not seeing because, well, I didn’t take a photo of it, was the first grilled hamburger of the summer (appropriate for Memorial Day weekend), accompanied by a healthy smear of this, plus a healthy smear of homemade Comeback Sauce, plus a slice of tomato from the farmers’ market, plus fresh lettuce from the farmers’ market, plus baked beans, plus potato skins.

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