Busy holiday Saturday

July 1, 2017

The quintessential summer lunch: The BTPC.

Woof. I’m tired.

By 10 a.m., I’d been to the farmers’ market twice, two grocery stores, Sam’s, and run some other errands. Then I came home and got busy.

I put everything away (exhausting in and of itself), put three racks of  baby back ribs in the water bath to sous vide, and made 15 pounds of sauerkraut. Well, it’s not sauer yet, but it’s on its merry way toward fermentation, basking in its brine in its bucket in the dining room. Come mid-August, we’ll have us some sauerkraut.

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Happy Independence Day, y’all!

Whew. Long holiday weekend began about a cocktail and a half ago. And none too soon. I am not suffering fools gladly today.

This is an odds and ends posts, designed to catch up on a few things and ease us into the holiday weekend, which I am welcoming with Moscow Mules and salsa with chips and grated cheese. Don’t judge. It was that or Asian takeout, and I didn’t want to get up and get out to go get the Asian.

Holiday weekend will begin tomorrow, when I bestir myself from bed and set out for the Farmers Market and other assorted errand-running, and come home to do some serious cooking and housecleaning.  On my “get it” list at the market: sweet corn, peaches, more canteloupe, whatever else looks good. Cabbage, if the market still has any, and I’ll make some kraut, being I never got around to the last kraut I was going to make, and chunked the elderly cabbages yesterday. Thank God I at least have a compost bin.

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Freezers 1 and 2. If you turned around, you’d be looking at the canned goods shelf.

We have become a two-freezer family.

Well, actually four freezers, if you count the one on each refrigerator. But now we have two, count them, two, small chest freezers, sitting side by side in my storage room, happily awaiting their cargo of summer produce, which I am trying mightily to supply them.

You know those old sayings about a friend will do this, but a real friend will do THAT? Well, lemme tell ya. A real friend will give you her freezer, on the basis she figures you’ll feed her out of it. I can damn-sho’ deal with that.

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A peck of pickling

June 27, 2017

Here. Here’s a post I wrote four days ago, but didn’t have the photos edited to go with it. Here it is, with photos. Also, Good Night.

Pretty bread-and-butter pickles in Weck jars!

How it was, was, like this.

I had been out of town for a week. Before I left, I checked the garden. Picked a handful of tomatoes, a couple of banana peppers. Took them with me for a hostess gift.

It got hot while I was gone. Gardens, and things growing in them, like hot.

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Blackberry jam. Heaven in a jar, right here.

We have been puttin’ up, up in here, yes, we have.

And we have done GOOD.

The two gallons of blackberries have metamorphosed into 12 pints of blackberry jam. Two pounds of asparagus, which I had kept on the verge of too long without doing something to it, have been pickled, as have two cartons of mushrooms. And I have cooked a veggie dinner.

Quality control. It passed.

The dinner, while good, did not hit the spot. The jam, some left over from the 12 pints I canned, spread on a piece of white toast, did.

My tummy is happy.

It’s the first time I’ve made blackberry jam, and the first time I’ve tried making jam with pectin that it came out right. My strawberry jam last year, I cooked too long, and it never jelled; I have read that I can open it, dump it all back in a pot, add pectin and sugar, and reboil-recan. Lot of trouble, but probably worth it.

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Sunday salad lunch

June 12, 2017

Clockwise from upper left, peaches and cottage cheese, broccoli cauliflower, cucumber, jail slaw.

I came home from church yesterday absolutely ravenous, with no plans as to what to eat, or cook, for either lunch or dinner. Contemplated stopping by somewhere to pick up something, and decided that was ridiculous, given I had two refrigerators, a pantry and a countertop overflowing with food either already prepared or waiting to be prepared.

So I came home and fixed myself a salad luncheon, which had the added plus of emptying the refrigerator of some odds and ends of different dishes.

Clockwise from top left, we have peaches over cottage cheese (finished off the peaches); broccoli and cauliflower salad I’d been jonesing for for a week, and finally made Sunday morning before church; the last of the other day’s cucumber salad, and a serving of jail slaw to round things out. It made a fine lunch.

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Berries, and good help to pick them.

Welp, I’m going to have to set aside some time to spend in the kitchen; the season of “puttin’ up,” 2017 version, is fixing to begin to commence.

In my auxiliary refrigerator I have a dozen small heads of cabbage, which are destined for kraut. It’s a moderately labor intensive process, but the food processor takes care of the bulk of it, and salt and time the rest, so that can be dispatched relatively quickly. That, I suspect, is Monday morning. Then it can burble happily away in its “crock,” which is actually a five-gallon food-grade plastic bucket, for six weeks, until it’s ready to take out and can. And we will have kraut for another season.

More importantly, there are two gallons of blackberries in said second fridge, that I went and picked in less than 30 minutes yesterday morning. Yes, there is blackberry jam in my future! (Note to self: Go get sugar.)

I’ve been saying for ages I was going to go pick blackberries up at Scatter Creek Farms, north of me some 30-45 minutes. Last year, a summer hailstorm came through midweek before I was planning on going up that weekend, and did for the berries. This year, I figured I’d get going early. Had AGC 2 all weekend, and I decided he would probably be entertained by going to pick blackberries, and if nothing else, could romp about for a bit and wear himself out.

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