Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
That reminds me, has anyone planted bulbs yet this year?
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
There was even a table with exotic fruit - jujubes, kiwis, cactus pears, paw paws, persimmons, pears, both Asian and domestic, and some nuts - all grown by the members of the group. I had my first taste of wild persimmons and loved the flavor until my mouth puckered horrendously. Apparently that's the typical aftertaste of a persimmon and can be quickly remedied by a slice of cheese, which had been thoughtfully provided.
There was homemade cider as well and apple butter made entirely without sugar according to an Amish recipe. Cider is boiled down and reduced by half, thus concentratin g the sugar in the fruit and then the peeled apples are added and boiled until they make applebutter. At this point it can be left as is ,or some spices can be added , such as cinnamon, cloves and allspice. I was told that the Amish make this in a big copper kettle and as soon as one batch is finished , the kettle is passed on to the next farm - it is passed on so fast, that the kettle never even gets rinsed out! I'll definitely have to try to make some of this yummy applebutter here at home .
And which apples were Number One in my taste test ? Tioga, Ashmead's Kernel and Swarr - did you ever have a taste of any of them ?
Monday, October 15, 2007
Well, here is the breakdown for T's fish dinner.
Fish, caught by son-in-law $0
Fine for parking in a Handicapped Parking Spot $ 202.00
Towing car to impoundment lot $ 204.00
Fee charged for using a credit card to get car out of hock ( what the...? ) $ 24.50
Total $ 431.00
R' s new hairdo and sad expression - priceless !
And yes, the car is ok and back home in the garage - phew !!!
And to top it all off, T called that night to tell me that my car had been stolen ! He had gone to the city for dinner, parked my car in a wonderfully safe spot and when he came back 4 hours, later it was gone. Called the police, who did not show up until 5 hours after the first call, by which time everyone had gone to bed exhausted. This morning T and son-in-law are combing the impoundment lots, hoping that the car was towed instead of stolen. Why aren't they calling the impoundment lots on the phone ? Because they have been busy for hours and don't answer. Maybe they're talking to the police and that's why they can't show up at the scene of a crime in a timely fashion ?
Where are you, little red car ???????
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Here's the newly built cider press. It has a 1.5 ton jack which pushes down on a plate inside the tube to squash the apples and squeeze out the juice.
Here we go - cutting up apples and grinding them in the food processor. The ground apples are then placed in a cloth and made into a sort of bag, which is put into the hole in the tube. The jack then descends and exerts pressure.
Hurray, we have juice and it tastes pretty good !
Uh oh !!!! Too much pressure is bowing the metal grate under the tube ! There are ominous cracklings and poppings. Stop the press !
The mechanical crew ( composed of T ) has gone to the barn to figure out how to fix our problem. Here is the cider we have made so far.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
The chickens are definitely progressing from cute to dinner !
In a week to 10 days, the only survivor will be the little black chicken - our " free, exotic chick "which is included in every order of chicks from Murray McMurray, our favorite chicken seller.
Marmelade de Pommes
4 T unsalted butter
2 pounds apples, peeled and thinly sliced
2 T lemon juice
2 T Calvados ( apple brandy from Normandy, don't substitute, leave it out if you don't have it )
1/2 c plus 2T sugar
2 large eggs
Heat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 4 cup terrine mold.
In a heavy pot, melt the butter and add the apple slices, lemon juice, Calvados and sugar. If your apples are very sweet, you may want to adjust the amount of sugar.. Cover and cook the apples slowly, stirring once in a while, until they are soft and falling apart. If they are very juicy, uncover and boil away the liquid. Mash any large lumps with a fork and adjust the seasoning, adding lemon juice, Calvados or sugar , if needed. Basically, you have just made fancy apple sauce. Now it gets interesting :
Take the pot from the heat and cool just a bit. Stir the eggs a little to break up the yolks and add to the apple mixture. Beat to combine. Spoon the pudding into the prepared mold and smooth the top. Set the mold into a roasting pan and fill it halfway with boiling water.
Transfer this bain marie plus pudding to the oven and bake until the pudding is firm to the touch, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature, in slices. Pass the vanilla custard sauce separately. How about replacing the vanilla with Calvados in the sauce ? Sounds good to me.
Speaking of apples - this weekend there will be some crazy cider making going on here at the farm. T and friends have made a cider press and we are all curious whether the thing will work. Our trees are loaded down with apples and I am envisioning gallons of cider and possibly making some of our very own Calvados. Hope that's not illegal....
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
If the link doesn't work, then just copy this address into your web browser: http://www.oceansalive.org/home.cfm
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Friday, October 5, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Monday, October 1, 2007
Food which was out of season, such as lettuce, was easily replaced with seasonal vegetables and was not missed. It will be interesting to see if this applies to fall and winter eating as well; right now we are replacing lettuce with arugula, which has volunteered in the garden and has come up in a thick stand, producing more than we can eat. I must admit I was sad when I harvested the last cucumbers, it's going to be a long time until next July when we will taste cucumbers again !The most difficult thing about the challenge was finding locally produced flour and oil, we never did manage to find either one.
And just in case anyone was wondering whether our effort at eating locally produced food made any difference : my neighbor, who sells my eggs at her farmstand at a weekly farmer's market told me that her sales have increased so much this summer that she is going to expand her business and sell at another farmer's market. Last year she was so discouraged by lack of sales, that she almost decided to quit, but this year she can hardly keep up with the demand. Her customers are lined up three deep before she even opens and " everyone is talking about the Kingsolver book."
So pat yourselves on the back, all you Local Eaters, you are making a real difference to the local farmers , thereby keeping a little bit of the country from turning into a housing development . Hurray for us and keep up the good work !