Friday, July 02, 2010

Bounty

Here are some photos of what I've been up to. First up is a stack of sub-par crumpets (they ended up more like pancakes, but are okay toasted) next to the tub of homemade butter
crumpets and butter

Of course they were much nicer combined
crumpets with butter

Next up on the breakfast menu is homemade yogurt with the last of the blueberries from Tuesday's market
blueberries and yogurt

And finally, the results of my trip to the Friday farmer's market in Copley Square
fresh veggies

You can't even see everything! From left to right we have:
two balls of mozzarella (and notice my mozzarella kit lurking in the back)
Bag of tomatoes
The carrots and French radishes seem to be completely covering the pickling cucumbers and green beans
Small bag of plums in front of the carrots
Bag of English peas
Sourdough baguette
Basil and dill
Two small tubs of goat cheese with olive oil and herbs de Provence and a log of plain goat cheese
Jar of strawberry jam

I spent a ton of money, but looking at all of this wonderful food, I think it's worth it. You really can't beat fresh, real food and the price reflects the actual effort that goes in to growing, making (okay, not the $9 package of 2 cups of granola I saw, but certainly the cheese) and bringing to market all of this bounty.

Bon Apetit!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Where has the time gone?

I'm such a bad blogger (and I seem to say that a lot.) I've been working on things in the kitchen which I should have mentioned, bought new (old) clothes, and even started looking for a place to call our own.

On the Kitchen Front (I'll update with pictures later), I tried water bath canning pickles for our family reunion in June. I made beets, spicy garlic sprouts and dilly carrots. It seemed to go well and only two jars didn't seal. The plan is to put up a few market crops this summer so we can have them in the dark of winter. this weekend I will be doing beets and possible green beans as I saw some at the Tuesday market.

In other kitchen news, Mother Trucker inspired me to try my hand a yogurt. I found it had a lot of whey separating out, but haven't found the right mix for draining it yet. The second batch drained a bit too much and is almost cheese-like. Fortunately I kept the whey this time and can mix some back in.

Speaking of cheese, all this fermenting got me thinking about making real cheese again. I checked out New England Cheese Making Supply as I've gotten things from them before and they have a very reasonable mozzarella kit which is now on its way to me. If that goes well I will try again to make a cheddar, or perhaps go for their hard cheese kit and make some others.

The last of the dairy trifecta is butter. I've never understood how someone can accidentally make butter. I have never whipped cram beyond the fluffy stage myself, but this morning I went for it. I used two pints of heavy cream, left out in a covered bowl overnight, and whipped with a hand mixer it on low until it passed whipped cream and separated into fat (butter) and liquid (buttermilk). This is when some butter muslin would have come in handy, but I seem to be out (although more is on order with the cheese kit.) After you've gotten the separation, you need to drain the buttermilk off, which I did with a fine mesh strainer. You then kneed the butter in cold water to rinse out any remaining buttermilk, draining the water when it becomes cloudy. I packed it into a small container and popped it in the fridge, but will probably have to drain off some water when I get home. The butter I licked off my hands was delish!

This weekend should be much cooler than the past few weeks so I should be able to bake some things to top with all of this lovely butter. The plan is to finally start my peapod wine as well, which will clear out a lot of freezer space currently holding pods. I've never made wine before, so this should be an adventure!

That's all for now. Ill update this when I get home with some pictures of the things I've made.