• Food,  Garden

    Garlic 101

    When I was in college, I met a couple who supposedly made their living farming different varieties of heirloom garlics. Forgive me, but I thought this sounded incredibly romantic. I’m pretty sure I even wrote a poem about it, because, well, I used to write poems about everything that happened. Though I am less starry-eyed about garlic these days, I still have an above average affection for it. I can say garlic in German (knoblauch) and Spanish (ajo) and Swedish (vitlock).  I once went to a restaurant called The Stinking Rose, where the pesto is just chunks of raw garlic with some basil leaves mixed in. For desert I had…

  • Canning,  Food

    Ketchup – Or What to Do With Your Green Tomatoes

    So, I’m sitting out behind my house typing this and I hear a rustling behind me. I turn to see which of my cats is spying on me from around the corner and see a groundhog. Chilling out. “Git!” I say, “We’re not friends!” But, it just looks at me. When I got up to get a camera though, it wandered slowly away and is hidden in the hostas now. OK, back to ketchup – I made some. I told my brother that I felt I had crossed a line from canning=thrifty and crafty into canning=total nutjob.  I mean, we spend like $10 a year on ketchup, so what sense…

  • Canning,  Food

    Re-using Canning Jars and Lids

    As you may know, Matt has a super specific and rare eating disorder that involves the constant consumption of Vegenaise, a vegan mayonnaise alternative (we get the kind made from grapeseeds!). We buy it in bulk and go through about a jar a month, and by “we” I mean mostly Matt. While this is mildly disgusting, the plus side is these jars are great for canning because they fit “Regular Mouth” standard canning lids. Which means we can buy new lids for them at the store. The only concern is that they are thinner glass, and a little more prone to cracking. For that reason, it’s important to avoid drastic temperature changes…

  • Canning,  Food

    Peaches! Peaches! What to do with a Million Rotting Peaches!

    So, not too long ago, our kitchen looked like this. I just noticed the sushi wraps in there, and that has nothing to do with our canning XXtravaganzas. But the peaches do! We ended up with about  a bushel of rotting peaches. We went around all the farmers markets, and had missed peak peach time. But the orchards all had plenty of rotten peaches they were thrilled that we were dumb enough to buy! A note on canning – often times canning recipes call for the “freshest fruit at their peak” which always cracks me up! Those are the ones I am going to eat, people! Not boil up and…

  • Food

    Best Seitan Recipe, EVERRRRR

    FYI – This is one our newest favorite foods – it’s a nice meaty chewy fake meat. Crisps up really good if you like that. HOWEVER it is certain death to those with wheat allergies. Sorry! What is it good in? Stir-fry, stroganoff, bbq, in a quesadilla, etc. http://www.theppk.com/2009/11/homemade-seitan/

  • Food,  Garden,  Product Placement/Reviews,  Uncategorized

    Vegan Apple Cake Success

    This recipe was my second attempt to come up with some kind of vegan apple recipe to use up the half gallon of apple butter that we didn’t can (ran out of jars!!!). I suppose I could freeze the apple butter (???), but I’d rather freeze it in some kind of usable form. I got “Canning for a New Generation” by Liana Krissof as a wedding gift, as well as another book about canning. I am pretty happy with her book, it’s cute and friendly and casual and MOST IMPORTANTLY has lots of tips for the lazy, non-perfectionist person (like, you don’t have to peel everything). Yay! It’s really usable…

  • Food,  Garden,  Uncategorized

    Garden Cat

    My cat Fancy has realized that my out of control gourd patch is the perfect height for her to spy on the neighbors.  However, the more it rains the less the cats are in the garden, and the more the groundhogs and raccoons and bunnies are in the garden. And yes, it is has been raining nearly every day for a while. So, the garden is looking a little rough, but still keeps cranking out the tomatoes (which mostly go to the groundhogs, who need the lycopene, I guess?) and the habanero peppers and of course endless giant gourds, which I planted on a whim and now I am having…

  • Canning,  Food

    What to do with Apple Pulp?

    So, as previously mentioned, we made five gallons of apple cider out of a bushel and a half of apples yesterday. Which left us with about 3 gallons of apple pulp (and a filthy stove!). The pulp is delicious and I hate to toss it into the compost. I thought I could cook it down a little, and get a little more juice out of it, and make it into some kind, of, I don’t know, really, what I was thinking. But it’s so dry that it just started to smoke instead of cooking at all.  Oopsy! So I started looking for apple pulp recipes on-line. I found a lot…

  • Beer,  Canning,  Food,  Garden,  Uncategorized

    Apple Time!

    This was really one of our first free weekends since July so we went to an apple orchard. We were going to go to a Paw Paw festival, but eh, it was an hour and a half farther away. We saw they had boxes of “seconds” or “canning” apples for $5 a half bushel. So, we bought four. Then we walked around the orchard for a few hours, not picking any, because our trunk was already full. Are we crazy? What if I told you we’d already bought a half bushel of apples at the farmers market that morning? What if you have no idea what a half bushel is? I…

  • Food,  wedding

    Cake Plates for My Wedding Cake Buffet!

    New thing I learned today: It is difficult to take charismatic pictures of six cake plates. Or maybe I am just a bad photographer. In either case, for our wedding, we’re having a cake buffet with six flavors of cake! I thought that I wanted to get some pretty antique cake plates to display them on – and Matt’s mom volunteered one of hers. So, today I ran to a little stretch of road that is just lousy with antique stores not far from my house to do some cake plate hunting. I found a few there and then, decided to chase some yard sales, and ended up across town…