Autumn has arrived. The calendar supports this supposition, which the weather has thankfully corroborated. Temperatures have dropped significantly, although it was hot and humid just a few days ago.
Our kitchen has been humming with activity for the last few weeks. On Saturday last, I tagged along with Auntie Mame on her weekly visit to a local farmer's market. One item dominated my shopping list, basil. Our Pesto supply ran out months ago. Only one vendor sold basil displayed as bouquets in buckets. It was in "just picked" condition, with the roots still attached to the bundled plants. The woman was friendly and threw in an extra bunch free, when she found I was buying ten. For a mere $10.00 I walked away with my arms full of fragrance.
Attila likes Jalapeno Cheese bread. During the long harvest season, I like to make him special foods; that help keep his spirits up as he works through the seemingly endless days. At the market, I managed to find a quart basket of plump, shiny green Jalapeno Peppers. Attila will have his favorite bread in his lunches for the next few months.
The produce was plentiful, fresh, and reasonably priced at the market. My eyes were certainly bigger than my back. I eyed the fifty-pound bags of potatoes with longing, but walked past as I did not feel capable of transporting them to the car or into the house once home. The red peppers, however, were just too beautiful to resist. A bushel bag of peppers is not so very heavy, and with due care was safely carried and stowed away in the trunk of the car.
Of course, such a shopping expedition generates activity in the kitchen. Our Saturday night was spent removing and washing the leaves from the basil plants. My Sunday was spent collecting pine nuts, olive oil, garlic, and Parmesan cheese, and in processing a years supply of Pesto. Attila found room in our overstuffed freezer for the Pesto and most of the red peppers.
I am on strict orders not to purchase one more item that requires storage in the freezer. Attila was very emphatic on this point.
Today my plans include soaking and cooking black beans in the pressure cooker, as well as puttering around in the kitchen with a variety of ongoing projects.
I am experimenting with the batch of marmalade I just made. Each Christmas Attila's father sends us a crate of oranges and grapefruits from Florida. The peels are chemical free, and so can be safely used for cooking and consumption. As we enjoyed the fruit, we saved the peels in a bag in the freezer. I am just now getting around to making marmalade from our collected peels and a can of frozen orange juice.
The marmalade did not set. Auntie Mame had a look at it and suggested boiling it again, even just one jar at a time. I like the one jar at a time idea, so I have just opened a jar, and boiled the syrup again. It seems to be setting nicely now, so I will continue to reprocess it one jar at a time. I will leave some of it as it is; the runny marmalade makes a lovely, tangy sauce for desserts.
Although we could purchase all of the foods we process "ready made", we enjoy controlling the raw ingredients that comprise most of our daily diet.
|RECIPES :: Cast
The clanging of pots and the whirr of the treadmill.
On the Screen
Fiddler on the Roof
(in 15 minute segments during my daily walk)
Wind: W 9 km/h
Sunrise 7:13 AM EDT
Sunset 7:18 PM EDT
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