Thursday, October 20, 2011

Not a Hallowe'en Mystery

We're cleaning off the front porch because the roof has sprung a leak. All the loose canning jars are going into storage but the two partial boxes get to stay close by. Because now it's time to can pumpkin butter.

Yeppers, apple butter, peach butter and pear butter are enough in my buttery world.

Because pumpkin butter is healthy and yummy.

It didn't take you gazing into a crystal ball to know there'd be a little more canning this season, now, did it?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Cheese! The quest for cheese!

Here are some pics of cheesemaking--

mixture curdling:

at the end of the first draining:

My sister-in-law is looking for the perfect cheese for the perfect cannoli cream. Apparently that cheese is ricotta impastata and we are having no luck in acquiring this super-smooth cheese.

It became a holy quest.

She lives in a much larger city than I, so I am now leaving it to her. But yesterday I thought I'd try making my own ricotta and compare the texture to some cannoli cream my husband brought back from New York last week. His mother touts it as the best, so it seemed like a good time to compare textures.

Here's the recipe--

1/2 gallon whole milk
1C heavy cream
1 tsp salt (I used fleur de sel)

Bring this to a slow boil, over medium heat, stirring frequently. Set aside and stir in 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. Leave undisturbed for 10 minutes, then pour into a cheesecloth-lined sieve over a deep pot. Let drain two hours. Turn out into a bowl and whip with a mixer until very smooth. Return to cheesecloth and drain 24 hours.

Makes about 2 cups. At least I think it does. It might make more but I had a cheesetaster who kept putting a spoon in.

You know, quality control.

Friday, October 7, 2011

What I Did With Those Wee Tomatoes

I washed them, chopped them up, threw in some onions, jalapenos and crushed pineapple.

Tossed all that with a slotted spoon and tasted it.

Added some big-grained salt.

Tasted again and pronounced it good, though it could use some chopped cilantro, which I don't have. I'll pick some up at the tailgate market tomorrow and add it in.

Very tasty stuff.

I used some Conny's Romas, Mortgage Lifter, Cherokee Purple and a yellowish pear tomato whose name I don't know.

The freshness is almost overwhelming. Fresh food is the best food. And fresh food from your own garden is sublime.

I am filled with grief about this being the end of the tomato season. Truly.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Soup, Soup, Soup

Soup of the evening, beautiful soup.

Tonight it was turkey kielbasa, sauteed in olive oil with mustards greens. Into that some summer squash all cooked up and pureed.

It's October now and I have to do something besides apple butter, pear butter or peach butter.

Next, with any luck this week--a batch of hard cider.