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Green Lace Shawl and Marmalade

It's amazing what happens when 1) you have a few extra days off and b) don't have a million housekeeping chores hanging over your head.  I was able to finish a shawl I'd been knitting on and off for several months, and I made some proper marmelade based on this recipe because we have a surplus of grapefruit:

This stuff smells and tastes amazing.  I'm hoping that I didn't cook it too long.  I'll know in a day or two.

Opening jars: Ham salad, potato salad

Using up stuff we had on hand and unleashing my Southern cook:

riffing on this:

2 cups ham minced in food processor
1/4 minced onion
1 cup finely diced celery
2 Tbls grainy mustard (George's own)
2 hard boiled eggs
1 4oz jar of my picked jalapenos.
several dashes of tobasco
1/2 cup mayonaise
2 Tbls chopped parsley

Mix together and serve on crackers, in a sammich, spooned into seeded tomato halves, or as you like.

Also did a potato salad

4 cups red potatoes diced and boiled
1 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cider vinegar
1/4 olive oil
1/2 tsp dried dill
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 salt preserved lemon, diced fine (I put up some myer lemons a few weeks ago)
black pepper
salt to taste

Mix together and let the flavors marry.  Fold in 1/2 cup sour cream.  Sprinkle with chopped scallions. 


So I had some quince.  2.5 months later I'm straining that mess off.  I'm not sure, but I think it might be fabulous.  Or almost fabulous.  A ton of pectin soaked out of the quince so the liqueur is really syrupy.  Too syrupy to put through coffee filters so, I'm settling for straining through a floursack towel.   The liqueur has an amazing mouthfeel but is cloudy, I'm not sure I care.  The perfume of the quince isn't present, but there are elusive dried fruit notes and it's not too sweet.  Not unpleasant straight.  Could be amazing in the right cocktail. 


How many peppers did Peter Piper pick?

1 bonus bag of jalapeno peppers.

Using this recipe for quick pickles
but reducing the sugar by 1 Tbl, and upping the vinegar to water ratio to follow the Ball Book recommendations.

yeild = 11 four oz jars 

Irish? Soda Bread  Last time I made this.

This week the Times sent around this:

Wouldn't you know, it's the same recipe.

Still no buttermilk lurking in the house, so this time I used a combination of milk and sour cream.  That can't be bad can it?



At long last QUINCE

Having come into a few pounds of quince, I'm trying a few things.

Ratafia inspired by the spices from this site , but the cooked method from this site

1 lb quince chopped, cores and peels (fuzz washed off)
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 whole cloves
1 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 grains of paradise (in lieu of white pepper)
1 quart brandy (AppStrawBrandies raisin brandy, made by a local CT guy, which my wine shop recommended for the project).

And also Paste of Genua

To make Paste of Genua, as they doe beyond the Seas

Boile faire yellow Peare-Quinces tender in their skinnes, and so let them stand vntill the next day, till they be colde, then pare them, and scrape all the pulp from the coare, then take as much pulp of yellow Peaches as the pulp of Quinces doth weigh, and dry it vpon a little chafingdish of coales, alwaies stirring it, then boile these pulps in double refined Sugar, and so let it boile, always stirring it vntill it come to a candie height, with as much Rosewater as will melt that Sugar, and put in your pulps, alway stirring it in the boiling, vntill it come from the bottome of the Posnet, then fashion it vpon a pie plate, or a sheete of glasse, some like leaues, some like halfe fruits, and some you may print with moulds, set them into a warme Ouen after the bread is drawne, or into a Stoue, the next day you may turne them, and when the stuffe is through dry, you may box it, and keepe it for all the yeere, but be sure it be through dried before you lay it vp in store.

From John Murrel, A Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen, (London: 1617)

I only have one day to play, so I'm going to proceed as for apple sauce (rough chop peel & pips included, cook, food mill), then cook an equal weight of peaches, hit them with the stick blender, and combine and add an equal weight of sugar and a TINY amount of rosewater to avoid it tasting like soap, and cook down until it will set up.  Then dry as for fruit leather:

I can see why the added colorants in period.  It's a rather dull tan color, but the flavor is good.  As I was stirring in the rosewater I was strongly reminded of turkish delight.

Quince, sure has lots of pectin in it.  I could see gel building up on pips that had been left in the sink.

The final weights were: 1 lb. quince mash, 3/4 lb. peach mash, 1 lb. sugar, 1/2 tsp rosewater.

**Two weeks later I cut the paste into pretty bits.  It looks like the top crystalized a bit, and the middle ones are still quite moist though they do hold their shape.



Hippy Food

Made this granola to go with the abudance of yogurt we suddenly have.

It smelled amazing in the oven and tastes very good.  Not too sweet, though the cardomom is a tad overpowered by the tahini.  Might be old cardomom.

Next, I threw together a quick white chili:

1 cup dried white beans
Olive oil
2 onions
2 cloves garlic
2 lbs. ground turkey
1 jar tomatillo salsa
1 packet herb-ox beef boulion
a dried chipolte
a handful of cornmeal

Cook the beans for half an hour(ish) in a pressure cooker to soften.  Chop onions and garlic, and sweat in a dutch oven in oilive oil.  Add turkey and brown.  Add remaining ingredients including the softened beans.  Add a little water if it looks necessary.  Cook for around half an hour on the stove at low heat until thickened and flavors have melded.   Fish out that chipolte before serving.  Don't ask about amounts for the spices ... I was just thowing things in the pot.

I haven't gotten around to this fish taco recipe, but put it here in hopes we'll get to it during the week or next weekend.


Snow Day Dairy Fun

Bytchearse brought home a half galon of raw milk from his adventures in New Hampshire.  How fortunate we are that a day later I had time to Do Something With It.  Sure we could have just drunk it, but where's the fun in that?
As he picked up a jar of vindaloo sauce for chicken we had in the freezer, I thought I'd give a try at my favorite Indian dessert: rasmalai.

Having now been through the process, it's not difficult, just time consuming because there are pauses between parts of the process.  First you make paneer.  Which then gets kneeded until the texture is smooth(er) and roll it into balls which get squished into patties, which get cooked in sugar syrup in a pressure cooker.  Then you reduce more milk and season it with sugar, cardomom and nuts, and the cheese patties sit in the reduced milk and soak up the flavorings like cheesey sponges.  The longer it soaks the better.  I followed this recipe, though I took exception to using an entire cup of lemon juice.  I think I had used maybe 3 Tbls. when the curds coagulated.  I also didn't think that I had enough curd for the recipe, but those little patties EXPAND.  It's like a sweetened milk miracle.


Iron Chef Freezer Edition

Bytchearse cautioned me about cooking too much because the freezer was full.  Hah!  If I cook things already in the freezer, I'm sure it doesn't count.

Excavated from the freezer:

Stew beef
italian cheese mix
duck breast
couscous salad

First, I made this winter blah busting salad:

The recipe never mentions the scallions that are shown.  Use scallions, add cilantro, it'll be much better for it.  I also dust the duck with 5 spice before putting it in the pan.  Just a dab will do ya.  This time around I also put orange bell pepper in for color, used a habanero (seeded) for the heat, and added avacado, because why not.


For Sunday I made another tart/pizza thing. This time the filling is around a cup of 'cheese mix' we had in the freezer, 2 eggs, cream, minced parsley, thyme and celery leaves, carmelized onions, bacon, and a pinch of nutmeg.   Going for something like an alsatian tart.  It smells good.


The stew beef is slow cooking in a dutch oven becoming beef daube provencal, following this, sorta. and  Sorta.

I was lazy and didn't marinate the ingredients.  I used bacon like the Blessed Julia.  Browned the beef removed it from the pan.  Added the  garlic and the tomato paste.  Deglazed the pan with wine.  Added the vegetables, the beef back in, olives and stock plus aromatics and shoved it in the oven and forgot about it for a while.  That's going to get served over the couscous from the freezer.

stinkalicous leek tart

Resurecting this crust from the tomato pie of a few years ago:

(Tomato Pie Entry

Using this recipe as a guide:

But the intention is to use up windfall leeks we received this week plus random cheeses that have been lurking in the fridge: St. Andre, a little gouda, a little camembert, and some parmasean.  It should be stinkalicious.  I'm going to roll it out more like a tart/gallett/pizza in a sheet pan, rather than a pie so we can cut it into squares for easier portioning.  I'm pretty happy with how it looks going in.


And coming out:

Only took 20 minutes to bake because it was so much thinner.