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SALSAPALOOZA 2015

With help of my beloved, a box of tomatoes has been transformed into salsa.  How many tomatoes?




One and half(ish) 6 quart cambros full after roasting.  That's a lot of tomatoes, yo!
Dumping the 'maters into a cambro also let us guestimate the number of jars we'd need to process both the salasa and any leftovers.

This recipe with the mistake of last year turned out to be fantastic once the flavors married: http://delectablemusings.com/2012/08/tomato-salsa-for-canning.html

So subtract the roast peppers, substitute 2 chipolte peppers (dried and soaked), and throw in an extra cup of cilantro, because.

The accounting for this year?

$28.72 in ingredients  = 20 pints of salsa at $1.43 a jar, plus 4 pints crushed roasted tomatoes.

Still worth doing. 

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Pears 2015

More windfall!  We picked pears in the in-law's yard last weekend.  I used my big canvas whole foods bag, and it ended up being about a bushel I expect.  I laid them out on a towel lined sheet pan in two layers to ripen a bit during the week and processed them today.



As usual, vanilla pear butter: http://sarahbyrdd.livejournal.com/87754.html
7 lbs of chopped pears made 12 4-oz jars and 5 8-oz jars.


And pears in tea syrup: http://www.snowflakekitchen.com/2011/11/reflections-take-two-pears-in-tea-syrup/
I made 5 quarts of these and still have 2 dozen pears to eat out of hand.



I feel like I'm making out like a bandit, that was probably $40 worth of fruit that I didn't have to buy.

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Windfall

Friday night I was gifted with 1 lb. rhubarb and 2 lbs. of apples.  Look at the pretty blush on the flesh of some of them.
Saturday they became fruit butter thusly:


Chop rhubarb
chop apples, removing stems but leaving skins, cores and pips
throw all into pot with a cup of water
cook until mushy
run through a food mill to remove the pips and skins
return to pot and sweeten to taste (I used 1 cup of sugar)
Add 4 allspice berries and 4 cardomom pods
cook down until a splotch holds its shape on chilled saucer and no liquid runs out
remove allspice and cardomom
waterbath can in 4 oz or 8 oz jars

Ta-Da!

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Sock Monkey part deux

The torso posed some serious problems.  The fabric is old and has lost lots of it's stretch, and the left side was pretty much shreaded and would need a massive patch.  However, if I just patched without addresssing the shreading the restuffed monkey would be bent like a banana.  The solution was to do some Franken-darning around the shreaded parts to hold the stuffing in, and then give the monkey a full torso cover with a portion of new sock.





That's an example of proper darning.  That patch is on the underside of the tail.

Re-attaching the limbs was no problem, and I decided that monkey needed to have a little red heart badge for all that he'd been through.  It's only tacked on, so if they owners don't like it they can pull it off.


Sock Monkey Surgery

I've been handed a commission to restore a sock monkey that had a run in with a puppy.
Poor sad sock monkey!



There are lots of runs and several outright tears in the fabric.



I had the very clever idea to harvest materials from a new pair of red heel socks.




For all but the biggest graft, I think knitting the patch rather than cutting/sewing is going to be the way to go.  That has the benefit of having no edges to unravel on the patch.  Also, I don't think crocheting up most of the runs is going to work as the yarn is cotton and the stuffing is very stiff, so nothing has much give when you work with it.

I detached the damaged arm to work on first.  I picked up stitches to anchor the patch then kitchnered it on at the top and grafted the edges.


I think the process is going to work pretty well.


Second patch on arm.




I did some straight up sock darning on some of the smaller puncture holes.  Once I figured out what I was doing it went pretty fast.  Using the yarn from another sock is making the repairs pretty subtle in the scheme of things.  I also sewed around the bigest tear on the torso to stabilize it.  The torso is too badly damaged to reconstruct like the limbs, so I'm grafting on a new sock from neck to tushie which will cover the ugly repairs underneath.  I'm not cutting away any of the original material, just doing rough darning to keep the stuffing in underneath the new sock.  

picked radishes

http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2012/04/pickled-radishes-recipe/

I sliced up a bunch of greenmarket radishes and pickled them with the intent to use them on sandwiches this week.  For the brine I used 1/2 water, 1/2 white vinegar, 4 pepper corns, several slices of dried garlic, a bay leaf, a spoon full of honey and a spoon full of salt.  Quick refrigerator pickle.

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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:

http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-white-grapefruit-and-elderflower-marmalade-recipes-from-the-kitchn-198960

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: http://www.food.com/recipe/paula-deens-best-ham-salad-sandwich-227439

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. 

Ratafia

http://sarahbyrdd.livejournal.com/121228.html

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. 

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How many peppers did Peter Piper pick?

1 bonus bag of jalapeno peppers.

Using this recipe for quick pickles http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-pickled-jalapeno-rings/
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