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Archive for August, 2009

This weekend is prime tomato season, so we’re putting up sauce for the winter!  We’re also making another batch of Bread And Butter pickles and lordy-lou the house already smells awesome from Hannah’s Buttermilk Bread.

* Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce
* Bread and Butter Pickles
* Finishing touches on Limoncello
* Paella with Chicken and Fresh Littleneck Clams
* Spanikopita with Braising Greens and Fromage Blanc

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Weekend Foodstuffs: August 15-16

Here we are mid-August and into prime tomato season. So what are we making this weekend? KETCHUP!!!!!

* tomato ketchup
* peach boubon preserves
* pepperoncini
* pickled hot peppers
* pickled eggplant

What are you making this weekend?

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Editor’s note. Oh, people. Were you expecting pictures? How about an update on the excellence of homemade ice cream? We’re sorry. It’s the best I can do to muster typing without errors. Thanks to a cheap-o wine glass turning into a razor sharp weapon in my right hand, mangling two of my fingers, I am out of commission in the kneading, dish-doing, and photography departments. Matthias is busy taking care of everything. We will be back as soon as I am back at 10 fully functioning digits.

This weekend sour cherries just went out of season at the Greenmarket and Hannah got three pints for $4 and four lbs. of cucumbers for $5. That means syrup and pickles!!!! Full list is below:

* Sour cherry syrup
* bread and butter pickles
* garlic dills
* blueberry jam
* eggplant parmesan with homemade sauce
* ciabatta bread
* mint juleps

And most importantly:
* ice cream.

What are you making this weekend?

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As Hannah has pointed out, there isn’t much about my childhood that isn’t idyllic. We lived on the mighty Susquehanna River, a two minute walk from a 1930s style movie theatre (kids were $0.50, adults, $2.00 for a night show. $1.50 for a matinee), right next to an immense forest that would defy any child not to play and explore in it, and it was all right in the heart of Pennsylvania.

It’s a beautiful state with a rich and fascinating history (birthplace of the nation, first woman governor of a state, etc etc etc), and it has its very own culture, quite literally. The Pennsylvania Dutch. The Pennsylvania Dutch are the hereditary result of German immigration to Woods of William Penn, and the reason those of us from PA talk different.

It’s a state filled with famous foods, like Shoo-Fly Pie (a pie made to be so sweet that it would attract the flies to the other end of the table at a picnic. It was never intended to be eaten. Until someone tried it), Cole Slaw, Pork and Saurkraut, Scrapple, and of course, the summer staple:

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Pickled Beets.

Ah, the Pickled Beet. Root vegetable, distilled vinegar (we Pennsylvanians are simple folk), a few spices here and there, toss in some eggs and Lord amighty, you have yourself a nice picnic side dish. I love pickled beets. If it were up to me, I would eat a whole batch of these in one sitting and never look back. But that is gluttonous and though I have the heart and mind of a glutton, my stomach just isn’t in it for the long haul.

I needed a recipe for the pickled beets and as I didn’t want to give away my mom’s recipe online, I called my friend JJ, who lives in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch territory: Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This recipe comes from Lancaster, PA. It is the recipe his wife uses and her mother uses. It’s about as authentic as you can get.

And no, I won’t give you my mom’s recipe.

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Pickled Beets & Eggs
Yield: About 2 Quarts (I only made a pint because, well, we didn’t have that many beets)

2lb Beets
2 C White Distilled Vinegar (for true Pennsylvania taste, use Heinz)
3 C Water
2 1/2 C Sugar
3 tbsp Mustard Seeds
3 tbsp Celery Seed
3 tbsp Salt
6 eggs

Hard boil your eggs. Peel. Let rest.

Poil your beets until soft and edible. Peel and slice. Combine vinegar, water and spices and bring to a boil. Add beets and boil for 10 minutes. Place in a big ol jar, with eggs. Cool and refrigerate overnight (until eggs are purple). Eat and enjoy.

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It is going to be another ambitious food weekend in our awkwardly shaped kitchen. Jam-making, pickling (with compromise),  the season’s first cherry tomatoes, and fire-escape grilling with friends are slated.

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Bread and butter pickles (for Hannah)

Pickled beets and eggs (for Matthias)

Blueberry jam

Ice cream sandwiches

Homemade pasta

Modified muhammara

Spiced beef kebabs

Chopped salad

and

Corn on the cob with compound butter

Pictures and a recipe will follow on Monday. Let us know what you’re up to in the kitchen this weekend!

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