Monday, October 24, 2011

Short Term Goals Mastered

We all have things we want to do some day. L. wants to shoot the bb gun without any help. 

Cook beans in a pressure cooker (without killing anyone)
Cook beans from scratch (no cans allowed)
Make soup once a week
Eat the soup I make 

All things that would help me learn more basic kitchen skills and add more inexpensive vegetarian meals to our menu.

For the last month, without remembering my post last November, I've been working on those skills. I used the pressure cooker once. I made beans on the stove top.  I've been making soups from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups by Victor D'Avila-Latourette.    It's a great seasonal soup book for beginners and I've been honing my skills. 

So I'm unreasonably proud of myself and you all have to put up with back-patting posts like this, and reviews of cookbooks until I can get my computer back. 

Sorry about that. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Apple Links

It's apple season. I thought a few links would be appropriate. 

How to make apple cider. Pick Your Own has a lot of great tutorials for canning but this goes a step beyond the standard applesauce or strawberry jam. 

How to make apple cider vinegar. A cool skill, but not one we think about that often. Making a vinegar includes changing the fructose to alcohol and then to acetic acid. 

My computer is still gone, but I'm keeping busy. The apple lady called. The apple lady is a woman I met 4 or so years ago through a sign she left on the end of her country road, 'Apples for Sale.' I bought all 5 boxes for $20 and D. gave her his card. Ever since, she calls about this time of year if she has extra apples when she's done processing her trees. 

This year she had 4 enormous boxes, about 133lb. We paid $25. That comes out to 18-20 cents a pound. 

So yeah, I'm busy. If I get my computer back at a time when it's still useful I'll post about my process. I'm drying, making applesauce, and apple butter. If I have energy left after that I may give the links above a look. 

One of the best ways to get fruit is to be generous with what you make. Don't be afraid to see who has a tree in their yard. So many people find these things to be more trouble than they're worth. I asked on Facebook and had a few local offers for free fruit too. People eat a few fresh and don't know what to do with a really productive tree. Or perhaps they just have a lot of life stuff going on and don't have the attention to give it. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Inadvertent Sabbatical

I may be gone for a few weeks. 

Don't worry, everything's fine (with me), my computer needs to be sent in for repair. If I can, I'll find the camera cord and continue on the other box. 

When I get back I'll talk about my experiment with cornstarch ice cream. I need some pictures first. And more taste-testing of course. 

Autumn greetings from Wisconsin!