Monday, November 28, 2011

And so it begins

My poor, neglected kitchen.  When we finished the wood floors and rearranged closet space, the pantry door never had it's handle re-installed and the whole wall has been in primer for the last two years.  When we took out cabinets to make our bookcases and replaced them with shelving, they only ever got primer too.  There are swaths of all sorts of paint colors, many of which i discounted some time ago, all over the walls.  The counters don't match.  The shims under the ceiling fan are visible.  The walls are in need of some serious sanding.  I could really use a new oven.  The dishwasher doesn't coordinate.  The island stools are so bulky they have to be rearranged to fully open the door.  The screen door blocks half of the natural light potential in the room.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pumpkin Pie: Theme & Variations

 I've been enjoying my holiday festivities to the detriment of this here blog lately, sorry. Last year, if you remember, I baked up an incredible storm! This year, our festivities were a little more spread out and my assignments a little easier. We ate with my dads family on Thursday and we were asked to bring wine and 2 pumpkin pies. Friday, we ate with my mother-in-law's family and I was asked to bring cookies. Today, we're ate with the in-laws and had (ugh) family pictures... I brought pierogi casserole.

For Thursday, my grandma had initially requested that I bring Brussels sprouts. I protested, not wanting to become the person who always has to bring the same thing every year. Bad idea. I was all but verbally stoned, and made to promise that I'd bring them for Christmas. Anyways, I wound up with the pumpkin pie assignment. For the sake of tradition and crowd pleasing, I wanted to stick with a classic pie, but for the sake of my ego and boredom, I wanted to jazz up my pies.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Christmas from Scratch: Record Bowls

The only thing better than being frugal and green, is being frugal, green, and on trend.  These little buggers are all of the above.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Recovering a Stew

Nick likes to eat hearty, beefy, filling things.  Man food.  The kind of food I only consent to making in the winter.  Usually I send his 2 favorites (shepherd's pie and Brunswick stew) to hunting camp with him.  Unfortunately, his new job has made it impossible to make it this year.   As such, I'm consoling him by making it for eating here.

Unfortunately, I found that my recipe card was missing and I hadn't given the recipe out to anyone else.  I got the recipe from an older woman at a church I worked at in Ohio.  I dawdled and dawdled, but finally decided to just call her for the recipe.  Unfortunately, when I googled her, I found she had passed in April 2010.  Ugh.  I had no option left but to try to remember the recipe.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Persimmon Paste?

Remember all those persimmons I picked before they were ripe?  Well, they never did ripen :(  But my neighbor Linda (who told me about the persimmons in the first place) picked more than she could deal with and she gave me the extras.  

She also lent me her food mill, which turned out to be a kinda bad idea.  The skins & seeds clogged it and it literally took a week for Nick to get it clean.  It turns out, the best way to extract the pulp is to put the fruit in a mesh laundry bag and twist 'till you can't twist anymore.  It took me a while to figure that one out tho and it made a mess in the mean time.  

American persimmons aren't edible when raw.  It won't kill you or anything, but the tanins will mess your tongue up pretty thoroughly.  Everything I've read (and my neighbor Linda) said that if you cook them, they'll be edible.  

I was really surprised when i put the gelatinous pulp in a pot and it quickly became the consistency of thick mashed potatoes or paste.  It smelled great though, so i took a nibble and, while it was better than raw, it still did a number on my tongue.  

Honestly, I'm not sure what will happen if I put the stuff in a recipe.  Linda's been on vacation, so I can't ask her yet.  In the mean time, I have a pile of freezer jars full of paste that'll make ur tongue feel crazy.  Guess everything can't work out like you hope.  

Oh, and have a cute pic of the chickens, courtesy of instagram and my new iPhone.