August 3, 2013 – Eclectic Food Day

Today was a serious putting food away day.

I have to lead with the most perishable item, this Dutch apple pie that Martin made with a jar of apple pie filling that didn’t seal.

But 11 others did seal for winter-time fruit pies.

A dehydrator batch of dried apples.

A couple of canner loads of various sizes of blackberry applesauce.  For blackberry fans, this combination, with a few splashes of lemon makes a great applesauce. Plus three more gallons of peeled, sliced apples went into the freezer.

Almost as an afterthought, some beans and broccoli were blanched and frozen.

In case none of this tastes good, a liter of brandy soaks up some sugar and blackberry to fend off winter colds!

July 26, 2013 – Pie in a Jar

With the abundance of apples, after freezing many bags, drying many trays, now we’ve moved onto making pie filling.

Here’s a jar that didn’t seal appropriately sitting in front of the apple tree.  Sometimes the headspace is tricky since the filling is so sticky and air bubbles get caught.  This one didn’t seal, so we’ll have to eat it soon -darn!

February 1, 2013 – Baked Alaska!

It’s cold and hard to do much outside, so what better  than throw some ice cream in the oven at 425 degrees.

Martin and Emma made a Baked Alaska recently.  This the finished product, seconds before slicing it open.

First step is to make a cake, throw it in the freezer, then top it with ice cream.

Then as quickly as you can, cover it with a thick coating of meringue.

Finally, throw it into the oven to cook the meringue. Voila!  The ice cream in the middle remains frozen and the dish that sounds impossible comes out of the oven!

January 29, 2013 – Winter Comfort Food

Emma had a hankering for lots of fresh vegetables and hot soup so she made up this Vietnamese Vegetarian Pho.

Here’s the completed bowl.

The process to prepare the ingredients was not trivial.  What’s invisible in this picture is what it took to make the pot of vegetable broth – all the vegetable that were boiled away and discarded (to the chickens) to make the broth.  It was a great mid-winter meal.

August 25, 2012 – A Day for Cooking, Canning, and Freezing

We had a good portion of the day for yummy food.

We canned two batches of tomatoes (7 quarts and 11 pints), one batch of dilly beans (8 pints), aabout a dozen bags of frozen beans, and a couple of apple pies from scratch.  After a two-week break from the stifling heat, the beans have decided to live again and are starting to do their thing.

August 11, 2012 – ‘Maters Ready to Can

Today was the first flush of tomatoes in bulk.

I’ve kept them watered and they have rewarded us.  This is only the beginning. Let the tomato processing begin!

boil tomatoes

First step is to drop them in boiling water.  I use this propane turkey burner.  They are cheap after Thanksgiving and make it possible to keep the mess and heat out of the kitchen.  Leave them in there until the skins begin to crack.

tomatoes in ice water

Then put them in cold water until you can cut out the core and slip off the peels.  Usually we’ll put them in cans and process them, but we didn’t have enough time today, so we just threw them in bags and froze them until we have time to can them.

Here’s the yield from the baskets in the first photo – 10 gallon bags.

July 11, 2012 – What’s a Little Mess Worth?

Rumor has it that Martin and GJ are both known for making a mess in the kitchen when cooking. That’s why we’ll show the end products.

Today was no exception – on the summer menu: potato salad, deviled eggs, fresh cabbage and beans from the garden, along with some grilled pork chops from an heirloom variety.

Oh yeah, and home-made eclairs to top off the meal.  Unfortunately, the instructions say that the eclairs are best eaten within two hours of making them!

May 20, 2012 – Linda’s 15 Seconds

HBO came to Iowa to film part of a series on obesity. The following clip was taken from a roundtable discussion at Grinnell Heritage Farm. As a follow-up, Linda was later asked to go to D.C. present to the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences.

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See the entire series free online at The Weight of the Nation.

December 24, 2011 – New Kind of Christmas Dinner

With Emma heading off with the Bobcat band to play in Orlando and in the Citrus Bowl parade (corporate sponsor intentionally left off), we couldn’t spend as much time as usual in Minnesota. So we were home Christmas Eve and after sugar-high crash, we were craving something green and fresh.

Linda made some spring rolls from scratch for the first time. We’ll work on the rolling, but they were still yummy!

Then it was a wok full of stir-fry for the main course.

September 30, 2011 – Raspberry Applesauce

In the never-ending quest to preserve apples, the third product is now on the shelf. First was canned apple pie filling, then dried apples for snacking, now applesauce.

These jars sitting on the storage shelves in the basement have a red color due to the raspberries added to the apples. One canning episode was good for about 44 jelly-sized single serve jars for lunches at work. We’ve had no trouble using our raspberries without going to market this year – we traded raspberries for buffalo meat, and handed off 18 lbs of berries to a vinter who promises us bottles of dry wine 6 months from now.

one year ago…”Thingmajig Thursday #227″