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Pickled tink!

29 Jul

Super busy of late – I’ve been meaning to write this post for about a week, but somehow am only just now getting around to it. The garden has been really productive recently, so last weekend I gathered up a bunch of cukes, okra, beans, and carrots and made pickles. So, it’s pickle delivery time! Continue reading


The Movie Star… the Professor and Mary Ann

6 Jul

From left to right: Blueberry Ginger, Blueberry Basil, and Blueberry Mint Tea Jam

Big, busy weekend for us, as it seems is so often the case, it seems. The wonderpup got a haircut (he’s not exactly looking handsome, but he’s clearly not so absurdly hot under all that hair anymore), hung out with family for food and fireworks on the fourth, and we picked somewhere around 11 pounds of blueberries. 9 of those pounds became jam. So just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale – a tale of a jam-making on Independence Day morning. Continue reading

I Sprayed Some Cherries With Mace

29 Jun

It tastes as good as it looks!

And now their eyes are burning. With deliciousness! Wow. Sometimes I really reach on the titles of these posts, huh?  It’ll make sense in a minute, just trust me. Anyhow, remember those sour cherries from the end of the last post? That was just the bit that went into a pie that we ate with some friends who came over to grill, drink beer, play bocce, and generally enjoy the wondrousness of being outside in the summer. We picked nine pounds on Saturday morning though, and after the jump I’ll explain what happened to the rest of them.

But first, pie. Panda took a tip from Lynn Rosetto Kasper and, after making the bottom crust, spread out a thin layer of almond paste in the bottom of the pie. Almond paste is kind of expensive; it was probably a $10 pie to bake, and almost 70% of the cost is almond paste. But for a special treat it was so, so very worth every penny. I’m still regretting a little bit that I let Panda have the last little leftover slice the next day. I really am a goodhearted man, I guess.

Continue reading

Game on!

11 Jun Yummerific!

I got drafted last June. Then spent a little time in the Grapefruit Leagues over the winter. (Although there was a lot more orange and meyer lemon than grapefruit for me). Now, the 2011 canning season is officially on, and I’m batting somewhere around .840 (clearly still riding around in a bus league, but not bad, all the same). As I hinted at the end of the last post, Panda and I went out and picked a metric butt-ton of strawberries over Memorial Day weekend. This is all about what happened to those strawberries. Continue reading

A Weekend Chock Full o’ Projects

2 May

So, Panda’s in Africa again, which means it was a project weekend for Puppersmith and me. First off, we plowed the back forty (i.e. we double-dug the second – of two – garden beds. Its the back forty because it’s the one further from the house, though maybe it should be the back 33, since it’s only 33 square feet). We also got the lawn mowed, bought a bunch of asparagus, and canned a bunch of asparagus. Continue reading

Mr. Meyer Went to the Keys

7 Apr

And he got delicious while he was down there!

Meyer Lemon Key Lime Ginger Marmalade

Meyer Lemon Key Lime Ginger Marmalade

So, I’ve only spent about two minutes Googling this (so I might be wrong), but I think I might well have just come up with my first very own original recipe. Nothing terribly innovative about it, but it does taste like you’ve put a spread-able version of your favorite lemon-lime beverage on your toast. There’s a picture of a jar over there on the right. It looks a little like a Dreamsicle.

Panda picked up some key limes on a whim a couple of weeks ago at the asian grocery store, and I saw what I imagine might well be our last Meyer lemons until winter at the major-chain slightly-higher-end mainstream-with-an-organic/better-for-you-and-the-earth-image chain grocery store. (There’s gotta be an easier way to tell you, dear reader, where I shop without specifically mentioning a brand – something I’d rather not do – but then you wouldn’t get fun uber-hyphenated sentences like that last one. I suppose I could’ve just told you that we bought some Meyers and left it at that though too…) And then the citrus sat for about a week, quietly asking me from the counter, and eventually the fridge, to make some sort of delicious spread from it. Panda went out to try on wedding dresses with some of our mutual friends, so I snatched the opportunity to have the kitchen to myself and made some marmalade. I was torn for a while between the idea of some “warm” (to me) spices like cardamom or star anise or “bright” flavors like ginger. In the end, I went with the latter. It wasn’t a mistake, though the other spices might well have been equally nice, just different.

All that buildup. What I did after the jump: Continue reading

Mike Meyers Got Drunk and Bled in My Marmalade

9 Jan

Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon Marmalades There have been a number of exciting developments since I last wrote: Panda is home(!), Christmas, a birthday (holy crap is it weird to officially be a 30-something) and our second (annual?) New Year’s Eve smorgasbord dinner are now behind us. For both Christmas and my birthday, I got a number of exciting kitchen-related gifts, including the Blue Chair Jam Cookbook, from which I took the method, if not the specific recipes that I’m writing about today. Continue reading

Meyer Lemon Curd For the Win/Orange Prosecco Marmalade Semi-Fail

16 Dec

So, last weekend was our last with Panda still in Africa, so Puppersmith-Jones and I decided to have a canning and candy-making extravaganza. The marshmallows are excellent, the caramels… not so much. They ended up kind of rock hard. They melt – eventually – in your mouth, and the flavor is quite nice, but I think I need to either a) more closely monitor the temperature or b) not cook them quite so long. But that’s not why I’m writing tonight. Rather, its because I “discovered” a new (to me) type of lemon, and when life deals you Meyer lemons, you make lemon curd.

Continue reading

Scotch(ish) Orange Marmalade

7 Dec

So, with Ms. Panda on work-related travel in far-away Africa at the moment, Puppersmith-Jones, Stella the Wonderkitten, and I decided the weekend was an excellent time to get back in the kitchen and do some canning. It being winter, citrus seemed in order, and I’ve had my eye on the Blood Orange Marmalade recipe in the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for at least a week. Continue reading