Thursday, September 30, 2010

Q's New Sweater

I showed this project in process but now I get to show the final result. Q loves it which means I'm very happy with it. He picked everything - yarn, buttons, and pattern - out himself and I must admire his taste. The color is a little washed out in the photos. It's actually a very dark, cool purple that has flecks of color - Brown Sheep's Lamb's Pride Superwash in "Northern Lights". It knit up beautifully from the pattern. My gauge was just a tiny bit off (which adds up when a sweater is 53" around) so I was glad I'd chosen the 56" size rather than the size below because it fits perfectly. I'll hopefully finish the sweater I'm currently knitting soon - this one - so I can show it off here.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quentin's Marinara

Q got ambitious and created his own marinara recipe. It is much, much more complicated to make than my usual but it is very, very good.

The recipe...
4 lbs. Roma tomatoes, cut into chunks
1/4 c. diced onion
1 oz. diced garlic (about 6 large cloves)
1/2 oz. chopped basil (or about 2 T crushed dried)
1/4 oz. chopped oregano (or about 1 T crushed dried)
1 T parsley
4 T olive oil
2 T butter, cut into chunks
1 1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t crushed red pepper
Here it is, ready for the oven. We cook it in a 350 degree F oven for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Clean Pair of Hands

When I'm canning, I always wish that there was some way to always have a clean pair of hands in the kitchen so I could be more efficient. Q was kind enough to be those for me this weekend and we got a huge quantity of peaches put up in record time. (He was also responsible for creating a new marinara recipe, which I'll share tomorrow.)

I thought I'd give a quick snapshot of my canning process. I've got it tuned to just how I like it now. (Thanks for the action shot, Q.)

The prep station
The blue bowl is a citric acid dip with a colander in it so the peaches can be drained in situ before getting poured into the syrup. The silver bowl is compost. The white plate was whole pits. I'm saving them to try and grow my own peach trees. Putting my cutting board into a baking pan has totally contained all of the peach mess.

The canning pots
Back left is the boiling water canner. Front left is the blanching pot (it has a built in colander!). The front right has a couple of inches of water and jars upside down in it steam sterilizing as the canner is processing. The back right has the syrup. We have gotten very good at rotating them around as needed. I'm am frequently grateful for the granite countertops during this type of procedure.

We're almost done preserving for the season - and the peaches are definitely done!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


When we returned from Colorado our harvest included a very large zucchini.

Zucchini Parmesan turns out to be really scrumptious.

Zucchini Pancakes were surprisingly fantastic. We had them with plain yogurt on top. Next time, we're thinking of smothering them in mushroom gravy. They reminded Q of egg foo young. The last half pound or so of zucchini is getting shredded and frozen so we can have these again this winter.

Zucchini cookie dough has been frozen and we're baking cookies every other night or so a half dozen at a time. This recipe is really really good - flavorful and not too sweet. It's the perfect "biscuit" for our evening tea.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Root Vegetables

After school on Thursday we came home and started in on some yard work. The basil was going to seed so that got cut off, tied into bundles and hung to dry. We're packing the carrots, parsnips and beets in some straw and trying to keep them for a while. The edamame got blanched and frozen. I'm so excited about having that in the freezer ready for a quick before dinner snack this winter - 5 pounds!

Just as we were getting ready to go in, we decided to check on the potato crop. This was the first year we've grown them and a huge number got torn out before they even started growing when the back trees got taken out. We just put the cut sections on the ground and then piled mulch on top of them. They were incredibly fun to harvest - brush away mulch and there are the potatoes! We didn't get a huge harvest this year but I'm really excited to grow them next year now.

We put up 80 pounds of peaches and made marinara with 35 pounds of tomatoes this weekend. Posts will follow in the next couple of days.