Archive for Food Suggestions

Pi Day Pie – 2019

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Green tomato mince”meat” pie (the meat is in quotes for Carla and Rick who insist mincemeat be made with meat).

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Lettuce in the Snow

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I’ve been nursing these seedlings all winter in the cold frame and at last they are beginning to take off.  I planted them too late last fall to have the winter harvest I had hoped for but soon we’ll have early spring lettuce to enjoy.  I lost two plants over the winter but we’ve had some pretty cold spells, temps in the single digits, so I’m very happy with them.  On those extremely cold nights I put in a gallon jug of hot water and on nights below 20º, I covered the cold frame with a movers quilt.

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My Ponderosa Lemon Outdoes Itself

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This little tree has given me two lemons this year!  I’ve set a normal sized lemon in the pot so you can appreciate the size of these behemoths. I haven’t quite decided what to do with this bounty.  I could make lemon curd as I did in 2014.  Here’s the link to that post for full directions.  Here’s the link to the lemon cake I made to accompany that lemon curd.  Or I could make lemon marmalade as I describe fully in this post from 2012.  The 2012 post shows my little tree in its youth, just a stick and yet it gave me one big lemon that year.  It has continued to bless me each year and it’s always fun to make something special to celebrate its effort. (I’m leaning toward the marmalade…)

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Something Different for Thanksgiving Dessert

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This is my adaptation of the recipe in the NY Times cooking section, Cranberry Curd Tart 

I changed it in several respects.  I used almond meal instead of doing all the stuff with hazelnuts and I didn’t strain it (but I did use my immersion blender and pureed the heck out of it).  I found it took a little longer to cook than they recommend.  I made one on Tuesday just to be sure it worked out OK and it was delicious.  I even had enough ingredients left over to make 2 dozen tartlets!  These along with our squash rolls will be my contribution to Thanksgiving dinner at our middle son and daughter-in-law’s house (plus I am to make the gravy).  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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Hen of the Woods Season is Here!

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Our son Doug’s oak tree has again put forth a bounty of Hen of the woods nests.  The first dish I made was a chicken and mushroom ragu with grilled Parmesan polenta.

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THAT was yummy!  My husband trimmed the remaining “feathers” and we are freezing them on cookie sheets.  I read that the hen of the woods in particular freezes well without cooking it first.  I have always cooked them before freezing them so this is an experiment.  If any of you have experience on this point, I’d appreciate knowing how freezing without cooking has worked for you.  If it works out we have a nice supply for the winter.  Tonight: mushroom risotto.

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What to do with Overripe Cucumbers

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So you come home from a few days away and find these waiting in your cucumber patch. Should you throw them on the compost pile or is there something you can do with them?  My Danish friend Lisbeth shared this recipe with me a few years ago and I now share my overripe cucumbers with her so we can both make up a batch of delicious pickles.  First you peel and split the cucumbers lengthwise then scoop out the seeds.  I call this the “dugout canoe step.”

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You then put them in a non-reactive pan, salting each layer generously, and let them sit for 24 hours.  After 24 hours they have generated a lot of moisture.  Rinse each one off with fresh water and let them drain (or pat them dry).

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Next mix up a simple sweet and sour pickling liquid of equal parts sugar and white vinegar and add pickling spice.  For these (about 3 pounds) I used 3 C. sugar to 3 C. vinegar and a tbsp. of pickling spice.  Bring the pickling liquid to a boil and slip in as many pieces as will fit loosely.  When the liquid returns to the boil, remove the pieces and pack them loosely in sterilized jars.

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When all the pieces are in the jars, fill the jars with the remaining pickling liquid and add a sprig of fresh dill to each jar.  How you seal the jars depends on how you plan to keep them.  They keep forever in the refrigerator or you can put them through the canning procedure to seal them for storage at room temperature.

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Five to ten minutes in a boiling water bath ensures a good seal.  If you like a bit of “zing” in your pickles you can add a few more red pepper flakes to the pickling liquid.  The Danes add peeled baby onions to the mix.  After two weeks they are ready to eat.  Pull out a “canoe” and slice it as you wish.  The flavor is like a softer watermelon pickle.  Yum!

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Patriotic Pie

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The crust is a little tweaked but this was fun to make.  I made up some strawberry- rhubarb and some blueberry pie filling, fashioned a little tin foil strip to dam off the field for the stars, filled the bottom (removed the dam) and then placed the stars and stripes.

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