This Week in My Kitchen :: Blog Hop

So, I might have to rename this blog Brine and Stuff in Jars, because most of what happened this week in my kitchen (following along with Heather for This Week in My Kitchen) is sitting in brine in jars.

radishpickle

dillybeans

sauerkraut

A Clean-Out-the-Fridge pickle ferment with radishes, the last of the garlic scapes, carrots, dill, and probably a few other odds and ends; Dilly Beans using the perfect, hasn’t-failed-me-yet recipe I will forever be grateful to have stumbled upon; Good Ol’ Sauerkraut with green and red cabbage and a sprinkling of caraway seeds.

chocolatemint

herbs

mintdrying

There are now herbs in jars, as well. Oregano and chocolate mint, so far. We use these all year long, and I’m hoping to go heavier on the mint this year, as I ran out before springtime and, well…that just doesn’t work for me. If there’s still snow on the ground, I want hot mint tea. It’s sort of a joke around here, asking me “What kind of tea would you like?” Ugh, predictable. Anyway, we made it with the garlic (harvest to harvest), so I’m determined to keep myself in mint, too. I prefer to hang dry, but in this humidity, I finish it off with a couple hours in the dehydrator, just to be sure it’s free of moisture before I store it. In jars.

pesto

I did not forget I promised a pesto recipe, but here’s the thing. It all went direct to freezer, and I was hoping to photograph it on some gorgeous meal. I will admit this here and now: I overdid it on the garlic scape consumption these last two weeks. Absolutely every meal has been drenched in the compound butter and so I haven’t had any desire to use the pesto right now. I find it most comforting and delicious in the cooler months when I’m craving something bright green and tasting of hot days in the garden, anyway, so I’ve put it all by.

I’m going to make it easy and just provide some pesto tips. Really, you can incorporate garlic scapes into any of your favorite pesto recipes, using it in place of garlic, replacing up to 1/3 of your herb/green of choice.

For straight-up garlic scape pesto, I simply roughly chop scapes and fill my food processor to capacity. Whirr them ’round until minced fine, and then it’s play time. A lot depends on the intensity of your scapes, but I like to add about a cup of walnuts or whatever nuts I have on hand. I found the most recent blend with cashews to have a nice flavor. The sweetness of cashews and/or pecans is a nice compliment to the bite of fresh garlic. Next is a generous splash of lemon juice, and then with the machine running, I add oil until the consistency is like a thick paste or batter. Mostly, I go traditional and use the best quality olive oil I can afford (read: whatever organic extra virgin is on sale), but I ran out half way through this batch and made up for the rest with avocado oil. It’s nice! Now comes the part where you have to taste it and add salt, pepper, and possibly more lemon juice.

Because I made this batch intending it to go straight to the freezer, I did not add cheese. It is lovely without it, but often, I will add finely grated Romano to the thawed pesto before using it, in a 1:1 ratio. I highly recommend freezing your pesto in ice cube trays and then transferring to a freezer bag, btw. You’ll get to know how many cubes you need for specific uses. For example, I use three cubes for pizza, two for making pesto burgers, one for omelettes, etc.

Oh, and also a day late was my installment for this week on Luminous Traces. Our topic/prompt is Skin. Enjoy!

One Shot :: 19 and This Week in My Kitchen :: Blog Hop

honey

This shot of pure, liquid gold in the afternoon light required no editing. We lost our bees, but what a precious gift they left behind. It took months, but we finally borrowed an extractor and liberated sweetness from the hive frame graveyard.

daylily saute

Today, I’m joining Heather for This Week in My Kitchen.

This week contained many a garden meal. I realize a garden post is well past due, but it’s not quite peak and there is so much that has such a very long way to go yet, that I’m not sure it would be interesting. Peas are happening, though, and I’m pretty sure I’ve harvested the last garlic scape. Our first round of greens have all bolted, so when I learned that daylilies could beef up my scape/pea saute instead of the bok choi I’d set out to harvest, I had to give it a try.

It’s so simple I can’t even pretend to give you a recipe. Snow peas and garlic scapes sauteed in butter, with daylily buds added in the last two minutes, whole flowers in the last thirty seconds. Salt and pepper, and you’re there. So good.

scapebutter

Speaking of butter, I am still in the midst of preserving oodles and oodles of scapes, and while most of them will go into the pesto recipe I’ll share tomorrow, and mixed vegetable ferments, I used them the other day for this compound butter. I didn’t bother with mincing or sauteing, but just threw 12 raw scapes into the food processor, whizzed ‘em around a bit, and then added a 1/2 pound of softened butter. And yes, I’ll be holding back at least another 12 from tomorrow’s pestofest so I can make another batch of this stuff. We’ve been using it every morning to cook our eggs in, and tonight I’ll use it to baste chicken on the grill.

scapebutter2

scapetoast

Oh, and it tastes delicious on heart-shaped bread, too.

What’s going on in your kitchen?

Luminous Traces is back!

…and is now the Luminous Traces Collective!

 

mineral

 

Summer is a most glorious time of year to re-start this collective project. We have a full roster of contributors and near-daily posts! This week’s theme is Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. If you enjoy creative prompts, please do consider becoming a guest contributor. Follow LTC, as I’ll be posting a call for guests later this week, with a preview of the upcoming weekly themes for the season.

If you are a friend of LTC on Facebook, you may have noticed that the “Collective” part of the name is a new addition. Luminous Traces is becoming the name for my own personal photography work and shop (coming soon!), and the Collective is the group project for challenging, creative fun.

So, I’ve been busy resuscitating that, and also making plans for the next Rest of My LIfe. I left one hint already…perhaps some of the rest can be inferred, but I promise to expound on that very soon.

Remember when this blog used to be about yarn? I’m thinking about spinning some this week…
I’m already out of the Tour de Fleece before I even started. Oh, well.

This Week In My Kitchen :: Blog Hop

scapes

Joining Heather today for This Week in My Kitchen.

The last week and a half has been a jumble of four schedules and two cars, and if, like us, you live at least a half hour away from the nearest everything, then you know how little time there is for anything else besides planning for driving and actually driving. Somehow, I managed to keep everyone fed, except for the day they fed me (to celebrate another trip ’round the sun…whoosh!…more on that later), but I did not photograph it. Really, I just felt lucky to have a few moments each night to sit with my family and enjoy a meal together before the rush of bedtime for animals and child, and preparing for the next day.

goatyogurt

One of the things that happened amidst the comings and goings was that we finally got things set up in the goat house to keep the babies separated at night. This means we get the morning milk; a half gallon every day! We have not yet been able to encourage the young ones out to pasture, but the mamas have no problem leaving the littles to their own devices for the day, so perhaps we’ll soon have them fully weaned. Mama’s Day Out consists of rotating browse, and then they come home to ridiculous, violent nursing. I recall some days like that in my own life as a working mother of a nursing babe…

Pictured above is the first yogurt experiment with milk from our girls. Three quarts, brought to 180 degrees and then cooled to 110 before adding starter. I’ve made hundreds of quarts of successful yogurt with raw cow’s milk, but I find it to be much trickier with goat. Precise temperature seems to be much more important, as is the incubation time. We’ll see how I did when I make this morning’s smoothie.

Stay tuned for some ideas for using garlic scapes, of which I’ve just harvested a bazillion. Pesto is a favorite all year long, so I’ll be whipping up several batches today to put in the freezer, as well as brainstorming some ferment projects.

What’s happening in your kitchen?