This Week in My Kitchen :: Blog Hop (and Lemon Blueberry Pie Kefir Ice Cream…whaaaatt??!?)

So, it’s that time again, already (following along with Heather for This Week in My Kitchen), and there was a week of radio silence in between. Hmmm…reasons for that:

1) Loss and heavy feelings to process these last few weeks, mainly on the periphery of intersecting circles of friends, but it brings up some emotions I had no idea were still so raw. It makes anything I might want to share seem pithy and it becomes easier to just shut down.
2) Working on the launch of a new project somewhat related to Luminous Traces, which has become the Luminous Traces Collective so that I can use the former name as my new business name. Confused? I’ll clear that up soon.
3) I have to put in odd hours at the day job because of this Summer Vacation nonsense. Year-round school makes so much damn sense. At least in my little family, the dreaded SV requires a monumental rearrangement of routine and much less time with each other as I have to make up working hours at night or on weekends.

But, we managed to make delicious things and eat them, together and apart:

boozyberries

It’s blueberry picking season in the northeast, so every week there will be berry projects. Each time we go, I try to just pick one thing to make with the fresh berries, and store the rest in the freezer for winter. The first excursion yielded one blueberry pie, one quart jar of fermented berries in honey (which is as easy as the name suggests: fill jar with berries, pour raw honey in to cover, give it a little stir every day, and when it gets bubbly, use the berries and the syrup to make tasty things even tastier), and a little over two gallons of berries in the freezer, about 15 pounds total.

honeyblog

Fermented berries seemed like the perfect way to use some of the “extra” honey we ended up with after extracting. This is how much was left in the bucket and filter when we set to cleaning them!

kefirblog

There is now enough milk every day to keep milk kefir grains happy. I love its effervescence, and it’s great for smoothies, salad dressings, or anything in which I would use yogurt. It also makes amazing ice cream.

kefiricecreamblog

We followed this recipe for Lemon Kefir Ice Cream, which was pretty exciting because the two main ingredients, kefir and honey, came from our own backyard. We didn’t stop there, though. You see, we had leftover blueberry pie. I know, I know…how does one have leftover blueberry pie? You must understand that we are a family of merely three, and our entire extended family is all 3,000 miles away. They cannot come help us eat pie at the drop of a hat. We often freeze half a pie when we make one, but I didn’t this time, and why not have pie and ice cream at the same time?

Yeah, I felt pretty brilliant.

kefiricecreamblog2

Basically, we just followed the ice cream recipe (quadrupled, because why make 1/2 quart of ice cream when you can make 2 quarts?) and when it came to the point in the ice cream churning when it was thickened up and nearly done, I chopped up the leftover pie into bits, crust and all, and C churned just a wee bit more to blend it all in.

The texture is perfect, as is the pairing of lemon and blueberry pie. Make this, please.

In other news, I was here yesterday (speaking of Luminous Traces Collective). Our theme this week is Parallel Lines.

What’s happening in your kitchen?

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Absent.

No Market for me today…the hardly-any-sleep schedule I have been maintaining for the last few weeks has landed me in bed with a sinus infection. Bah. My head throbs looking at this screen, but there is only so much sleeping and feeling sorry for myself that I can do…it was time to at least say hello.

Hello!

Anyway, there is just something so wrong about being sick in the summertime…although, later today we are to have thunderstorms galore, so  I suppose I will have even more reason to stay indoors and take care of myself with copious amounts of tea. A little easy knitting, perhaps. I should stop right there, as I see where this is going…a little knitting…oh, maybe I can handle a little spinning…and oh, there’s that next batch of felting all set up and waiting for me…until I find myself exhausted and feeling worse because the urge to create outweighs the natural instinct to protect the self.

So. Knitting and no more.

Highlights from the past week or so of life and craftiness:

Berry-picking is the grandest, most wonderful thing about summertime, in my opinion. Well, that, and the utter lack of snow.
9 pints of organic blueberries became one pint dried, two quarts frozen and seven jars of blueberry/peach jam. Going for round two this Wednesday, because I WILL be feeling better.

When I wasn’t jamming, I was wooling:

The heart on the cobweb felt in the upper left photo was purely accidental, but totally perfect.
The yarn on the upper right is to celebrate Jacey’s soon-to-be-released art yarn instructional DVD I had the pleasure of participating in earlier this year. It’s my fave technique, so much fun to spin and the resulting yarn just makes me giggle at its cuteness.

More herbs. More tea. Must close eyes for a while.