Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
I made these scones for a family weekend trip to a lake cabin. Scones, coffee, and family beside the lake, a very good way to wake up. I will make the healthier version for our weekends at home.
Rhubarb Cream Scones
2 1/2 cups ( 12 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (3.5 ounces) plus 3 tablespoons
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
2 cups diced rhubarb (1/4-inch cubes), about 3 stalks
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 400F. and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Adjust a baking rack to the middle position. In a small bowl, mix the rhubarb with 3 tablespoons sugar.
2. In a food processor, pulse the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt a few times, just to mix. Distribute the butter evenly over the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to large bowl.
3. Stir the rhubarb into the flour mixture. Lightly beat the egg, yolk, and cream together in a bowl (use the same one you used for the rhubarb), then add this mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Part of my garden just after it rained.
I was visiting with a few long-time gardeners in our area and several of them commented on how their gardens were slow this year. Just too many cool, cloudy days, they felt. However, my parents garden is doing very well, they have a full-sun location and they are able to water with the rain water they collected.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
These muffins are best for an afternoon tea break. I can drink hot tea even in the summer, but a tall glass of iced sun tea would be very good with these muffins. They are full of molasses which is rich in iron. The recipe calls for baking them in miniature muffin tins, but I baked them in regular sized tins.
Ginger Muffinsfrom: Martha Stewart Entertaining
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup molasses
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Grated rind of 1 large orange
1/2 cup boiling water
4 tablespoons sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter pan. Melt butter in molasses in a small saucepan. Cool. Beat egg and sugar until fluffy. Sift dry ingredients together. Add to the egg mixture alternately with the butter and molasses, stirring well. Add the rind, boiling water, salt, and sour cream. Blend well.
Fill muffin tins half full. Bake in preheated oven until puffed, about 15 minutes. Turn muffins onto rack to cool.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon write in their 2007 book Plenty: Eating Locally On The 100 Mile Diet, "the food we eat now typically travels between 1,500 and 3,000 miles from farm to plate. The distance had increased by up to 25 percent between 1980 and 2001, when the study was published. It was likely continuing to climb." Though they refused to drive a fuel-inefficient SUV they noted, "we were living on an SUV diet." Barbara Kingsolver says in her 2007 book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, "getting the crop from seed to harvest takes only one-fifth of the total oil used for our food. The lion's share is consumed during the trip from the farm to your plate. Each food item in a typical U.S. meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles."
We have tried to choose foods that are:
My breakfast for the past week has been oatmeal with strawberries from our berry patch, oh so good, I will miss this in a couple of weeks. The milk is organic and from two states away. The oatmeal is chemical-free and I don't know from where it was shipped. I could ask at the health food store, but then I might learn that it came from a company in California and likely they shipped the oats in from the Midwest, it becomes a long and complicated story. I met a trucker once whose job it was to truck butter from Wisconsin to Washington State to be quartered and then trucked it back to the company in Wisconsin for distribution, apparently it was more economical to produce butter this way. Think of the miles that butter put on before it reached your kitchen.
I said to my husband last week as I came in from the garden with a handful of radishes and strawberries, "it is a good thing we are not trying to 'live off our land', because we would be pretty hungry with this meager offering".
My point is, we may not be able to live on a totally local diet all the time, but we can make smarter choices about our food. Too often we don't know where our food comes from or who grew or raised it, how the animals or workers were treated, or what was done to our produce before it reached our table.
We should have a connection to our food that makes our meal something more than a way to fill our stomachs.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Take the time to look everything over, find out what the expiration date is on the food stored and either use it or throw it away. We found some frost burned buns that we tore them up and threw in the backyard for the birds. Monday morning our backyard was full of birds carrying off bits of bread.
My pantry has more empty jars than anything, but I also found I had items that we just don't use anymore. I will have to find a way to use these items or take them to a food pantry.
With the renewal of interest in preserving food I noticed the price of quart jars had gone up $2 from last fall. I think I have enough jars, but I did pick up some more lids.
Cleaning out the freezer and the pantry shelves has another benefit. When you know exactly what you have you won't buy something, only to find you already had it. You will also not waste food, if you know what is there and use it before it goes bad. We found we have several chickens that will need to be used before chickens are butchered this fall. So I plan to make and can chicken stock, that way the chickens won't go to waste and I won't have to buy so much chicken stock.
Monday, June 21, 2010
I would like a whole pantry shelf of this crimson goodness, but we are coming to the end of rhubarb season and I have tapped all my sources. This juice is so good. Not the kind of juice you drink for breakfast, but the hot cider on a cold winter night kind of juice.
Last fall I was able to purchase a steam juicer and I made 32 quarts of apple juice. Very good juice, we drank it all. I was so happy to be making juice again. It is a simple process, the hardest part being the washing of the steamer in my shallow sink.