Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Cleaning Out the Fridge (Sorta)

I was going to do some canning last night, but I was lazy and fruit flies got into the peaches I was going to turn into ginger-peach jam. So I did put food up, but in the freezer and fridge instead.

I had some beef ribs I thawed out several days ago, thinking that Keith and I would grill them. We never got around to it. So last night I braised them in some honey and stout; they sat in the oven for about three hours until they were fork-tender like fish. I ate two of them and stuck the rest in the fridge for lunch.

Meanwhile, I dug out some peaches we'd planned to grill on Friday but forgot about. They were halved, seeds removed, little sliver of butter in each cavity, cinnamon sprinkled over the top. They still tasted delicious, but what to do with them? I thought about cobbler, but I'm here by myself all week and I didn't really feel like cobbler. Then it hit me: frozen pie filling! I sliced up the peaches (butter, cinnamon, and all) and mixed them up with some honey, and arrowroot and potato starch (for thickener). Then I spread them out on a foil-lined pie plate, just like I was making a pie, and put the whole thing in the freezer. Once it was solid I put the pie plate away and moved the filling into a bag; later on, when I want to make a peach pie, I can just place the frozen filling directly into the crust and bake it up. Viva la convenience!

At this point it was time to use up some ancho chiles I'd harvested from the garden, so I made this tomato-chile jam. I didn't change a thing except to use anchos instead of jalapenos, and I also added a bit of black smoked sea salt. Words cannot express how delicious this is! I ate a few spoonfuls straight with a spoon, standing in the kitchen at midnight, still hot from the pan. This morning I made whole wheat polenta bread and slathered the cold jam onto the hot fresh bread... augh. Amazing.

A friend dropped by this morning to pick up some paint supplies she'd loaned us, and we had some accumulated eggs, so I made omelettes. Sauteed some turkey ham, purple shallot, and garlic and set aside, then beat up our little green eggs with some milk and pepper and smoked sea salt (I really like that stuff) and did the omelette thing with the onion-garlic-ham and a bit of grated Leicester. I cut a bunch of grapes from my own grapevine (happy sigh) and carved up a small, incredibly delicious melon with a name I cannot remember, which I got from the farmer's market on Sunday. Spooned a bit of my salsa verde from Sunday night's canning session over the omelettes and enjoyed a really pleasant breakfast while she and I put off our chores for awhile.

All work has to continue though. Today I'm painting the last ceiling - finally! - since we left the spare bedroom unpainted while we stored all our boxes in it as we moved. But it stinks in there and looks terrible, so this week it gets the paint roller just like every other room in the house. Ceiling today, walls on Friday. And I'm going to try and finish the unpacking today as well. Settling in, bit by bit by bit...

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