Thursday, September 10, 2009

Aww. I'm blushing!

What a nice suprise to wake up to! I was just sitting here sipping my coffee and making my usual morning rounds of the internet when I happened upon my own fried green tomatoes on Fab Frugal Food. I really enjoyed making those and sharing them with Anne when she was here a couple weeks ago, and so pleased that a mere gluten sensitivity led us to such serendipity. Chickpea flour really does make excellent fried green tomatoes, so much more flavorful and crisp than wheat flour. I'll be making them again for our housewarming party this weekend. Thanks for the shout-out, FFF!

I didn't finish all of my preservation agenda yesterday because we got sucked into the first three episodes of "Firefly," an excellent space-Western series from 2002 that we're only just now getting to. The good news is that we got at least ten pounds of grapes sorted and picked from the vines while we watched it. The bad news is that now I have to make even more grape jelly. Yesterday I made seven jars of it, all of which jelled perfectly. I've never made Concord grape jelly before. It's a very messy endeavor but a fascinating one! The juice starts out a bright fuschia color, and then - just as it starts to simmer - it suddenly turns into that dark purple jelly color all on its own. Trippy! I took pictures all along the process and will post about them later this evening.

I also roasted and pureed a sugar pumpkin and saved enough seeds to cover four plates. All the seeds are currently drying on top of the refrigerator and anyone who wants to plant a sweet pumpkin plant next year should let me know, because I have seeds aplenty. This many organic seeds would've cost us at least $50 from the store, possibly more; the pumpkin I collected them from cost $1 at the farmer's market.

Also yesterday I invented my own recipe for strawberry-rhubarb jam, spiced with allspice and cinnamon and the slightest dash of cardamom (which goes beautifully with rhubarb). It turned out a bit thin and runny, despite the pectin I added, but it tastes good anyway and it's still usable as a jam. It might also be good on top of ice cream or drizzled over chocolate cake if I have any dessert functions to use it in the future. It made eight jelly jars' worth!

Tonight I'm going to try to finish that maple pumpkin butter, and juice the new batch of grapes so they can sit overnight for jellying tomorrow. I also received a small shipment of various peppers from my dad's pepper garden in Mississippi, which I hope to round out with my own anchos and turn into a balsamic chile chutney using Jamie Oliver's recipe. Meanwhile I still have two more boxes to unpack and I need to clean the house before our housewarming party on Saturday, and I have some writing and film projects requiring my attention. I really can't believe I used to suffer from boredom. Lately there are just not enough hours in the day.

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