Thursday, September 16

'Here In The Real World'

Not that I've been a very good blogger lately but I'm afraid it's going to be worse before it gets better. One of my best friends is returning to artist management. I worked for her for ten years in our first run and am excited to get going again. What exactly I'll be doing I don't know but, as with most small companies, mostly whatever needs to be done.

So, while I was busy already with our house project, I now need to help get a complete office set up ASAP. Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you'll check back soon!!

Monday, September 13

Summer CSA - Week 18

I was delighted to find some early summer favorites in our share this week. Green beans, beets, greens - oh how I missed you!!

Wednesday, September 8

Addition Update

Here's what things look like today!

Friday, September 3

Plums, Plums And...Hey, Did I Mention PLUMS??

Last week, I bought a thirty-pound box of plums. Why? Because we have fallen in love with plum jam and it's going to be such a long time before they're are in season again. I have to do my part to make sure my dear husband doesn't go without this delight for the next ten months. After all, he makes sure I don't do without...well, most everything else in the world.

Now having clean water again, I've been on a canning frenzy lately trying to make the best of a waning growing season. Unfortunately, some escaping steam left me with a nice second-degree burn on my thumb. (Did you know those hurt?) Apparently, you shouldn't can with such potential distractions as ringing telephones, sword-fighting children or the need to breathe. Of course, my super-supportive hubby chimed in with, 'Hey! You might lose the whole fingernail!' Great. Thanks.

Anyway, the plums needed a bit of ripening so I laid them out on the kitchen table for a couple of days. When ready, I weighed out three pounds and looked at the remaining pile. I thought to myself, 'This can't be thirty pounds because I just filled a big bowl. They're not going to go as far as I thought.'

But, alas, after two additional batches of jam, I looked at the table again and thought, 'My word!! Are they having babies over here?! Where are all these plums coming from?!?'

Clearly, I didn't need that much jam so I went off in search of recipes. I found a plum chutney recipe that looked intriguing were it not for the fact that most people seem to use chutney as a topping for meat. Um, I have enough trouble eating meat, thank you, without adding fruit to it. Besides, it has raisins and I want no involvement whatsoever with those. Blech!

I decided to can a few quarts whole in a honey syrup with vanilla beans. They'll be a welcome taste of August on some cold, winter night. As for the rest of the pretty little fruits...well, maybe I need more jam after all.

Happy holiday weekend to you and yours! 

Wednesday, September 1

Homemade Pizza

Every woman who aims to cook supper everyday needs a few tricks up her sleeve. We all have days where everything seems to go awry and dinner needs to be something you can make without too much focus. For me, those days mean one of two things...breakfast-for-supper (which revolves around hot biscuits) or pizza. Fortunately, those are sure-fire crowd pleasers around here. 

What I like most about making homemade pizza is that I can make the dough right after school and move on to other things while it rises. I got this recipe from my mom. Growing up, we always loved pizza night!

Pizza Crust
makes 2 regular or 3 thin crusts

1 1/2 c hot water
3 1/2 - 4 c flour
2 t yeast (or one package)
1/2 t salt

Mix half the flour, yeast and salt. Add water and mix for three minutes. Gradually add flour and mix four minutes. Turn out dough into greased bowl and let rise until double in size - about an hour. (To hasten the rising a bit, I place the bowl of dough in the oven with a small pan of boiling water on the rack beneath.)

Turn dough out onto a floured surface and cut into 2 pieces (3 for thin crusts). Roll out onto lightly greased stones or cookie sheets. Add sauce, toppings and cheeses of your choice*. Bake at 350˚ for about 20 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. 

*Instead of tomato sauce, I melt three tablespoons of butter and spread it on the crusts. I sprinkle generous amounts of whatever spices I'm in the mood for (usually sage, oregano, black pepper, pressed garlic and parsley as well as fresh basil leaves) and whatever chopped veggies I have on hand. If I have leftover taco beef or sausage, I'll throw that on, too. With all those flavors, I've really cut back on how much cheese I use. I used to put 8 ounces on each pizza but, these days I'll only do four of mozzarella and add a couple grater turns of fresh parmesan.

If your gang likes cold pizza, the leftovers are great for lunches. It's my kids' favorite!