Sunday, September 29, 2013

my feet hurt; also my back

This has been a fantastic year for apples here in MN, and our front-yard apple tree is no exception. Not only did we get a much larger-than-average yield, the individual fruit have been enormous - some nearly grapefruit sized. We don't do much to the tree other than to thin the fruit in mid-June (and keep it more-or-less trimmed), so I hadn't planned on dealing with so many apples.

Fortunately, our neighbors and friends have been enthusiastically helping with both picking and processing. I think in another few weeks we'll be finished.

Last weekend, we harvested our first fruit with our next-door neighbors. Those apples turned into several batches of apple butter (I started them in the evening, took off the lid before I went to work, and then canned the resulting butter the following evening). I mostly followed the recipe from Not Your Mother's Slowcooker. I also put up a batch of Apple-Mango Chutney from The Joy of Pickling.

This weekend some other friends came over and helped with both picking more apples and peeling/slicing/coring (truthfully, my friend Niki liked this so much she did probably 90% of the processing).

In addition to applesauce (which I pretty much just winged - one batch was sweeter and had an orange in it; another was unsweetened; a third was lightly sweetened with honey), I also put up apple pie filling. I'm especially pleased with how it came out, and am very much looking forward to a winter of delicious apple pies. (Recipe from this Better Homes & Gardens cookbook.)

Mostly just putting this here for myself.... to make a pie using this filling:

Preheat oven to 375F. Pour a quart of the filling into a 9" pie crust. Dot with butter and put on the top crust (I love a lattice top). Seal and flute edge. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is "singing."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

just some menus

I'm still hoping for more time to write here, but for now I would settle for just keeping decent notes so that I can find recipes later (...which is the point of this blog, after all). To that end (lunches are in square brackets*):

Week of Aug 25
Su: [tomato, basil, mozzarella salad]
  grilled veggies; left-over chicken
M: [couscous salad]
T:  [out]
W: [EFM]
  pasta with red sauce
R: [soba salad with orange-sesame dressing and wakame]
  yogurt chicken; pesto potatoes
F: [leftovers]

Week of Sept 2
Su:  [tomato, basil, mozzarella salad]
  out (P & P)
M: [banana pancakes; bacon]
  hot dogs; quick pickles; roasted CSA veggies
T: pizza with mozzarella and red sauce (smitten kitchen pizza dough recipe)
W: lemon-garlic yogurt chicken; pesto potatoes (J & A)
R: challah (Rosh Hashana dinner with D & M)
F: out
[also made lime curd tart, plus added sweetened cream cheese as a base and golden raspberries]

Week of Sept 9
Su: [tomato, basil, mozzarella salad]
  grilled sausages; roasted CSA veggies
M: [leftover sausage and veggies]
  pesto pasta
T: [EFM]
W:  [out]
  yogurt-marinated "Vindaloo" chicken; rice; left-over roasted veggies
R: [leftover chicken, etc.]
F: [more leftovers]

* (an "EFM" is an "Exciting Frozen Meal")