Sunday, August 03, 2008

Catch Up in the Pantry

I've been so busy this weekend, working through all that produce, that I barely remember what all I've gotten done. But here are a few of the highlights so far:

When I spotted two pints of ground cherries at the Cheerful Lady's market table yesterday morning, I snapped them up. Some time ago, I had come across the intriguing bit of information that candied ground cherries could make a reasonably good substitute for citron or lemon peel.

So I peeled off the husks, quartered the fruit, and simmered them in a honey-sugar syrup before spreading them on a parchment-covered baking sheet to dry.

Granted, it took all of last night and the better part of today, and they look a little messy, but now I have a nice little stash of carmelized bits of creamy lemony fruit with a hint of something more (not to mention a bottle of sweet syrup). Quite a treat!

I also worked through about half of my stash of zucchini, making a small batch of relish, slicing and drying about three small ones, and baking lemon zucchini muffins. I've still got one monster zucchini, though, and a pair of medium-sized ones, so I still need to get creative with the rest. Good thing I just posted an article at the Ethicurean on the possibilities of zucchini!

Since it's been about a week since I started the kim chi, I thought it might be time to pack it into jars, following Emily's recommendation. I had just enough for two pint jars -- and a bite, which proved that WOW! this is good stuff!

On top of all that, I also blanched and dried cauliflower and corn; blanched and froze broccoli; and made a small (one and a half pints) batch of tomato sauce.

Yeah, I'm beat. But I'm glad to report that the kitchen counter is much clearer now, and the refrigerator shelves are emptying little by little.

Just in time for the work week to begin...

Candied Ground Cherries

I just followed the basic candying recipe from Making and Using Dried Foods, cutting it in half for the smaller amount of fruit that I used. Very easy!

1/2 c granulated sugar
1/2 c honey
3/4 c water
2 c ground cherries (after husks are removed), quartered

Combine sugar, honey, and water in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until liquid is clear. Add ground cherries and turn heat down, simmering over low heat for 15 minutes. Drain, reserving syrup (can be used in place of maple syrup or in cooking).

Spread ground cherries on a parchment-covered baking sheet and oven-dry at 170 F (or lower) for 18 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally, until fruit is no longer sticky.

Cool before storing in airtight glass jars.

Makes about 1 c

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At 8/04/2008 10:12 AM, Anonymous Janet said...

Holy cow. I'm exhausted just reading about all you did--and then wrote about. Good thing it's Monday so you can go to work and relax!

At 8/04/2008 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad the kim chee is working out for you! I'm almost out...I'd better make more so it's got time to pickle! I think I'm going to try doing mine in quart jars this time.


At 8/04/2008 3:36 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Would that I could relax at work, Janet, but I had to head off to a meeting today -- took most of the day (including travel). I'm thinking of peeling kohlrabi for dinner. :-)

Emily, I offered one of the two pints to the Chef Mother -- who raved about her first experience with the stuff (well before I was born) -- so I don't think mine will last long. I'll have to make more when cabbage comes back in the fall.


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