Thursday, August 16, 2012

Slaw and Order

It's that time of year when the garden is overflowing with produce and I have bigger eyes at the farmers' market than I do stomach -- which means I inevitably have a lot more food in the refrigerator than I get around to cooking and eating.

This week, though, I'm determined to do something about all the produce and to bring some semblance of order to my kitchen.

On Monday, I shut up and put up -- two batches of salsa.  I also breaded and baked more eggplant for the freezer, and I sliced the remaining peaches, tossed them with a bit of sugar, bagged them, and added them to the freezer, too.

Today, I dealt with the head of cabbage I'd bought at Saturday's market.  I've been trying to eat more of my vegetables raw or minimally cooked, and salads seem to be a good way to make a big bunch of vegetables all at once.  So I pulled out the family cookbook and found a slaw recipe that uses a sweet and sour dressing, not the usual mayo-based one.

Picture it: green cabbage, red and orange carrots, red onion from the garden, and a light dressing.  Colorful, raw, and so very, very good.  I ended up with two pints of it, so that should cover me for lunches this week.

Who knows what I'll whip into shape tomorrow?

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Life's a Peach

With my baking schedule and self-employed status, I don't get much in the way of vacations any more.  Granted, I did take two days "off" when my oven was on the blink, but in lieu of baking I did some writing and housework -- sort of a vacation, but not completely.

But don't think me a whiner:  I occasionally get a little respite, and when I do, I make it worthwhile.  (And then I bring home more work.  But I'm getting ahead of myself...)

My Dear Papa and I headed up to the lake on Sunday for our annual peach quest.  We stopped in Sandusky for the freshest fish sandwich ever (so fresh, I had to slap it!), then visited some of our favorite lakeside spots, such as Marblehead.  (That's Cedar Point in the distance.)  What a beautiful day!

We stopped at Mon Ami winery, an old favorite, and I picked up a couple bottles of wine.  I have plans: the Pinot Grigio is destined for a French chicken dish, and the White Catawba will eventually become the base of a fruity summer sangria.  After the winery, we stopped by the orchard to get pecks of peaches -- a couple for the Renaissance Man, who is eager to can peaches again this year, and one for me.

I did plan to can peaches au naturel (the peaches being unadorned, not me -- ahem!) but decided to try a new recipe instead.  I chopped up most of the peaches and mixed them with vinegar, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and a bit of honey (maybe something else, too, can't remember) and turned them into salsa.

I only managed to get three pints of the peach salsa made, but since I had lots of Roma tomatoes from the Delighted Gardener and a canner full of hot water, I figured I'd go ahead and make some more traditional salsa.  Since I used red tomatoes, a yellow bell pepper, and green cilantro and jalapeno, I'm going to call it "stoplight" salsa.  (Because I can, that's why!)

So after all that hard work, I might be ready for another vacation.  Or at least a good night's sleep!

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