Thursday, June 16, 2011

Busy in the Kitchen

I feel like my whole week so far has been spent in the kitchen! Peaches needed canning and freezing since they were ripening quickly. Not wanting to waste the peels and just dump them in the compost, I put them in the blender and made peachsauce. I canned one quart of that and the rest I turned into homemade fruit roll-ups. I've also made fruit roll-ups out of strawberries and mixed berries. My 5 year old son asked for apple-cinnamon fruit roll-ups. It's a little extra work on my part to make the roll-ups, but at least my 3 year old daughter is eating fruit this way!

CHEESE!! I've been cheese-making! Mascarpone cheese was the first one done. I was pleased with the results, and so was my mom who got half the batch just because I know how much she LOVES mascarpone.

I also made goat's milk mozzarella. That was fun and made a delicious chicken parm that night. That took a LONG time to make.

I still have some goat's milk left to make some chevre out of later today. Otherwise, I used some to make goat's milk fudge. I didn't like the recipe. It's rich, but the sugar content is too high. It makes the fudge kinda crystal-y. Maybe I didn't let it set at soft ball stage long enough.

So, I walked outside and noticed that the yard was desperate for mowing AND that the clover bloomed! I grabbed a bowl and started picking all those tiny white/pink heads. I infused 2 cups of the blooms overnight, then poured the 2 cups of infusion into a pot, stirring in the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp citric acid, and 1 box of pectin. I let that come to a boil and stirred in just under 4 cups of sugar. I let that boil at a hard boil for 1 minute and then processed. YUM!!

I love this making jelly out of flowers and herbs! I'm going to look up lemon verbena and lavender jellies and am hoping to gather enough RED clover for another batch.

It's been raining and I've been busy in the kitchen, so my poor garden has been neglected. I was pleased to see how well the lettuce is doing and the snow peas are fruiting (finally!). Also, I couldn't pass up the sale on potted herbs at the grocery store. I bought a sweet basil, a curly parsley and a common thyme. Then, to my surprise, when I got home there was a package on my doorstep. It contained two lingonberry bushes I forgot that I ordered! Must find homes for them, soon!!

OH! And the wild grapevines are doing fantastic this year. They are highly invasive and I usually just hack them back and try to dig them up, but this year I'm preserving the leaves. If you can't beat em, eat em! I'd love to get a hold of roses this year, too and rose hips, but they're hard to come by. Rosehip jelly is fantastic!!

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