Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sweet Pickle Relish

The cucumbers were piling up in my refrigerator,  so I figured it was time to get the canner down from the attic and put it to use. 
I haven’t canned in years.  I used to put up 30-40 quarts of tomatoes each year as well as pickled beans, beets, relish and a number of fruit preserves.  It’s a lot of work, especially when you live somewhere that the summer temperature rarely goes below 100˚.  All that boiling water just makes the heat 10 times more unbearable.  In those days, you couldn’t buy organic canned tomatoes, even in natural foods stores, so I learned how to can them myself.  Then, suddenly, they were available and I was working full time, so I bought them.  Now that I have the time and I’ve discovered that the plastic lining in those cans, even the ones with organic food in them, contain BPA, it’s time to start canning again.  

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beware The Evil Hornworm

This is a picture of Manduca Sexta, the evil hornworm.  This is a tobacco hornworm to be exact.  I’ve always called them tomato hornworms, but I’ve come to find out there are actually two varieties. This one has seven diagonal stripes and a red horn, so it’s a tobacco hornworm.  Tomato hornworms have eight v-shaped markings and a black horn.  They’re cousins.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Multigrain Morning Muffins

I’ve been making these multigrain muffins for years. The original recipe came out of one of the first cookbooks ever given to me, Cooking with Gourmet Grains by Stone-Buhr.  I’m sure the Stone-Buhr rep must have given it to me, but it was so long ago, I just don’t remember.  Many of the first things I ever cooked, living on my own, came from this book.  It has lots of sentimental value.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Picking Basil

I love basil.  I love how you can smell it growing on hot days.  I grow sweet basil, native to Iran, India and tropical regions of Asia. It’s been around for 5000 years.  It’s good for you too.  Compounds in basil oil have been found to have antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties.   In some studies, basil has been shown to decrease the occurrence of platelet aggregation in your arteries. (Marc take note) Traditionally, basil has been used to treat stress, asthma and diabetes.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sunrise Smoothies

Whenever I go on vacation, I tend to eat things I wouldn’t normally eat.  I like to try new things.  I also like to eat locally, eat the traditional foods of the region.  Sometimes the foods I would normally eat just aren’t available.  And, I admit, I like to treat myself.  This vacation was no exception.  Cape Cod is all about fried seafood and Sundae School Ice cream, foods that I normally don’t eat every day.

Picking Apricots

Our Apricots are finally ripe.  They’re so sweet, we’ve been snacking on them all day.  These are some of the biggest apricots I’ve seen, they don’t compare to those I’ve seen at the farmers market or in the stores.  I’ve been eyeing the cots when I go shopping, knowing that I had a tree full at home, ripening...waiting...and the time has finally come.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Picking Blackberries

My blackberries are ripening.  I love these blackberries.  They were what “sealed the deal” for me when we bought this house.  We bought the house for a great price, but it was a mess.  No insulation, no 220 wiring, lots of termites etc. etc. etc... but it had blackberries vines in the back yard.  We moved from a town that was covered in blackberries and I knew that they would be one of the things I would miss the most.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Hermit Bars

The Perfect Travel Snack

We’re leaving tonight for the East Coast.  Cape Cod to be exact.  Mr. Recession Kitchen’s side of the family is vacationing there, a family reunion of sorts.  I usually make a travel snack, because airplane/airport food is always so bad.  We’re taking a “red eye” flight so I wanted to pack a snack in our carry on bag that we could eat for breakfast.  Something to “kick start” us in the morning, we’ll land about 7 am but it will be 4 am to us.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Gingered Plum Crisp

As I mentioned in my last post, I was looking for some ideas/recipes for all the plums that are ripening this week.