Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Harvest and making random things

Time time of year my focus is more on outside the house than inside the kitchen.  The garden needs constant attention, the animals and...well everything.  But I still get a bit of time to cook what we harvest.

Calendula and sage for the dehydrator.  The sage is for tea and cooking, whereas I hope to have enough flowers by fall to make a dye bath for some fabric.  

Also in the photo are garlic scapes.  I never brought these into the kitchen before, so I really had no idea what to do with them.

I decided to try (a slightly altered) version of these cucumber pickles.  The ingredients are almost the same, but I used a different method for fermenting them.  Although it's going to be difficult improving on this already fantastic recipe, I plan to spend much of the summer attempting variations.

With a proper cellar I could see this being a great way to preserve cucumbers and other veg.  It was magical as the taste of the cumber went from salty to sour in just a few days.

I've also been harvesting several wild plants (aka weeds, of which we have many this year) for eating and medicinal use.  This is chickweed:

I used it to make a hand salve for a friend with some rather impressive skin troubles.  Chickweed has worked in the past for him, so I'm curious if my standard salve preparation would do the trick as well.

And finally, what would summer be without a pot of Kimchi on the go?

Daikon, carrots and su choi make up the bulk of this batch.  I chopped up some garlic scapes extra fine and tossed them in as well.  Very tasty.  Used the recipe from the book, Wild Fermentation - well more or less.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Vegetarian Vindaloo while camping

Having been camping twice now this summer, I have discovered that after being outside all day, even on a hot day, it is really nice to have a warm and wholesome dinner.

For the group I made vegetarian vindaloo with sourdough bread (both nettle and regular sourdough), home made wine sauerkraut and cucumber salad.  

The vindaloo included onions, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and chickpeas.  The cucumber salad - my personal favourite - was cucumbers, shallots, salt and white balsamic vinegar.  The most difficult aspect of this was to make something that everyone could eat - we had quite a collection of allergies in our group.

It worked out to be $3 per adult - which was a bit steep I admit.  However, I used organic veg, not all of which were in season, and when you factor the salads and the spice mix into the price, it adds up quickly.  

This time I made the curry (with help from The Captain) the day before heading camping, packed it in a big giant bucket, and then heated it up on site.  Next time, if I make it in advance like this, I will store it in two or three smaller buckets, and only heat up one at a time instead of the whole thing at once.  That way if people don't want it all, then it's easier to keep it for lunch the next day.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Vintage orange juicer

Actually, what more can I say?  It's a circa 1950s orange juicing device.  

It's also the most efficient orange juice I've ever used - and I've used a few in my day.  Very easy to squeeze and more importantly, it's super fast to clean.

first we slice the orange into quarters
place each quarter in the juicer and sqeeze

the juice is collected in a reservoir, as you can see when I remove the strainer
and there we go, one orange worth of juice.
Not much, I know, but it was really the wrong kind of orange for this.