Monthly Archives: June 2009

fleur de farine

aka Dessert! 🙂 I love dessert and never miss an opportunity to create something sinfully succulent! With the end of strawberry season rapidly approaching I hit up all my local farms last weekend so I could stock up on some homemade sweets!

I made yet another batch of strawberry jam.

As well as some Mennonite Style Strawberry Shortcake…no spongy, store bought, yellow cups here! Nothing but mounds of strawberries & whipped cream crammed between freshly baked biscuits, sprinkled with sugar and doused in milk. Absolute Heaven!

I also decided to try my hand at a little pie baking. Justine sent me a link to an ultra fabulous recipe she knew I would enjoy and she was right! While mine did not turn out picture perfect like Martha’s, like anyones ever would, they sure were damn tasty!!!

Step 1: Make the dough. The recipe was to be cut in half, I of course made the full amount so I could bake twice as many pies. I *is* a smart girl! 🙂 I wrapped them in plastic and placed them in the fridge to chill. It said at least an hour but apparently 3 was too long. I had to wait for what seemed like forever for the dough to *unchill* so I could roll it out.

Since I didn’t have a 5″ round cooking cutter I improvised with a bowl.

Step 2: Make strawberry mixture and fill pies. Mine of course were a bit too full and I had some trouble getting them to pinch closed. You were to get 6 pies per dough ball, I got 4 and the other yielded 5. I just couldn’t roll the dough out to 1/8″ without it tearing and sticking…and yes I used flour!

Step 3: Cut a slit in the top to allow heat to escape and sprinkle with sanding sugar. I used pretty rainbow sugar I picked up at a local tea & coffee shop.

Step 4: Bake. This is also the step where you have to try and control yourself as the wonderfully delicious strawberry aroma fills your home. Not an easy task indeed!

Step 5: Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then enjoy!!!

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Oh Baby!!!

Yesterday was the first day that was without precipitation for about a week, granted it was still overcast most of the day, but rain free non the less! I decided to take advantage and ventured out into my garden to see what needed to be picked. Rain tends to push plants to fruit so I was anticipating a nice harvest. I was SO not ready for what I found…3 Rabbits joyfully scampering about in a veggie wonderland. I instantly saw RED! The corn culprits were caught red handed and here I was blaming it on the tree climbers all along! Once they caught sight of me it sent them into a sheer panic! They quickly hopped right through my fence and out into the safety of the adjoining back yards. Apparently they have been sneaking into my garden through the top openings of my variegated rabbit fencing…bastards! Turns out I scared the one so bad she gave birth!

Aren’t they cute, in a hairless, squirmy, closed eye kinda way? I think it’s the ears! 🙂 Being one who always has a camera at my side I snapped a few photos and a bit of video while mama watched from a distance.
http://www.youtube.com/get_player

A friend of mine is eagerly awaiting the birth of her first child, a little girl. Today is her due date but alas, still no baby. I offered to come over and *scare* Lily out of her! 🙂

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A Sticky Saturday

If you arrived here via Food Gawker and are interested in keeping up with what I’ve got “Growing On” stop by my One Green Tomato blog and sign up to follow me around the kitchen and my organic garden. The blog can be found HERE.

Today was centered around my favorite fruit, strawberries. I woke up early, not that I ever sleep past 6 anyway, so I could be at Myer’s Strawberry Farm by 7. If you get there any later than 9 it ends up getting too hot and being over crowded with tons of people and kids running around hopped up on natural sugar!

Last year when I was on the farm, Jas and I would pick strawberries Saturday mornings while Josh would head to market. We usually would show up with about 35-40 quarts…that is a lot of time spent with your ass sticking up in the air. Today I only picked 12 quarts but it seemed to take forever. Actually, it did take forever, 2 1/2 hours to be precise. Since the season is almost over, most of the berries left are very small, and of course the variety I was interested in are already small to begin with.
People don’t know how to pick strawberries and this is what really rubs me the wrong way! This farm uses a flag system, once you reach the end of the row or your desired stopping point you stick your flag into the ground. This way you know what has been picked and where you should start next. Most of the time the plants are skimmed over and only the biggest and most beautiful berries are sought after, thus leaving all the other ones behind, which eventually end up rotting and making a huge mess. When you pick berries you pick the ripe ones, no matter what size because most often than not the small ones end up being the sweetest! I can’t tell you how many moldy, black spore factories there were. I would reach into the plant and what looked like dust would come floating out and into the air. I was SO annoyed!

Besides the berries the only other ingredients needed are pectin, I use Sure.Jell, and a ridiculous amount of sugar. You can also add a bit of butter which is said to cut down on the foam. I don’t know about that. There is just something that feels wrong to me about putting butter in my jam. It seems like Americans look for any excuse to use butter, Thank You Paula Dean!

I washed and cleaned my berries while the jars, lids and caps were sanitizing in boiling water on the stove.Then comes the fun part, mashing them up. Potato mashers are awesome for this kind of task…so was the shallow base of my Wok!This recipe called for 5C mashed fruit. I put the fruit on the stove, added the pectin and brought it to a rolling boil. Next is the part that always sends me into a sugar induced coma, add 7, YES, 7C of sugar and bring the mixture back to a rolling boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat, ladle into jars and process for 10 minutes.The end result, Fresh Picked Strawberry Jam!!! I have some P-nut Butter Bread baking as we speak and I can’t wait to start slathering it up!Holly mother of deliciousness!!!

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