Tuesday, October 9, 2007


This website has TONS of great recipies and even how to peel a pomegrantie. Thanks Katie for the tip!


Cream of Carrot Soup

Cat made this for our book club's poetry evening last fall and it was fabulous!

1 C chopped leak (substitute onions/shallots if you need to)
2 large onions
4 T butter
2 # carrots
3 C water
3 C vegetable broth
5 T uncooked white rice
pinch of sugar
1 t salt
1/2 tsp crushed dried thyme
1 small bay leaf
pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 C milk
1/3 C cream
dash of nutmeg

garnish with fresh chives

in a large, heavy saucepan, saute the onions and leeks/shallots in the butter stirring often, until they are golden. Meanwhile, peel and thinly slice the carrots. Add the carrots, water, broth, rice, salt, herbs and cayenne to the onion mixture. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the carrots and rice are completely mushy soft.

Remove the bay leaf and puree the soup in batched in a blender or food processor until it is velvety smooth. Return the soup to the rinsed saucepan and stir in the milk, cream and sprinkle of nutmeg. Heat the soup through, stirring gently, then taste and correct seasoning with another pinch of salt or nutmeg.

Serves 8-10 (use left overs for lunch the next day!)

Refrigerator Pickles

here's what we did with our cucumbers this week. yum!

Makes about 1 gallon

5 pounds firm Kirby cucumbers, 3 to 5 inches long (about 20 cucumbers)
1 1/2 cups coarse salt
2 tablespoons mixed pickling spices, (available premixed in supermarkets)
4 to 5 cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 to 5 sprigs fresh dill
6 1/4 cups water
2 1/2 cups apple-cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar

Wash cucumbers well. Place in a large nonreactive container. Combine 1/2 gallon water with 1 cup salt, and stir until salt is dissolved. Pour over cucumbers. Place a plate on cucumbers to keep them submerged in liquid. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Drain and rinse cucumbers, discarding brine. Pack into four to five wide-mouthed quart jars. Distribute pickling spices, garlic, and dill evenly among the jars.

Combine 6 1/4 cups water, the remaining 1/2 cup salt, the vinegar, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, and pour into packed jars. Cool on a rack to room temperature. Cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Faith in Action

This is what we donated to Faith in Action this week. Cukes, onions and sweet potatoes. Many of you are upping your payment $2 which I bank and then buy one big box of something. I am hoping that something will be bananas next week. Thanks!!!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Whipped Butter

This whipped butter is my grandmothers recipe and is a hit with muffins or on top of corn. You can add herbs, brown sugar and cinnamon or cayenne to flavor it. Bring this and a loaf of homemade bread to any one's house and you will be the hit!

1# softened butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1 cup buttermilk

with electric mixer beat the butter and oil until thoroughly mixed, then beat in buttermilk until beautiful and fluffy! Eat!

Fig Preserves

David made two batches of fig preserves this week, which were really successful. The second batch he amended with a bit of maple syrup and some cracked black pepper - wow! They are insanely easy and would be great on toast, ice cream or yogurt, or a soft mild cheese.
There is probably no better known use for figs (as with most fruit) than as preserves. Debates between cooks continue on whether "real" fig preserves contain some citrus (we like it) and whether one should peel the figs (don't expect me to do it

Here's the classic guide:
Ratio: one cup sugar to one cup chopped fresh figs (it works the same for one pound of sugar to one pound of fresh figs; one palmful of sugar to one handful of figs -- you get the picture...)Grated lemon zest or finely sliced bits of lemon (the paper thin slices make the preserves delightfully like a marmalade - leave them out if this does not please you)

***Basic Directions: Cut up the figs as fine as you like. Mix the figs with the sugar and let rest in a covered plastic or glass container overnight. The next morning, cook the mixture down over very low heat until it is soft and thick. Spoon into hot canning jars and cover with lids you've had soaking in boiling (hot) water. The lids will seal as the jam cools. Refrigerate any jars that do not compress and seal.That's basically it and the recipe has been winning blue ribbons for generations. Everything else is the individual cook's imagination. We like it less sweet and cut back on the sugar. (We have not tried artificial sweetners or honey. Any reports from folks who have?) We have had this with a lot of citrus grated and sliced into it; with raisins cooked into it; with cinnamon and other spices. Be careful - the taste of the figs is rich but light and can be quickly overpowered. We recommend trying a straight batch first and then getting adventurous

from http://www.paradisenursery.com/frfigpr.html