Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The tale of the green tomoatoes

(...or Catch-Up, part tres)

Look at this.

That's about as red as any tomato got in my garden this past summer. Something aobut our weather here in MN this summer just did not jive and I was left with 7 vines full of green tomatoes.

The ones that got semi-red eventually turned enough to nosh when left on a sunny window sill, but there was no way I could contemplate tossing the rest in the compost. Something had to be done.

Once again, google provided an answer. First, I toyed with this Green Tomato and Red Onion Relish recipe (with judicious advice from veteran canners to make sure my mods weren't going to end up poisoning anyone, ya know) and ended up with a moan worthy condiment that more closely resembled a savory jam. Here are my tweaks:

regular onions versus red
no red peppers...more tomatoes!
whole head of garlic cloves roughly chopped
tsp red pepper flakes
no anise (BLECH, I so do not like anise!)
lots and lots of simmering time (like the whole afternoon)

18 jam jars of that pretty much took care of about half of the backlog. My thoughts then turned to pickles. Is there anything more enchanting than bright gems of veggies floating in a pickle jar? (OK, there most likely are many, but when faced with legions of inedible tomatoes, pickle jars begin to seem a bit magical...) This commentary I found on brine jars on the BackWoodsHome webpage (scroll to the end) nabbed my fancy, perhaps because the concept was so simple. I followed her instructions for canning them (adding a bit more garlic and of course some spice) and here they sit, awaiting their big reveal.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pretty pretty pictures

(or catch-up, part deux)

Sample made for Jennie the Potter with her fabulous Home Brew DK silk.

Blue version of the Briar Rose scarf I talked about last time. Turned out nice and swoopy.

SHHHHH! Secret!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Picture time, picture time!

Projects first: (watch out...this gonna take some TIME)

2 projects made for Chris at Briar Rose Fibers:

This one is officially "Dawn's Scarf" and is one of their $1 patterns available at shows and festivals. Done with their lovely Grandma's Blessing yarn. It's a super deep V shaped scarf to keep my front bits warm in the winter...I don't like zipping up to my chin when I'm running in and out while doing errands. LOVE the texture.

Next, a crochet edging I did for their After Hours Shawl.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


How snowy was it? This snowy:

That's Olive, our newest addition. She's a bulldog rescue we ended up fostering after a friend became insanely allergic to her...and of course she's never left. Funny how that happens, eh?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Winter harvest

What does one do when home with sick kids for 11 days straight only to then be buried in 18 inches of snow for 2 more?

If you're me, you become totally obsessive about marmalade, that's what.

Turns out marmalade is a super simple concept many make mind-numbingly tedious. My first batches followed Alton Brown's marmalade directions to the letter and it is absolutely perfect, pure orange sunshine in a jar. Second batch used his process with the fruit proportions from this cranberry orange marmalade recipe on the Free Range Living blog. It is also perfect in a very cranberry type of way.

The beauty of both being that Alton's genius for food science (not to mention the inherent chemical make-up of oranges) makes extra pectin totally unnecessary....that and the fact that it absolutely tickles me to be able to put whole unpeeled oranges into my food processor and have fabulousness result.

20 half-pints of preserves later and I'm well on my way to having my holidays in hand.