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Archive for November, 2010

Berry Heady Stuff

In these holiday seasons, we are asked to give thanks. Thanks for the gifts our world has plied us with. Thanks for the faces we look into lovingly each day. Thanks for the staples our lives would be so lost without. Simply, we give thanks for the food on our plates, the guests at our table, and the sun in our face.

In our home we also give thanks for the bountiful harvest provided by the summer we’ve had this year. Cranberries from the bog. They will find a place of honor on this year’s Thanksgiving table, just one of the many sides we will enjoy with our roast turkey. Good Stuff!

Fresh, wild cranberries, washed

Forced through a coarse sieve and then a fine strainer

 

Make Believe Farms’ Jellied Wild Cranberry Sauce

 

3 pounds fresh cranberries washed. If foraged, washed repeatedly.

1 ½ cups water

4 ½ cups sugar

 

Allow the berries to drain well before adding to a stainless steel pot with the water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for ten minutes. It is important to use stainless steel, glass, or another nonreactive pot. An aluminum, iron, or untreated one, may discolor, or mar the flavor of, your jelly.

 

Strain the berry juice through a fine strainer. You may force the pulp through with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Your yield should be around six cups. If much more, reserve the extra for juice drinks, if less, make up with a small amount of water. Combine the juice with the sugar in a high side nonreactive pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Cook at a boil for one minute. Remove from heat. At this point the jelly may be poured into silicone molds or cupcake tins. Glass bowls work well as a mold as well. The jelly may also be canned and stored for several months. Be sure to follow the canning method closely. Good Stuff!

Jellied wild cranberry sauce in jars

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Rapid Cooling

In this shot, cooling chickpea soup and chicken broth.

Many times in our posts we will refer to a process called rapid cooling. This is a method we use to rapidly lower the temperature of a food before storage. A  metal bowl works best, make sure it has a stable bottom, that it will sit flat. Often the tap water is cool enough to start this process, but ice makes it work much faster. In the winter we have put the bowl into a snowbank on the porch! Keep stirring the bowl until the contents have cooled considerably. This rapid cooling helps to greatly lower the risk of food hazards in the food cooled and also protects the food in the refrigerator from the changes in temperature caused by putting hot food right into the cold environment. That being said, do not leave food on the counter to cool. Either straight to the fridge or the icebath. Eat safe. Good Stuff!

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Should be the very last of them, Fabulous!

Peeled fresh tomatoes

Yes we are still picking, blanching, peeling, and seeding. Sadly, however, this chore is no more. Now we deal with the legacy, frozen marinara, canned peeled tomatoes, … We freeze the marinara in sandwich bags, just enough for two or three. Meatballs change it up deliciously. Sometimes we do the daylong pot of Bolognese sauce. Always a crowd pleaser. Check the recipe blog for these and more recipes. Good Stuff!

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Dinner for 12

Table for twelve

Coconut Angelfood with Lime Curd

Simply remove all furniture from the largest room and insert fourteen feet of table. Client provided chairs, flatware, crystal(glass!) Less than 300 dollars spent on food and wine. Five courses later, Birthday Cake! Good Stuff!

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In her Prime

 

Beef tenderloin USDA Prime

Fully roasted two hours before service

Please always remember the importance of great ingredients. Prime beef truly has no substitute. It can be hard to source. Once you do have a reliable source, nurture and protect it. Special thanks to the crew at Main Street Meats in Farmingdale, NY for this particularly prime pismo beef tenderloin. Reach them at 516 249 8200. I was led to believe they will make retail deliveries in our area. This piece of meat is surely featured on our recipe blog. Check it out! Good Stuff!

 

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