Friday, September 30, 2011

Grownup candy

As the stores fill up with Halloween stuff (really? already?), I am reminded once again of how I never eat candy bars anymore. And I wonder: when did they start tasting so awful? Were they always that bad, and I just had a less discriminating palate when I was younger? Or have they actually gotten worse?

Of course, I can’t answer those questions until someone drops by with a Tardis and I can zip back to 1976 to check. And I think it’s a bit soon to be starting down the Curmudgeon Way (“You kids today!”, etc.). Whatever the reason, the fact remains that most of the time I feel that candy bars aren’t worth the cash or the calories.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Basil overload

So, my basil has done rather well this year. I think it’s over four feet tall at its highest point—definitely taller than Miss B and nearly chest-high on me. Now that the weather has cooled off, it has slowed down, but is still flourishing. I know my days of walking out the back door and picking a leaf (or a handful) are numbered, and that I’ll have to start thinking about doing a major harvest soon, before we get a frost.

What to do with it? I’m planning to make some more pesto, and with very limited freezer space right now I’m also looking for shelf-stable ways to preserve it—possibly drying some and canning some. I found an obscure recipe for Basil-Pepper Jelly that looks like a good way to preserve some of this and, as a bonus, use up the bags of Italian fryers my prolific gardener friend T. has bestowed upon me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Buck shy

Speaking of being a little late, I’m definitely behind the curve on the food blogosphere trend of reviving food-preservation skills at home. I’m just getting in to canning this year, two years after the Canvolution kicked off. Two years ago at this time I was enjoying late winter in Australia, a pretty thin time of year for a newbie to find anything to can. Last year, I was still getting unpacked and settled in. At the beginning of this year, however, I promised myself that I was going to focus on canning in 2011, and set myself the goal of canning at least one thing every month. I haven’t quite managed that, but as you can see, some months provide better scope than others for canning options:

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