Saturday, July 25, 2009

yet more kitchen fun

You know you're commited to fresh, local produce when you set the alarm for 6:45 AM on a Saturday.

Courtney picked me up at 7:20 this morning, and we drove out to Bauer Berry Farm in Champlin to pick a few blueberries. When we arrived at the farm at 7:50, ten full minutes before they opened their gates to pickers, we were roughly the tenth car in line to get in! Over the next ten minutes, at least fifteen more cars piled up behind us.

Thankfully, we were ushered in to the farm promptly at 8:00, our empty containers were weighed, and we were given a row for picking.

Courtney had kind of a bum row, and ended up with about 2 1/2 pounds of blueberries. I came out slightly luckier, with 3 1/2 pounds. Nothing earth-shattering like the ten pounds of strawberries Dan and I picked earlier this summer, but enough to freeze a couple cookie sheets' worth for smoothies/muffins, a few to snack on fresh, and four cups for a single (large) jar of freezer jam.

I also picked up a jar of honey at the farm, since we were running low:
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Now, I must confess, I don't care much for fresh blueberries. I love them in smoothies, ice cream, jam, muffins, etc., but I've never been one to get excited about eating a handfull. These hand-picked berries, however, were firmer, more tart, and generally tastier than any grocery store blueberry that's ever crossed my lips. Woo!

Here's the jam:
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We'll have to conserve this conserve (ha!) for a special occasion.

I may need to change the title of my blog to "The Jam Lady." We'll see how the rest of the summer goes. :)

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Other treats made yesterday or today . . .

Granola:
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Homemade Vanilla-Chai Ice Cream:
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Grilled cheese and salad for lunch:
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My loot from the Farmer's Market . . .

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Clockwise from lower left: green bell peppers, cucumbers, 3-year aged cheddar, a quart of salsa, a pint of maple syrup, romaine, parsley, onions, sweet potatoes, purple bell peppers, and grape tomatoes! Everything I picked up was local this week. Wahoo!

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Last, but certainly not least, a very silly picture of Oliver:
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He thought that taking a nap on top of the fridge with his face in the napkin basket was a good idea. :)

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Off to stir the onions that are slowly caramelizing on my stove. I hear they freeze well? (What haven't I put in my freezer lately?)

4 comments:

Lauren said...

Your homemade ice cream always looks PERFECT. When we made a batch of strawberry recently, it was soft and creamy right out of the maker but got hard and icy in the freezer later. Any freezing secrets? Do you store it in tupperware?

Catherine said...

Lauren, I do store the ice cream in a plastic container. I've also found that full-fat ice cream, especially those with a "cooked custard" base, tend to last a little longer than the "ice milks."

I've also heard that using jam instead of whole/fresh fruit in fruit ice creams helps with the texture.

Lauren said...

We used full-fat milk and cream but used fresh strawberries. I'll try making a fruitless batch and see how THAT turns out. Stay tuned!

lengslog said...

OLIVER is so cute! he looks just like my sister's cat. I miss him so much!