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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy Anniversary


It all goes by so darn fast, but that’s a good thing!

Here’s to many, many more years with my husband that include laughter, kindness, hard work, curiosity, patience, persistence, Sunday mornings, good coffee, good wine, good cheese, health, stability, ambition, dumb jokes, funny faces, baked goods, sweat equity, gentle kisses, passion, trust, stinky shoes, weird neighbors, beautiful gardens, great adventures, frequent flyer miles, steady income, good friends, tolerance, intelligence, wit and cynicism, bravery, great cooking, sloppy mistakes, tender moments, and lot’s of LOVE.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

McFarmlovin'

Last weekend, hubs and I bought about 100 lbs. of organic, pasture-raised, grass-eating, hormone-free, and generally all-over-happy-to-be-here beef from a local farmer. As I mentioned before, Community Sustainable Agriculture (CSAs) programs are pretty darn hard to come by in Central Florida. That makes me sad.

I have to really, REALLY look hard and go a bit out of my way to find people who care about how our food is raised, prepared, and sold around here. We drove through the valleys and over the (muddy) hills, managed to get lost, but eventually found our way to Misty Meadow Farm in Barberville/Pierson Florida.

They don’t have a website, but they are truly legit. Their phone number is (386) 749-9007; ask for Anne.

Anne and Frank were some of the nicest, down-to-earth couples my husband and I have met in a long time. You know they really care about what they are doing, and Anne couldn’t dream of being anywhere else than right there on that farm. Besides organic beef, they sell organic pork, duck meat, duck eggs, goat’s milk fudge, and some of the best goat cheese I have ever had. It’s all organic. It’s all unpasteurized. It’s all wonderful!

So, we pulled out 2 T-bone steaks and fired those babies up on the grill on Sunday. Like buttah!

Now if we can keep the ‘canes away from us this season, we’ll be happy campers in the meat department for some time!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Asian Plum Sauce

It's plum season, so be sure to get your hands on enough plums to make this Asian Plum Sauce! I've had my eye on this recipe for a while, but like asparagus, plums can be mighty expensive if acquired out of season.

This is a sweet-and-sour sauce that is TO DIE FOR! I'm ashamed (almost) to admit that I ate half a jar of this sauce spooned over take-out Chinese last night.

Again, this recipe was acquired from my beloved Harvest Forum. I'm not sure if this is a recipe from a book, but it's plum yummy!

Asian Plum Sauce

4lbs plums
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 T mustard seed (I only used 1)
2 T chopped green chili peppers (I used jalapeno)
1, 1/4x1 piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 T salt
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup cider vinegar

Pit & chop plums (don't peel). Combine plums with remaining ingredients in a large pot, bring to boil, reduce heat. Cook until thick and syrupy, about 1 1/2 hrs. Ladle hot sauce into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust caps and process 20 minutes in a BWB.

Yeild: about 4 pints.


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Red Rubies

Last week, hubs and I bottled up this year's batch of Strawberry wine. Look how beautiful the bottles were when the morning sun shined on them the next morning!

If you can follow a recipe, you can make wine! This wine really turned out to be a Strawberry Raspberry blend, as I didn't have all the ingredients the original recipe called for. So I mixed in some raspberry juice concentrate in with the strawberries and waited. It turned out very tasty indeed.

I'm getting better with every batch.

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