Sunday, July 05, 2009
Hey, Baby, It's the Fourth of July (yesterday)
So maybe the fireworks setting on my camera isn't quite as awesome as I had hoped? Or maybe I need to be right under the fireworks for it to work really well? I can always try again next year!
Even though it's been really hot here, I've had a really productive couple of days (in purely non-work arenas):
I finished the Red, White, and Blue Linoleum Dishcloth (except for weaving in the ends) yesterday evening, after a brief stall when I tried to work on it without referring to the pattern. If I can get the first 5 or 6 stitches right on a row I'm in good shape, but I really need to check those stitches against the pattern. I'm planning to knit more of these, so I should probably just chart it out--a visual reminder would be a very good thing! In cooking news, I've cooked up two batches of jam, one batch of balsamic peach quick pickles, and some almond fruit bars using the jam (not pictured - eaten). Here's a quick rundown of sources / mods for those items:
Strawberry Balsamic Jam: Really delicious, the balsamic vinegar changes the flavor a little but the jam doesn't taste vinegar-y at all. I made a batch a couple of weekends ago, and the "leftover" jam that wouldn't fill a jar was so tasty that it's already gone. Local strawberries are also almost gone for the year (there are a number of farms in our area), so I am very tempted to run out and get more so that I can make another kind of strawberry jam as well. I modified the recipe by adding 1/2 a packet of pectin to ensure that it would gel.
Raspberry Lime Jam: This jam turned out very tart, so much so that I was tempted to add more sugar at the very end of the cooking. However, after tasting it on toast and in the almond fruit bars, I'm very happy with the tartness. Instead of using lemon juice and orange zest, I used fresh squeezed lime juice and lime zest, and I used a little more lime juice than was called for (because I had already squeezed it). This could help explain the tartness. It's kind of a pain to strain out half of the seeds, but it's nice not to have so many seeds in the finished jam.
Balsamic Peach quick pickles: Peaches on sale! I'm pretty sure they aren't local, but I wanted to try out this recipe from Quick Pickles (which seems to be going out of print). The ingredients are simple: peaches, balsamic vinegar, sweet vermouth, pineapple juice. The flavor hasn't fully developed yet, but I think that they will be great on ice cream, or warmed up and served with grilled pork. Yum . . . grilled pork!
Almond Fruit Bars: I used the raspberry lime jam to fill these bars, and they turned out really, really well. They were also simple to make--no exotic ingredients, just things from the pantry. I doubled the recipe and used a pan that was a little less than double the 8 x 8 recommended size, so they may be a little thicker than recommended but no issues.
I'm off to Boston for a quick vacation (more like a long weekend than a vacation), so today needs to be more about WORK productivity than kitchen productivity. But I'm really tempted to go and pick up more berries, before they are gone!!
Hey, Baby, It's the Fourth of July: X, Fourth of July.