Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Recent kitchen adventures...

The month of May seems to be screaming a zippy firecracker straight on the way to the 4th of July! If I blink, I think I might miss the month of June altogether. Eeking out moments in the kitchen comes as a calming pastime, however, and even the most basic of domestic duties help keep me grounded during the frenzy.

Take for example my Saturday excursion two weeks ago -- replies to a couple of craigslist posts led me to a woman's kitchen to pick up kefir grains and then on to a new friend's farm (complete with tour of the pasture grounds inhabited by the milk cow, the pigs, the chickens...the soon-to-arrive turkeys and goats). I returned home with a gallon of fresh milk and thankfulness for the springtime sunshine and the naturally raised, free range Thanksgiving turkey I'd just committed to purchasing this autumn. (I'm also keen to take her up on the offer of cheese making classes...must wait until exams are over, though.)

Since that Saturday, I've been able to use my new kefir "pet" to supply the base for some delicious smoothies...I'm also excited to brew some summer ales in a few months. Reading Full Moon Feast continues to inspire me.

I've continued experimenting with various dairy products. My second batch of yogurt turned out amazingly well! (My new trick - keeping the mason jar in a warm water bath over the pilot light overnight.) I strained it to make Greek-style yogurt, and Ted loved it! Sweet success... Not-quite-so successful with the buttermilk biscuits made from my fresh buttermilk, though. Maybe I'll blame it on the oven.

I've also discovered that I don't need to purchase one of those squishy "stress-balls" (that you squeeze and release to diminsh stress) -- I just need to enjoy churning my own little batch of butter in a handheld jar. Ten minutes of furious shaking really can help one unwind.

Last but not least -- today was, as Emily termed it, the "Soft Opening" for Calliope's Table CSA. Official pick ups don't begin until June 3rd, but we were able to visit the garden and pick up an assortment of springtime greens. In search of the perfect pea shoot recipe, I stumbled across this site tonight, and I thought I'd share it here: Pea Shoots. I'm already salivating over the recipes... I'm out of Parmesan cheese, but once I pick up some more tomorrow, I'm going to try out the Pea Shoot and Walnut Pesto and use some of Ted's grandpa's home-grown walnuts.

Anyway...all for the moment. Just a chance to catch up and encourage everyone to try something courageous in the kitchen! :)

Carry on...


Emily said...

It always amazes me the cool and yummy things one can do with food with a little creativity and experimentation. (i.e. pesto with pea shoots!)

Bethany was kind enough to share this delicious pea shoot pesto pasta with Paul and I last night and it was absolutely delicious! So fresh and tasty.

I've heard you can make pesto out of cilantro also...hmmm I wonder what other kind of pesto is waiting to be discovered? Thanks Bethany!

Andrea Downing said...

oooh pesto - love pesto!

my mom said - from her preserving class - you can pretty much make pesto out of whatever you want. Just have a green (we used parsley and oregano), a nut or seed (we used sunflower seeds), a cheese (parmesan), olive oil, and whatever other seasonings you like (salt & garlic add a lot!) - food processor it up and wah lah. . . pesto :)


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