I pulled out a treat from the freezer. Hubby made Apple Juice last fall. Well ok, it was supposed to be apple cider but for a variety of reasons, it turned out to be delicious Apple Juice. It had a fair amount of solids at the bottom so I ran it through cheese cloth. What was a quart of juice turned out to be maybe 3/4 of a quart of juice and what settled out to be a small amount of smooth concentrated applesauce. I had an idea.
My idea was to use the apple puree and some of the juice to cook the pork chops in, and they turned out great. If the pan ran out of liquid I de-glazed the it with a bit more apple juice and they turned out delicious! We poured glasses of pure Fall (a.k.a Apple Juice), and ate the Pork we harvested in the Fall, while we ate our Fall potatoes with last Spring’s Parsley, Fall Applesauce (with a little mixed in Raspberry juice from my younger daughter’s canned Raspberries from out west) and early Summer Broccoli. We put Rhubarb Chutney on top of the chops and that threw a little Springtime into the mix. This wasn’t seasonal eating this was eating the Seasons!
I continue to look for the perfect variation on the No Knead Bread. I haven’t perfected it, this effort was based on doubling the loaf so it cooked taller in the 5 qt. Dutch Oven, a single recipe yields a tasty but short loaf, making for awkwardly skinny sandwiches. This loaf went much better but was a bit on the Hulky side, and maybe slightly more moist inside then I want, but really only slightly.
Another night was Pizza night…
I soaked these little summer Juliet tomatoes in some Olive Oil…
and added some water to these Shiitake Mushrooms from last fall to hydrate them for the pizza…
When it all came together we had our neighbors put up hot peppers, our own canned tomato sauce, Shiitakes from the Fall, our own seasoned ground pork and dried tomatoes and dried green peppers. The cheese was from a local cheese maker. I may have mentioned at one time or another that there is a cheese factory that is only open on Friday mornings, and we had made a recent Friday morning trip. The Pizza dough was made from locally harvested Wheat not far from where we live. We picked the flour up on a recent trip to a small grain mill near here.
When it all came together it tasted great, and it made 4 of these pizzas. I was able to freeze two and leave the rest for lunches the next day.
There is a story to this soup with the lackluster color and for the record what it lacked in luster, it made up for in taste. Clearly, we have been eating close to home, and although I will be super excited to have salads back on the menu, it makes real sense to me to actually wait till it IS on the menu and then appreciate it for the seasonal treat that it is. Having said all this we did something out of the ordinary on New Year’s Eve to celebrate in an annual way. We have for, almost 30 years celebrated New Year’s Eve with live lobster, and mussels, and we did this year as well. I thought a lot about the lobster’s journey and what went into getting it to our plates, surely more thoughtful than I had ever been before about the lobster. So occasionally this will still happen. What I can do to extend the extravagance is to save every bit of shell and boil them to make a seafood broth. I ended up making 4 large containers of it. So I pulled one out of the freezer the other day and made a Seafood Broth based Vegetable Chowder and it turned out great. Ingredients: seafood broth, green beans, asparagus, onions, lots of corn, and potatoes, bacon pieces, morel mushrooms, milk and seasonings including our neighbors homemade chili powder. The soup would have looked more traditional with whole milk or cream but I used 2% and it was just fine with it.
Tomorrow we are expecting about 5 inches of snow, and I’ll be working at home on really granola business and waiting for the arrival of the new local NON-GMO cranberries for my next batch of granola. I’m very excited about these berries, because the recipe will now be made from all NON-GMO ingredients apart from the honey which is tough to make a statement on in this country. The really big news? I am working toward a NON-GMO Verification label, which is very exciting.
So with plenty of work to do tomorrow at home, it will be a snowy, pj, coffee, and computer day.