Wednesday, September 28, 2011

'Rouge Vif d'Etampes...

'Rouge Vif d'Etampes is just a fancy pants French name for Cinderella pumpkins.  I made a yummy  pumpkin soup with one of these beauties. I sliced the pumpkin in half, scooped out the seeds and stringy center and roasted it in the oven for 1 1/2 hrs at 400 degrees. When the pumpkin was almost done roasting I chopped an onion  and simmered it in four cups of chicken broth.  I then added the baked pumpkin flesh along with cayenne pepper, ground marjoram and four ounces of light cream cheese to the broth and onions.

I then took my immersion blender and went to town whirring it until it was as smooth as silk.  Salt and pepper to taste and diced fresh chives for garnish.  Delicious!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fig Jam....

Does anyone out there know why my fig jam is such a cheery rose color?   I was under the impression that fig jam was going to be an earthy brown color.  The jam itself is delicious in a fruity sort of way, but lacks the color that I thought fig jam would be.  I'm thinking Fig Newton brown.   Anyway, I happily spread some on grilled Tuscan Bread with Gorgonzola Cheese and it was perfectly yummy!!
Here's the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens You Can Can canning cookbook.
  • 2 3/4 pounds of fresh Black Mission Figs.(30 to 35)
  • 3/4 cup bottled lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1.75 pkg. powered fruit pectin
  • 7 cups sugar
  1. Rinse figs. Remove stems from figs, halve or quarter. Place 1/3 in food processor. Blend until almost smooth.  Transfer fruit to large bowl.  Repeat with remaining figs.  Measure 5 cups fig pulp.
  2. In an 8 qt. heavy pot stir together the fig pulp, lemon juice, water and pectin.  Heat over high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a full rolling boil.  Add sugar all at once.  Return to full rolling boil; boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat; skim off foam with a metal spoon.
  3. Immediately ladle jam into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4 inch head space.  Wipe jar rims; adjust lids.  Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes( start timing when water returns to a boil).  Remove jars from canner; cool on wire racks.
 I only had 2 pounds of figs so I played with the amounts of lemon juice,  water, pectin and sugar.  It came out great.
Here is just two of the six jars I made of my funny color fig jam.   Pretty color though, don't you think?

    Sunday, September 18, 2011

    Mums The Word.....

    Chrysanthemum is the buzz word in September for sure.  No matter where you go there are mounds of magnificent mums. 

    Some farms display their mums in varying degrees of the same color.  I'll take one of each please.

    Other farms plop the pots down where ever there is space on the ground. To me it doesn't matter where the farmers place them or how perfectly color coordinated the rows are.  They are a spectacular way to welcome us into fall.  

    This is the color I chose this year.  Do you have a favorite chrysanthemum   
     color that you prefer?

    Monday, September 12, 2011

    Thrift Store Score...

    Extra Extra !!!!   Read all about it.  Guess what everybody.  I finally found something at the corner thrift store.  Seven crystal dessert glasses that actually ping  when you clink them.  Week after week.  Month after month I would trudge in there looking for something, anything that tickled my fancy.  I spied these beauties on a dusty shelf in the corner.  Just four dollars for the seven of them.  Yippee!!   A fellow blogger Cathy from Acorn Hollow  put the bee in my bonnet about thrift stores.  Cathy is an expert when it comes to thrifting..  The items Cathy finds are remarkable and she usually posts about them.  I hope it isn't another six months before I score another great deal.

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Until Next Year....


           Summer's commitment to the vegetable garden is coming to an end   This most generous of
           the growing seasons has performed it's duties well.  The hot summer's sun grew vegetables that    
           were healthy, colorful and delicious. Summer's mission was  accomplished.  The gifts were
           plentiful  and deeply appreciated.

    What shall we do without your tender, sweet, golden kernels?    Perhaps one more bowl of roasted corn and shrimp chowder before your tall willowy stalks are wired to the lamp post .    
    Good-bye toasted tomato sandwiches with sweet basil and mayonnaise. I will miss our noontime soirees.   So long Insalata Caprese Salad.  I will never forget how you extended the invitation to others  to share the spotlight on your platter.

              Oh, and then there is you my dear zucchini friend.  Who knew how delicious you could be
              sliced and sauteed with tomato sauce and scrambled eggs.   The sweet bread that you so
              generously sacrificed yourself for has made so many people so very happy.  Your ability to 
              transform yourself  from savory to sweet is in a word magical. Until next year my summer
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