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Monday Musings – 11.10.08 Edition November 10, 2008

Posted by Toy Lady in Musings, random stuff.
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This has been an . . . interesting year for apple cider, I think. I love cider – it has so much more character than plain old juice! πŸ˜‰ We typically try to make a trip to Green Acre Farms for at least a gallon of cider – they make it themselves with their own apples. And it’s unpasteurized besides. 😯 But this year, more than ever before, I’ve noticed that, while most of the mass-market supermarket ciders are, well, meh, Green Acre’s cider has been really quite tasty. Sweet and tart and,well, just apple-y. . . Yum. yummy.gif

So we decided, this year, to have the wonderfulness of cider all year ’round. πŸ˜€ In addition to freezing a gallon (so far) of cider in quart jars, we made some cider syrup. I took the half gallon that we had on hand and put it in a saucier
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And reduced it. And reduced and reduced and reduced. What started out as a half gallon – 8 cups – simmered for a couple of hours and became just about a pint – 2 cups – of this wonderfully sweet, apple-y goodness.

And since it’s really not much more than sugar, I figure it will keep just fine in a pint canning jar in the fridge for quite some time. We are looking forward to some cider-glazed chicken or pork or, um, ice cream. 😳

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The puppster does love the dried leaves! It’s so funny – when he sees a good-sized pile, he’ll wade through them, sniffing and wading, then he stops to pee. I’m not really sure what’s up with that, though. πŸ™„

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Speaking of walking. Well, we kind of were, anyway. πŸ˜†

Peeps and I were walking Jarly the other day, and we were set upon by a pack of . . . beagles. You would not believe the din! πŸ˜†

Probably the most excitement those little guys have seen in years! 😯

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After much thought, I decided that, a great deal on fennel isn’t a great deal on fresh fennel bulbs isn’t such a great deal if I let them rot on the bottom of the fridge, so I decided to try freezing a couple.

I did the research (I googled it), and went ahead and quartered them, then blanched them, then shocked and bagged the fennel bulbs. We shall see.

If nothing else, I’m sure I can do some sort of basic braised fennel thing with them.

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We stopped at the liquor store, and when we came out, we saw ol’ Spike, here, waiting patiently in the car next to ours.

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Obviously, he was waiting for his driver. . .

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This week’s mystery produce is. . . celeriac. πŸ˜€

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We’ve been seeing this homely vegetable for a few weeks now, and we finally decided to give it a try. Not exactly sure what I’m going to do with it – we also got some more parsnips at the market too – may do a parsnip-celeriac braise sort of thing with it. . . though I’m also leaning toward just throwing some of it, along with some other root vegetables, into a stew with some somewhat, uh, elderly beef brisket we dug out of the freezer. . . hmmm. . . decisions, decisions. . . πŸ™„

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Actually, this week’s veggie trial is two-fold. 😯 Yeah, I know right? Way to live on the edge, huh? πŸ˜†

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We went ahead and scored a bunch of Cavolo nero (or dinosaur kale or black kale or laciniato kale or Tuscan kale) – we’ve seen this, too, several times, and suddenly, I’m reading articles right and left about how much more tender and flavorful it is than “common” or “regular” kale. Which, to be honest, we did find a little more, uh, hearty than say, Swiss chard.

So anyway, I did my online google research thing, and I came across a recipe for a sort of kale and beans and polenta thing and we thought “huh.”

We spent the better part of Sunday morning cooking beans and greens, and we’ll be finishing the polenta part later this week. . . so far, though, it’s looking mighty good. πŸ˜‰

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OK, maybe “looking good” isn’t quite accurate. To be honest, at this point, it sort of looks, uh, pre-eaten. 😯

But it really smells good, and sampling it is quite, uh, promising. πŸ˜€

So later on in the week, we’ll finish the dish with some corn meal and turn this into a polenta of sorts.

Interesting, no? πŸ˜‰

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Meanwhile, Stupor Kitty got a visit from her brother Surly Boy. She does love a little extra attention now and then.

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Look at her doing her pay-attention-to-me, poor-lonely-kitty act. πŸ™„ I keep telling her that if she would just come upstairs, she’d get all the attention she craves.

Any day now. Really.

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