One Local Summer 2015 – Week 21

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Husband has returned home and cooked up this classic summer meal – a pulled pork sandwich.  A good part of this one was a long time in the making.  The sauerkraut was made months ago, fermented from fresh cabbage in a huge stoneware crock.  The pickles were started a month ago and came out as terrific sour pickles.  The buns were made last year and pulled from the freezer.  The cider in the glass was also made last year and was just kegged and ready to drink this past month.  The only thing new on the plate is the pulled pork which cooked up in the crock pot all day with some cider, peppers, onion, vinegar, and tomatoes, and came out DELICIOUS.

Ingredients:
Cabbage – Jack’s Farm
Pork Butt – Countrytime Farm
Cucumbers – My Garden
Peppers – Steer Vegetables
Tomatoes – My Garden
Onion – Clover Hill Farm
Cider – Fermented from apples picked at my grandparents’
Buns:
Flour – Mill at Anselma
Egg – Deep Roots Valley Farm
Butter – Spring Creek Farms
Honey – Baues Busy Bees
Non Local – Salt, pepper, spices, homemade vinegar

Cupcakes and Pickles

I honestly never meant for this to be a food blog.  But I seemed to have (re)discovered the fun of cooking and baking over the summer, in part because of the One Local Summer challenge.  I was the microwave queen – I regularly told people that I didn’t cook, I microwaved, and I got married so that I would have someone to cook for me (the husband, he really likes our kitchen).  Well I guess I can’t say that anymore, now can I?  There are two food related things I’d like to share with you today.  Maybe a knitting post later this week   🙂

DSC_3975_edit This is a sweet little creation, the Double Vanilla Cupcake.  Delightful!  There’s something so fresh and sweet about a good vanilla bean ice cream that I really enjoy and that translated 100% into this recipe.  I whipped these up last night for a friend’s birthday and they were a big hit.  We stuck them in the fridge to firm up the icing (it was REALLY hot today) and they came out just perfect, so much so that a chocoholic even rated them a 99 out of 100 (with chocolate being the unbeatable 100).  Not bad, if I do say so myself.  The real vanilla beans are what make these so delicious and I can’t imagine making them without the beans.  Oh and we had a little extra icing, so I need to find some graham crackers to make some icing sandwiches since that’s what mom did when we were kids and had some leftover icing from a birthday cake.  OM NOM NOM.

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Lemon Cucumber Pickles!  That is, Lemon Cucumber, not lemon flavored cucumbers.  I promised a post about these, and here it is. I decided to go all out and got myself a pressure canner and the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving, commonly referred to as the ‘bible’ of canning and preserving. These pickles are the basic dill pickle recipe with the added garlic and were rather simple to make. Slice home-grown cucumbers, let soak overnight with salt and ice, boil pickling spice and vinegar, process filled jars in boiling water! It’s really that easy. The hardest part is waiting about four weeks for them to mature and marinate in the jars. They’re sitting on my kitchen counter, taunting me with their cheerful yellow rinds and mustard seeds, telling me how delicious they will be if I could just wait another two or three weeks. I’m not sure I have that much will power.

Zucchini Week: Day 6

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All this zucchini and today is day six. One more to go! Today I tried a big experiment – Zucchini Pickles. I’ve never made pickles and have never canned or preserved anything in jars before, so this was all new territory for me. I actually used a recipe and advice from the Ball Canning Book, but the PickYourOwn.org website had pretty much the same recipe with onions added in, so that’s what I’m sharing with you. The recipe used up three mega-zucchini and filled seven wide-mouth pint jars. The process was much easier than I thought it would be, but does require some odd canning-specific equipment that the average cook won’t have around the house. The pickling solution smelled really good, but I haven’t tried them yet. I think I’ll wait a week to let them soak up more of the pickling juices in the jars first! Zucchini Pickles – Recipe on PickYourOwn.org
Ingredients Used:
*Zucchini – my garden