This week in my kitchen

Chicken Of The Woods

The harvest season is in full swing and I have been busy in my kitchen cooking and preserving as much as I can. Here is a glimpse of what I have been up to over this past weekend and what is on the agenda for the week ahead.

Friday night’s dinner was simple enjoyment of the harvest: baked delicata squash with butter and salt and baked kale chips (tear into 1in pieces, toss with a small amount of olive oil and salt, bake at 250° for 20 minutes, flipping half way through). My children will only eat kale as chips.

apple tree

It’s apple season! I have been making apple sauce in the vitamix (simply core and quarter and then blend to perfection), for our favorite breakfast of yogurt and applesauce. Right now, I am just making small batches for the fridge, but I hope to can some as well.

I have also been drying lots of apples in the dehydrator. I core and slice the apples, toss with lemon juice and cinnamon and lay them out in a single layer in the dehydrator. I have to hide these dried apples in the back of the pantry so we don’t eat them all up immediately. One side benefit is that apples in the dehydrator (with cinnamon) make your house smell amazing.

The cool weather has me in baking mode, so I baked up some carrot apple muffins (2 batches to bring to 2 different events this weekend).

On the agenda for this week: apple pie and Teri’s recipe for braised turnips and apples with bacon.

Concord grapes are in abundance as well. I got a whole lot of past-their-prime grapes from a local farm and made over a gallon of grape juice. I dumped all the grapes into a sink full of water, pulled out stems, rotted grapes, and other undesirables (this took a long time!), and then put all the remaining grapes in 2 big pots on the stove. I mashed them with a potato masher and brought them to a light boil for 10 minutes. Then I strained them through a fine mesh strainer and put in the fridge to cool. Today, I am going to decant them to get any additional sediment out and put them in quart freezer bags in the freezer for juice concentrate and grape soda (simply add carbonated water).

concord grapes on the stove

concord grapes on the stove

 

Pizza is usually a convenience food, but if you do it right it takes all afternoon! Yesterday I made mozzarella from local raw milk, I made sauce from frozen tomatoes (yup, I put whole tomatoes in the freezer because I was too busy to process them). It would have been easy to make the dough too, but I had some dough made by a local farm. The pizza was delicious!

I froze some broccoli and brussels sprouts in quart sized bags. I skipped blanching them, so I will let you know a few months from now whether that was a mistake or not.

I made eggplant dip from a baked eggplant (poke a few holes in it and roast it in the oven until it is collapsing, then put it in the blender with garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and tahini). Half went into the freezer and half went into the fridge for lunch the next day.

Tonight I am making mushrooms for dinner. Josh took me and the kids on a foraging adventure and we brought home oyster mushrooms, lobster mushrooms, a few chanterelles, and a big batch of chicken of the woods. I am going to sauté them up with some butter and fresh herbs. I also have purple potatoes, which would make a colorful gnocchi that would go perfect with a wild mushroom cream sauce.

What have you been cooking, baking, and preserving?

chicken of the woods

chicken of the woods

 

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