Now that I have your attention. I will clarify that title. The dangers of MY home canning. Those of you who have followed me for the last 9 years (!!!) know that I have a tendency to channel a 1930s prairie housewife with nine kids, when it comes to canning. I have had one go at purging - pretty much chucking out (composting) anything older than 2012. Yes, I still have canned tomatoes from 2012, but those things are like Styrofoam (not in taste and texture, hopefully), in that they last for years.
|A gratuitous pic of Slimmie on his lambskin.|
However, I still managed to delude myself that I could tell what the myriad of unlabeled jars contained. That is why, on the weekend, when I was fixing my version of TexMex, I dumped a pint jar of mincemeat onto my rice and beans, instead of salsa. I am an adventurous eater, but even I have my limits. I scraped off as much as possible, separated the bits with rice clinging to them for the chickens who will eat almost everything, and then saved the rest of the mincemeat for breakfast. On my granola. It was a new taste sensation. I will now be going through the unlabeled jars under bright lights before opening another.
Luckily, a couple of other dishes fared better - spinach/chard quiche and polenta in my Instant Pot. Years ago, when I had just moved to the area and was on the search for friends, I met my Other Els. She was a weaver of exceptional talent (I have one of her linen transparencies with a sheep in my kitchen window), a lovely woman and friend - and a great cook and gardener. She gave me a little piece of lovage, which I have managed not to kill, and that now towers above everything in the herb garden. She also was an excellent quiche-maker. The family was vegetarian, so she was a wizard with vege. I had forgotten - until this weekend - that she would spread a layer of Dijon mustard on the bottom of the crust, then put a layer of cheese, then the vege, then the custard. In one bite, you got a crispy crust (cheese), tang (mustard), chew (vege), and creaminess (custard). That's just what I did with mine and it is good! Which is lucky, as I will be eating it all week.
|Half the box of the infamous shiitakes|
I came across a video on Youtube that showed how to make polenta in an instant pot - what ho! Just what I needed - hot, creamy comfort food. I was also dying to try my polenta grits from the Mill at Janie's Farm
. It took me about 25 minutes to produce a vat of creamy polenta with just the slightest bit of chewiness (my preferred texture). The bonus was that the leftovers will/have become fried mush (a specialty of my dad's when we were growing up). That is basically sliced, cold polenta, fried in a generously buttered pan until crispy on both sides, then served with maple syrup.
From the barnyard - there was an unexplained dust-up between the Blondie sisters, resulting in the bloodied head of one of the girls. I have no idea what started it, but I saw blood on the outside of one of the nesting boxes after I had let them out - leaving me searching vainly for the wounded party. I finally spotted her bloody head and that night, under the light of my trusty headlamp, I cleaned her up as best as I could and dabbed on some antibiotic. She seemed just fine this morning and there hasn't been more violence. It's always something.
It was a weekend of bits and bobs - I managed to repair the bird feeder for my railing; I got a pedicure and now sport magenta toes; I changed the filters on my Berkey; I toted trash and recycling to the transfer station; I delivered eggs to my neighbors; I found a home for the cross-country skis; I loaded two 50# bags of chicken feed into their bin (why is it that a 50# bag now feels as if it weighs twice that much?) I restacked some hay, did a little rearranging in the living room, and managed a meager attempt at housecleaning. I also spent a lot of time listening to an audio book that I cannot leave to just car time - so far, I have listened to three in the series by Anne Cleeves upon which the series Shetland is based. Besides terrific writing, character development and plot lines that hold you in their grip right up to the end, it's read by a Scotsman. Lawsymercy, I am such a sucker for the birrs and twirls of a deep Scotch voice. If someone told me he was wearing a kilt while reading the script, I don't think I could deal with it.
|These nuts were in one of the empty egg|
cartons given to me by my neighbors.
There is a very unhappy squirrel somewhere.