Monday, April 21, 2008

Pickled Peaches

This blog is my entry for the Putting Up event
sponsored by Pixie ofYou Say Tomato I say Tomato.

This blog is dedicated to my stepfather Ed who is dead now.
He was probably the kindest person I've ever known.
He was infinitely generous, open hearted, compassionate
and while he could see bad in people he never looked for it.
He also believed in fruit and having it in abundance.
He bought a condo at the beach in Delaware so that
his stepchildren could go there every summer. He
would take us out to pick blueberries and blackberries
and always peaches. And he wouldn't just get a few
we would pick tons of them. I had so many I could easily
afford 8 pounds needed to make pickled peaches.
This jar is from the last time we went picking
with Ed before he died. I've had them for a couple
of years and probably they are too old to eat
but I like having them around to think of what a wonderful
person I was so lucky to know.

Here's the recipe:

Pickled peaches

8 pounds medium sized peaches (I prefer freestone, they give the
preserves a rosy tone)
2 tablespoons whole cloves
4 twi-inch pieces stick cinnamon
2 pounds sugar
1 quart white vinegar

Wash and peel peaches, leaving them whole.
For those of you who don't know, the easiest
way to peel a peach is to drop it in boiling water
for a few seconds, then in cold. The skins just
peel off. Takes spices, sugar and vinegar
and boil together for 10 minutes. Add the peaches,
cook slowly until tender. Don't overdo that part.
They should be just tender. Let stand overnight.
Next day, drain syrup. Boil syrup
till thickened. Put the peaches in sterilized
quart jars and pour over the hot syrup.
Seal. Process for 10 minutes. That means put them
in a big pan covered with an inch of water
and boil for 10 solid minutes.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pearl Balls

I think this dish is very popular with children.

This dish features dried shiitaki mushrooms. They are the what
gives the meat balls their good flavor.

This recipe comes from the Time Life Chinese Cooking.

1/2 cup glutinous (sweet rice) I use twice the amount maybe even more
because I like my rice balls to be all fluffy.
4 dried chinese mushrooms
1 pound lean boneless pork, finely ground
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon finely chopped, peeled fresh
ginger root
6 canned water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
1 scallion, including the green top, finely chopped

I usually chop up a whole piece of pork in
my food processor. I also chop up all the other
ingredients in the food processor.

Soak the rice covered in water for at least 2 hours.
Soak the mushrooms with hot water for 30 minutes.
Drain them. Chop them up. You can get rid
of the stem if its too tough. Combine all the ingredients.
Drain the rice, put on a paper towel.
Form the meat mixture into balls and roll in the rice.

You need a big chinese style bamboo steamer.
Rinse out a paper towel and line the bottom of the steamer.
Put the balls in the steamer. Place the steamer over
a large pot of boiling water and steam for 30 minutes.

I serve them with little bowls of dipping sauce
made of soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.

Here' the finished product.

Pork on a skewer

[whb-two-year-icon.jpg]This is my first shot at weekend herb blogging. This weeks
host is The Well Seasoned Cook. The
herb involved in this dish the bay leaf and lots of them. I'd
like to put in my 2 cents involving buying herbs.
I don't know why bay leaves cost something
like $5 for a tiny bottle. If you go to go a
supermarket that has hispanic foods go to that
section and you can get two huge containers
for half of what you normally spend.
Its a very easy dish to fix and has a mixture of very savory flavors.
The recipe comes from
Italian Cooking
by Mary Reynolds.

1 pound pork tenderloin
2-3 slices firm bread 1/2 inch thick (I get a baguette and slice it up)
1/4 pound prosciutto
Bay leaves
olive oil
salt a pepper

Cut the pork into 12 cubes. The recipe calls to cut off the
crust on the bread but I don't. Thread the skewers
as follows 1 piece bread, 1 piece prosciutto, a bay leaf,
a piece of pork another bay leaf. Repeat.
I don't really count anything. I just get as much
pork as needed and divide it up for as many
as I'm serving.

Anyhow, put the skewers on a well oiled
flat baking tin. Salt and pepper them and then
drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 375 for
30 to 40 minutes, turning once during the
baking. And that's it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Pineapple and Violet Sweet Rolls

I saw an allusion to some bread with violets and pineapple
on a blog somewhere. It may have been
Chocolate & Zuchinni. But I was looking
at the gorgeous Un Dimanche a la Campange
and she was referring to sucre parfume a la violette de
chez Lilo. Lilo has a picture of Hawaiian beignets.
That got me thinking of making something
with pineapple and violets. I've always been
mad for violets. My daughter brought me
back some violet syrup from France. I thought
I'd use that in the icing.

I wanted to make a kind of fritter with a whole
pineapple ring and then crush some candied
violets on top. But my son likes sweet rolls
so I used the hot cross bun recipe minus
the spices and stuffed them
with chunks of pineapple. I used the
violet syrup instead of the lemon juice
to make the icing.
I don't really like sweet rolls but I think this
came out pretty well. I'm going to continue
to experiment with the combination of
violet and pineapple. I'm thinking maybe
dried pineapple. But the cooked pineapple
reminds me of pineapple upside down cake.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Blogging By Mail Goodies

I was scratching my head and wondering what to blog
about this weekend. I went out to get my mail and
guess what??? I received a wonderful package
from England all full of goodies. This is
my first experience of Blogging by Mail.
Its run by Stephanie at Dispensing Happiness.
I have to say its a wonderful thing to do.

The goodies come from Pixie of You Say Tomato... I say Tomato
And here's what I got:
Cupcake papers
Tea Towels (I totally needed them)
Chocolate scented candle
Star Anise (Check out my tea eggs posting)
Vanilla Beans (I would die without them)
Lots of interesting English Candy that I've never had before
like Flying Saucers, Poppets toffee, Dipper Licker (when I was
a kid that was my most favorite sort of thing), some chocolate
A whole lot of different kinds of tea
Some mustard, marmelade and preserves.

I hope I didn't leave anything out.

Several nice recipes including one for Maltese Pizza which
I am so going to try because anchovies are involved.

Anyhow, I am so pleased.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Homage to Ta Ta Part One

This is a recipe from my grandmother Ta Ta.

It reads:

Ta Ta's Pimento Cheese

Brand I like Dunbars Cal-Sun sliced or diced
I suggest for birst batch use 2 4 oz jars.
Using a shallow dish, drain pimentos,
use for to mash them then add:
about 5 oz of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 hard boiled egg chopped
grated onion to your liking
little salt/pepper
enough mayonaise (I like Hellman's) to make
spreadable on bread.
And that's it!
I prefer grating cheese where the holes on grater
are smallest, but to save time use the
coarser part of the grater

I am fortunate enough to have most of
my grandmother's kitchenware. Here is her
little corning ware bowl and her sandwich spreader.