Monday, September 26, 2011

challah

challah with honey and orange juice

This might be the worst week to be posting a recipe. From where I sit in the living room, I look over to the kitchen – a kitchen I’ll approach only tonight to make an easy weeknight dinner. We’ll feast on shrimp and roasted broccoli night per Andrew’s request. It’s a regular in our house.

Normally, my way of dealing with deadlines is to do a deep dive into the work and disappear in it all together. Sometimes I find myself at two o’clock in the afternoon still wearing my pajamas while typing furiously. The look of me, yet-to-shower, hair in a messy bun, glasses on the tip of my nose – is definitely not bringing sexy back, that’s for sure. But I get work done and by the time Andrew gets home – I somewhat try to pull it together, and by that I mean, yoga pants are my best friend right now.

Continue reading challah.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

applesauce cake with caramel glaze

apple sauce cake with caramel glaze

I have now, for many years, been searching for the perfect Rosh Hashanah cake: something not overly sweet, something, perhaps, featuring apples, something festive enough for a crowd but simple enough for a quiet breakfast the following morning. And while searching for the perfect apple cake didn’t sound like much of a challenge, I can assure you that it was. My family didn’t have a traditional apple cake for the holiday – I was on my own on this one.

In my seemingly endless search, I became the Goldilocks of Rosh Hashanah cakes. This one was too sweet; that one – not sweet enough; the third – too dense. I experimented with a few, got some favorable results, but nothing struck me as the cake that I want to serve at the end of a Rosh Hashanah meal or for the holiday brunch. I wasn’t in love.

Continue reading applesauce cake with caramel glaze.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

tomato jam

tomato jam

Depending on who you talk to, tomatoes are either gone already, will be gone tomorrow, next week, or by the end of September. That gives me little comfort. For one, if you love tomatoes as much as I do, you’re paralyzed with fear every time you go to the farmers’ market. Will some tomatoes remain, or will they be gone for good? It’s unfair that for a crop this glorious, this celebrated, we’re given but a few weeks’ time to truly make good use of it.

So far, I’ve been in luck. Ripe Romas, tiny grape and cherry tomatoes, heirlooms of all shapes and sizes have greeted me at farm stands. I know I’m on borrowed time, so each market trip, I lug home as many tomatoes as I can – our entire dining room table is covered with them. You might wonder where we eat dinner – well, so do we. And sadly, ripe market tomatoes have a limited shelf life – heavy, with delicate skin, some crack or bruise while en route home.

Continue reading tomato jam.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

peach jam with bourbon and vanilla

sealed - heard a pop!

Friends, there is, at once, much to tell and nothing to tell. August was a rough month – I’m hoping that September will be better. It has to be, to balance out the August mayhem.

I’m glad to leave August behind; a month like that leaves you feeling drained. A month like that – and I’m ready to leave the summer behind. And even though we just got back from a vacation, I could use another one right about now.

Truthfully, we had no business spending what we spent for the vacation. In the end, it turned into a slightly pricier affair than we’d intended. But looking back – it was well worth it. Who knows what will happen down the road. Mann traoch, Gott Lauch. This has been replaying in my head over and over. Try to live in the moment. Savor each day.

Continue reading peach jam with bourbon and vanilla.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

preserving summer corn

in bags, ready to freeze

As we head into fall, I am both excited and bummed out. Fall means sweaters and hot cider; it means hot soups and comforting stews; it means my apartment doesn’t overheat when I go to bake a pie. But fall also means no more summer tomatoes, goodbye stone fruit, so long summer corn.

If you’re anything like me, you love sweet corn in the summer. It’s great for soups, salads, and just on the cob. I’ve even made corn ice cream last year. And while there is always corn available in the freezer section of our supermarket, I have found, in the past, that it tastes totally bland. I can’t taste the summer sweetness, no matter how generous a knob of butter I apply.

preserving summer corn

Last summer, I took a few ears of corn, cut off the kernels, and froze them in a small Ziploc bag. And then forgot about the bag completely. Sometime in January, while cleaning out my freezer in preparation for Andrew’s move-in, I found the bag of corn in the back. I warmed it in the pan with a bit of butter and salt and had the most amazing dinner treat that night. This year, I’m freezing 20 ears of corn to last me through the fall and early winter. It’s really all that my small apartment freezer will allow, but if you have more space, or another refrigerator/freezer going on in your household, consider preserving more.

I put the kernels in small bags, so each portion is contained, squeeze out extra air, and freeze. The sandwich size bags fit about 3 ears of corn. That should be enough as a side dish for two people. Of course, you can scale up more, should you need to.

Some people parboil their corn for 1 minute before freezing – it should slow down the conversion of sugar. I’ve been cutting and freezing without any problems in the past. If you want to parboil, go ahead – just cook corn for 1 minute before plunging it into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

Here’s to summer memories in a few months!

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