In the kitchen with Norman

Before I share a few recipes from the weekend, Norman wants me to remind you to always eat your greens. It's very important.

Now moving on... first up... vanilla honey peach butter.

Need I say more? It's so good right out of the jar, but I've used in whole wheat oat muffins and ginger cookies over the weekend. I love apple butter, I make it every year when we pick apples. It's so good right out of the jar, in cakes, muffins, you name it. But this peach butter. Oh... my. It's heaven. It's truly heaven, and I'm not even that big of a peach fan.

You need 18 peaches.

Peel them, slice them... cook them in 1/4 cup of water, 2 tbs vanilla extract (the recipe calls for vanilla bean pods but I don't have them, you can use them if you'd like, I bet it would be great.) and 2 tbs of honey. Cook until the peaches are soft.

Put in a blender and blend it all up.

Put back on the stove and cook over low heat... the recipe says to cook for about 20 minutes or so... I cooked it for 2 hours while I was out hiking with Kevin, on super low heat.

Ladle the peach butter into hot sterilized jars and process in a water bath caner for 5 minutes (timing after it begins boiling.)

I gave all the chickens the scraps which they gladly ate up.

After Norman did a very, very, bad thing! He chased Gladys and by the looks of it, he thought it was pretty funny!

He didn't think it was so funny when he was following me out of the garden and ran in to some giant pumpkins...

 Next up was Garlic pickled carrots.

Peel a pound of carrots, and cut them into sticks. Peel 6 cloves of garlic (big ones.) More if you'd like.

Blanche the carrots for 1 minute and then drain and cool.

Pack the carrots and garlic cloves into 2 small or 1 large (quart) jar.

On the stove heat up 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar, 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds, and 1/2 tsp of peppercorns. Bring to a boil for about 5 minutes.

Strain the pickling fluid to remove the peppercorns and mustard seeds. Pour the hot liquid into your jars and fill to the top.

Bandita enjoyed some of the extra carrots...

I had an abundance of tomatoes from the garden, so I made some salsa... I try to always have a jar or two of this in the fridge at all times, it's delicious, and we love it. It's super easy too.

Roast the tomatoes and then pull the skins off.

You need:

1 can (14 oz) Fire Roasted Tomatoes - or a bunch of fresh tomatoes which you've roasted in the oven.
1/2 cup white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 whole jalapeno
2 chipotle peppers in adobo
Salt - to taste
handful of fresh cilantro
1 lime, juiced

Toss it all into the blender. I don't cut anything up, just toss it all in whole. Blend it all up and then add your salt - to your liking. You can add more or less peppers too depending on your taste - if you like it more mild you can seed the jalapeno. I find this in between, it's got spice but I would not consider it hot. Taste it and then add more peppers if you'd like it hotter. I love hot salsa but Kevin doesn't, so this works for both of us.

I also made these Black Bean and Plantain Burgers this weekend. I thought they were pretty good... I love black bean burgers and we eat them pretty often but I'm not terribly sure about the plantains being there. They taste great in the patty, but it isn't something I'll be making all the time. I ate it like a burger (the man didn't test these at all) but it would be even better in a tortilla.

1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 overly ripe plantains, one mashed, the other diced
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 cup cornmeal (I added way more, at least 1/2 cup)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Add half the beans and the mashed plantains to a food processor. Puree.
2. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grab about 1/4 of the burger mix and form it into a patty. It will be VERY loose. Put it on the pan. Repeat with remaining burger mix so that you have 4 patties. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Carefully flip the patties and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

I used a different recipe for Cesar dressing also and it's great... I found it here. We both really liked it but found it was too garlicky (I grated my garlic not chopped it, so that was part of it) so next time I'll use less. I also added the juice of 2 lemons instead of one, but for dressing it was really good and will go on our list of keepers. Because of Kevin's food allergies, he can't eat any store bought salad dressing except for some brands of ranch and oil and vinegar. So from scratch dressing is the only way he can have the really good stuff. This is not a traditional Cesar dressing, no eggs in it, but it is good.
This afternoon I'm cleaning, and for dinner tonight, cottage pie loaded with mushrooms. It was so humid outside you almost melted away. We spent the afternoon out while Kevin worked on fixing the beaver dam road to the big creek, he got it done but it was a hot job! We had big thunderstorms around 4 AM but it's even more humid now today. I'm hoping later this afternoon it will rain.
Tomorrow I have two or three peach pies to make, I can't do it today because having the oven on for longer than needed just isn't an option.
On a side note, I'm getting sorta attached to the Quail, they are hyper and freak out if you go in their cage, but if you just look at them they are calm, and actually really quite adorable. Messy, but adorable.
Oh! And three confirmed toms out of my raptor bunch (the Bronze turkeys) so now I've got 4 toms, no fighting yet, but I'm not sure how long that will last. I have 7 hens, (5 confirmed, the others I'm not sure what they are yet!) So we'll see but I think some of the toms will have to go to other farms.


Ha! I just blogged about pickling for the first time. Now your honey peach butter has me thinking about another preserving day in the kitchen. This could be addicting!
Dreaming said…
Sounds like you had a busy weekend... in the kitchen! But, oh, some time in winter, your canned yummies will remind you of this glorious summer.
I can't believe the picture of Norman - he gets lost next to the pumpkin!

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