Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Bizzarely Healthy Applesauce Breakfast Cake

1 1/2 c oats
1 1/2 c applesauce
1/4 c flour (of any kind, really, I use gluten free blended grains)
2/3 c walnut or pecan pieces
2/3 c raisins
1 egg
(if you like things sweeter you might want to add sugar or honey)

Mix. Put in 8x8 or 8x11 greased baking dish depending on if you want thinner or fluffier cake, sprinkle top with cinnamin, and bake between 350 and 375 degrees for 45 min. to an hour.

It's Freezing!

The freezing of produce has rather taken over all of my free time these days (well, free time and time that should be spent sleeping or cleaning or something besides stirring, slicing, or squishing). Over the last week or so I've frozen:

  • spaghetti sauce
  • tomato sauce
  • diced tomatoes
  • sliced peaches
  • grated zucchini
  • free range chicken and broth

I've also harvested pears off of a neighbor's pear tree (she knew about it, it wasn't in the dark of night). They turned out to be very green and will mostly all have to be thrown away. I'm new to this foraging thing. (Let's not revisit the horse chestnut scenario from last year.)

There has absolutely got to be an easier, lazy version of tomato sauce (than boiling diced tomatoes and squishing them gradually through a collander with a rounded wooden squisher), though Owen pointed out that if I blend it it will no longer be sauce, since the seeds and skins will make it just blended tomatoes. Hmm, well, maybe I'll have to do it again next year, but OH BOY, what a lot of work. It felt very un-modern-American. Micah helped cut up rome tomatoes with a butter knife.

It felt like a bit of a ripoff to spend 5 hours on the spaghetti sauce and only have 10 gallon bags to show for it.

The easiest freezing item was the grated zucchini. Now I have to find some recipes that use grated zucchini.

My broccoli rabe is almost ready (the first of three mini beds to be planted). The rutabaga could be ready soon, who in the world knows. And I planted swiss chard, kale, sugar peas, spinach, brussel sprouts, carrots, red beets, tatsoi, and endive.

I found a possible source for apples (for applesauce) and potatoes and buttercup squash that haven't been sprayed much and possibly a quarter of a grass-fed cow . . . if the Amish woman from the produce stand does actually call me as she said she would. I'm also going to try to get some onions that are dried for longer term storage.

The local eating adventure continues.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Going Local, Going Green, Going Crazy

Young urban homesteader who wants to know how old he has to be before he can buy his own farm

So we're getting a bit more extreme here lately (thank you Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for the inspiration). I froze corn and lima beans for the winter last night and this morning--only 3 small bag of lima beans, I'm still learning to appreciate those guys. Plans are on for my mom to come and help me freeze spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes. I'm hoping to freeze some fruit this year, too, but I may be too late to the punch. (When deciding you want to eat all local, mostly from your own land, it's best to reach this conclusion sometime around January. Reaching the conclusion around June, like I did--and after, in some aspects--creates a lot of frantic last minute scrambling.)

My next concerns:
  • Finding local grassfed beef
  • Making applesauce in the fall, and buying pumpkin to store for winter treats (too late for most storable fruit at this point)
  • Making cheese (I found a website to buy supplies and read in the aforementioned extremist book that you can make mozzarella in 30 minutes--wouldn't it be dreamy to be able to to tomato, mozzarella, basil ON YOUR OWN?!)
  • Finding where to buy my grapevine, lime tree in a container, and apriocot tree for the fall