thoughts from New England

Week-end Update June 24, 2007

Filed under: concerts,eat & drink,food,garden,grilling,maine,Recipes,school — tim @ 9:46 pm

There’s so much! Where to begin? Garden is going, work is work, and kids is kids.

Been very busy between work, school, and the lil one. She definitely keeps me busy!

How about the wrap-up:



Ding Dong, someone’s political career is dead November 10, 2006

Filed under: eat & drink — tim @ 7:12 pm

Finally, Katherine Harris is gone, gone, gone.

So long, nutjob!

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Knowledge is Power, and Calories are Energy

Filed under: eat & drink — tim @ 7:09 pm

Take this quiz from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. This is not an excuse to go to McD’s and eat Big Macs, but the answers may surprise you. That is, unless you’ve been watching The Biggest Loser and know how to guess calories.

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Canning and Jamming October 23, 2006

Filed under: canning,eat & drink,food,jam,yum-o — tim @ 5:12 pm


Originally uploaded by bakebakebake.

I finally got around to jamming and canning. Once I got all the gear I needed at Dan & Whit’s in Norwich, I was good to go. I washed everything and then sterilized it in the giant pot of water, then turned my attention to the jam. I told you all I was going to make Pineapple Habenero Jam, but you didn’t believe me!
The jam was fairly easy, and even though I didn’t follow all the directions exactly (I didn’t process everything in a blender, I diced it by hand), I think it’ll come out great. I didn’t know how many jars I’d be able to fill, but I thought it’d be about 7. Turns out I filled 9 easily — the other 2 jars I simply filled and refrigerated. The other 7 (that’s how many I sterilized and that’s how many can fit in the pot at once) were filled and then canned using the good ol’ water bath method. They sealed right up after 10 minutes and once they cooled I moved them into storage. They aren’t as “jam-like” as I’d like them to be, they’re rather gooey and more jelly-like, but that’s ok. They’ll make a great smear for chicken or pork, not to mention a great topper to mix with cream cheese! The ones we tried from the fridge today was great — I think the other sealed ones will solidify with time. I am very excited and I will be making more things to can very soon!

Speaking of things I made, the beer I made from the Mr. Beer kit is ready — and wow is it good. I am pretty impressed with it! Next time I will do the real deal, but this is a start in the right direction. It’s mostly front-heavy with its taste and lacking in a body; the flavor is crisp and bright, almost cidery (which is good).

There’s something wonderful about rediscovering these old traditions; some people take up knitting or crocheting, I do canning, preserving and gardening.


I cannot wait to try this recipe October 13, 2006

Filed under: eat & drink,food — tim @ 4:04 pm

I have all these habaneros, and I have no idea what to do with them. This is what I’m going to try, if only I could get some canning supplies (which I want to be able to use for pickled jalapenos):

Pineapple Habanero Jam

via Chowhound

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Maple Cayenne Sauce

Filed under: cooking,eat & drink,food,garden,yum-o — tim @ 1:06 pm

It’s been a cooking day here in the kitchen, and this is what I’ve been up to today:

Maple Cayenne Sauce
probably about 50 cayenne peppers, tops n bottoms cut off

1/2 c+ white vinegar

1/2 c+ apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp Kosher salt

soy sauce

2 cloves garlic

2 small carrots, chopped into small chunks
1 tsbp maple syrup

put peppers into a small pot, cover with the first cup (1/2 c white & 1/2 c apple cider) of vinegar and the salt. Simmer over medium high heat, adding vinegar if necessary to always keep the peppers submerged until the peppers have reached a mashed consistency. Remove from heat and strain, reserving remaining vinegar.

Dump peppers into food processor (I used a Magic Bullet so you may want to start with a food processor and then go to a blender) and add soy sauce, carrots,  maple syrup and garlic. Process until smooth, then add reserved vinegar to reach desired consistency. If you want it even smoother than you can make it with the reserved vinegar, add white vinegar until desired consistency is reached. Pour into jar or squeeze bottle and refrigerate.

Pic to come!


Organic Challenges

Filed under: eat & drink,food,vermont — tim @ 10:23 am

These days, the food industry emphasizes two trends: organic and local. I think that many consumers buy organic perhaps thinking that it’s local, but here’s the kicker: it’s not. And by no means is it anywhere close to being even remotely local.This article in Business Week highlights the challenges organic companies face when looking for suppliers. It goes into depth about Stoneyfield Farm, a yogurt & dairy company based in Londonderry, NH. It also talks about Butterworks Farm up in the Northeast Kingdom and their smaller-scale operations. While I knew that organic food isn’t always local, I never knew just how much it travelled. I had always assumed that when I bought from Stoneyfield Farm, I was at least buying from a local company much like Ben & Jerry’s. Stoneyfield’s similarities with Ben & Jerry’s are more than just being a New England company: Ben & Jerry’s is owned by the Dutch conglomerate Unilever while Stoneyfield is owned by the French company Groupe Danone. One could make the argument that while both companies use local products from local farmers and employ local people, the biggest profits don’t always stay in the area.

What do you think about organic? Local food production? Local organic is the way to go, and judging by the difficulty many of the food companies are having in finding suppliers for their organic lines, becoming an organic farmer might be the way to go.


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