Sunday, November 24, 2013

kitchen therapy

A day in the kitchen began early.  The pears were peeled and sliced by 7 am.  Tonight is a test drive for my contribution to Thanksgiving desert: pear pie.  I'm making mine with spice bush berries, native ginger, and acorn starch.  Think anyone will notice?

Next I opened the Everclear and began my first ever experiment with bitters.  Motivated by Sara, I took my cue from Marie's bitters article, starting with cornelian cherries then veering off into my backyard: spicebush berries, native ginger, sassafras twig, and bayberry.

Before the clock struck 9, I pulled 10 half pints of blackberry-chipotle jelly out of the boiling water bath.  I'd originally planned 4 cups of berries for jelly and 4 cups for blackberry rum.  Alas, twas not to be.  The recipe turned out to be SO chipotle heavy that no hint of berry remained.  So I doubled the fruit and snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

Time for breakfast.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

beauty in the bog

I have always had a soft spot for bogs.

Yesterday, Zoe & Matt showed Mark & me their cranberry bog.  Even if we hadn't come home laden with fruit, it would have been a marvelous morning.  Frost outlined the leaves of the wintergreen.

Larches flaunted their fall foliage.

Blueberry bushes were almost bare, but back in July they offered some thrills of their own.  As for the cranberries...we picked until our fingers were too cold to pick any more.  Didn't make a dent.  But while I paused to admire the springy sphagnum moss beneath the berries, I couldn't bring myself to pull out my camera.  Why?  Because I am greedy.  Time spent photographing was time not spent picking.  I regret it only a little.

Now the dilemma is what to make with my bounty.  I'm considering chutney and gin.  There are enough berries for both.