Have Ewe Any Wool?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Food....Glorious Food!

This year has been my year of discovering new veggies, new varieties of veggies, and my big venture into canning, drying, roasting, and freezing veggies.

I had a beautiful cauliflower, and some luscious carrots and celery....and all I could thing of was delicious Giardinera.   So I made some!   The recipe I used has oil in it, so it really made a mess of the pans....and I'm not real sure on how "tight" the seal is.   They all sealed, and I could pick them up by the lid.  However, there was quite a bit of oil in the pot after the jars were removed from the waterbath.   The outside of the jars was slick as well.   I'm sure that once I open one of these, I'll find oil on the rim.   Perhaps I should store these all in the fridge?  Next time I WON'T be using a recipe that includes oil...that's for sure!  I dearly love Giardinera !

The CSA had a bumper crop of hot peppers this year.  I've been freezing them and/or drying them with the food dehydrator.   This is my last batch earmarked for drying.   I'm going to dry these naturally and see if I see any differences in taste/flavor.

I decided to pickle a bunch of serrano and jalepeno peppers as well.  I was a bit disappointed with the volume of liquid vs. peppers, but I'm sure they'll taste fabulous!  I had both red and green ones, so they look very festive!   (I wore food safe gloves while chopping them up to prevent getting their oils on my skin.)

Between the CSA and the Farmer's Market, I've acquired quite a number of fresh peppers in various colors of red, orange, and green.   I've blanched and sliced a number of them, but these, I decided to roast before freezing.   I dearly love roasted red peppers!

Some interesting veggies I had this past season were.....

 Purple Sweet Potatoes - how cool is this!   I love sweet potatoes....and they come in a purple variety!


Purple Carrots - in addition to the regular orange carrots, the CSA also had yellow carrots and purple carrots.   I just love how pretty and vibrant the cross section is!   They do make a bit of a mess.   Just lie orange carrots leave orange on your hands, these leave lots of purple....making you hands look dirty!

Watermelon Radishes - these were available for several weeks and were very interesting.  The first ones I got were about1inch in diameter....and later in the season, they were a good 2 inches plus in diameter.   Their flavor is very similar to other radishes, but their vibrant color is unique.   It really DOES look like a watermelon!

As far as cooking interesting things, I tried a couple of new things as well.   I had never roasted a bunch of fall vegetables, but I tried that as well.   The main spices were fresh rosemary and thyme as well as some dried basil.   The veggies were coated with olive oil and seasoned with a touch of salt and pepper.   I combined many different veggies:  garlic, red pepper, carrots, sweet potatoes, kohlrabi, turnips, rutabagas, parsnips,  onions, mushrooms, and Jerusalem artichokes.  It was incredible!!!!

And, I made homemade Spanikopita.  I'd never worked with phyllo dough before...and it's quite challenging.  It dries up so quickly!   I hand-tore all the spinach and sweated both spinach and leeks for several hours...tearing it into smaller and smaller pieces.   (Needless to say, my hands were stained - especially around the fingernails.    I was quite pleased with how it turned out!

And the veggies weren't the only colorful things this fall.  I am constantly being treated with spectacular sunsets (in addition to sunrises).


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