Whoohooo!! It’s Crabapple Season!

Not Far From the Treesummary: Crabapple Jelly; more recipe ideas for crabapples; information about Not Far From the Tree

Crabapple Jelly 2015

I cannot believe that Not From the Tree organizers have difficulty getting people to pick crabapples! I love crabapple jelly and every time I see that there is a crabapple pick, I want to jump in. Alas, the timing this year wasn’t the best for me and it broke my heart to see crabapple pick after crabapple pick go by, with notices of “Needing More Fruit Pickers”. But finally, I was able to go to pick crabapples. And lucky me, it was only a few blocks away.

crabapples I guess I shouldn’t really have been surprised the other day, when it turned out there were only two of us picking beautiful red crabapples. I couldn’t wait to get home to make jelly!

The tree was quite tall but appeared to be in pretty good shape. And it was covered in apples! We learned from the homeowner that it had been planted in 1967 – as one of the Centennial trees. (continue reading )

Your grapes are lemons?? Make marinade!

grape juice wp-image-2297 summary: making grape juice; how to use it in savoury dishes; information about Not Far From the Tree; (click on images for more photos and larger views)

So you think the grapes have ripened too unevenly, eh? It’s okay, they still make great juice!

vinifera grapes wp-image-2296 I have no idea what kind of grapes these are. They are some sort of Vitis vinifera, maybe “Regent”? The grape arbour we picked a week or so ago had not been pruned in some time so I suspect the grapes are supposed to be larger.

I confess that I was a little disappointed that the grapes were wine grapes rather than Concords (even though concords are awfully sweet). And certainly, the grapes should have been allowed to ripen a little more. (continue reading )

Conchas!! Who kneads them? (BBB September 2015)

go directly to the recipe

BBB: Let's Get Baking summary: recipe for Conchas (Mexican pan dulce), based on a recipe from Pati’s Mexican Table; surprises about flavour combinations; is kneading necessary?; substitutions; a Bread Baking Babes project; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

Bread Baking Babes (BBB) September 2015: Conchas (Mexican Pan Dulce)

shells wp-image-2280 The moment I see “shells”, I cannot stop reciting, “She sells seashells by the seashore. If she sells seashells by the sea shore, how many seashells does she sell?” But that’s doesn’t really feel very Mexican, does it? So I found a slightly more appropriate tongue twister:

La sucesión sucesiva de sucesos sucede sucesivamente con la sucesión del tiempo.

Today is Mexican Independence Day and BBB Heather (girlichef) has chosen to celebrate it with conchas – Mexican pan dulce.

Conchas are named after the shape of their sugar topping, which resembles a seashell. Conchas do have a hardened crust, but it is sugary, thick, crispy and crumbles right into your mouth as you take a bite. Right after you brake through that crust, there is a fluffy, soft, sweet roll made with flour, butter, yeast and eggs. With such a pleasing experience, no wonder it is one of Mexico’s most favorite sweet rolls or pan dulce.
– Pati Jinich, Pati’s Mexican Table, Sweet Conchas!

Conchas wp-image-2287 Well. The little conchas I made look not unlike the conchas that Heather suggested we make…. But. Do they taste anything like the way they’re suppose to?

Not to mention. Living in Toronto, can a Gringa who has never been even close to Mexico even expect to come close?

Or, to alter another tongue-twister I found:

Como poco coco conchas como, poco coco compro conchas creado.

(continue reading )

Swiss Chard and Apples go Together Beautifully

Not Far From the Treesummary: Swiss Chard and Apples; lost and found; garden wealth – or not; scarlet runner beans; information about Not Far From the Tree

I was going to display a photo of the stunningly beautiful pan. I took about 5 shots from various angles. But yesterday, when we went to fetch the photos from the camera, inexplicably, all of those pictures were missing. They just disappeared!
-me, Mostly-Wordless Not-Wednesday: The Glass is Greener…

I’m not allowed to complain about the disgraceful humidity and heat right now (considering how vociferously I railed against the bitter cold last winter).

Besides, I’m finally moving out of complaining mode; after hours of struggling, my blog is back on-line again!! Yay.

And. It’s raining at last! Maybe this will bring us a break….

And. While I was searching around for solutions to the nightmare of having my blog go offline yet again, T called to me from his computer.

he: Hey! Are these the photos you’ve been whining about?
me: Which ones?
he: There’s a bunch of red peppers in a frying pan.
me: [jumping up and down with joy] Yes!! Those are the ones!

Swiss Chard and apples

Whoohooooo! The lost has been found!!! (continue reading )