Saturday, October 25, 2008


I got a fancy new sauerkraut-making apparatus with some Amazon gift certificates. It's supposed to make sauerkraut-making easier with its built-in weights and water-sealing lid. The water seal means there's no scum-skimming, and the weight means I don't have to find a clean stone to set on a plate to squash the cabbage down below the brine. It also means you can make sauerkraut with little or no salt, but I don't think that would taste like sauerkraut.

I had a bag of pears from Mary Verdery's tree, and some nice green tomatoes from Annie, so I decided to incorporate these into my first batch of sauerkraut. I ended up using about 2 kg cabbage (a mixture of red and green), 4 pears, 500g green tomatoes, 2 onions, 5 cloves of garlic, 5 bay leaves, a branch of tarragon, 1T coriander, 3T mustard seed, and 8g of salt per kg of fruit and veg. I squished it all together to make the brine, then sealed it up in the crock. I'm not to peek for two weeks!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

muffins from leftovers

I made myself some nice juice this morning, from a quarter of a pineapple, a couple of carrots and apples, a stalk of celery, and a little ginger and lime.

I always feel kind of bad about throwing away all that pulp left over from juicing, though, so I made health muffins with it. The only trouble with this is having to prepare your juice ingredients a little more thoroughly--you'd have to cut the prickles off your nopales, for instance.

Pulpy Muffins

2C (250g) spelt flour
1t baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt (Annie thought these were undersalted, so if you like your muffins salty add a little more)
1t powdered ginger (maybe next time I'll add some nutmeg or cinnamon)
1 1/3C juice pulp (that's the amount I got from the above juice)
3/4C soy milk
1/4C oil
1/3C maple syrup
1/2C raisins (I'll add some nuts next time)

Heat oven to 425ºF. Whisk dry ingredients together, then add wet ingredients and mix till everything's wet. Stir in raisins. Divide dough up among 12 muffin cups. Bake for about 18 minutes.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Annie asked me to take some lichen pictures to illustrate her new sock pattern, since she's eager to get it finished with and is laid up in bed with a terrible cold. I went to Volunteer Park and took lots and lots of pictures--here are a few:

Thursday, October 9, 2008

quince jam

The squirrels seem to have learned that raw quinces are hard and sour and not very tasty, so they left my little quince tree unmolested this year and it made six quinces, enough for a batch of jam.

In years past I've made plain quince jam, apple-oolong-quince, and Nostradamus' quince jam (a recipe adapted from his jam book!). This year I made Christmasy jam from Mes Confitures--it's Christmasy because it has épices de pain d'épices, gingerbread spices with anise predominating.

I only had 1.1kg of quinces, enough for 85% of the recipe, but ended up with a nice batch of six half-pints.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

my cute new lunchbox

I got this cute new lunchbox at Uwajimaya's during Korean foods week, when all Lock & Lock containers were on sale. Inside it has three square air-tight locking containers, one of them with four lift-out dividers, and I can fit my little chopsticks case along the side. I can fit in lots of food without worrying about it leaking all over my knapsack on my way to work.

Here's my lunch from yesterday: potato cabbage buns, made similarly to my beet green pies, lettucey salad with Annie's Goddess Dressing in one of the tiny containers, and pomegranate-beet salad in the other tiny containers(it's better if it's not mixed up till the last minute).