Archive for August, 2009

Mowgli’s Own: A huge haul of pickles!

August 31, 2009
Mowgli's Own Garlicy Dill Pickles

Mowgli's Own Garlicy Dill Pickles

Ever wonder what happens when you ask for a special deal on pickling cucumbers at a farmer’s market at the end of the day? What happens is they offer you all that they have left for $20, and your partner immediately jumps in and says “SURE!”. Little do you know you’ve just bought yourself 30.5lbs of cucumbers (at a damn good price, of course) and 6+ hours of labour* the following day. But in the end, you get:

26 x 1 L jars

4 x 500 mL jars

1 x 750 mL jars

And enough pickles to last you at least a year, and lots of nice gifts for friends and family in coming months. Here’s to hoping this batch is just as tasty as our last!

More pictures will likely be linked to later, as our amazing photographer friend Emily joined us for our insane day of pickling, and took some really great photos documenting the process.

Curious what 28.75 L of pickles looks like?

28.75 L of pickles!

28.75 L of pickles!

*I don’t think it would normally take that long, but our pot for water bath canning only fits 4 of the liter size jars at once… so lots and lots of batches were necessary.

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Pickles revisited

August 29, 2009

Remember how I said earlier that we would soon blog more as we were itching to get back into the kitchen?

Today at St Lawrence Market we bought 30lbs of pickling cucumbers. 30lbs! We bought them out as and end of day special, so all that for $20! Only 66 cents per pound. We have lots more pickles in our future!

More tomorrow…

Peach Custard Pie

August 29, 2009
Peach Custard Pie

Peach Custard Pie

It’s been way too long since we’ve blogged. What can I say, August has been a really busy month. That said, I think I see a furry of blogging coming as we’re both getting itchy to get back in the ktichen. We’re talking about doing another batch of jam and/or pickles this weekend, as we’ve nearly run out of both and we’re running out of time for cheap produce with September just around the corner.

In the meantime, I wanted to quickly post about a lovely pie we made a few weeks ago and never got around to posting about. Amazingly good, and really, really easy. We got the recipe from another blog, Rosemary Kitchen – I think it’s the first recipe of hers we’ve done… we’ll definitely be back for more. There are three parts to this recipe (crust, filling, and streusel topping), but each step is crazy easy – so don’t let that hold you back.

Full recipe below cut.

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New Art for our Living Room!

August 8, 2009

We’ve talked a little bit in the past about our home decor and the desire to change some of it around. Today we took the plunge and purchased a new big piece for above our mantle/faux fireplace. Check it out:

Our newest addition

Our newest addition

We’re really happy with it. A nice big and relaxing piece that ties a lot of the colours together.

Also take note of the new little Iniut man brought home by Adam’s parents from Alaska. He fits in so well!

Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce

August 7, 2009
Mmmmm, peaches

Mmmmm, peaches

Peaches are in season! We got two baskets full at the grocery store on a whim with the intent on canning, and today was the day.  We’d actually hoped to make two recipes, but started a bit too late so we only got through one: Zesty Peach Barbecue Sauce.

We’ll probably let the flavours meld for a bit before we really dig in, but on the first taste test I think I can say it’s yummy. It’s got a nice kick, and all sorts of  interesting flavours going on. Mmmm.

A few quick questions for fellow canners (if any happen to stop by):

  1. Anyone else find many recipes overestimate the amount you’ll end up with? The recipe below says it makes about 8 x 250 mL jars. We used 500 mL instead, assuming that would mean we’d get 4. Nope – we got 3, and then threw in another 125 mL for the remainder. So in all, the recipe fell 375mL short – and that’s pretty typical for this cookbook (The Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving – which seems like a good starter book). Anyone else find this too? Are other cookbooks more reliable for quantities?
  2. We have a giant pot we use for our water bath canning:
  3. Giant pot on the stove

    Giant pot on the stove

    Trouble is, it still doesn’t seem quite big enough! Even just using the 500 mL jars, it always boils over. The inch or so needed for the rack at the bottom, plus the jars themselves, plus the extra water to cover fills it up right to the top – so when it boils… it often boils over. Is there a better pot we should use? Could we leave out the bottom rack, or will the jars break?

And finally – the recipe:

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Olive Oil Pine Nut Bread

August 7, 2009
Olive Oil Pine Nut Bread

Olive Oil Pine Nut Bread

While we were at St. Lawrence Market on our anniversary, we decided to pick up a bunch of beef, chicken and fish kebabs for our Thursday barbecue.  Since we were home for the day, we decided to make a few other things as well, including this delicious loaf of bread from The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook.

Although the recipe involved making the whole thing in the bread machine, we decided to take it out and bake it in the oven.  The resulting loaf was one of the best we’ve ever made, so we decided it was worth sharing the recipe:

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Anniversary Dinner

August 7, 2009

As I mentioned in my previous post, Wednesday was our two year anniversary. Those two years have flown by, and I think I can speak for us both when I say that life keeps getting better and better. Being married to your best friend really is pretty awesome.

Having just gotten back from a week at the cottage with Adam’s family, and four days in Fort Wayne with mine we were eager to spend some time at home just the two of us. So instead of going out to a fancy dinner – we brought the fancy dinner home, cooking a four course gourmet meal for two.

Ready to start cooking!

Ready to start cooking!

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Two years ago today…

August 5, 2009
Married!

Married!

It’s hard to believe it’s been two whole years.