Monday, August 29, 2011

Canning & Bike Riding Fun!

Early last week, I went to visit Coral & she sent me home with a ton of leftovers from the wedding, including several pounds of plum tomatoes (7 1/2 lbs.) & Anaheim peppers (4 1/2 lbs.). They sat in our basement for a couple days, while I wondered what I should make with 'em. I finally decided to make canned diced tomatoes & pickled Anaheim slices. For the peppers, I used a basic pickling brine, & added garlic, mustard seeds, peppercorns & a hot pepper to each jar. I have to wait about a month to try them (so they can develop their flavor), but I hope they're good! The tomatoes are just lemon juice, salt & tomatoes, so they'll be pretty versatile.

Before pickling:

After pickling:

Smels was gone all last week. Coral's sister, Laurel, had to head back to school in Wyoming after the wedding festivities were over, so Smels went with her & they had a fun road trip. All four of us: Coral, Laurel, Chelsea (Smels) & me, have been friends since we were toddlers. Their mom is like my second mother, & they're all such dear friends. <3 <3 <3

Thankfully, Smels is back. She got me this beautiful bowl in an antique store. I love it! It feeds my bowl habit & matches my tiered candy dish thingy too. :)

Yesterday, before work, my sister & I went to the King Farmers Market. I got some basil & Walla Wallas, & a treat from the Grand Central stall. Plus we each got a free bag at the Farmers Market, which was cool:

After that, we decided to go on a bike ride to the Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant, then the Smith & Bybee Wetland area. Whoa...going to a stinky sewage place, for fun?! Well, there are both the Peninsula Crossing Trail & 40-Mile Loop around there, & Smels knows some good blackberry-picking spots nearby. We picked 4 quarts of them, so she can bake a pie or two.

We also saw three Western painted turtles! They were far away, sunning on a floating log, so forgive the blurriness:

After our berry picking, we rode to Kenton & went to an antique store, the library, & then got iced mochas at Posies Bakery & Cafe. Tasty!

Now for something sugary: the other night, I whipped up some raspberry crisp for a dinner at Smels' house, so I made a behbeh portion for myself too, mwa ha ha. I used the same filling as this raspberry pie, but cut down on the sugar, since the topping is sweet, unlike (most) pie crust.

This happens to be my favorite-est crisp topping in the Universe...

Fruit Crisp Topping
  • 1 cup flour (white whole wheat is my favorite)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Mix everything together until combined. Just lightly sweeten & thicken your favorite fruit by tossing it with some sugar & either cornstarch or flour, then put it in a casserole dish, generously layering a bunch of this topping over it. Bake at 350*F until the fruit is bubbling & the top is brown, around 45-55 minutes. I usually lightly cover mine towards the end of baking, to prevent over-browning. Don't cover tightly though, or you'll steam your crisp, making it pasty & sad. :(


Ooh, I also made some Pad Thai today, using Pim's guide, but substituting vegetarian fish sauce for the real deal. I got mine at Fubonn, but it's probably available at larger Asian grocery stores. The resulting dish was pretty tasty. I made it with ingredients I had around (carrots, basil, tofu, egg, cilantro, Walla Walla onion, jalapeno, etc.), so it was far from authentic, but I was satisfied with it nonetheless.

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