Food Processing

It turned out to be a gorgeous day yesterday. There was a little bit of a breeze blowing, which made it sweater weather, but oh my gosh. How great to see the sun! It was a perfect day to head off to the Beaverton Farmers Market with Mae. We looked at one another in disbelief when we realized it had been a full year since we'd attended the Farmers Market. Erik, Mae, and I love going together, but Erik's work schedule has made it hard for us to settle on a day when we can all go. I think Mae and I have decided to do the heavy lifting where the market is concerned and be grateful when Erik can join us too.

We're still in the winter market season, and so it was a small market compared with what we find in summer. Also, we arrived before it was officially opened, and so nothing was for sale when we arrived. We waited about ten minutes, but used the time to peruse what was available. The flowers are always so pretty this time of year.

It was very tempting to pick up a bouquet, but I kept my hands in my pockets.

Once the market was opened, the first stop was something for breakfast. I had this veggie quesadilla.

It was so yummy, and the hot sauce on top was flavorful, but still spicy enough to give me a runny nose. Mae had something similar, but hers had the addition of a scrambled egg.

It was good to see the chanterelles, and that put me in mind of some Chanterelle Mushroom Risotto. We have it at least once per year when the conditions are right for the chanterelles. These are the first I've seen.

I picked up two baskets of those. The risotto also requires a bundle of chard. No problem...here's some right here.

Such a small market meant we were there just a short period of time. Mae picked up a few things, including some herbs from her herb garden, and then we headed for home. When I arrived, I noticed the vents on the top of the greenhouse had opened. This is very good for the lettuce. (You can see it there through the door window.)

Inside, I unloaded my little haul. I picked up a couple of russets to bake for last night's dinner, but I really wanted to get at my other two finds: pretty rhubarb, and daikon radishes.

Our farmers were sending us home with daikon radishes last season, and I never knew what to do with them until I discovered sweet daikon radish pickles. They are so yummy...among my favorite quick pickles, and so I wasted no time dispensing with those. There was no time to waste because I have to wait 72 hours before I can eat them, and I wanted to get the countdown started as quickly as possible.

Then I started in on the rhubarb. It was roasted in order to make a Roasted Rhubarb and Ginger Streusel Tart. I've linked to the recipe there if you want to give this a try. You first cut the rhubarb into two-inch hunks and then macerate it in granulated sugar and salt. It takes about 30 minutes for the first step, and then it is roasted in a 400°F oven for about 25 minutes. When it comes out of the oven, it will have made a yummy rhubarb syrup.

That is separated out for use later. Meanwhile, you can get to work on the streusel topping and the crust. 

It is a bit of a production, and so I was doing other things throughout the day...checking the mail, for one thing. I was delighted to find this handmade gift from my dear friend Gail at Shedding the Wolf. Gail said this fabric made her think of me, and I couldn't be more thrilled with her handiwork. 

I'm not a person who carries a big heavy purse, but this nice little bag is going to come in so handy on our big trip this fall. Sometimes a gal just needs something larger than a pocket when going out shopping, and this bag is a perfect size for me.

But wait...check out the art work on that card:

It was done by Gail's grandson. What a great use of children's art! Does anybody else see a quilt in that? Love it!

So...well...I was all atwitter after opening that, but I needed to get back to finishing up the tart. The crust is made from flour, sugar, ground ginger, and lots of butter. It baked in a 300°F oven for about 35 minutes, which gives it the consistency of a delicious ginger cookie. When it's nicely browned, you add the roasted rhubarb and its syrup and then top it with a streusel topping. The topping has candied ginger in it, which gives it the nicest little bit of chewy goo. When it comes out of the oven after its final baking...voila! Isn't that pretty?

We had to set that aside and stare at it while we ate dinner. The kitties assumed their newest positions on sunny days...sunbathing in the sun's last rays.

After dinner, we cut into that tart, and mmm, mmm, mmm. It's just as pretty inside as it is outside.

I'm not a great fan of rhubarb, but I do like this tart. So yummy.

But you didn't think that was all I did in the kitchen yesterday, did you? No way! I had to try the whole-wheat version of the American sandwich bread I made last week. The same white bread recipe can be made whole wheat by substituting about 1/3 of the bread flour with whole-wheat flour, adding 3 tablespoons of wheat germ, and adding an extra tablespoon of honey. Even with the change in ingredients, this was so simple to make, and it behaved exactly the same way as its white bread flour cousin. And lookie there...such a pretty loaf.

It was so soft and delicious too. Soft like the white bread with a slightly nutty flavor. It is the sandwich bread I've been seeking, and easy enough to make on a regular basis. We don't have a lot of food I-eat-this-but-not-that's here at the Three Cats Ranch, but I do strive to get away from mass produced, commercially processed foods as much as possible. This is a bread recipe I could make several times a week. It requires minimal hands-on time, and it does what I expect it to do (unlike some other naughty recipes I've documented here on this blog).

So, I hadn't intended to spend the entire day in the kitchen, but some days it just works out like that. Give me a load of new ingredients, and they suck me into the kitchen and won't let go.

The weather isn't quite as nice today, but we're not expecting any rain until around 5:00. It was a pretty sunrise.

This morning, I finished hand-quilting the last of the quilt center for Mumm's the Word.

There's still much to do on this, but getting the center finished feels like a little victory.

Now, I'm switching to a little smaller hoop, and I'll start making my way from the southwest corner eastward around the outside edges. As I mentioned yesterday, I got a start on this earlier, but then decided to finish up the center first.

There's a little bit to finish in that corner, and then I'll continue with the borders around the outside edge. Can't wait to get this finished. It's going to be a really nice lap quilt.

So there was no sewing yesterday, but today I'll get back to the elephant baby quilt. It shouldn't take long to finish the quilt top, but I'm still awaiting delivery of the fabric I need for the elephant applique. When the baby quilt top is finished, I'll go back to adding the vine to a Quiltmaker's Garden.

8 comments from clever and witty friends:

gpc said...

The Mumms the Word is going to be amazing. I love the idea of hand quilting and think I need to pick a pattern and try that -- a small pattern. I totally understand Smitty and Sadie's favorite new place -- whenever I see a patch of sun I am tempted to lie down in it. For some strange reason that behavior was always disfavored in my workplace, and these days getting up from the floor is enough of a hurdle to inhibit my instinct. The baking all looks amazing, I love rhubarb and, of course I love kitchen days. Joseph will be excited to hear that his artwork is inspiring, and I'm so glad you like your all-state purse!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I am so jealous of your bread!! Oh, to browse farmers' markets again. We are cloudy, but much warmer and looking at a week of rain ahead. The purse is perfect for your upcoming travels and what a very special card.

quiltzyx said...

The trip to the Farmer's market was a colorful treat - along with that yummy quesadilla! One of these days I'm going to take a weekend off work & get myself to one of our local Farmer's markets. Even if I only buy baby carrots and flowers! lol

I'm not sure if I've ever eaten rhubarb, but I would try it in a tart like that.

What a cute bag from Gail - and the artwork is awesome too! I love it when kids aren't held back by the lines & let their own artistry come out.

Happy Sunday!

Annette Mandel said...

What a productive and varied day! Isn't it fun sometimes to just get pulled into the kitchen? Are you a member of a CSA? You mention "our farmers"... A78mandel at gmail for com

Brown Family said...

You always have fun at the Farmers Market. That is a beautiful sunrise. I assume it is Easter Sunday Sunrise? The big stitch quilting is looking great!

Dana Gaffney said...

That sunrise picture is gorgeous, so many layers of color. That would make a beautiful quilt.

Wendy Tuma said...

You sure have lovely views there around Three Cats Ranch! I think I would've caved and brought some flowers home, they were gorgeous! You shared the recipe for your daikon radish pickles in an earlier post, I think? I may have to try those. Your big stitch quilt is coming along. I like the look of the big stitches; it adds a nice touch to the quilt. And, of course, your bread and that rhubarb tart looks delicious!

claudia said...

That tart looks delicious. I love Rhubarb. My grandma used to make the best Strawberry Rhubarb pies.
I have to tell you, I got hooked on the embroidery projects that I have seen you do, and I had to order a monthly mystery pattern called "Girls Getaway 1 - Pickup & Trailer" by Crabapple Hill Studio. I saw it and fell in love, so had to do it!!!
When I finally get my RV I can put the finished quit in it. (You give me the best information and inspirations!)