8/7/17

ExtravaCANza!

Ha! Did you see what I did there? Such a clever wordsmith...move over, Shakespeare.

All the canning was finished by around 2:30 p.m. yesterday. The first to go into the pot were the beets. I had some purple beets from our CSA shares and I had some beets from Erik and Mae's garden.


Erik and Mae are growing the chioggia variety. They look like the ones in the image below when you cut into them.


They taste like a regular beet, but this recipe starts with boiling the beets to cook them and then slip their skins off. When these went into the pot to be boiled, all the color leached out of them, turning them white, like a turnip. They still tasted good, but were a little unappetizing in appearance. I packed them with some of the purple beets in each jar. I'm hoping that the purple beets will produce enough color to "dye" them back to red. In any case, those jars will go to Erik and Mae since the beets came from them. They won't care about the color...they just love the pickled beets. My yield was 6 pints, so that will keep us in pickled beets for a while.

We eat our pickled beets straight from the jar, but they make a delicious sandwich too. Check out this recipe from Bon Appetit. It's a sandwich made from roasted eggplant, pickled beets, kalamata olives, fresh herbs, and feta cheese. 


It's such a strange combination of flavors, but put together, it's one of my favorite sandwiches. We had an eggplant in our CSA share from last week, and it's my new go-to sandwich for when we have eggplant...something I would almost never buy voluntarily. We aren't great fans of eggplant, but this sandwich is a winner.

Next up, I started cooking the Peach & Brandy Sauce. The recipe for this is right here. Mine took quite a bit longer to cook than the 20 minutes specified in the recipe. It simmered for about 40-50 minutes before I thought it was thick enough. Also, the recipe says to chop the peaches, but doesn't say how large. Mine were just kind of ripped apart, since those buggers are slippery once their skins are removed. Then, I used a potato masher as they cooked down to break them into smaller pieces.


Wow...is this stuff tasty. The website says it can be used as a topping for ice cream, or pound cake, or as a baste for pork. My yield was 7 half pints. I can't imagine that we'll use that much, and so I'm thinking this would make a nice gift for friends and neighbors "just because."

Finally, I really wanted to give this recipe for Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce a try. The recipe was created by Marisa McClellan of Food in Jars. I really love her website. Her recipe can be found right here. Isn't it pretty?


This cooked down just as I expected it to, and it was ready in just about the time period as stated. My yield was 7 half pints. It was delicious, but a little too spicy for our taste. I'll make this again, but I'll back off on the red pepper flakes and the cayenne by about half next time around. Nevertheless, it'll be great for brushing on barbecued chicken. I'd probably avoid using it in, say, pulled pork, however. It's spicy enough that it'll probably make your nose run.

There were still three peaches left after all that, and so I made good on my threat to make a peach crisp for two. I used this recipe, and made just half. I used a 5 x 7-inch baking dish and baked it in the toaster oven for the allotted 30 minutes. I checked it after 20 minutes, but thought the topping needed just a little more browning and crisping.


And Mmm, Mmm, Mmm...cheating on a diet never tasted so good. Even though it's a crisp for two, we only ate half, so it could easily serve four. We had it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and we both thought it would be a crime not to use some of that peach & brandy sauce over the top. We didn't want to get arrested, so what else could we do? I'd have taken a picture of it dished up, but we were too busy smashing our faces into it...like pigs at the trough...yeah, nothing but class here at the Three Cats Ranch.

So when my canning and baking was done, I flopped around on the couch for a while, giving my aching feet a break. Then, I decided to take a stab at the bumble bee motif from Lori Kennedy. I just followed her tutorial and stitched it out on the first try. Ta-Da!


I'm still going to practice it a few more times before committing it to the quilt. I'd like to get my traveling stitches a little closer to the mark, but it's not half bad. Knowing it's possible, makes me kind of excited to get started on the quilting.

Today I have a housekeeping chore to do, but most of the day will be devoted to quilting. I'm looking forward to a good day of it.

9 comments from clever and witty friends:

Nancy said...

Your recipes sound and look delicious. I love pickled beets but have not made them in years because my husband doesn't. I need to ignore that and just make some. We sometimes go to a place in Portland (Foster Burger) that adds pickled beets to their lamb burger. The owner said he discovered that combination while traveling in Australia. I eat it but sometimes the lamb is a little strong in flavor so I have also added it to a beef burger.
I think I would like the Spicy Peach Barbecue Sauce. We tend to eat spicy food. Guess I will have to try it and find out.

Sarah said...

Give it a stab? Haha! Your bee looks fabulous!
I'm not a beet person but my dad really loves smart beets (ie Harvard beets. LOL). Anything peaches I'm all over tho...

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Everything looks so yummy! I caught that remark too - take a stab at the bee - HA!

WoolenSails said...

I wish I had your energy, canned years ago, but no time now.
Fun quilting, I have been getting the baby lock mails and they give a new design each day, so I am looking and thinking. I like the idea of looking at the design and the fabrics to come up with a design idea.

Debbie

Kate said...

You had a really productive day with all the canning. I love that bee, it's going to be really cute worked into the quilt.

Brown Family said...

Very colorful beets! Too bad they did not hold their color! You got a lot done in the kitchen! Your bee looks great!

piecefulwendy said...

Oh my, peach crisp with ice cream and peach & brandy sauce -- yum yum! I'd love to taste that spicy peach barbecue sauce. I like things spicier, so I'm curious if this would be too spicy for me. My husband can't each much of anything spicy as it wreaks havoc with his digestive system, so we strike a balance around here. I love pickled beets. So much fun to see all that pretty food in those jars!

Dar said...

I love pickled beets as I've mentioned before, and yours came out looking wonderful. I tried to photograph mine jars, but the juice was too purple to see the beets in them. Your bee is the cutest and looks complicated to stitch. I'm impressed that was your first try!! I saved the links to all the peach goodies. If I ever have too many, I will be trying one of those delicious recipes. I seems to eat one or two each day when we get them ripe off the tree from our local "you pick farm". Thanks for all the wonderful links.

quiltzyx said...

Darn, too bad that the beets didn't hold the ring color! But all of your jars of canned goods look delish. And sound tasty too.

The NEWbee looks great - especially for a first STAB at it....