Sunday, September 26, 2010

Recent Cooking Adventures

Mini-roundup style...

My biggest recent accomplishment: baking Challah for Shabbat dinner with friends this past Friday night.

My first challah ever, and it came out beautiful and delicious. I followed a recipe from Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen (of Moosewood fame) because I was making quiche out of the same cookbook for dinner. I was very, very proud.

It was a long process, with lots of kneading and separating the dough and waiting. But it was fun nonetheless; the process felt meditative and the dough was lovely to touch.

I also had a cooking adventure day recently with a friend, creating a few recipes from the book Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects.
I'd seen the book mentioned on various food blogs (including Food In Jars) and waited for weeks for it to arrive in my request pile at the local library.

We made crackers.

We made black bean dip.

We made chai.

I had to return the book, but next I'd like to make marshmallows from scratch. Or maybe peanut butter cups?

Fall Garden

We planted our new fall garden a few weeks ago! The tomatoes finally kicked the bucket. We ripped them out of the ground, added tons of new dirt, and purchased new starter plants from the market.

We started out with tuscan kale (also known as black kale or dinosaur kale), swiss chard, arugula, broccoli, and a lettuce called Santa Fe.

They looked so tiny in the garden after having the monstrous tomato plants in for these last few months.

But in just a few short weeks, they've grown and grown!

See the leaves on that kale? Check out the height on that chard on the right!

As with the spring-summer garden, this fall one is lovely to look at and hopefully will be yummy to eat. It significantly less work this time around, since we already had our fence built, most of the soil in, and a better sense of what we were doing. We added some buttercrunch lettuce and another variety of kale today. Photos to come. Luckily, we got it in right before a huge rainstorm all afternoon, the first rain we've had in weeks. Excellent timing.