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Showing posts from May, 2017

Cherries in Red Wine Syrup

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It's cherry season!  That short window of spring that begs you to buy as many cherries as you can, spend an afternoon sitting on the back deck pitting them, and then eating them as many ways as possible. Mostly straight from the bowl.

But here's one way to preserve your cherries so you can savor them come December, if necessary. (But we both know you're not going to make it to December with these jars of cherries. We will all be lucky if we can make it to July with any jars left.)



In the latest entry in Marisa McClellan's Mastery Challenge, I give you McClellan's own Bing Cherries in Red Wine Syrup. Or at least my version of it. 

(This mastery challenge has been great fun, and this month is cold pack preserving.  Admittedly, lately, it has been hard to keep up, but I believe this is mostly a function of the end of the school year.  Be prepared for summer, people!

Right. Cold-pack canning.  It's relatively simple.  Take some raw fruit or veggie and stuff it into a j…

Candied Lemon Peel with Thyme

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My husband's paternal grandfather was a huge fan of candied citrus peel, especially if it was dipped in dark chocolate. In fact, I believe he had an aching sweet tooth, given that he owned a sweets shop on Coney Island in the mid-20th century. Funny, though: the husband never developed a sweet tooth. Lucky for him (and his waist). 

I, on the other hand, love sugar. 

Especially if it is sugar paired with something tart and something savory. Enter in Candied Lemon Peel with Thyme.



Making candied citrus peel is a great way to use the rest of the lemon or orange or lime or grapefruit after you have squeezed or juiced or suprêmed the fruit. 

In my fantasy kitchen, nothing goes to waste (in my reality kitchen, I often throw out the peels). 



Pairing your candied peel with something savory--thyme, basil, even lavender--boosts this classic to a new level. Which is just what you need for garnishing cakes, cupcakes, ice cream with addictive blasts of pure citrus flavor. 

Or just for plain snacking…

Duck Confit

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Many years ago, the husband made duck confit for cassoulet, and lordy, did my life become filled with questions. Why wasn't there more duck in it? Could we make duck confit? Where can one buy duck confit? How could we use duck confit? Is it wrong that I want to eat duck confit everyday?  I don't have answers, but I can at least show you how to make duck confit.
Confit of anything (garlic, onions, chicken wings) is simply slowly cooking said anything in fat. Wait a minute... that sounds like frying. Well, close. It's the temperature thing that sets this apart from frying, and because you do this at such a low temperature, it means you're doing this for a long time, in hopes of producing a food that will keep for a long time. Which is not surprising, since the word confit comes from the French confire, which simply means to preserve. (Want to learn more?  Don't hesitate to turn to food genius, Kenji Lopez-Alt.) 

If you use Ithai Schori and Chris Taylor's simple rec…

Celery Shrub

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Can we talk about shrubs for a little while? No, not the vegetation in your front yard. I want to talk about drinking vinegars. Wait. Don't go. They're really quite good.
So, March was Shrubs month over at the Food in Jars Mastery Challenge. And due to our move across town(s), I have been a bit behind on posting. However, I want to be very clear--these shrubs quenched a good deal of thirst this spring, as I packed boxes, threw out clothes, and cursed the sheer amount of books I have accumulated in my 20-year teaching career.  (Seriously, how many copies of Heart of Darkness does a person need...? Don't answer that.)  Shrubs have been a fixture in our home these past two months.

A shrub is an old-fashioned drink that is making a heady comeback, in part because of mustachioed barkeeps who are looking for new (old) things to stir into their fancy drinks. Lucky for all of us. 
Shrubs originated as a frugal way to ensure you didn't have to throw out your turned wine or as a wa…