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Enjoying the harvest

 
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I made biscuits today and enjoyed some plum jam from this year's harvest. How are you enjoying the fruits of your labors in the kitchen?
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It's early summer here and I'm really enjoying how well the greens in the garden are going, serving them in simple ways, and trying to plant more salad greens because it's so good to have a nice big homegrown salad at this time of year.

We also recently made a big batch of strawberry jam from an organic pick-your-own place, plus some kimchi that I add foraged kelp to. The turnips are coming along nicely so next kimchi batch might have some homegrown turnips too.
 
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Homemade jam is the best!
I usuall don't put it on bread or biscuits but stir some into my porridge. Redcurrant jam is a must for Christmas cookies.

Last night I supplemented the potatoe gratin (not my own potatoes) with baked hokkaido pumpin with cheese crust and a side dish of turnip. After the first frost it was super tender and sweet (sauteed it with some butter, honey and salt).
 
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My potato harvest was a total failure as I only got one 3" potato and a bunch of 1-2 inch fingerlings.

I fix chicken legs in the crockpot with potatoes so I peel the ones I could and threw them all in the crockpot with the chicken/  The 3" one I ended up throwing away as it just had all these lines running through it that I could not peel away.
 
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we're also getting lots out of the garden right now. Zucchini just finished but cucumbers are about to start. Dill is looking good so I just got some pickling cukes and made batch 2 of dill pickles. Basil and shiso are going gangbusters, so we've been drinking a lot of shiso juice (tea, actually) and using basil in everything.

We also did delayed Thanksgiving yesterday and instead of baking the bird on the bed of carbs, I ended up using garden produce-- a spaghetti squash that was threatening to go bad, some chayotes, a few odd carrots. It was very different and very nice!
 
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For thanksgiving we had turkey from our farm (with Rosemary and oregano from the garden), our ham, our eggs for deviled eggs and some sweet potatoes from the garden.

It’s a joke now to our friends if we cook them something and it’s not from the farm or garden.  “What? Why are we even eating it?”

Trying to do a thanksgiving full meal all from your own stuff is a feat, great respect for anyone who pulls it off
 
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I've been making a bunch of nixtamal from my best corn harvest ever and we've been eating thick tortillas with almost every meal. Now I just need to upgrade my grinder
 
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Today I put a lamb stew in the slow cooker with garlic, pumpkin chunks, dried chard and dried celery, and a splash of cider (hard cider) among other non-self-produced ingredients.  I didn't harvest any of it today--sure is nice to be able to get garden food from the cupboard.
 
Tereza Okava
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s. lowe wrote:I've been making a bunch of nixtamal from my best corn harvest ever and we've been eating thick tortillas with almost every meal. Now I just need to upgrade my grinder


I would love to hear how you're doing this and what you're using so far! I do it every so often (we can't get masa or tortillas or whatever, have to make it myself) and it's a bit of a PITA but generally worth it. FWIW i use my omega juicer to grind the corn after it's cooked, which was definitely not what I figured I'd be using it for, but the specially-bought grinder turned out to be completely stinking useless. Usually two passes through the machine is leaves it perfect.
 
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Anita Martin wrote:Homemade jam is the best!
I usuall don't put it on bread or biscuits but stir some into my porridge. Redcurrant jam is a must for Christmas cookies.

Last night I supplemented the potatoe gratin (not my own potatoes) with baked hokkaido pumpin with cheese crust and a side dish of turnip. After the first frost it was super tender and sweet (sauteed it with some butter, honey and salt).



I also do recurrant jelly every year just for Christmas cookies!  Here is last year's, haven't gotten to it yet this year, but I do have the jelly ready.

 
Sonja Draven
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Anita, I usually eat jam that way too - so yummy - but I felt like a special treat.

Mk, those cookies are lovely!

You all are making me hungry.  And hopeful that next year I'll have a larger harvest and able to keep more of it safe from the wildlife.
 
s. lowe
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Tereza Okava wrote:

s. lowe wrote:I've been making a bunch of nixtamal from my best corn harvest ever and we've been eating thick tortillas with almost every meal. Now I just need to upgrade my grinder


I would love to hear how you're doing this and what you're using so far! I do it every so often (we can't get masa or tortillas or whatever, have to make it myself) and it's a bit of a PITA but generally worth it. FWIW i use my omega juicer to grind the corn after it's cooked, which was definitely not what I figured I'd be using it for, but the specially-bought grinder turned out to be completely stinking useless. Usually two passes through the machine is leaves it perfect.


I have basically copied a recipe that Joseph Lofthouse posted on the forum, 2-3 table spoons of pickling lime to a pound of corn, well covered with water.

Bring to a boil and then simmer until the skins start to break (about 45 minutes it seems for me here at sea level). Then I let it soak in that water at least overnight and have gone up to 18 hours.

Then lots and lots of rinsing and cleaning. Basically until the water comes off clean. Seems like its taking me about 10-12 good rinses before I'm satisfied.

Then all we have is a food processor which gives me a pretty chunky grind. The best I've gotten was by using a pastry cutter to chunk up the kernels before going into the food processor. I might have to try our champion juicer though, I hadn't even thought of that. I'd really love to be able to get a fine enough grind to make real tortillas but so far it's more like sopes, or really some kind of chunky corn cake.  Super tasty though
 
Tereza Okava
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thanks for sharing! my process is pretty much the same, the rinsing is indeed a long slog but.... worth it. I actually went and bought the corn yesterday, thanks to this little prod!
The tortilla maker is also essential, I know some people can roll them out pretty, but my talents are limited to Chinese dumplings and buns and such. That tortilla press is worth its weight in gold to me.
 
s. lowe
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Well Tereza, that's the prod I needed. I've been considering a tortilla press but was just figuring I'd get along by hand just fine. Now I know what I'll be getting myself for Christmas.

Do you, or anyone else, have any idea how a champion juicer would work for grinding the corn?
 
Tereza Okava
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The juicer AND the solid metal tortilla press, I bought on a work trip to NY a few years ago. It was a short trip, I was limited to the city, and I had a huge bag limit paid for by my client (2 60-pound bags) so I figured it was the perfect time to buy crazy kitchen fantasy ware in the restaurant district.... I lugged those things on buses, planes and trains to my home here in far south South America and despite the muscle fatigue they were worth it! I hate to have a one-use tool like the tortilla press, to be honest, but nothing comes close to it.

So, I don't know what the Champion is like, but the Omega is an augur juicer, has a big old screw and it either smashes everything or smashes-and-filters. One of its functions is pasta making, if the Champion has any suggestions for that I would go with those instructions. I use no filter, just the normal macerating head. Nice and slow, literally only a handful of corn at a time, and the corn MUST be soft enough (which should be fine the way you and I do it). When I first got the juicer I broke the first augur on corn that was not cooked enough (they sent me a new one, Omega service was awesome). Nice and slow, no need to even tamp things down.
It will come out a bit stiff, but not too dry. If it looks dry I keep a bit of the cooking water to add (a bit, not much, and sometimes it's not needed). I put it all through twice, maybe more if it looks like it's still stiff or with visible fragments. It's not perfect, but I've also never done more than 4 passes so maybe it could become perfect, not sure.
 
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I've been having "pumpkin" pie for breakfast every day, made from butternut squash from the garden.

I grew a lot of squash!!
 
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