Thursday, August 12, 2010

Does retirement really have this effect on people?

Although not officially retired yet, ever since my husband Rich has decided he's going to retire in the next couple of months, he seems to think he is as an accomplished domestic “king”. From thinking he is now a gardener extraordinaire to a cook worthy of his own TV show on the Food Network, I’m sure I’ll have material enough to share on this blog, as well as a blog dedicated solely to him and his self imposed sultanhood. (There will be  no more blogs though)

 Over the past few weeks, Rich has decided he is a graduate of the Ball University Advanced Food Preservation Class. No, this class does not exist in reality, but to see and hear him in the kitchen (except for the gash he just put in his head from the stove hood), you’d think he is talented enough to have a second career as a Ball Corporation employee.

To Rich’s credit, he has made some delicious pickles , both Bread and Butter and Dill

Bread & Butter pickles
ready to be processed.

While on a trip to ME last winter, we bought this terrific zucchini relish at an arts and crafts sale. I saved the label to attempt to copy it this summer. It was that good!

Zucchini relish after setting overnight
in pickling salt.

 So here it is, with some adjustments because I didn’t know the exact measures or directions; those came from viewing similar recipes on the internet and improvising.

Cooking in the brine.

Pressing out the salt water.

Ready to can.


So how was it when Rich was finished with it?
Well, let's say we're trying to figure out a name for his professional label - Uncle Reek's Relishes?  
 It is that good! 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm Going to Have One of These Soon

During my recent visit to my sister's home in Fayettville NC, she enlightend me and my mother to the smooth frozen beverages from a Ninja. Although I'd heard of  a Ninja, I'd never seen one in real life. I was amazed how quickly and easily it chopped ice.

Mind you, I've had the Magic Bullet for some time now and I"ve made my share or frozen beverages in it, but the Ninja... bigger, faster, two blades instead of one, etc....
When I returned home, I borrowed the Ninja from my other sister. (How come both of them have one and I don't? ) I figured I've give it a few days worth of a workout in the kitchen before I go out and get one for myself. So here's what I made:

Experiment 1 - Blueberry Pancakes  - They were very tasty, but I dare not show you what they looked like. No one told me to hold on the top of the darn Ninja or it might just jump off. That it did, right onto the griddle as I was pouring the batter on. Yes, batter was all over. From then on, I held the top as I poured (anything).
I like this appliance because it has a chopping bowl and a nice big blender. As you can see I made a batter for pancakes. It waas easy to remove contents and clean up.

Experiment 2 - Blueberry Muffins - Another delicious recipe from the Ninja cookbook. This book is a must if you have a Ninja, there are some terrific recipes included.
* Blueberries are from Barber's Farm, Middleburgh NY
This was enough for me. When the Ninja goes on sale, or it comes out with just a tad bigger chopping bowl, I'm running to get one!