Monthly Archives: November 2013

20 lbs of what!??!

So I am notorious for purchasing lots of pounds of things from our local farmer’s market. Last summer is when it all started. My husband met a guy at work who knew where to get really cheap corn. I was thinking a few ears or kernals already shucked— in other words I had no idea what we were getting in to. We crossed over into Georgia and pulled up to a huge farm that sat on hundreds of acres of land. Come to find out this particular “farm” supplied corn to a good many supermarkets in the neighboring states. We ended up buying a bushel of corn, not really knowing what a bushel looks like. It ended up being about 75-80 ears of corn. Fresh, sweet. buttery, corn! This was my initial introduction to cooking on a grand scale in order to wittle down the corn! I sorta felt like Bubba in _Forest Gump_: I made corn chowder, corn fritters, corn with other veggies, cornbread, etc etc. It was pretty freakin awesome!

And that is how my obsession with large quantities of produce began. This summer began with 20 lbs of tomatoes. TWICE. Then on to Blueberries. We actually went to the farm and picked our own and boy were those good! Then came the strawberries, figs, and peaches. And I was thinking that maybe that would do it for the year. But nnnooooo…satsumas came into season. 2 weeks ago I bought 20 pounds and yesterday I bought 10 more pounds AND about 15 Meyer lemons. Yep. Obsessed.

I bet you’re wondering what I do with this plethora of fruit? I became a jam maker. And tomato sauce maker. And roasted tomatoes confit maker. And just roasted tomatoes (because I couldn’t figure out what to do with the last few pounds. Which make for an excellent pizza topping!) So that’s what I did. Some of the jams came out fantastic: great texture and most definitely tasted great! Others came out runny, but still pretty yummy. I’m looking over at my “pantry” (which is just a huge wire shelving unit) and I think I’ve got about 40+ jars of different jams. I just smiled.

The crazy thing about all of this (other than buying in 20 lb increments) is that I thoroughly enjoy the whole canning process. I can sit in the kitchen all afternoon stirring, mixing, peeling, slicing, boiling jars, etc and I am at utter peace. Grant it my back is usually a bit mad at me, but as far as my peace of mind, it is relaxing! It’s the same way when I do a Julia recipe: as complex and lengthy as some of her recipes are, I relish the time it takes to prepare each item. And I ALWAYS look forward to making Thanksgiving dinner. From scratch. All of it. We’ll be in St. Louis this year for Thanksgiving so I’m thinking of doing a post-thanksgiving dinner once we get back. Thanksgiving dinner is my ‘piece de resistance’ of the year. And I LOVE IT!

Crab legs and steamed clams for dinner tonight and flank steak marinated in a mojo sauce made with some of those yummy satsuma’s and meyer lemons…YUM!


Just a small sampling of the fruits and veggies.

Lamb! Lamb! Lamb!

yes– Lamb won out on the “what to cook for my dad” list. It was a leg of lamb stuffed with a pork and herb stuffing, braised in wine and stock accompanied with buttered brussells sprouts and stuffed mushrooms. Also known as: Gigot ou épaule de pré-salé, farci (stuffed leg of lamb), stuffed with farce de pork (pork and herb stuffing) cooked Braisé (braised) with champignons farci (stuffed mushrooms) and choux de Bruxelles étuvés au buerre ( Brussels sprouts braised in butter). Yep- a mouthful and Oh. So. Yummy!

So I was up at 7 in the morning last week Thursday to get the dinner going being that I had to work in the afternoon and I needed at least 4 hours just for the lamb and about an hour each for the sides. Is that dedication or sheer craziness? I’ll leave that one to you.

This was my second time boning a leg of lamb. The first time was when my brother and nephew came to visit and I must say that I not only butchered the leg (and not in a good way) but I also overcooked it. Epic fail. I figured a take two was in order. With help from my dad on the best angle to get the bone out, I was able to cut the sucker out AND butterfly the meat a bit to help get the meat even. Then the stuffing was piled on and the hard task of rolling and bundling the lamb commenced. I think I may have put in too much stuffing but it was oh so good! I think it turned out pretty good!


Julia is ALL about B-U-T-T-E-R!

The stuffed lamb braised for about 4 hours in a delicious red wine, beef stock, and veggie based broth, turned it every 30-45 minutes. After that– it’s done! Too easy!

The photo really doesn’t do the dish justice but you can see the Brussels Sprouts and the deliciously cheesy stuffed mushrooms!

I absolutely recommend a crunchy french baguette to sop up the rich, delicious juice from the meat!

Needless to say…we were stuffed. And HAPPY!

Bon Appetit!


Never be within doors when you can rightly be without ~ Charlotte Mason

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