Posts Tagged 'recipes'

Quince rosehip jelly

Now that all recipients have received their gifts…

Peel and core 5 large quinces. Cover with water. Add 10 dried rosehips from the garden (after removing the stems and the dried sepals, and giving them a quick rinse).

Boil/simmer for an hour. Mash the pulp once it is soft.

Drain through a strainer into a bowl. Cover so no cat hair gets in the strainer (maybe that’s just my house). Use a nonreactive strainer like a jelly bag. The next morning, measure out how much juice you’ve gotten, and pour into a nonreactive pot. Add about half the same amount of sugar (i.e., 1/2 cup of sugar to 1 cup of juice) and the juice of one lemon. Watch carefully, and once it hits the jelly stage (I used a candy thermometer for this, as well as the cold spoon and dropping a little into cold water to see the pattern it makes) take it off the heat and put into prepared canning jars with sterilized lids.

It turned out lovely.

I have other fruit in the refrigerator, and I hope to make it into something useful later.

A few notes on food

Interesting cookbook — My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking by Niloufer Ichaporia King. Sadly it has to go back to the library before I get to try any of the recipes, but I enjoyed the personal stories interspersed with info on Bombay and Parsi culture. I hope to get this one out again and test drive a few of these… perhaps caramel cardamom custard (dessert) or the coconut fish (main dish).

Today’s lunch was lovely — leftover buckwheat pancakes with peanut butter and blackstrap mollasses.

Tonight’s dinner — balti spice, lentils, rice, almond, and raisin pilaf. Again, you’ll have to trust me that this works.

A plea to people baking for jumble sales, church sales, school sales: for the love of fish, if you label something “apple cake” don’t make it one of those ghastly apple cakes with zucchini hid in it. I’m a grownup. I eat zucchini without subterfuge. I do not want to find long, mysterious strands of zucchini peel interspersed in my cake no matter how decorated it might be with brown sugar. I’m contemplating pitching the fakeout cake (which may or may not have apples in it for that matter).


Last night I walked outside, at 9:40 PM, and picked a few figs in the dark. I worked by touch, selecting the ones that felt whole yet soft enough to be ripe. And yes, each time I found a soft fig, I cringedfig trees are tall hoping I wouldn’t encounter a yellow jacket. The figs were cool in the night air, their skins slightly wrinkled and puckered. A few had split.

Only a few are ripe now. There are many, many green figs showing the promise of a good crop, if the starlings get sick of them before the next crop ripens. There’s nothing like these fresh figs from an ancient tree. These aren’t like Smyrnas, or the light tan ones that one finds in the dried foods section at the market, or the ones I used to get from California. Perhaps turkey figs or some older variety from the 1920s or 30s. So now I’m looking around at different fig recipes to see if I can improve on the fig cake I made the other year.

Info about fig horticulture is out there on the web. Some are hobbyists. But if you’re interested in the history of figs, and you’re trawling the web, be prepared for some fairly weird search results.

I’d suggest GardenWeb for those who want to really research growing the plants. Have fun!

Bread for the Holidays

We here at WordTapestry have been going through cookbooks, trying to find recipes that can be made ahead of time, before the holiday season comes thundering in, destroying schedules and shattering peace (I’m actually talking about the need to clean the house, I think).

Nice with tea

Nice with tea

One option is Date Walnut Bread from The Silver Palate Cookbook. The resulting bread is a lovely brown color (from the dates). I didn’t have the right size baking tin (not sure anyone ever has the right size — it’s worse than trying to find the right size circular needle). When I try this recipe again I’ll squeeze the whole thing into one pan. I think I’ll also add a wee bit more salt (I used unsalted butter, and I think I need to adjust the taste a tad) and mix it less than the recipe says. A loaf wrapped in colorful foil and garnished with an artificial snowflake or holly sprig might make a good gift.

Other options for holiday potlucks or church breakfasts:

These are fun ideas for hostess gifts, items to bring to the bake sale, or a gift for a friend who can’t make it home for the holidays. And if you’re looking for more recipe ideas, my search engine dug up Uncle Phaedrus, Consulting Detective and Finder of Lost Recipes. (I am in love with the header and am kicking myself for not being as clever.)

Date Nut Bread

….or oatmeal bread with a cinnamon swirl? The first is a quick bread. The second involves rising yeast. Date Nut Bread recipe is here, in the Silver Palate Cookbook. The cinnamon oatmeal one is in the index box full of slightly faded favorites (with slightly suspect directions from my Grandmother, who always guarded the _real_ ingredients in her recipes). However, I have lots and lots and lots of walnuts in the refrigerator that are making me dream of baking date nut bread or date nut bars. So, for the holidays, which would you hope to have on the table?

The socks are almost finished. The Cairo Diary is almost finished too. Hopefully tomorrow I will have light to photograph the socks (with their somewhat ingenious heel flap design) and time to talk about my final thoughts on Mont-Saint-Michel, 2005 and Cairo, 1928. It’s been an interesting read.