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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

grim as the reaper with a heart like hell

Today I:

  • Got up at 5:30 am to drive to Amherst to put in my work day for the CSA I belong to.
  • Discovered I had to be there at 9, not 8.
  • Stopped and ate oatmeal at a truck stop in Holyoke.
  • Stopped at a car wash and cleaned out and vacuumed the Moby Smurfberry.
  • Spent four hours harvesting onions.
  • Had a very nice pot luck lunch.
  • Picked some tomatillos and chili peppers.
  • Drove home.
  • Cut up the tomatillos and chili peppers.
  • Went kayaking on the (very low water of the) Hockanum River with The Jeff.
  • Made dinner (pesto past and garlic tomato cheese bread: The Jeff made the salad) for The Jeff and TBRE.
  • Turned the tomatillos and chili peppers into six pints of jam: three spicy, three with lemon peel and ginger. Hard to say which is better. They're both kind of AWESOME.
  • Processed the jars of jam.

  • And now I'm going to go upstairs and write until I fall asleep.

This is not an atypical day.

Why is it that I feel so damned tired again?


You are mighty. I am tired just looking at that list.

I did laundry, and managed to avoid electrocution putting things up during the non-rain portion of the thunderstorm. I also managed to avoid getting rain-soaked laundry, but I was a little more worried about the electrocution.
You would look bad with dendritic scarring.
Ooh! Now I'm curious which CSA you belong to. I've done a few in this area (currently Kitchen Garden Farm in Sunderland, which is pretty fab).
Simple Gifts, which I love. It's much more hands-on than a lot of them.
Turned the tomatillos and chili peppers into six pints of jam: three spicy, three with lemon peel and ginger.
OMG, that sounds amazing! And you just pulled that straight out of your brainmeats, didn't you? You don't use recipes?

You know, the more I read about you and your canning and cooking, the bigger my crush on you gets. Hugo-winning SF author/professional geek who cooks like a grandma? <3 <3 <3!!! *swoon* ;)

I can barely make tuna salad without a diagram and detailed instructions, so I'm fascinated and a little in awe of your food posts.
You know, I couldn't bake a chicken breast at one point, but then in high school my mom worked evenings, and if there was going to be food it was going to be because I made it.

You learn the same way you do anything else: reading books, asking questions of people who know more, and... making a lot of awful things. :-P

(I do use recipes, but I did not for this, although I looked at several for guidelines.)

Edited at 2010-08-22 03:07 am (UTC)
That's encouraging. I'm in the "makes a lot of awful things, with the occasional good thing I can never manage to reproduce" phase of the learning curve. =p

Still plugging. The internet is probably the best thing that's ever happened to newbie cooks, because there are SO many food geeks with blogs and on forums, and there are lots of places to ask questions. =)
The way to reproduce the ones that work is to take notes. *g* Approach it systemically--and learn technique. Then you can apply that technique to thousands of recipes, rather than just knowing how to make one.

Kind of like writing.
=) Thanks for the pointer!

Somebody at work actually said to me yesterday "cooking is an art not a science" and it annoyed me a little.

No, cooking, like writing and music and sculpture and a lot of other creative things, is a craft. It is equal parts artistry and inspiration and technique and, yes, Science! You can't really do much of the flourish-y, expressive, creative bits in cooking if you can't get the ratios right, or your heat is too high, or whatever.

There are some people who make it LOOK like pure inspiration, but that's only because they have sufficient grounding and understanding of the craft and science of the thing that they don't have to consciously think or talk about that stuff anymore-it becomes instinctive with practice.

Not that I needed to explain that bit to you, just that I couldn't articulate it well yesterday, and I'm still a little aggravated by that other person. =)

Cooking is totally a science. It's organic chemistry.With some physics and biology thrown in.

Edited at 2010-08-22 10:50 am (UTC)
I feel the need to go and have a nap after reading that list! I'd need to sleep for a week if I actually tried to do everything on it.

Your jam sounds wonderful.

Yesterday I turned some of my rose petal syrup into rose petal mousse, which in turn became part of a trifle. I used freestone blood peaches and yellow clings, cooked just a short while with madeira and more of the rose syrup. Layered with the traditional dried out pound cake. It was pretty and it tasted fabulous and I was able to contribute something out of the ordinary to the potluck table at an end of summer party. This is what makes the work in the yard and the kitchen so satisfactory.

I haven't gotten a single tomatillo off my plants this year. It's been too cold all summer.