Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A much needed vacation

So a couple girlfriends and I are taking an extended weekend trip to Atlanta to shop, eat, laugh, and have an all around good time. I've been looking forward to this for months. I havent left East Tennessee in about a year. So it will be nice to leave my little nest and experience something new. If anyone who's familiar with Atlanta knows of something that is a must do or see or taste let me know.

Oh and the most important part of this trip is......drum roll please......

The broadway play is on tour and will be in Atlanta.

To say I'm excited..... let's just say I've been packed and ready to go for days.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Hamburger buns

1 Cup of milk
1 Cup of water
2tbsp of butter
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp. of salt
5 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 (1/4 oz) envelope active dry yeast
1 egg yolk
1tbsp water

bring milk, 1 cup of water, butter ,sugar, and salt to a boil. remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm. not too hot or it will kill the yeast.

In a large bowl mix flour and yeast. Pour in wet ingredients and mix together.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 min. Place in an oil bowl and then flip to coat. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Punch dough down and then divide into 12 portions between the size of a golfball and a tennis ball. let rest for about a minute.

Then place on a baking sheet and press down with your palm till it's about 3" wide. let rise till double in size about 20 minutes.

mix egg yolk with tbsp of water and brush on top of buns.

Preheat oven to 400F' and bake for 15-20 minutes or until nicely brown and hollow sounding.

Let cool and then make yourself a delicious black and bleu burger with sauteed onions and peppers and fresh sliced tomato!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Getting things done.

My kudzu season is on it's way out. But I was able to get pick 6 half pints worth of flowers last night. And I realized some of ya'll dont really know what kudzu looks like so here ya go.

(Mind you, the flowers are about all gone.)

Now I didnt get a good landscape photo. But imagine this covering a whole field.

So more kudzu jelly will be made tonight. That gives me a total of a pathetic 12 half pints.Which is about half of what I was hoping for. But maybe I can head out again in the next week and really strip the vines clean.

Next, I finally purchased a tiller that actually works. Crazy the tiller troubles I've been having this summer. 
The camera battery needs a charging so I have no pictures of it. But It tilled up the cold weather garden like a champ.

Speaking of cold weather gardens. It's finally in. I was about ready to give up on it. But I finally planted everything. This is what we got.... atomic red and cosmic purple carrots, a gourmet salad mix, watermelon and easter egg radishes, chiogga and detroit red beets,blue curled kale, and a row of potatoes. I'm way way way behind so no onions, cabbage or brussel sprouts.
It's a proper punishment for being about a month behind on everything....

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The last cuke of the season

This season the cukes did amazing. I'm talking wonderful. An overload of cucumbers. Enough to make all the pickles I would ever want this winter plus loads to give to friends and family. But I'd be lying if I said I didnt get some satisfaction yanking daggum vines out of the ground. Let's just say I'm alittle over the cukes.

Plus I need room for the brussels sprouts.....

But while pulling em' up I came across this little guy.

And though I was happy to see em' gone, this little guy reminded me of the beginning of the season when the first cukes started coming on. Almost got alittle sad to see them go....
Yeah right! I'm so sick of cukes. But as the cycle goes; next year around March when the little cucumber seedlings are starting I'll be getting that cuke fever. 

As of now though, good riddance

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kudzu jam

Finally, I've made some. Only 6 half pints but it's a start.
To me it has the taste of strawberry and grape jam. It's delicious. 

To make......

Pick some kudzu flowers (make sure the kudzu plant hasnt been sprayed). 4 Cups of flowers equals to 6 half pints.
By the way, If you are not a fan of spiders and other creepy crawlies this will not be a fun step.

Next take the flowers and give them a good cold water washin' Again if there's an issue with bugs I'd do this outside with a waterhose. I'm only slightly unnerved by spiders but still all those little bugs had me watching where I put my hands.

The flowers are in long clusters. And you only want the flower so when they're cleaned off just pull the flower clusters through your hand and all the flowers will pop off. You will end up with something like this

Next, Boil up 4 Cups of water (If you are increasing the recipe it just goes a cup of water to a cup of flowers) and pour the boiling water over the flowers, then pop it in the fridge overnight.

After it's soaked for atleast 8 hours, strain the liquid into a pot and discard the flowers. The water should be a reddish brown. Add package of pectin and a tablespoon of lemon juice and bring to a boil constantly stirring.

Then add in 5 Cups of sugar and bring back to a boil, again stirring constantly. And allow to boil for 1 minute.

Take it off the heat and scoop off the foam. Then pour into hot jars, wipe lip of the jar, and seal.
Then process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.

Cool on a rack.

. So delicious.