Saturday, August 30, 2008

More Kitchen Fun And A Book!

Pa needed to make an extra trip to town yesterday, in order to pick up something we were unable to acquire on Thursday. He also stopped by the Library to pick up a book we had on hold that came in about an hour after we left there on Thursday. I was just finishing up my dishes when he returned home, and I was just delighted with the all he had to show me!

The first thing he held in front of me was the sieve I had requested he try to locate while in town. It was larger than I expected, and that suited me just fine. The larger size will be much more diverse in it's uses. Next was a large cast iron dutch oven. The dutch oven we've been using is perfect for most of my needs, but there are some things that a larger one would come in quite handy for. Again, I was just tickled! The third, and last item Pa pulled out for my inspection was the book he had picked up at the Library. I was one happy Ma!

The first thing I did, was wash the sieve, then set about to rinse and cook the blackberries the kids had harvested earlier. As they were simmering on the stove, I opened the book, The Encyclopedia Of Country Living, by Carla Emery. Oh my goodness! What a book! I could barely tear myself away from it to tend the simmering fruit in the other room. Within the hour, I was online, and at Powell's, determining the availability of this book. Pa walked by, looked at the screen and started laughing. "I knew it! As soon as I saw what book it was I knew I'd have to buy one for you!" Hehe. He knows me so well! I haven't ordered it yet, but know I'll have to. It's just a must have for my library. It is the perfect companion to my earlier purchase, Country Wisdom & Know How.

Back to my simmering blackberries... The kids had managed to glean probably 2 cups of the ripe berries, to which I added about a cup of sugar. Lindsay and I took turns stirring as they simmered. Once we determined they had cooked long enough I dumped them into my new sieve and pushed them through, in order to seperate the seeds. I plopped the bowl containing the resulting syrup into the freezer to cool down while the vanilla ice cream sat out, softening. Once the syrup had cooled down I began layering ice cream and syrup into a 1/2 gallon container.Since Lindsay had helped with the syrup, Nathan got to do the marbling. Pa and the kids had blackberry marbled ice cream for their dessert last night. Everyone was thrilled with the results! I may have a hard time beating that creation next week.

I have a new batch of yogurt "brewing" right now, and am about to begin another grand kitchen experiment. Saturday is rapidly turning into our beany supper night. Last night I got my beans soaking. Today, I'm experimenting with a recipe for an old favorite of both Pa's and mine, bean and bacon soup. As much as we enjoy it, Campbells soups have become pricey enough that we don't tend to grab them off the shelves too often. I figured why not try and make my own. Keep your fingers crossed it will be a successful experiment, and that the kids will enjoy it as well!

Hope the beginning of this Labor Day weekend is a wonderful one for all of you! Stay safe, and have fun!

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