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September 2002 Archives

September 4, 2002

Recently I've become a Google

Recently I've become a Google cook. What I mean is, shortly before supper time I look around for some combination of foods I've got on hand and which seem like they might go together. Then I 'google' them (an expression I heard for the first time on WXRV the other day) and browse through the results until I find a recipe that appeals to me. My tastiest success was Spicy Corn and Tomato Salad but that was partly just because the farmers' market corn was so super sweet. I can especially recommend Google cooking when you need possibilities for somewhat odd combinations, like leftover salmon and swiss chard, though in such a case the result may be more pecunious than tasteful.

September 11, 2002

Today during the national moment

Today during the national moment of silence I thought about this post and the possibilities it offers 'for no more innocent victims'.

September 20, 2002

Today I joined Doris and

Today I joined Doris and Edith and went 'plum crazy', just like the quarter board on the little house says. I'd been thinking about it for quite some time. Two years ago there was a dearth of fruit and last year when the Braintree addition was being built we didn't get down to Nantucket. This was the year though, when I finally made my own beach plum jelly.

The whole beach plum thing starts off with anticipation, catching the first view of green plums hiding in the bushes along the dirt road. On later visits to the island, they turn red and stop hiding. But it's when they turn purple and almost fall off the bushes into your hand, that they're ready to be picked and boiled down for juice to make into a sweet sour beach plum jelly. When it gets a little late in the season, finding the ripe plums takes some determination. You've got to be willing to step into the undergrowth and push aside branches with utter disregard for the bright red poison ivy leaves that seem to pop up right by the best clusters of fruit. Sometimes you even find the golden colored beach plums, a different variety that loses its unique color when it disappears into the pot with the purple ones. Maybe some year there'll be enough to make a golden jar all its own.

For boiling down the berries into juice, I find the directions I'd copied from Peter's Aunt Doris years ago in an old recipe file. The way the plums pop open in the pot reminds me of making cranberry chutney, and the same bright red juice stains my wooden spoon and makes a mess of the countertop. I like the feeling it gives me, of being connected to the past and of closeness to jelly making aunts and moms before me.

For the next step though, I shift into the present and check out the faq's for Sure-Jell. At least I don't opt for the quick and easy 30-minute method, and instead choose the traditional cooked method. There's a lot of stirring and listening to the Indigo Girls and finally I achieve the 'rolling boil' that can't be stirred down. With that, the sugar is added, there's one more minute of boiling, and I pour out the garnet colored juice to cool into shimmering jelly. Tomorrow I'll have my first toast test.

September 26, 2002

Just yesterday it was hanging

Just yesterday it was hanging there, the last cucumber on the vine. Today it's a bunch of little pieces, not even appreciated by the varmint that stole it. Would raccoons be this dainty and leave anything behind? Since I'm not sure exactly what raided my urban garden, I'm calling it a varmint.

Research reveals a little about what varmint hunting entails - 'specialized custom guns, loading your own ammo, using highly-developed bullets that do as little external damage as possible, long-range sights and scopes, hiding in damp and uncomfortable places using high-tech camouflage'. It may not sound like my usual peaceable approach but I really wanted that last cucumber. Varmints, watch out!

About September 2002

This page contains all entries posted to hey jud in September 2002. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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