It’s Friday night. The altars are lit, the wine is chilling (it’s a Muscat/Muscado, so it’ll be sweet), and I’m blogging about dinner.
See, as-you-know-bob, I’m kind of a preserving nut. I don’t go nearly as hard core as, say, Erica over at NW Edible Life (link goes to a recent post about maintaining a working larder/pantry), but I forage and I glean and I freeze and I can and, invariably, I wind up with a lot of stuff left over once spring starts suggesting that it might be turning up.
Now, I’m getting better at both (a) using my preserves, and (b) making preserves that I will actually use. But I still tend to over do it on things where, well, where the main ingredient is free. In 2013, that was apple butter and serviceberry jam, and that’s likely to be the case in 2014 as well.
Now, apple butter I can use up. It makes a great binder in pancakes (and other cakes) and can lend a velvetty texture to whatever baked good you’re inclined to turn your hand to. But the jam is… I’m not sure what to do with that.
On top of those, I’ve got a dozen jars of fruit butter (not a problem – I won’t be making more until August/September, so that’s fine), a variety of chutneys, and a small heap of things like Ground Cherry Curd… as well as, this year, a heap of frozen fruit.
I spend months avoiding using my frozen berries, because I was, well, I was essentially hoarding them. I didn’t want to run out. But now I’m looking at July – which is not that far away, and hoping for another glut of serviceberries, and I’m trying to find ways of using up All The Fruit.
So, the other night, I stewed some of my frozen cherries with a little sugar (and a little, totally unnecessary, water) and threw together some sweet tea biscuits, and between the two of them and some plain yoghurt, make a pretty kick-ass simple dessert, if I do say so myself.
Above are the cherries – not even close to all of them, I’ve still got a bunch in the freezer – stewing in their syrup. Tastes like candy. Seriously. O.O
And this is the finished product. The tea biscuits are based off the “Stratford Hall Biscuits” recipe in Laurel’s Kitchen, though I tweaked it a little and sweetened it up just a bit. I’m calling this one “Cherry Triflesque”, but it could just as easily be one of Nigella Lawson’s “deconstructed trifles”, if I wanted to get fancy.
So there you have it. It being Friday, and therefore it being Fabulous Friday Dinner tonight (which is not *that* fabulous, but will be very tasty), I think I will whip up something similar using serviceberry jam and ground cherry curd, and we’ll just see how things go. :-)
Meliad the Birch Maiden.
 One of them is topped up with lard, fyi. I’ve got a tonne of the stuff – or, well, about 12 cups, I suppose is more accurate – lying around, half in the freezer and half in the fridge, and I’ve started using it for cooking in lieu of butter (for main course stuff – it’s not rendered gently enough to not taste like pork, and that was the idea), but it’s also slated to become much-less-expensive-than-beeswax candle fuel and, to that end, I’ve (finally) started topping up my altar candles with other forms of fat. You know how that goes – you burn your tealight, and it extinguishes itself in some weird way, leaving half the wick-tab exposed, but also a heap of unburned wax around the edges? I’m using lard as a bit of a stop gap to feed the flame (and, thus, conserve the wick), while the remaining beeswax heats up enough to feed it the rest of the way. We’ll see how it works. ;-)
 Which is now. It’s early March, and we’re still technically in “late winter” by local standards. But the sun is actually warm, and the wind isn’t quite so bitter, and it was (briefly) above freezing today. I was wondering what to name this lunar cycle, since “sugar moon” seems like a distant dream, and I’m thinking “thawing moon” might be just about apt. We’ll see what the weather does, and I’ll let you know.
 Note to Self: This year? Double the ammount that you freeze, and make half as much jam. Seriously. Maybe less.