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Monthly Archives: September 2013
You can tell it’s Fall, because I’ve started knitting again. Working on a hat (again – same yarn, maybe I’ll get it right this time) for my wife. I also made a shawl pin (yeah, yeah, I’m on pinterest now – hello, band-wagon, how are you?) using black ceramic beads and heavy-gage aluminum jewelry wire. The fibre arts they are a-calling me. There’s a slice of fresh-baked bread with butter on my Lady of the Hearth’s altar. I’ve changed out the wreath on my door – the lilacs and tulips have gone back on the shelf, and the autumn leaves are, well, blocking my peep-hole rather spectacularly. But they’re there! I have this week’s Fabulous Friday Dinner (featuring a malbec shiraz, baked-today bread, and a hearty beef stew) simmering in the slow-cooker. Tonight we’ll be dining by altar-light. I have preserves set aside for midwinter gifts (and, yes, more still to make). There’s a bottle of Sortilege in the wine cellar (this one is left over, intentionally, from our wedding reception, but we get in a couple of bottles every year for Midwinter).
I am, slowly but surely, developing traditions (and maybe Traditions?) of my own.
So I wrote this last weekend, but am only getting around to posting it now.
Better late than never.
Perhaps unsurprisingly – this being Autumn Equinox weekend – I’ve picked “Sustenance” for this week’s (late) PBP13 post. I’ve spent the past week canning – mostly successfully, but not always – and so have food, and food security, on the brain.
Sometimes I feel ridiculous about the amount of canning I do. Like someone is going to look at me like I have two heads if I – as a woman living in an urban area with a number of grocery stores to choose from – am open about this business of making sure my girl and I have food over the winter.
Well, if this isn’t a sign of Autumn, I don’t know what is.
I bought yarn today.
Two skeins of green (one “heather” and one veriagated with yellows and browns and similar) with-which – combined with various other greens of these ilks – I shall (finally) make my lovely wife a hat.
Good thing she’s out for the evening, yes? 😉
So I’m trying my hand at felted soap again.
I’m using a very well-cured bar of lemongrass-ginger soap (tallow-based, as it happens. I’ll use tallow, lard, and similar for home-use soaps, but not typically for soaps that I sell at craft shows. I find that it squicks people out a little bit) and have wrapped it in some of my roving – here I’m using silk-merino (the lighter peach/amber) and coridale (the darker orange/rust).
So this post is very late, and should have gone up last Thursday.
None the less, better late than never, so here we go.
I’m feeling better about calling this one “Apple Moon” since I’ve started processing the copeous ammounts of apples I brought home little over a week ago. I’ve got enough to make a pie (or two), plus a second round of apple butter, and an apple-cranberry chutney. And still give some uncooked ones away.
Honestly, I’ll probably have enough for more than one pie.
I hope so, anyway. 🙂
The Moon of Stocking Up, indeed. 🙂
Yes, friends, I am making two different versions of apple butter this year.
nince eight dozen apples. On top of the previous heap of apples I got from another friend.
This is, I hasten to point out, a feature not a bug.
Apple butter – like a lot of fruit butters (maybe even more-so than most) – works well in savoury dishes as well as sweet (e.g.: as a rub for a pork roast, as a binder for turkey stuffing, as a spread for grilled cheese sandwiches, or as an alternative to cranberry sauce on baked winter squash), so there are a LOT of options beyond “spread on toast” even before you start incorporating it into baked goods (coffee cakes lend themselves well to this, as do muffins, and – my favourite – pancakes, if you’re looking for an extra-velvety texture) in place of some/all of the sugar and some/all of the eggs.
Also, seriously? One does not turn one’s nose up at FREE organic, locally-grown produce. Seriously. O.O
So. Canapalooza 2013 continues! I’ve been stewing the saved skins, cores, seeds and juice from my various other tomato-canning projects in my slow-cooker for a couple of hours.
This morning they were approaching something thicker than water (YAY!) so I used the immersion blender on them, and then strained everything through a sieve. What I got was not nearly as thick as the sauce I made (rendered) on the stove last night, but was good enough to work with.
I combined last night’s three cups of thick sauce with this morning’s ~4 cups of thinner fare, and have them both heating on “low” in the slow cooker again.
So I have about seven cups of sauce to start with. Hurrah. (I admit, I’d been hoping for closer to 16 cups of sauce, which isn’t going to happen, but I’ll work with what I’ve got).
So here’s how my tomato sauce was done this year:
It’s always nice to start the New Year off with a clean, well-appointed home. In some traditions, this is not mere vanity or hygiene, but a spiritual necessity that must be done on New Year’s Eve to ensure that the home is clear and ready for the coming year. Today, I thought I’d look at a few of the magical methods for housecleaning, as well as some of the most common cleaning agents with a magical touch.
Sweeping & Vacuuming – It has to be done. There’s just no way of getting around it. The floors must be kept clean, at least within reason, and usually a broom or a vacuum is employed to that end. Workers in the conjure and hoodoo traditions tend to have specific techniques for sweeping, often going from the topmost floor of the house to the bottom and working from the back of each floor…
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Moving right along.
After the salsa, I made half-pint jars of crushed tomatoes in juice.
Why crushed? Because I using big, blousy late-season tomatoes rather than (except for one jar) compact, thick-walled romas. They don’t hold up very well when you scald them (or maybe I’m scalding them for too long – also possible) so I’m opting for “crushed” and just hacking up what I’ve got once it comes out of the scalding pot.
That’s also the reason I’m using tomato juice as a preserving liquid rather than, say, just plain boiling water. It looks better. (The bit where the flavour oomph is also upped a bit isn’t hurting but, yeah, it’s seriously for aesthetic reasons).