Friday, September 17, 2010

Busy Busy

Note to self: never buy 40 lbs of food that must be dealt with immediately (or almost immediately) when working 6:00 am start times. Coming home after an 8 hour shift when you're exhausted and having to cook for 2 or 3 hours each day is draining.

First off, it screws up your math skills. For some reason I had convinced myself that I had bought 5 lbs of lean ground beef. When I was carrying it through the store it seemed heavier than that. When I was portioning and wrapping it the blobs seemed bigger than usual. But no, it took me until yesterday (coincidentally my first day off after working 6 in a row) that when beef costs $1.99/lb and you pay $20 that in fact you get 10 lbs of meat, not 5 lbs. No worries though, I can always chop a hunk in half while frozen, but my large batches of chili take 2 lbs as does a meatloaf (which I'm making tonight along with a zucchini potato casserole)

The 10 lb tube of ground beef I bought

In addition to that I had 10 lbs of zucchini that I had received from a coworker in exchange for some jam. Well I insisted on the jam, she was just offering up zucchini. I have zucchini growing in my garden, but I bought and planted the seeds late so while we have enough to eat as a vegetable (though did you know that technically it's a fruit) I didn't have enough to bake with, and I've been dreaming about carrot zucchini muffins and chocolate zucchini loaf since I planted the seeds. We've since eaten one loaf and 8 muffins and I froze the second loaf and 4 muffins. I totally forgot to take pictures of that production however I'll now entertain you with a shot of one of the zucchini along with the jalapenos (pre-pickling) and peaches (pre-canning)

Large Zucchini, Jalapeno Peppers, Peaches

The zucchini in the above picture was grated and I froze two packed 2 cup portions for future baking and will be using the remainder for my casserole tonight. The peaches were canned in a light syrup and I've got about 8 servings for later in the winter (first time trying to can peaches - didn't want to go overboard). The peppers were either sliced into rings or diced and pickled and canned along with the serrano peppers from my garden. I have two half pints of jalapeno slices, 1 of diced jalapenos, 2 of a diced jalapeno/sliced serrano blend, and one 1/2 cup jar or sliced serranos.

I had also bought peas (shelled, blanched, and frozen), green beans (I have enough for one meal in my yard - god this has been the shittiest summer for vegetable growing) and while I blanched and froze the bulk I used the brine from the peppers to jar 2 half pints of dilly beans (dill from the one plant that survived summer of fail) and a bunch of green Roma tomatoes at $.99/lb. I'm ripening them in shoe boxes with bananas (speeds the process) and will quarter and jar those next week. Tomatoes ripened off the vine are nowhere near as good as on the vine of course, but with my plants producing enough for one jar at the moment, beggars couldn't be choosers (and the green tomatoes fit my budget.

Tomato + banana (close box) = ripe and decent 10ish days later

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