Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Adventures in preservation - prepping for the zombie apocalypse

So, I haven't posted in over a month, but I have been cooking, farmer's marketing, and canning. Lots to update, lots of pictures to post, but still too much summer to enjoy to want to spend my time typing things up here. And I'm so busy researching canning recipes that I spend more time reading than writing. Also, I was (extremely belatedly) forced to watch 24, and that addiction has been taking up a lot of my time lately. There have been lots of trips to the island (including some at night)

ferry rides back:

picnic lunches, including a recent obsession with muffaletta sandwiches (that one was the first I made, and it was 2.5 pounds!) :

some dinner parties with pizza and a peach blackberry cobbler, a la dash and bella (surprise, surprise)

Nights out dancing to Nima Gorji until 5am.

And most recently, a trip to Prince Edward County for a campout/pig roast/wine party at Norman Hardie's amazing winery. Norm is such an interesting, hospitable, talented guy! And his wines (the Pinot Noir especially) are some of my favourites from Ontario.

We also stopped in at a couple other wineries before heading to Norm's. Closson Chase was quite lovely, with outdoor seating in the garden to enjoy tasting their wines. It was a gorgeous day! I took more than a few pictures and we sat and enjoyed a few of their Chardonnays and a couple of Pinots. I normally am not *big* on Chard, unless it is the steely, minerally, unoaked versions, but I have in the past couple of years tried not to say "I don't really like 'insert vegetable/ingredient/wine style'" and to recognize that my palate is constantly evolving and wanting to be challenged. So...there's something about the Closson Chase CCV Chardonnay that is sticking with me. I can almost still taste its complexity and distinct character.

Once at Norm's we set up our tent, took a tour (there's speck drying in the cellar!!!! and heirloom seeds for sale upstairs!!!), then settled in for some wine, a sunset and pizza from the outdoor wood oven.

It was a collection of people from the restaurant industry, and everyone brought one bottle of wine, for anyone to try. I tried a LOT. But my pictures (and note-taking) pretty much stop there! There was a phenomenal sunset I snapped though.

On our way out, Norm told us to take some of his heirloom tomatoes, so I filled up a bag, and preserved them whole today.

I also canned roasted tomato and dried chile salsa (with St Lawrence Farmers Market tomatoes), a couple jars of pickled beets, one quick jar of pickled red onions with the leftover beet brine, and my FIRST attempt at fermentation with a mixture of chiles also from St Lawrence farmers market. Maybe I'll get into details about these later...for now, the roasted tomato salsa is from Doris and Jilly cook and the fermented chiles are based on Grow and Resist's recipe, with lots of online research as well. Both sites were found via Tigress's website, from her 2010 can-jam round ups.

Oh, and that zombie apocalypse thing...Just a dream I had last night, probably too much 24 watching!

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