Tag Archives: cooking

So Many Apples

Between two houses with multiple apple trees we are inundated with apples! So that meant while I was baking this morning, everyone assumed it was because of too many apples and not the stress of my school term ending and a major final on Wednesday, a paper on Tuesday and all the last minute chaos. This gave me a break from people worrying that I’ve been pushing myself too hard.

(I can’t be pushing too hard, there’s so much left to do!)

So, I made apple crisp. I might pick out some of the nice apples this weekend and set them aside for Idunn in thanks. Pretty sure she would support the idea of apple crisp for dinner.

Tomorrow will be officially one month since I started this blog, and like the Slytherin I am, I have plots for the tiny milestone. (Hey, every milestone counts, right?) Hopefully they’ll work out and I can share something neat with all of you.



School Dinner & Problems With Pecans

Meet my dinner for school tonight: spinach salad greens with celery, carrots and baby tomatoes.


In other news our freakish pecan trees that my great-grandmother planted circa 1940s are dropping green pods if you so much as look at them crossways. We have been told multiple times that these trees should not be thriving in our zone. We even had a tree expert stop and ask us what we did for them to thrive here.

…Uh…we’re nice to the aelfar?

Honestly, we never touched them for anything. This year however, I’ve decided to harvest them rather than buying pecans for holiday goodies. The question is so I stain my hands opening the pods or do I wait for the actual nuts to fall and fight squirrels?

Lesson? Be nice to your land and such, maybe you’ll be amazed in a few decades.

If I’m At the Stove, It Doesn’t Mean I’m Chained There.


The tomatoes continue to be in fine form, and because of this, I ended up getting maligned as “anti-feminist” by a schoolmate, as I was asking someone if they wanted any extras. Apparently things like gardening and cooking and knowing how to make your own pickles rather than paying crazy prices at a store makes me “anti-feminist.” Yeah, no. Trust me, I know anti-feminists. Circa 2005, I was the only one in a class of thirty-two who said they would vote for a woman. Of those people, seven, seven females, in that class, said that they didn’t believe that women should have the ability to vote, that’s anti-feminism. 

When I left college for health reasons, with my credits so mucked up I had no idea how to start fixing them, a friend’s mother cheerfully told me that the only reason for girl’s to go to college was to “catch” a husband. That’s anti-feminism. (For all the amusement I had imagining an engineering student comping up with a Mouse-Trap style contraption to catch a husband.)

The fact that I am learning how to feed myself and my kin without running to The Dark Lord WaldeMart every other day? That’s not anti-feminism. The fact that I can take in my scrubs and therefore not have to pay for new ones every time I go down two sizes? That’s not anti-feminism. The fact that I am slowly conquering my fear of chickens so I can know how the animals that lay my eggs are treated and what they eat? That’s not anti-feminism. The fact that I am in training for a stereotypical feminine job? That has nothing to do with feminism, that has to do with 1) What I’ll be good at and 2) what I have a good chance of getting employment with when I finish. Heck, I wanted to be a marine when I was thirteen. You know what stopped me? Not the fact that I am a girl, but instead the fact that I am disabled and wouldn’t make it past the physical. 

I fully believe in equal rights between the sexes. I also did ballet and tee-ball when I was a kid. The fact that I happen to bake pies and can pears doesn’t mean I’m training to be a submissive little housewife. Furthermore, if I was (pretending for a minute that I’m anything resembling submissive) then that would be my choice. If I want to rock out to Wolfchant or Flogging Molly while I make blackberry jelly it doesn’t make me any less a feminist than the twentysomethig studying Women’s Studies at Bryn Mawr. The whole point of early feminism was to give women a choice, and to let them do what they wanted to do, whether it was run for president or be in the boardroom. That doesn’t mean “push all the women out of the kitchen,” it means let the women do what they want. I want to make yummy food, play in the dirt, have some animals, do some sewing, and do something for the environment.

And if you still want to argue that I’m “oppressing” myself, I have lots of sharp pointy things. I like sharp pointy things, and I can probably use them better than you.

From Tomatoes To Sauce

I’ve been neglecting this blog for awhile, which I need to remedy. Unfortunately, it’s very busy for me now with the end of my school term looming, after which I get a little break. So I’m going to be cramming as much into the break as possible. However, that’s no excuse for not posting so today I bring you homemade tomato sauce.

Now, let’s be honest here: I didn’t get on the gardening bandwagon early enough for these to be my tomatoes, but it still counts. They still came out of a garden, albeit my grandmother’s garden. This being my grandmother, though, she has no idea what kind of tomatoes they are. one kind she calls “Big Meaty” and the other ones are “Stripey Heart-Shaped.” This is because she saves seeds every year and doesn’t buy them.

So, step one: Pot full of tomatoes.



Pot full of tomatoes get peeled, roughly seeded and quartered. Now, there are lots of tricks to peeling tomatoes. We just have them resting in hot water and go to it with a knife. Feel free to use whatever trick you want if you try this. 

Step two: Seasoning.



Further proof that this recipe comes from my grandmother via my great-grandmother: a complete lack of measurements. Also, she likes things sweet, feel free to add whatever you like. Personally, if I can manage to do this not under her watchful eye, I’d be throwing oregano and basil in there. However, this version is as follows. Two handfuls brown sugar, about a half teaspoon of salt, a sprinkling of pepper and about that much dried onion. So, you know, experiment. 


Step three, place lid on, and cook on lo heat for anywhere from an hour to three, or until the result looks like this:



At this point, you can spread it over toast like my aunt, use it on top of a supper shortcake, or in lieu of ketchup, or pizza sauce if you want. It’s pretty versatile. We freeze it as well, because it’s full of tomato goodness without taking up as much room in the freezer as frozen tomatoes. 

By All Ap-pear-ances

Today, Grandmother and I started the process of canning the pears from our trees. We used open kettle canning, which I literally just found out isn’t recommended by anyone except people who have done it for decades. Oops. This may sound silly, but no one in our family’s ever had stomach issues after eating pears. (I’m the only one whose had stomach issues in ten years, and I hate pears.) 

My hatred for pears aside, it was a good day. It’s probably going to take all week to get all of them done, as we work bucket by bucket. 



Grandmother is also a lot faster than me at peeling pears. She says I’ll improve and I hope so. I’d like to take over eventually, even if just for my own place. (Control of my grandmother’s kitchen will be wrested from her on pain of death.)

I think part of my problem with the speed was I kept grabbing the “nice” looking pears out of the bucket, but when I cut them open, there were knots and spots that needed to be cut out. What’s true for books is also true for pears: don’t judge a book by it’s cover. 

Altogether, we did 11 quart, neatly packed into 24 ounce jars that once contained store-bought peaches. Somehow, I really like that, being able to use something most people would just toss out. They sterilize just as well as Mason jars. Even with the eleven done, it doesn’t seem like we’ve made a dent in the pears. 


We found out the other night that my cousin passed away. He was in the Air Force in Japan and was in a car accident. I was feeling sort of numb, as I hadn’t seen him in years, so, as usual, I turned to cooking. (When it rains, it pours.)

One girl in my class had never had a whoopie pie. Growing up in Amish country, this seemed to be something that must be fixed. So, I made whoopie pies. So far one teacher has credited one with saving her life on her hour-long drive home. The sad thing? The girl who had never had one didn’t show up today.

Ah well.


Pizza and Fighting My Own Battles

I’ve had a couple hard days, between side effects from meds on top of girl issues, relationship woes, and migraines. So, today I decided to treat myself with homemade pizza. As I was pounding my frustration out on the dough, I thought about an issue I’d been having in my relationship.


Namely, the idea of my SO attempting to “defend” me.  Now, in most of my life, I’m a stereotypical Frigeswoman. I enjoy domestics and find spinning the only way I can get myself in a meditative state. I love children and working with them, and enjoy peace around me, despite being quite sneaky.

However, I’ve been fighting my whole life, and it’s made me a stronger person. I’ve fought against my own body, against bullies, against anyone who pushes me. When it comes to my battles, I want to fight them. I don’t want to be on a pedestal, I want to be on the ground, fighting back. I don’t want to someone to avenge me.  That takes away part of me and my chances to change for the better. I suppose it’s the viking and the Scot in me, the Sága and Scáthach, refusing to be undermined.

While I don’t know what it means for my relationship, I do know it ended up making some pretty good pizza.