I honor of this day I want to remind you of my post on butter AND honey! I love “Angel’s Baklava” recipe. It is easy, fun and delicious. It’s a quiet thoughtful recipe, it takes time. But if you take this to any party or offer it as part of your Christmas cookie boxes, expect calls for more- and the recipe.
We are settling in nicely here. The process of tearing up and cleaning up continued through the summer. Packing, moving and unpacking feels endless- but I see the end coming soon. I admit while it is overwhelming at times I am quite happy with everything finding it’s new place here. I have also had some new experiences:
I’ve been gardening this fall, it’s been months since I have purchased a clamshell of baby greens!
The landscape is quite different…
And the kitchen is amazing! I’ve had a couple small gatherings with friends and tried a few new recipes.
There’s so much more to tell you, but for now… there’s bread to make!
I keep telling myself I don’t live “out in the middle of nowhere,” but I really do. It’s well over an hour to the closest Whole Foods Market, and at least 30 minutes to the closest grocery store. My dear friend in Nashville who once lived an hour away from “town” cautioned, “don’t forget the wine, and buy more than you think you need.” These country roads do not allow for a quick “beer run.” She speaks the truth, the only street light within miles of here is the one I had installed by my driveway. This place is dark.
The other side of the silence and the beauty of that darkness is connection with self.
We sold the yoga studio and Houston had become too much (too busy, too built-up, too loud, too dangerous) I just didn’t want to go back there. We considered the Texas Hill Country, but nothing really worked out like it needed to. I was born and had my early childhood in Tennessee, I have dear friends here, so we came here. And it is pretty amazing right now. (winter will be an adventure, I’ve not lived with snow “for real”)
We are not all here yet, but soon we will be. There’s a new kitchen, new local ingredient sources and a new attitude! You’ll see it all here, as I have a blast making it happen in the country.
In a couple weeks I will tell you more. For now, we remodel and bring all the dogs from Texas. I can not wait for George to see the fetch possibilities our new home presents!
And I can not wait to cook! See you soon!
I rendered lard a few days ago. It was my first try and it was easy. Not fast, but easy. It must be done slowly as not to brown the pork fat until the very end when all the fat has been melted out. It is recommended the process take place in a low crock pot. But you can’t really turn it on and leave it. You need to hover and stir. As the fat melts out you also need to ladle the lard out of the crock to cool while the fat continues to “render.” It is a simmering thing. If you have patience and go slowly you will get beautiful odorless lard that is white as snow.
I used this amazing pastured, organic, non-GMO happy as a pig- pork fat. Tendergrass farms is an amazing company. They’re not paying for this post, I bought this fat from them. I understand they have some amazing bacon too. I have not tried it, but I know the customer service over there is professional, kind and accommodating. I read several articles on the web about rendering lard, the one I went back to again and again was here.
I froze my lard in these plastic containers. when I need some I can chip it off and put the remainder in a Ziploc bag. Lard is very slippery, freezing in small sizes is a good idea, but freezing into a sheet and then cutting it into small sizes is not easy. Or clean. Or worth the trouble. I think these sizes will do just fine! This lard rendering is all about making tamales. I can not wait to mix masa with this!
All summer when I grill (or steam) corn on the cob I save the cobs after cutting off the kernels for serving. Once I have a dozen or so in the freezer, I like to make corn stock. This stock is a delicious vegetarian option for cooking liquid. With the addition of filtered water, a parmesan rind, a few black peppercorns, salt and a few parsley stems it transforms what you might normally throw in the trash into golden deliciousness. I simmer them for about 45 minutes, taste for flavor and let it go a bit longer if I want more “corny-ness.” The cobs are sturdy, and there’s plenty of flavor available from them, so they can take the heat for a while. Strain the stock and cool it. Freeze it in ziplock bags stacked laying flat on a cookie sheet. I like to freeze different sizes of containers so I can use only what I need- without waste. I can’t wait to make polenta with this corn stock!! YUMMM!
p.s. you could easily leave out the parm rind and have a vegan-friendly stock!!