Picnicking Birds

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Tidbits

The Eskimo viburnum is very near it’s snowy peak and the redbud tree behind it is in full bloom.  My potted herb garden is filling out.  The thyme is weak, it is last year’s planting and I repotted it.  It was very much rootbound so I hacked off a chunk that was showing new green and discarded the remainder.This is the same picture that has been run through the Snapseed editing app on my android phone – the HDR is cranked to the max.Now this is some comfort food!  The pork steaks were browned and then baked in the same pan as the beans.  I cooked the sliced potatoes separately because I was wanting some crunch on them.  Cook them in a little oil and resist turning them to get that nice brown.  You want to use a low flame so the time between crispy brown and burnt black is maximized.I mentioned making up some sauerkraut the other day because I wasn’t a fan of the stuff Kroger sells in jars.  Just add salt to the shredded cabbage.  It helps to weigh the cabbage to get the optimum amount of salt to add.  Two percent is the target so for every 100 grams of cabbage you want 2 grams of salt.  A digital kitchen scale is very handy for this sort of calculation.  I started with 2 large heads of cabbage, each head was enough to fill one of these half gallon  mason jars, and I used roughly 2 tablespoons of kosher salt per jar.
I used a food processor to slice the cabbages and I weighed after shredding. Add the salt and toss in the bowl to get the juices flowing, the salt will draw out some water and this is the brine that you submerge the cabbage under in the jars. Give the salt some time to work, then toss again.  I use airlock types of lids and vents to keep the air out as it ferments.  A glass hockey puck looking thing weighs down the cabbage and keeps it submerged.  Not absolutely needed with the air locks but it keeps the jars looking neat. We used the last of those farmer’s market tomatoes along with sliced fresh mozzarella to make this salad up.  I added a bunch of dill and garlic to some yogurt and added a dollop to the bowl.More comfort food.  I’ve made these before and they are delicious.  Bake some sweet potatoes and load them up with stuff.  Oil and salt the skins and bake at 400° for about an hour.  The skins should easily peel right back.  Mash the insides with a fork and make a well in the center.We added cheese, smoked pork, sour cream mixed with a sweet bbq sauce, bacon, minced jalapenos, and green onions to this one.  Mrs J wanted muenster cheese, all we had was slices from the deli so we used an egg slicer to cut it into the thin strips that are visible hanging out on the left.  The heat from the potato is enough to make it melt into a gooey mess that is appropriate for the dish – the dish  is named  “Hot Mess”, after all. 😜