at least 70% sugar by volume in our apple syrup, infused with 1:5 fresh wild mint, over double boiler for about two days. result = mintified apple syrup. now what?
we’ll be celebrating with an almost all home-grown (our blueberries aren’t ready yet, these are store bought) & foraged berry sourdough pandowdy. salmon berries, sweet & sour cherries, black raspberries, & strawberries from our little plot ‘o land. this time I macerated the fruit with a little sugar & cointreau. yumm.
everyone raves about duck. whole duck. we usually portion our birds, but I thought, “eh, what the heck”. the beer braised muscovy recipe on this site (scroll down or ctrl + F once you’re there to find it) intrigued me … we have a “smoky” beer that we brewed (a little heavy handed on the carmelization of the malt, heh, heh) which worked out deliciously. I got a little carried away with the dried fruit, so it was a bit overpoweringly sweet.
but I’d still rather portion our birds. look at all the goodies we get out of duck day vs. whole ducks that each result in a meal or two for a family.
- Roast Duck Recipe (kissmyingredients.com)
- Confit de Canard aux lentilles de Puy (dinnerwiththesmiths.wordpress.com)
- Duck Confit with Spicy Pickled Raisins (thebittenword.com)
- Recipe: Chinese Ginger Duck (ignoringsoundadvice.wordpress.com)
- Roasted Duck Fat Potatoes (thedomesticman.com)
- if it looks like a duck prosciutto… (classicmarineiguana.wordpress.com)
and we’ve now got a fresh crop of stinging nettles off the plants I’d harvested in spring (again, who knew?), along with cabbages sitting awaiting harvest in the garden… another batch to make!
- How the Herbal Nettles Can Help You Cure Intestinal Weakness, Diarrhea, and Malnutrition (completeherbalguide.com)
- Wild Green Recipes: Stinging Nettle Pizza (sierraclub.typepad.com)
- Nettle Eating (misterdavid.typepad.com)
- Meet the wild veg forager: ‘I’m a hunter, except I track down plants not animals’ | Meet the producer (theguardian.com)
we’ve been blessed by an embarrassment of riches this summer: free ducks, free Berkshire boars, all for the taking, we just have to do the work. well, yup, lots of work. last Saturday & this Saturday are “boar days”. last week’s boy was over 700 lbs. wow. and we’re happy to share: a number of friends have participated & received meat, or have shared dinners with us. why not? what on earth are we going to do with (possibly) 2000 lbs of pig?
it’s duck day again on Tuesday. so hard. we really enjoy having our ducks around (who wouldn’t? look at them!).
it’s a full day for two of us to go from duck “on the hoof” into the freezer, parcelled & packaged. we just did 12 (boys & girls) last Tuesday. what did we get for that work?
- 12 packages of breast meat, skin on
- 3-4 packages of leg & thigh meat, skin on (the size of the legs will affect how many per package); sometimes that gets turned into sausage
- “discard” skin off the neck, back & tail (gland removed): rendered down into beautiful golden duck fat (a little over 2 lbs from the 12 ducks last week)
- one meal of duck gizzard goulash (using hearts & trimmed crops)
- about 2 lbs of simple duck paté, using the livers and about 6 oz of duck fat (plus 6 oz butter)
- stock (using the bones, whole skin-on wings, and peeled feet) – usually about 16 – 20 quarts altogether
pretty good feed for one solid day’s work (plus, of course, the season’s worth of feeding & raising the ducks!). besides that, we give the cooked guts & heads, and leftovers from the stock & fat rendering to the pigs, which they adore (“more, please?”).
this year our purple tomatillos are actually ripening to purple! and our jaltomatos are spectacular: many are small marble sized, and delicious (well, K & I think so). we’ve had enough that we’ve eaten tonnes fresh, and we’ve even dehydrated some as raisins for winter snacks. don’t bother staking: like tomatillos, they prefer to sprawl, and do much better that way, but give ’em lots of room! purple is K’s favourite colour, so getting to chow down on these babies right out of the garden as purple fruit is very exciting for her.
going to be preserves that I’ll lacto-ferment. contains purple tomatillos, jaltomatos, Italian prune plums, wild evergreen huckleberries, all of which are from our property, and a couple of clementines (which, of course, are not). added some ground cardamom and freshly grated nutmeg & ginger. once thickened, will add honey, reduce a bit more, then cool. will follow GNOWFLGINS fermentation eCourse (here’s basically the recipe I’ll be following)
- Ferment Fervor (gingersbeet.wordpress.com)
- I’ll Take Sensible (benhewitt.net)
- Eat Better ‘Food Bytes’ GOOD &Good For YOU Fermented Veggies (healthunlimitedbiz.wordpress.com)