Monday, September 19, 2011

Steady Now. We are so Urban!

posted by Melissa Baumgart
In the process of becoming cheese for lasagna.
We dined on homemade pinto beans and rice with salsa verde and tomato salsa, and a side of jicama red pepper salad.   Red sangria accompanied the meal.
It all commenced with a late night mozzarella cheese making session, that went on way too long.  (In preparation for the upcoming Sunday's Italian feast.)  Do I sense a trend in Urban Homesteading?  Very time-comsuming.

You may have heard about Saturday.  Wow!  It was an epic day of homesteading.

The best deal at the market, $2.00/lb
Amy and I woke early to head out to the U-District Farmer's Market.  It is my favorite in Seattle if you are looking for straight up produce and food, not arts and crafts.  We quickly realized that the event of canning, which we thought would take us 4 hours in total (including gathering ingredients from the market), would indeed take us a but longer.  Little did we know, one of us would be asleep by the time the cans came out of the water bath.

Local potatoes at the market.

A side trip to a lovely Ace Hardware in Maple Leaf came with the overwhelming realization that fall has come to Seattle.  The streets up north were lined with leaves that had fallen and as we drove, the leaves continued to fall on the car like rain.  The hardware store is a great place for canning supplies, I just wish we had a cute little place like that on Capitol Hill.

Onto the Farmer's Market where we purchased 30 pounds of tomatoes, local and possibly organic.  In all, after I bought the cans and my share of tomatoes, I spent $49.00 for the complete canning experience I was embarking on.  It seemed like a lot, and had me wishing I lived in New Jersey or somewhere else where tomatoes are plentiful this time of year.

Food mill + Tomatoes = yummy mess.
As we walked past Golden Glen Creamery's stand I couldn't help be inspired by the cheese curds.  It's been weeks since I have had poutine, and I have been craving it even more since the weather has cooled.  After tasting the curds and chatting with the lady about what cows they use, I bought into my poutine dream fully.  Next was to locate the perfect potatoes for the french fries.  I was sold on the Cal White's.

The orgasmic poutine.
To make a long story short: par-boiling 30 pounds of tomatoes, passing them through a food mill, pureeing the scraps and passing them through a food mill, trying to simmer the sauce down by half; this all can take quite a while.  It can take all day.  Now we know.  It is messy, it takes a long time, and if you add in making your won poutine from scratch...well, that is just the icing on the cake.

I could have ended everything after that poutine, and died a happy lady.  It was better than Smith's.  And the post-poutine coma lasted til morning.  Poor Amy had to finish the canning without me, because I passed out.  I was sad to miss that fun sound of the cans sealing.  Amy assured me it was anti-climatic, but I think if we had been there together, Snoop Dogg playing in the background, she would think otherwise.

Soccer and more soccer.  And then home by 5:30pm and fresh made, totally and completely from scratch lasagna and pesto fettuccine with green salad on the table by 8pm.

Yes, I par-boiled new tomatoes, passed them through the food mill and cooked them down to a sauce, again.  I also, finally, succeeded at making fresh pasta!

I made lasagna noodles and fettuccine!  I whipped up a basil pesto from the gardens out front.  The lasagna was like to other I had ever made.  The noodles were so thin, and the cheese (remember, we made the cheese Friday night) didn't totally melt and I didn't have the usual amount of ricotta since I was working with the leftover whey to get it.  But it was very, very satisfying.  And I can't wait to make pasta again.


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