Monday, September 19, 2011

Jar Swap, 2011

Our house was full of excitement last night as the 15 of us examined each other's jarred bounties.  I can't  specify the highlights for me this year, as everything turned out to be so incredibly awesome!  I'll have to report back on the jarred grape juice, as that needs to sit for a couple more weeks.  However, you can be certain I'll be critical, as I enjoy giving my cousin Keith a very hard time.  Here's what we ended up with:

A table full of incredible stuff:

A few photos of individual things... I couldn't get shots of everything with the chaos of babies, kids, and adults all surrounding the table.

Keith and Ange brought this super-cool looking grape juice in jars.  Can't wait to try it!

Laurie's salsa.  It goes without saying that this stuff is hot!  And yummy of course.

Can't get any better than raw honey.  And I'm pretty sure Sarah wins the award for presentation.

Matt's beet-pickled eggs.  A well-executed adventure for my brother.

Sarah's red tomato piccalilli.  No cukes in this fall favorite.

This funky sauce goes awesome on grilled chicken and is chunky enough to eat with chips.  
Thanks to Holly, I made out with an extra jar! 

Here's a family favorite and my favorite item from the night.  I swear it's not because my Mom made it!

Peach Raspberry Jam made by an incredibly talented jamasseur.  Oh, it's mine!
I definitely feel humbled by all the effort that went into everyone's creations.

Other jarfections not shown here included Aunt Judy's Adirondack pickles, Erin's Caramel Apple Jam, Trish's Chocolate Raspberry Jam, Shellene's Pasta Sauce, Amy's Apple Sauce (last year's favorite), Aunt Carol's Caramel Popcorn, and Jady's Piccalilli.  Jady was new to the swap this year, and I am SO GLAD she participated.  It's always a nice treat to have newbees, and this woman can cook!  I can't wait to try everything!  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Vanity Plates

Something needs to be pretty personally amazing to specialize your license plate with it, don't you think?  The other day I saw a LADYGA plate, and a young guy was driving the little car.  Was it his car, Mom's car, the girl-friend's car?  Here are a couple others I've seen lately, and ones I personally prefer to Gaga.



Sunday, September 11, 2011

Keeping up with Kennebunk

If you haven't yet had the chance to check it out, the Kennebunk Farmers Market is an awesome place to find local food, eat breakfast (or lunch), and spend a Saturday morning.  It's kept me extremely busy this summer as well, as the locals and summer visitors just love jam and pickles (and other goodness too, of course)!  At the moment, I'm sealing hundreds of jars of preserves and pickles (OH THE PICKLES!) each month, and we're considering making plans to build a new kitchen set-up to meet the demand.  Here's a wee glimpse at what I've recently brought to market and the stands:  

Aside from the usual popular goodies including bread & butters, the berry jams, and anything with rhubarb, I've had a great time making batches of hot stuff.  Most recently I've cooked a ton of Cranberry Hinkle Hatz, named for the very hot pepper with the same name.  Thanks to Pam at Trailside Herbs for introducing these spicy gems to my garden.  Local cranberries, a few strawberries, and some sweet and hot peppers go along way spread over goat cheese in a little dish with fancy crackers.  Yum.