Monday, January 9, 2012

Breakfast of Champions

Several years ago, when Joe and I both had great jobs and we weren't penny pinching so much, we bought several of the best small appliances a kitchen could need.  We picked up a full-sized Cuisinart, a very rugged blender, and an electric citrus juicer, among other necessary kitchen items.  Today we still have the blender, having replaced a few parts over the years, but all the other items went out in the trash with broken motors.  Last year at my mom's church yard sale, we picked up an old-school citrus juicer-- you know, the kind you just stick half an orange on and smush into a small cup underneath.  Yesterday morning we made fresh orange juice and ate fresh wood-fired oven bread (thank you Robin, of Wildflour Breads), spread with fresh peanut butter I whipped up in our cheap no-name-brand food processor.  Talk about the highlight of our weekend.  The kids loved it, and now I'm thinking of saving up for a real peanut butter  processor.  I mean really-- jam and peanut butter.  Why didn't I think of this sooner?


Friday, January 6, 2012

The New Kitchen

I have no excuses for not writing, other than that I really have been making a ridiculously humungous amount of jam and pickles for holiday orders.  Oh, and the guys have been building our new kitchen in the basement.  Seriously, I have a kitchen now just for making jam and pickles, and for whatever else I might choose to cook or bake in small or big amounts.  Just yesterday I made a batch of strawberry jam, using the same old-school recipe I've always used-- oh but 8 times the called for ingredient measurements -- and poured out just about 60 jars of the sweet stuff.  SIX.  ZERO.  This might not be a big deal to our local jam gurus Stonewall Kitchens, but to me it is an amazing feat.  Normally a batch of jam produces five to seven half-pint jars.  Now I can make bigger batches, and I do not have to forfeit any quality in doing so.  And if being super-psyched about the kitchen wasn't enough, I made Joe (well, he did it willingly really) set up a television in the kitchen so I can peruse my Netflix options while cooking.  He is certain that once I'm officially using the place commercially, I'll set up a cot in there and will never be seen again.  I've told him that I will likely have to come upstairs to use the bathroom once in a while, so no worries.

Here's a glimpse.

You only get one before photo, and you don't get any of what is the horrifying reality that is the rest of our basement.
And After.  
And the equipment.  12 gallon steam kettle.  Gas range.
What more does a girl need?

Don't judge.  I'm getting organized.