Sunday, September 7, 2008

Putting Food By

I like all the colloquial terms for food preservation. "Putting food by", "putting up food", and those kinds of terms. And while I am far from being a canning/freezing kind of girl since I work so much, I was blessed to be gifted many tomatoes and cukes this year by the wonderful gardeners I work with :) Thank you Pam and Bob!!

(In a perfect world, I'd have my own garden, but that dream's on hold while I'm busy in the professional world. Usually August and May are when I'm missing that the most.)

So with masses of fresh tomatoes in hand, I decided it was time to make sauce. This pot of sauce simmered all day, with short ribs and chuck steak pieces flavoring it, whole stalks of fresh basil, onions, and cloves of garlic. Looks kinda gnarly while it cooks down, but don't worry, you strain out all the skin and seeds towards the end:

And you add some of these:

I was at the Italian Market yesterday and splurged a little on some imported fusilli pasta--
--this was a rockin' meal! (I had to continue cooking down the sauce, as it was somewhat thin. You can see that in the photo. But I ate it runny b/c I WAS STARVING by this time!!)

I'd never had fusilli before, nice and tooth-y, m-m-m!

I ran by the farmers market too; summer is about to end, so I thought I'd better buy one last dose of fresh corn. Yum, yum yummy sweet corn!

I bought some flax seed to add to the granola I made:

That turned out so yummy. I used the recipe from here as my base, only I didn't have coconut, so I added 1/2 cup flax seed meal, a couple tablespoons of white poppy seeds and white sesame seeds for crunch, and 1/2 cup of graham cracker crumbs (heh, I had a box of that in the pantry!) I also added a splash of vanilla vodka to the butter while it was melting, so the alcohol would evaporate and leave the flavoring. This stuff rocks!

I also bought some bocconcini; my absolute favorite salad this time of year is a Caprese salad. So that is on the menu this week. Simple foods, remember?

And the best find of all? Fresh fava beans. I wait on the edge of my seat for these every August! Look at that big beautiful pile of favas waiting to be shelled:

Look how huge these beans are!!!

And look at the lovely cushiony package they grow in! That's pretty posh :)

I make these the way that Madhur Jaffrey explains in "World Vegetarian",

you must shuck them,

boil them in salted water for up to 5 minutes, then peel each bean,

(peeled beans are on the left and the empty skins are on the right)

and then you can serve them after saute-ing in a garlic-lemon-thyme sauce made with an olive oil base. It's a finicky business, but well worth the effort! I look forward to this every year =)

Afterwards, I was so wiped! I had spent 5 hours in the kitchen, and didn't get around to making the cucumber pickles/salad I'd wanted to do...maybe today. Or, maybe that's all the cooking I'll do for a little while, heh!



Acornbud said...

Fava beans. I envy you all the wonderful fresh produce. Tomatoes are a challenge to grow in Hawaii.

hakucho said...

You certainly have been ambitious!
Those are the biggest fava beans I have ever seen...they're huge...enjoy :)

Knit with me! said...

I have never heard of fava beans
they look great!
A friend of mine at work has a garden and recently brought me zucchini, tomatoes and spaghetti squash...YUMMY!!
I hope to be ready to start my own garden next season.

Mary said...

Hi Aim!

Nice to meet you, although I haven't knitted since I was 18 when scarves were the rage :o) Here in Charlotte, no need to scarves or hats during any month of the year!

Cool beans. I'm a bean lover. And the sauce looks wonderful. I'm living with a true-blue Italian husband - the sauce is life, which we call "gravy". LOL!

I want to visit more here and meet your puppy. Gimme time...


hetty said...

Yummmm! You're making me hungry. Those beans look good, but the pasta with that delicious homemade sauce makes my mouth water!

Ravenhill said...

Oh, what delightful cooking you are doing. What a delicious looking pasta dish with the pretty shaped pasta and the wonderful homemade sauce!
~Emily in Norway

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Dear Aim
Thanks for passing by my blog.
I love this post titled ' putting food by' interesting pictires have you posted on this topic.

Tartelette said...

Found your blog through raining sheep and when I saw this post I instantel got hungry! I love fava beans! Well done!