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Drizzled over soft cheese = Divine
I love late spring so much.  Strawberries, rhubarb, preserving... oh my!

Okay, that was cheesy, but seriously - I'm a little ecstatic that it's finally time to start preserving.  We had surprise strawberries at the farm (120 pints of 'em), and I harvested rhubarb for the first time!

My first act of fruit-in-jar goodness?  You guessed it:

Strawberry rhubarb preserves.  It's a classic.  And I've never done it before!  It's more chunky than a jam, and positively oozes with delicious sauce.


 
 
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These pickled radishes are good.  I mean, I expected them to be good, but I didn't expect them to be this good!

Thanks to my weekly farm haul, I had a bunch of Easter Egg radishes in dire need of consumption. 
Raw radishes are too much for me to eat in bulk, so I decided to give pickled radishes a shot before they all withered into magenta-colored shrunken heads.

It was a great choice on my part, for sure.  Pickled radishes are the kind of salty snack I'm likely to go for in moments of boredom & salt munchies. 

Plus, they're so darn purty...


 
 
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It's hardly a secret - I love cheese.

My all-time favorite is extra sharp cheddar, but any cheese is worth my time!  After making yogurt last week, I had about a quart of milk left over.  So I made some cheese!

Farmer cheese, and its cousin paneer, is by far the simplest cheese to make - you don't need rennet, it doesn't need to age, and there are only two ingredients. 

Got milk?  Got vinegar?  Great - let's make cheese!


 
 
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My roommates are comedians.
Yogurt is incredibly easy to make.  There's really no reason to buy yogurt in those plastic cartons - especially when you have a source of free milk! 

I know most folks aren't as lucky as I am in the free-milk arena, but free milk happens

First, Morgan worked at a local community organization which had a surplus of free food - much of this food came to me, including gallons of milk! 

Lately, my roommates have been in and out of town, leaving me with soon-to-expire milk. 

My thoughts on this?  1.  Excellent.  2.  Yogurt!  3.  Most excellent.

And the best part is, you can make yogurt too!


 
 
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photo via: Food.com - my process wasn't quite that pretty
_My first homemaking project was pickling - dilly beans, or pickled green beans. 

I had a summer CSA share and got pounds of green beans at a time.  I don't particularly like green beans fresh, but I found that pickling transformed the excess into a tasty snack.  This was back in September, but I still have a jar left (talk about self-restraint!)

I used a recipe from Back to Basics, and took over half my communal kitchen for the pickling/canning process.  My roommates weren't too happy (I picked a potluck night for my experiment), but it was worth it.

The process seemed complicated at first, but it's actually pretty simple, and you can do this with any kind of veggie you like.

Short Version, for the simply curious
  1. Wash beans & jar. 
  2. Pack beans and spices in the jar.
  3. Boil a vinegar/water mix with salt.  
  4. Pour hot vinegar mix over beans, and close the jar.
  5. Submerge jar under water and boil for a while. 
  6. Remove jar from water bath & wait for it to cool.
  7. Note the satisfactory lid suction when it's fully cooled, and then store it away!
* steps 5-7 aren't really necessary if you're going to eat the beans right away (i.e. within a month)

So, it's slightly more detail-specific than that, so here's the real recipe, for those who want to do it themselves.


 

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