Archive for October, 2010

Apple Press

October 28, 2010

SANDPOINT, Idaho: All this magic happened a few weeks ago. There are two apple trees in the cabin’s front yard and there was an apple pressing pot luck up on Baldy Mountain Road. We picked about 20 gallons of apples with some new friends who live down the street and brought them up to the presses in the back of the truck. Step by step photographic documentation of the process by Theron Humphrey.

(well I took the first three…)

So you get the idea, put the apples in one end and squeeze until all the juice has come out. We got a gallon and half of liquid from two five gallon buckets of apples. This was the freshest cider I had ever tasted, but it spoils pretty quickly since there are no preservatives. I froze what we didn’t drink with in a week and plan to experiment with some fermentation this winter when the days are too short for anything else!


Hey Home Horticulture!

October 20, 2010

SANDPOINT, Idaho: I am super excited for this Garlic Growing Class tonight through the Bonner County Master Gardeners and University of Idaho! Finally something to look forward to! I will also be attending the Greenhouse & Cold frame class on the 27th! Of course I will posting all that I learn.

Bonner County Master Gardeners Events

The Plant Clinic looks pretty awesome too!


October 19, 2010


3lbs super ripe plums, pitted and cut to bite sized chunks

1 packet (3 oz.) no sugar needed pectin

1/2 cup cinnamon tea

1/4 cup real maple syrup (negotiable)

Bring plums and tea to a boil over medium high heat in a non-aluminum stockpot. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until fruit is soft.

Stir in syrup. Return heat to high and bring back to a rolling boil while constantly stirring. Add pectin and return to a boil while stirring. Continue to stir and boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Let rest for 1 minute, then skim off any foam.

Pour even amounts into sterilized jars, leaving 1/8-inch of space at the top. Wipe rims and seal with sterilized lids. Process in boiling water for 10  minutes. Remove, let cool, you will know they are sealed if the middle of the jar is compressed and wont pop down. You can always process again if it doesn’t work the first time. Store plum jam in a cool, dry place. It should keep for a year at least.

A Different Life

October 15, 2010

Something to aspire to:

Dumb for Plums

October 11, 2010

CHURCH STREET Sandpoint, Idaho: Four ripening plum trees awaited me in Sandpoint. I was overwhelmed at first by the quantity of fruit dropping and how fast I needed to collect it before it started to rot on the ground. I did an initial rake to get all the bad ones out of the way and wrap my head around exactly what I was going to do with all these PLUMS. For about a week I was harvesting 4 – 6 lbs a day, pitting and freezing them as soon as I could. I found through trial and error that the plums bruised when collected in bags, so I used egg cartons (left over from a large batch of pickled eggs.) To freeze, I halved and pitted and then laid the pieces out on a baking sheet – this way you don’t end up with one giant plum ice cube and the fruit will be more manageable once you want to do something with it all.

What did I do with it all? A bowl full of plums a day! After a few days in to it I discovered the yellow plums to be easier to pit and less fragile than the purples. I gave up on the purples all together by the end of the week because they were turning so fast.

My first plum processing endeavor was a plum desert bread – the same as banana bread but with plums, it was good but took a really long time to cook all the way through. I wasn’t sure if this was just because it was a new stove for me to get used to and at a new altitude, or if it had to do with the plums having different congealing properties than bananas.

Next was a deep dish plum pie. This used a lot of plums and was really really deliciuos for breakfast lunch and dinner for about a week. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream for best results. My two new roommates were very jealous, but I did not share.

At this point I am pretty sick of plums but managed to muster enough energy to successfully put up some plum preserves. Plum jam to be exact, images and how to coming soon…

Not Eating Out

October 7, 2010

SANDPOINT, Idaho: I have been meaning to post this link for a long time – see to the right. It is a really great resource whether you live in New York or not. I am making this for dinner tonight:


Using squash, tomato and garlic (skipping the onions) from the farmers market in my new little town and rye bread crumbs I made earlier this week from the ends of an old loaf of “New York Rye” bought fresh last week from Pine Street Bakery (no website! small town living!) which is a gem of a place right in town, within walking distance to my new house. Yes! I said HOUSE! Haven’t found a local cheese source yet, but loving it here so far.

Here’s how dinner came out: