Sunday, December 31, 2017

What I'm Up To...

I have done away with the past 10 years or so worth of ramblings on the food and culture of Upstate New York. What do we get instead? A vanity weblog. I really only miss the diary function of my posts. I like to look back and see what I was up to.

So, here are some things I am up to on this frigid New Years Eve-day...

I'm very excited that many of the cuttings I took some months ago have taken root and are otherwise showing life. Here is a Chicago fig. This variety supposedly can survive our frigid winters, but I'm not so sure... I have one in a large container that I've wheeled into the shed. We shall see.

Here is a gooseberry. I've a couple gooseberries in the garden that I've been wrestling with for a couple years now. What a nasty, unruly, thorny sort of bush. I've not yet had much fruit from them, but have hopes for the coming season.

Here is a currant. I can't remember if it's red or black... I've got 6 nice big red currants (and 1 little black currant) along my fence. One of the few bushes the deer leave alone by the way. Last year was the first time I've had enough fruit to bother with. Hoping to do a jelly or a currant wine this coming year.

Besides the above, I've elderberry, hops, logan berry, and numerous other twigs and roots going that I have not labeled and have completely forgotten what they are... I have a disorganized mind.

I've got a nice half-ham curing in a bucket.

I hoped to smoke it this weekend but it is miserable cold out... Not sure what I'm going to do. Might just have to do a boiled sort of ham. The best laid ham-plans aft gang agley.

I've got a couple cheese wheels aging. This one is a Monterey Jack that I dried a little than vac-sealed. It's aging in my chilly basement for a month or two.

I'm honing my cheese skills as I've obtained a full sized fridge that I'm going to mod out into a cheese cave. Only problem is I've no idea how I'm going to get it from the garage to the basement... I will probably have to hire a moving company to get the damn thing through the Bilco doors and down the stairs.

I've got this "fruit cake" aging in a tin. It is a pecan/hazlenut/walnut/almond cake with a ton of chopped dates. None of the fluorescent candied fruits, I'm going for rustic. I've soaked in some apple brandy and wrapped in a brandy soaked cheese cloth. Going to try to age it until next year.

Think that is about it.

It is helpful to me to have somewhere to jot down the details of the various projects/experiments I am always up to. I often forget what I've done after I've done things. I made this one cheese a while back using my own recipe and it came out very good. But now I've forgotten the recipe... So I'm going to put that sort of thing here.
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