recipes in the works, and green beans

I’ve made a few things recently that I want to post, but I don’t want to post them until I’ve actually eaten them. I made maraschino cherries the other night. But they need to soak for two weeks, ideally. I might hold out to next week and then see how they taste. I also made dill pickles out of cucumbers from my own garden. But those also need two weeks. And just now I made some orange cream ice pops. But those will need to freeze over night. So hopefully soon I’ll have some new exciting recipes for you. In the mean time, green beans are in season. Here’s what I made with a few handfuls tonight for dinner.

Easy green beans
1. Put a pot of water on to boil with enough room to fit your green beans in.
2. While the water is heating up, rinse and cut the ends off your green beans. If you’ve got a newer cultivar (and if you don’t know, you likely do have a newer cultivar), you shouldn’t have to destring them. If you’ve got an older cultivar, you might need to destring them.
3. When the water is boiling, drop the green beans into the water and blanch for 6ish minutes. More or less depending on how cooked or crunchy you like your green beans.
4. While the green beans are cooking, chop up one to two cloves of garlic and a few sprigs of fresh dill. Mince them together.
5. When the beans are done, remove them either with a slotted spoon or use a colander.
6. In a bowl combine the hot beans, one to two tablespoons of butter, your garlic/dill mince, and a few shakes of salt. Mix well and serve.


500 Fruits update

I’m well past due for a fruit update. While I did get a few more fruits while I was in Costa Rica this year, and a few that I’d call slightly exotic, my list didn’t grow as much as I would have liked. All well. I’m now more than 1/5 done! Of the recently added fruits, mamonesare by far my favorite addition. Kids generally aren’t allowed to eat these as they do pose a chocking hazard, but boy are they tasty. The tamarind, not so much. Here’s the updated list, in alphabetical rather than numerical order.

39 Africot, Black Velvet
91 apple, ambrosia
82 apple, arkansas black
67 apple, cortland
64 apple, crab
92 apple, granny smith
81 apple, haralson
72 apple, honey crisp
80 apple, northern spy (2011)
65 apple, paula red
101 apple, water
61 apple, WI gala
87 apple, winesap
14 Apricot
26 Asian pear
17 Avocado
6 Banana
44 banana, red
31 Blackberries
18 Blueberries
58 cactus fruit
29 Cantaloupe
46 cherries, dark sweet
28 cherries, Rainier
38 cherries, sweet red
37 Clementine
77 cranberry
70 date, medjool
51 eggplant
56 gooseberries
104 granadilla
98 grape, muscat
32 Grapefruit
50 grapes, black
55 grapes, concord
20 grapes, green seedless
10 Grapes, seedless red
5 Guanabana
7 kiwifruit
84 kumquats
52 lemon
78 lemon, meyer
100 lemon, orange, CR
34 lime
42 lychee nuts
102 mamones
62 mandarin, daisy
89 mandarin, gold nugget
96 mandarin, royal
2 Mango
60 mango-nectarine
110 melon, galia
109 melon, honeydew orange flesh
53 melon, horn
47 melon, sprite
36 mulberries
103 nance
15 Nectarine
41 nectarine, white
106 noni
83 orange, blood
90 orange, moro
12 orange, navel
4 Papaya
9 passion fruit
11 Peach
54 peach, donut
99 pear, abate fetel
43 pear, bartlett
86 pear, bosc
88 pear, comice
24 pear, D’anjou
108 pear, forelle
76 pear, Harrow’s delight
85 pear, luscious
30 pear, Packham’s Triumph
27 Pear, red Anjou
73 pear, seckel
63 pear, star krimson
107 pear, taylor gold
71 pear, tosca
97 pear, ya
113 peas, snow
112 peas, sugar snap
25 pepper, bell (red)
33 pepper, jalapeno
74 persimmon
35 pineapple
22 plum, black
48 plum, dapple dandy
66 plum, egg
3 Plum, purple
21 Plum, red
45 plum, yellow
23 Pluot
40 Pluot, Red Velvet
75 pomegranate
59 prune plum
95 pummelo
79 quince
13 Raspberries
57 star fruit
8 strawberries
111 string bean, purple
105 tamarind
94 tangerine, murcott
93 tangerine, pixie
19 tomato, grape
69 tomato, heirloom
68 tomato, roma
16 tomato, vine on
1 Watermelon (May, 2010)
49 zucchini

Sauteed sugar snap/snow peas with carrots and honey glaze

This is an incredibly easy dish, but takes longer then I think it should. But it’s an easy summer side dish using mostly seasonal produce.

Sauteed sugar snap/snow peas with carrots and honey glaze

1. Cut about 2-4 lb of carrots into a shape and width that roughly resembles your pea pods.
2. Steam them over boiling water for about 3-5 min. More if you like your carrots mushier, less if you like them crunchier.
3. While the carrots are steaming, washing and remove the strings from 0.5-1 lb of pea pods (the original recipe calls for sugar snap peas, the snow peas also looked last week, so I used both).
4. Melt 1-2 T of bacon fat (or butter) in a large skillet. Here is a place that I would actually recommend a nonstick skillet, but a well cured cast iron will work well too. Saute pea pods for about 5 minutes.
5. Drain and add the carrots to the peas, cooking for another 3 min or so.
6. Add 1-2 T honey, depending on how many carrots/peas went into the skillet, and how sweet you like things. Cook for another minute or so, stirring regularly.
7. Turn off the heat, add 1/2 tsp thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve!

Iced ginger chai

I’m not too sure how Rascal is doing. His blood work came back better last week. His initial eosinophil count was 17 X10^3, the normal range is 0-2 x10^3. It came back at 4 last week. So whatever we did, or whatever his body is doing for itself, is helping. but he had a major vomiting session last night, and has been lethargic today, so that has me really worried. I’m really hoping this is not the beginning of the digestive issues if he does indeed have hypereosinophilic syndrome (which I’m going to start calling HES in writing). At this point, I’m taking it one day at a time. If he doesn’t have HES, then it likely isn’t too serious, and his treatment will stay the same. He’ll die one day either way. If he does have HES, this treatment will stay the same, and he’ll just die sooner rather than later. I’m coming to accept that we’re really doing everything for him that we can and that that is good enough.

[Iced ginger chai]( Something happier to think about. I’m almost hesitant to repost this recipe, since it’s pretty easy and I hate even the prospect of plagiarizing someone else’s work. But this is one of those recipes that I’m afraid will disappear one day. So I want my own copy.

I love reading [elena’s pantry](, but I don’t often make much of what she posts. We’ll chalk it up to laziness. I’m glad I wasn’t lazy with this recipe. I made a half batch Saturday. And drank it all on Sunday. Last night I made a full batch. I don’t see it lasting more than a few days.

Iced Ginger Chai
There are many variants on chai, so if you like this play around with it and make it really your own.

1. In a large pot (one where you have room for your concoction to boil) combine:
8 cups of water
1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger, I too left the skin on
10 pods cardamon
5 whole cloves
10 whole black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed (I despise fennel, but here I can’t taste it, win!)
1/4 cup loose rooibos tea (or black if you want the caffeine)

2. Bring it all to a boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes, you want it to reduce some.
3. Turn off the heat and cover and let sit overnight.
4. Strain the next day and store in the fridge. This is now your chai concentrate.

To serve: Add some ice to a glass, pour in about a cup of chai concentrate, and top with almond milk. I’ve been making mine in small mason jars so that I can put all three in together and just shake it up. I’ve put heavy cream in too with the almond milk, and that tastes fabulous.

I sweetened mine with honey. What I did figure out with the first batch is that honey doesn’t like to dissolve in a cold liquid (duh). So this time after I strained it, I put some of the liquid back in the pot, added honey, and heated the whole thing up to get the honey to dissolve and then added that back in with the rest of the concentrate. If you do it this way, you’ll have to play around with figuring out how much to add, as I didn’t measure how much honey I put in.

Ideas for what to try next time (taken from the comments on elana’s pantry):
-use four black tea bags (Darjeeling, Assam, oolong)
-add a stick of ginger
-add a star of anise