What did we eat this week? It's been cold, seasonably cold, so the wood is stacked and ready to go in the stove, and the oven has been doing its thing. Although I didn't make the gingerbread house below (it was from my son's preschool class--each kid got their own house to decorate!), I did suddenly decide to make fruitcake after decanting some boozy cherries. Usually I forget about my fruit in booze, sitting and steeping in the basement, which is just fine for the booze, but the fruit suffers. After about two or three months, the fruit will go from boozy delight to shriveled and desiccated, depending on the fruit. I caught these cherries in time, and once the brandy was free --gorgeously red and full of cherry and almond flavors--I pitted the soaked cherries and thought: fruitcake. I also used some local, and home-dried apricots and prunes. At the moment the cake is being basted with cherry pit liqueur. I can't wait 'til Christmas!
|Home dried prunes.|
The other night we had braised short ribs followed by apple pie for desert. The short ribs were gifted to me from a friend--do my people know me or what? Grass-fed local beef, big huge blocks of meaty short ribs. My quandary: no red wine in the house (gasp!), which if you do a search on short ribs you will see that few recipes don't ask for at least a bit of red wine. The two just go together. No worries though, I'm not big on requirements. The ribs came together nicely with red wine vinegar and red wine syrup--two homemade things in my pantry. I also added tomato paste and very reduced pork stock, both of which were frozen in cubes, handy in the freezer. The ribs cooked, after browning in cast iron over a flame, in a slow cooker for about six hours on high. They were perfect when I came home, and we had them on mashed potatoes. (It looks like I'm not the only one with these kinds of ideas: Michael's beef stew sounds perfect, though I think I'd really like to make his rouladen recipe.)
|Apple pie with leaf lard crust.|
|Bananas with chopped cashew-date-cocoa truffles.|
|Laurel's Bread Book Banana Bread|