Sunday, December 4, 2011

Week 35 in Review

The Score
Eaters - 7     Compost - 2     Carry Over - 2

I was actually a little surprised as I was downloading photos from the week to realize how much stuff actually got made this week.  It felt like we ate thanksgiving leftovers for most of the week, and truth be told we did.  But in between those big meals, I did enjoy some playtime in the kitchen after all.  This week, I didn't worry so much about 'using up the box,' so the green beans and lettuce ended up hitting the compost.  Instead, I started to think about the holidays ahead, and how I could use some of the ingredients in the box to make gifts that could help spread a little of the joy that I've been experiencing this year with others.

The Best
  • The apple butter made using the box's fuji apples, along with some pink ladies and extra fujis that I picked up from the farmer's market, has been a huge hit.   Though it took all day (I actually started mine early morning, and let it sit in the slow cooker all day), I know that we will enjoy this apple butter well into the spring.  Pretty good timing, since we only have one jar of home made strawberry jam left and need some sort of preserves to fill its place until strawberries come back in season.
 Cooking the apples on the stove
(they didn't quite fit into the slow cooker for step one)

 The apples after they'd been passed through the food mill
and put into the slow cooker

 Apple butter - dark and delicious and preserved for the coming months

The Good
  • After getting completely sick of the turkey and sides, we made some spicy kale and chickpeas, along with chicken masala for a nice change of flavors. 
  • French toast is always a favorite weekend breakfast, especially with fresh challah and fruits from the farmer's market.  The fall/winter strawberries were so sweet, and delicious with the crunchy apples and sprinkling of almonds!  No syrup needed.
  • The avocados from the box can't be beat, and a little spicy guacamole (with some added jalapeno) were also a nice change from the mellow turkey-day dishes that we'd been eating for days. 
  • When all else fails, I try to get out the juicer.  This apple, carrot, spinach juice with a little bit of added ginger was good - even the kids liked it.

The Rest
  • After the success of the apple butter, I was excited to try and find a use for some granny smith apples that I had purchased.  With mint overflowing in the garden, I decided it would be fun to try a mint jelly recipe.  Unfortunately, it didn't jell, though it tastes good and makes a pretty good syrup.
Apples and mint on the stove

 Mint syrup

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