Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rain and food

Life has bean a bit slower this week, and also a bit dreary, with the ever present need for rain and the relentless taunting of those darn clouds that never seam to want to let us have any respite from this early onset of the mid summer high heat. We were graced with a slight patter of rain that lasted about, oh say... 3 or 4 minutes that only busted up the humidity, making it feel hotter, and letting us smell that glorious geosmin, (an organic compound that humans are unusually sensitive to, that is in beats and newly wet soil) tantalizing our senses, and waking up that longing to stand in, or at least watch, the rain.
So, I have bean cooking, a lot, and making the house hotter, unfortunately (thank the Lord for ceiling fans!) but to the delight of my husband and my Father in Law, and my neighbor who got to chow down on some spanakopita, (those creamy spinach and phyllo triangle things) and salad.
Over the last couple of days I have bean reading The Feast Nearby. A charming book on getting your food locally and living on a tight budget. The chapters consist of short essays with recipes at the end of every one. They are basically about what the author, Robin Mather, did during her time living in Michigan by a lake with her dog, parrot, neighbors, and eventual chickens. I recommend it for the recipes, and some nice inspiration and a bit of how to's. 

My dinner.
Yesterday I made vegetable enchiladas, and a lime-cheese tart.

8oz package of cream cheese, softened.
14oz can of sweetened condensed milk, (recipe)
1 egg
4 limes, juiced
1 pie crust in a tart, baked blind. (or you can use a gram cracker crust)
1 cup of frozen raspberries
1 peach
1 apricot
some mint, and some flowers

preheat the oven to 325. Blend together the cream cheese, the milk, the egg, and the lime juice. put in the pan, (with the crust already baked) and bake for 50 min. let rest overnight. Then put the frozen raspberries on top and let thaw in the refrigerator. Take off the raspberries, (the juice should have permeated any cracks in the cake)  and start putting the peaches on around the edge. Then put the raspberries in the middle, and then put apricots on that. Then put flowers and mint on like in the picture. refrigerate until you serve it.

The enchiladas were basic enchiladas with red sauce, but I used 2 small zucchini, 2 onions, 1 small thing of broccoli, corn from 2 corn cobs, and 1 pound of snap peas. I sauteed the onion in a big pan, then added everything else plus 2 cups of the sauce and 1 cup of water. I covered it and let it cook until everything was fairly soft.
For the sauce I put 8 cups of those whole dried red chilies in a pot and cover with water. let them cook until soft. strain but reserve the juice. blend with some of the juice or all if needed. put back into the pan, add 1/4 tsp of salt, 2 tbsp of oregano, 1 can of no salt tomato sauce. Cook until it thickens a bit.
To put the enchiladas together, put like 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of a pan (like a 9 by 13) and put 1 tortilla in the pan near the edge. Put some veggies in the middle and fold the sides together and flip with the "seam" down. repeat until your pan is full. Put about 1,2 to 1 cup of cheese on top. Bake 325 for 15 min, or just keep in a warm oven until you are ready for dinner.

(Yesterday when I started this post, I meant to finish it last night but instead i went over with my husband to my neighbors house to see his goat. So, I am happy to inform you that in fact, it rained early this morning.) 

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