Category Archives: Cooking

Reunited and it tastes so good

I admit I have a coffee problem. First off, I drink too much of it. I start the day off with an espresso, then make a to-go cup for the drive to work and then work on one or two more cups during the day at my office.images

However over the past year or so, I have gotten lazy about how I make my coffee and subsequently the level of enjoyment has dwindled.  I shelved the French Press, scuttled the little four cup drip brewer, abandoned my camp percolator and started using a Keurig. After some trail and error, I found a few brands that were palatable, but not exceptional. What wasn’t acceptable was the price. It was exorbitant to pay $0.50 to $1.00 per cup.

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For the cost of 2.5 boxes of k-cups, I bought a Cuissential manual coffee grinder and for the past three weeks or so, I’ve been enjoying really good coffee. Getting back to basics; grinding my beans, boiling water and using the French Press.  I think the little extra effort that is required makes the coffee taste better. Something to consider with the rest of my kitchen endeavors.

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Santa and his big bag of toys

Santa was very generous this year. Maybe it was out guilt or maybe I finally got off the naughty list.

Either way, I got two of the three big ticket items I really wanted. For starters, I am finally the owner of a pressure canner. Making jams, salsa’s and canning tomatoes stoked the fires enough that I have been itching to get a pressure canner and move up to the big leagues. I can’t wait to see what I can preserve from the garden this year.

tuckI also got a home brewing system to make my own beer. I have images of monks carting mead in oak barrels around Sherwood Forest floating through my head, so maybe I found God or I am channeling my inner Friar Tuck.

Unfortunately, I did not get the 5-acre farm I’ve been nagging my wife about. I would have settled for some chickens or a sheep, but alas, no livestock in my stocking.

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There’s always next year.

Vacation canning

Most of our vacations in Maine involve eating. Whether its popovers, lobster or blueberries, our family enjoys the culinary delights of Maine. However, with the abundance of blueberries to be found around every corner, it seemed shameful to just eat them for only a week.

First we needed to find some jars. A quick trip to Salisbury Farms Hardware in Bar Harbor solved that problem. Next a quick run to the IGA and I had the rest of my ingredients.

Under normal circumstances, canning is easy, except when you are in a vacation home. Instead of my normal canning tools, I relied on a potato masher and slotted spoon for a jar lifter, a clunky pair of tongs as a lid wand and repurposed at lobster pot as a water bath.

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Then I turned two quarts of delicious Maine blueberries into eleven jars of blueberry sauce.

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