Sunday, October 18, 2015

Indian Summer is now officially over...

Our wonderful nephew Austin, his lovely wife Hailey, and their adorable daughter Olivia came up to the cabin for a fall visit this past weekend.  Upon their arrival, he cooked the most delicious meal of fajitas for his mother (my sister Lorraine) and I.

The next day after breakfast...

we walked to the bridge, where we watched the ducks and fish under the bridge, 

and saw a lone moose grazing in the water.  

Then we floated the river in peace and quiet.  We were almost the only people on the river that day.  

I was so happy to introduce them to my 'happy place'.  Even more satisfying for me was seeing how much they loved and appreciated it as well.  

We saw another large cow calf pair enjoying the lovely weather.  And the weather was absolutely amazing!

Can you see the moose in the background between Hailey and Austin?

The next morning we woke to a drizzling rain.  I guess we saw the last of the Indian summer.  We tidied up and went home.  It was great to have my sister and her family there for the last hurrah of summer. 

My happy place....  
Nonni and Nipote

Friday, October 16, 2015

Blanche Rottluff's Pickled Green Cherry Tomatoes

My sister Lorraine and I opened the cabin on Thursday.  We each brought a few projects to work on, expecting the weather to be less than optimal.  But we were wrong.  The weather was amazing.  Nonetheless, one of the projects was to make Blanche Rottluff's Pickled Green Cherry Tomatoes.  I found this recipe in an old cookbook in the public library when we lived in Sparks, Nevada, and I had a garden full of green tomatoes by the end of that growing season.    

I don't know how well you can read this recipe, so I will tell you how we made them.  

First you clean and sort as many green cherry tomatoes as you have.  You want them to be firm and without blemish.  They need to be pierced two or three times each with a small skewer.  

Then you put 3 whole black peppercorns and one small clove of garlic, or the equivalent, in each half-pint jar.  

Next boil the brine of two cups of water, one cup of cider vinegar, and 1/4 cup of coarse (kosher) salt, or three tablespoons of pickling or un-iodized table salt.  

Put the tomatoes in the jars to within one inch of the top.  I put them into a frying pan of water to get everything plenty hot so they will seal.  Once your lids, the brine and the jars are boiling start filling the jars, wiping the rims on each one, and add the lid and ring one at a time.  Set aside to cool and seal.  I do only one jar at a time to keep things nice and hot and to make better sure they will seal.  Pickles are funny that way.  

We ended up with about two dozen jars.  You may be wondering what I do with these.  Well, they taste a bit like green olives.  The recipe says "they make an unusual cocktail snack, served plain or with a dip or skewered on toothpicks with squares of sharp cheddar".  That is how I serve them, on a cheese board with a toothpick and on top of a cube of sharp cheddar approximately the same size as the tomato during the holidays.  It is fun to have the other party goers try to guess what they are.  No one ever guesses correctly.  They are quite tasty, but if I eat more than about three, my rings are tight the next day.