i have no free time. but i do live in new york now!
The holidays are over, but citrus season is not. Because money isn't falling out of my ears (that would be gross anyway), I decided to get super crafty this year when it came to gifts. I recruited a special pal who has experience canning jam. FYI, non-perishable jam needs to be sealed and all items needs to be sterilized. My friend had doused her kitchen in boiling water and I brought the sharp knives. We ventured out to Berkeley Bowl for some fruit, in this case about 8 lbs of blood oranges and a 1/2 lb of Meyer lemons. After returned to her house, we rinsed the fruit and using a vegetable peeler, cut the colored part from 2 lemons and 4 oranges.
With a sharp knife, we carefully peeled all of the white crap off of the fruit and cut the lemons and 10 oranges into chunks, trying to keep all of those pesky seeds out of the "good" bowl.
I hope none of you watched the season premier of the new Biggest Loser, because they keep puking! Anyway, despite the really crappy tiny cell phone photo (my camera charger was a NYE casualty), I wanted to share with you a really delicious way to ring in the new year. It starts with a full belly of resolution-friendly dinner. My boymate and I have embarked upon a new eating leaf. I know that's so cliche, but you gotta start somewhere (thanks Bob and Jillian!). Tonight I made something that almost blew my own mind. It is as follows:
So, I am unemployed again. My brief stint as a member of the temporary work force was like a bad date. I was out of the house, but I wasn't in love. So, here I am with an abundance of free time. I recently ate a cherry and an almond in the same bite and was like "I want to make a 100% homemade pb&j!" I executed (literally, so bloody!) step one in this process by making cherry jam. Here is my step by step recipe that I stole and adopted from other recipes on the internets. First you want to purchase cherries and wash them. I got bing cherries for $2.99 a pound at my local corner farmer's market store in the Mission. Very cheap and delicious.
1 English cucumber, peeled
1 large white onion
1 green bell pepper, seeds and pith removed
2 garlic cloves, smashed
High quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/2 cup to 1 cup tomato juice, if needed
For the soup:
Soak the bread, in a medium bowl of water to soften, about 15 to 20 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water and place in a large bowl. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, 2/3 of the cucumber, 1/2 the onion, and 1/2 the pepper and add to the bread. Add the garlic, season with salt, and drizzle with olive oil. Mix to combine and let sit for about 20 to 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marry (soups voted no on prop 8) and to let the salt pull some moisture out of the tomatoes.
Meanwhile, for the garnish, dice the remaining cucumber, onion and green pepper into perfect 1/4-inch dice and reserve.
Working in batches, puree the tomato/bread mixture in a blender with the vinegar. Blend in tomato juice to loosen the mixture, if needed. Remove soup to a large bowl and stir in about 1/2 cup of high quality olive oil. Taste for salt and add more, if needed.
Chill. Serve cold garnished with the diced cucumber, pepper and onion. Drizzle with a little more olive oil, if desired.
I have been on a Jewelry making or at least a jewelry reconfiguring kick lately. I have also been reading a lot of blogs related to it. One of my favorite necklace makers is the Glamourai who makes extremely cute, vintage-inspired, layered necklaces sold on Etsy. I have also been addicted to ebay for cheap arm, neck and ear decor. Why not merge the two? You can purchase "lots" of things like this, this or this for a fairly low price and then either use old chains of your own or you can get chain by the foot at websites like this. With a few inexpensive tools and loop connectors you can string together a real neat necklace that people will comment on forever. You can start with a clasp, attach a quarter-inch loop and add different length chains with different pendants attached to each by smaller rings. Are you getting a picture of this in your head?