Further Adventures in Olive Curing Plus a Fig Experiment

My mom and her friend have been bringing me free food.  I don’t like fresh figs but I love them dried.  Fresh figs are really expensive and I haven’t had access to any free ones to experiment with until now.  So I was excited to haul my dehydrator out of the shed.  First thing I discovered is that whole figs don’t fit in my dehydrator so I had to cut them in half.  Second thing I discovered is that figs take a lot less time to dry than I thought.  I over-dried mine.  They are now as hard as tree bark.  Ooops.  I wish I could get my hands on more to do a second trial with but I may  have to wait until next year.

I plan to soak these before using them.   I think I’ll make some fig bars with them at some point.

I am still shamefully lagging on my olive project.  Between big transitions at work that are requiring a lot of extra attention and all the stuff going on around the house – and my kitchen always being dirty – I have yet to get my olives in their second (stronger) brine.  The top of the brine has some mold growing on it.  Having experimented a little with fermenting things and reading all about it – I’m not worried about it.  But I do want to get to the next step.

My friend Sharon who is learning to cure olives with me already has had hers in the second brined for two weeks with flavorings.  I got to try some at her house the other day and I’m pleased to report that they were really good!  I want mine to be saltier than hers are – but they had a really nice flavor and the texture was perfect.  So this method of curing can definitely get you good results.  We’ll see how mine come out in another few weeks I guess.

Walnut season is done.  DONE.  And I felt sad about it the way all you strange sun loving people get sad when summer is over and the air changes.  Two weeks is as long as walnuts were dropping.  I foraged a total of 15 lbs and 1 little oz of them.  I’m really happy to say that my mom’s friend who brought me figs also brought me a big bag of walnuts!  So now I have a more respectable haul.

Here’s the jar of pickled habanero peppers that I’ll be giving to my sister’s close friend Emily.  I’ve known Emily for a long time and now she’s a grown lady with a husband and two kids.  She and her husband like super hot peppers.  I don’t but I couldn’t resist pickling some of these because of their beauty.

I’m trying to menu plan now.  I’m not doing a very good job of it.  Here’s what I plan to make during the following week.

Menu “Plan” for the Week of 11/12/12:

  • Lentil soup  (done!)
  • Stuffed pasillo peppers – stuffed with seasoned tofu and baked in a cashew cream sauce served with Mexican brown rice.
  • Baked potatoes.  What?  You have to have something easy.
  • Salad(s) with apples and walnuts, feta, and dried cranberries.
  • Kashmiri-style eggplant in yogurt

I just got what might be the last three eggplants grown by Imwalle Gardens.  That means epplant is OVER.  I don’t buy them out of season so when you can’t get them locally grown any more it means no more for a long time.  I have wanted to make this eggplant dish for a long time but it requires you to shallow fry the eggplant – I’m not big on frying and I could probably broil them but I want my first time trying this dish to be as rich as the recipe is – because the last time you eat fresh eggplant for a year deserves to be special.

The stuffed peppers is a vegan dish I have been wanting to experiment with.  I haven’t ever tried such a thing and I don’t have any recipe for it.  I do have a recipe for the cashew cream sauce.  My friend Sid made the most amazing spaghetti squash dish that was like a lasagna with layers of squash, marinara sauce, tofu, and then topped with a cashew bechamel.  The bechamel was wonderful!  So it’s time to play with creamy vegan sauces.

What are you cooking this week?

One thought on “Further Adventures in Olive Curing Plus a Fig Experiment

  1. Erin

    I shared a picture of my meal plan with you over on FB. Because I don’t have a way of sharing it otherwise. As indicated there, it’s pretty loose. I have a list of things for which I have ingredients (and interest in making) and then I make whatever sounds the best that night, especially when that coincides neatly with what is not frozen.

    Reply

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