Thursday, May 21, 2009

Catching Up

In which we cover one knitted thing, and a lot of detritus in an attempt to get the blog back on track, fast.
This door has made me nuts for five years. When we first moved in it was green. About a week later we noticed the peeling. Whoever got this place ready for market took every shortcut they could, including slapping green paint on a galvanized surface. Every time we've moved to sand and paint this thing, something's gotten in the way.The time had come, and I got aggressive. This is mid-process; there's some sanding and a lot of scraping going on here. There's two odd holes in the door that made no sense to me, until some introspection and broaching of the issue with people who might know yielded answers - a knocker, perhaps? Looking at the listing sheet it was very apparent. Yes. A knocker. A knocker not listed in the exclusions was ripped off of the door by the departing former owner and family. This would not bother me if it were not another small but important thing in a long list of "buyer beware" issues with this house. Small things add up. It's made me very aware of how this all feels from the buyer's end though. We've sold properties before. I can say that I have nothing to be ashamed of in those deals. We were honest, we left things as they were, we told the truth. I hope the people who've bought from us pass that ethic on when it's their time to sell.
I knitted an owl, and felted him. He's pending assembly. This was tremendous fun and I adore him already. He is Fiber Trends FT-234, Baby Owl Takes Flight, and everyone should own a whole flock.I scraped, sanded, washed down with vinegar to remove the residue that forms on galvanized steel and primed the door.It's got one coat of paint now, but no more pictures till it's DONE and there's a new knocker in place.
Girl returned.When I said we needed a van to retrieve her, Mr. W said "We can just take the Fit. How much stuff can she have?" And aren't we glad I insisted on the van?
We went to the farmer's market and bought, rather impulsively, rhubarb. The stuff was sliced, and after a few additions most of it began the long process of transformation into wine.This is something I've always wanted to try, and now I can! I adore rhubarb, and the best rhubarb wine I've had is from Putney Mountain Winery. I just hope mine does not become vinegar. We're into active primary fermentation now, which is very cool, like a science experiment for adults. I am using the book "Making Wild Wines and Meads" with added support from a dvd that came with my kit from Midwest Supplies. I bought some extras - the kit I chose is a 5 gallon version, which is way more wine than I am up to right now. This isn't to say that I might not do a big batch at some point, and I intend to, hence the 5 gallon kit. But for my first batch I wanted to go small, so I bought 1-gallon jugs and a smaller primary fermenter. I also bought special wine yeast. For the rhubarb I used Pasteur Champagne yeast. Different yeasts ferment at different rates, and leave different flavors in their wake apparently. I chose a white wine yeast for this because it will play like a dry white when it's done. Or vinegar. One or the other. I'm hopeful!
Then I made my most favorite summertime dessert ever. Rhubarb Tapioca.It's made in the microwave. I tripped on the original recipe by accident when my kids were small. I was looking to use up rhubarb, and tapioca, and was not in the mood for crumble, or pie. Now, with the gluten thing going on, this is the perfect dessert for me. You can vary the fruit - take out some of the rhubarb, add some berries, mix and match. The original recipe is from my first cookbook, The New Good Housekeeping Cookbook which was gift on the occasion of my first marriage in 1985. The original was destroyed in The Great Sink Overflow of 1989. This is a replacement. But it's got to be THAT one, THAT edition for me, and no other. Anyway. I modified the recipe to suit our tastes, and I present my version below.

MMO's Microwavable Rhubarb Tapioca

2 tablespoons instant tapioca
4 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped
2 cups plain soy milk
scant 3/4 cup Florida crystals (I err on the side of 'less is more')

In a microwavable casserole place the sugar, milk and tapioca. Allow it to stand while you chop the rhubarb. Add rhubarb and stir to combine. Microwave uncovered on high for 5 minutes. Stir down. Repeat this for about four total cycles, or 20 minutes. Along the way it looks pretty scary. It congeals and clots and looks just ugly. After the first cooking cycle you'll think I am nuts. Persevere. The ends justify the means.
Allow to cool, chill, and serve. We eat it naked, although the original recipe calls for whipped cream. I've never felt the need for it. I think it would hide the fresh and clean flavor of the pie plant.
Summer in a cup, that's what this is!


booksNyarn said...

Admittedly I have never developed a taste for rhubarb myself, but I have a lot of memories of the huge patch in my grampa's garden. And his strawberry-rhubarb pie (seeing them, not eating them).

Anonymous said...

just like to point out that the two largest boxes and whatever purple bag that is on top of one of said boxes aren't mine.

Deborah Robson said...

Okay, we love rhubarb and we love tapioca (there's regular tapioca cooling in the fridge already). We've gotta try this.

Deb said...

Yum! The rhubarb tapioca sounds delicious! Both are definitely tastes/textures you either like or not though.