A New Love of Cooking

I’ve fallen in love with cooking again.  I used to love trying new recipes and making fancy dinners for my husband, but now I’m falling in love with good old-fashioned baking, canning and cooking w/ fresh produce.

This summer we decided to experiment and grow some tomatoes and basil in pots on our deck.  I had no idea how things would turn out, but it’s been wonderful!  Last week I canned four pints of salsa using roma and beefmaster tomatoes.   After a few more tomatoes ripen I’m hoping to can some pizza sauce.  I’ve made three or four batches of pesto throughout the summer from just one basil plant.  Last night I made caprese salad with our cherry tomatoes, basil leaves and some fresh mozzarella.  Over the last few weeks I’ve loved picking tomatoes to add to various salads and dishes without having to pick any up at the store.  I can’t wait until next year, when I can apply what I learned this year and do it all again!  Next year I’m growing LOTS more basil so I can make and freeze pesto to last us through winter.  It has become a new family favorite!  I’m also going to try some different tomato varieties (we did roma, cherry, and beefmaster this year).  It’s made me wish I didn’t live in the woods so I could grow a proper garden.  I think I’ll have to come up with a new patio furniture arrangement on the deck next year so I have room for more pots!

Our first three ripe tomatoes, one of each!  My biggest Beefmaster at 1.25lbs!

Our first three ripe tomatoes, one of each! My biggest Beefmaster at 1.25lbs!

Salsa!

Salsa!

We also went apple picking for the first time this year.  We had no idea what we were doing.  We wandered around the orchard until I asked another couple if they knew much about apples.  The lady told me we were by the cortland apples and if I was looking for good baking apples, these were it!  So, the kids and my husband and I had fun picking 29 lbs. of apples.  Yesterday we spent a good part of the day cooking apples.  My hubby did all the peeling, we both chopped and I cooked.  We made apple butter in the slow cooker, canned 8 pints of applesauce (4 plain, 4 cinnamon), and made spiced slow-cooker applesauce which we had with dinner.  I also made an apple oven-pancake for breakfast (sinfully good!) and apple crisp for dessert.  I still have a lot of apples left and plan to do some baking with them throughout the week.  I printed some recipes for apple muffins and apple bread.  I might also make some apple cake.  There are so many things you can make with apples!  And most of it is freezable, which means we won’t overdose on apples by eating all this stuff at once.  🙂  I think apple picking will become a new tradition for us, just as strawberry picking has.

Apple Oven Pancake

Apple Oven Pancake

Cinnamon and plain applesauce

Cinnamon and plain applesauce

I’m dying to have a really big baking day.  I wish the boys were old enough to help, because baking with them in the kitchen can be a challenge.  I’ll have to bake a little here and there for now I think.  I have recipes swirling in my head for things I want to make.  I think it’s because fall is such a great time for baking.  I’m craving pumpkin bread, carrot muffins, and more of those apple goodies.  Hopefully I can take an afternoon or two this week to get some of these things baked and in the freezer to enjoy whenever the mood strikes!

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4 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Life

4 responses to “A New Love of Cooking

  1. That apple oven pancake looks so YUMMY! When you have a minute post the recipe (or email it to me) I would LOVE to try it!

    I made pumpkin bread last week (a little “early”) because Roz requested I bring her some when we visited!

    Have you seen those apple peeler/corer/slicers? You can find them at Fleet Farm or order them online. They do a lot of the work for you… and they’re fun! I love mine! If you plan on making apples a yearly tradition, I highly recommend one!

  2. ericah78

    I will post the pancake recipe. I got it in a free fall cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. Lots of yummy sounding stuff in there!

    I actually have the “Apple Master” that my mom got years ago and never used. I took it out to use it and accidentally put my first apple on wrong. My hubby pulled the apple off and one of the prongs came off with it! We didn’t feel like experimenting to find out if it will still work okay with two prongs, so we didn’t try it yet. I might give it a whirl today though. They’re on sale for like $12 at Fleet Farm right now.

  3. Hey, I got that recipe booklet! I didn’t even look at it yet. Look what I was missing! I love that Gooseberry Patch. I found my now famous Snow Cocoa recipe in a GP recipe book! 🙂

  4. ericah78

    I have one of their Christmas craft/cook books and made several items from it, both edible and not. Love it, so when I saw the free fall book, I had to get it!

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