Saturday, November 08, 2008

Green Tomato Pickles

With a cool snap in our air, tis likely that any tomatos still on the vine will not fully ripen this year. About a month ago, I decided to pickle a few, and today I tasted the results of my experiment.
The result? FAAAAbulous!
In a Summer edition of Martha Stewart Living magazine, a mo' simpler version of this techinque was revealed. I took the same advise, but embellished and the results are quite delicious. Joe and I are big pickle fans, so I simply saved the leftover jars (w/ the brine). Once I had gathered, washed and cut the tomatoes, I removed the empty jars from the fridge, and rather than the simple technique that Martha suggested (simply add the tomatoes to the brine and put back in the fridge), made the pickling a bit more permanent....
The pickle brine was poured into a small sauce pan and was gently heated to a simmer. While the brine heated, I removed the jar labeling and diligently washed them in very hot water. The lids were placed in another saucepan of water and brought to a simmer, as well. Before packing the tomatoes into the jars, I added a heaping tablespoon of minced garlic. Once the tomatoes were packed into place, the simmering brine was poured back into the packed jars of tomatoes, and the lids removed from the simmering water with a pair of tongs, and tightened into place. Within seconds, the lids had sealed, forming a vacuum and thereby preserving the green tomatoes indefinitely.
One month has passed since this experiment, allowing the flavors to infuse, and the results are quite amazing. Very crunchy... not in the least bitter, either. I even added a few tomatoes that were a bit pink, for color, and though they are indeed softer than their green siblings, they are by no means mushy, as I had feared. Now my plan will be to gather ALL of the green tomatoes still left on the vine, and concoct as close a version to Claussen pickle brine as I can. I'll also need a few more jars, lids and rings. And with a little luck, I'll be known the world over for my green tomato pickles......

Saturday, November 01, 2008

the other blog

I wanted to give notice of another blog I started. No prose, just pictures of art. We've been in the process of cataloging much of the art that we eventually plan to sell. (Originally, we had hoped to have sold it before the downturn in the market.)

All of the pieces are from the Brown County Art Colony, Brown County, Indiana. Most pieces are also from the earlier years of the colony, from the 1910's to the middle twentieth century. Joe and Kris were avid collectors, and we would have better use of the capital it could possibly generate than to have it all gracing our walls.

Click on my Blogger profile, and you will see it listed as another blog I own. Enjoy! (and if you are interested in any of the pieces, use my gmail address and let me know.

To make viewing even easier, here's the link:

Halloween was a Hoot, now back to bidness...

To have the priveledge of living in a house like The 602, I am more than happy to embellish the facade for Halloween. I spent a good three hours decorating the front porch and yard on Friday afternoon, and the crowd never seemed to cease. Probably around 300 children graced our front steps, and the nearly $90 worth of candy I purchased was whittled down to just a few handfuls that are now tempting me each time I walk past the bowl. We had Bethanie and Charles help us hand out treats (and douse the children with the hidden fog machine at the top of the steps), and then later on, Steve and Lynne brought their kids, their kids' friends, and one of the kids' friend's Mother... at about the time we wrapped up our treating. One thing about it being on a Friday night this year, I was uncharacteristically partaking of the spirits. I paid for it this morning, too. I'm a lightweight, so when one considers the two beers (actually, Irish Red ale), and the entire bottle of vino that I consumed, I was toast by the end of the eve.

Today, I have spent the majority of the day in the attic. Not your typical attic, I should add. The 602 boasts an attic the size of the average American home. Some 2000 square feet, with ceilings that reach around 14 feet (give or take), at it's highest point. My plan is to have the attic become a landing spot for much of the boxed goods that are scattered about the house. Some things will land there permanently, such as luggage and wrapping paper, and empty boxes, and Holiday themed stuff... but some things just need to have a place to land for a little while.

Since we repainted all of the upstairs last summer, things have never gotten to a state of normalcy, simply because of the sheer volume of 'stuff'. If I can get most everything up there that is now in our way, I plan to have the main house completely staged for normal living by Christmas*. Perhaps my library will not be painted by then, but to have The 602 livable in each room will do my psyche a heaping bit of good.

Last week was mid-term grade reports, and I am very pleased to say that in Accounting, I have a very solid "A", and in Business Law, I have a "B". Since getting back into the swing of school while working full time, I cannot imagine the folks who take a full load and still work. I realize that my two classes may be more time consuming than they are difficult, but these 6 credit hours are whipping my be-hind! Of course, my job is somewhat demanding of my time too... so I suppose it's a combination of both that are doing their number on me.

I guess that's it..... Check out the picture of the chandelier I installed in the front hall last weekend! Very blingy.

I installed a dimmer switch on it just before trick or treaters arrived last night, so that made the mood of The 602 even more dark and mysterious!!!