Ok, class, let’s have a review:
Does anyone remember what typically happens to this blog when the seasons change?
Right, you in front? Yes, that is correct. The author of the blog tends to get whiny.
What else? Anyone?
Ok, back corner? Can you explain that further? Well, ok, that’s partially true. The writer of the blog does seem to delve into some sort of mild kitchen depression, but it’s hard to say for sure because we can’t see from her perspective.
Front row? Again? Well, you’ve certainly done your reading! You are right — twice a year, at the end of winter and summer, without fail, the writer draws a complete blank about what to write about. We know this because she tells us. Yes, I agree — it gets a little redundant. Yes, a broken record is a good metaphor.
Alright, students, don’t forget: Test on Monday!
I don’t remember being quite this mentally paralyzed in early-autumns-past; certainly not last year, when I was so overwhelmed by the farmer’s market, the apples, some wine, and then more apples. But this is a bad year for apples.
Is it sad that my kitchen-EQ (that would be referring to ’emotional quotient’) is so directly effected by a lack of good apples? The other night, after a splurge purchase that day of a really beautiful fillet of wild Pacific salmon, I managed to ignore the timer while flipping zucchini fritters, letting the momentarily-tender fish overcook. As I cursed myself and basically acted like a child in the kitchen, I wondered aloud if I would ever be able to cook a decent meal again (can we say extreme?). My husband (looking a little frightened) gently reminded me that I do this (tantrum-throwing self-culinary-deprecation) at the end of each season.
Do they make a pill for that? Maybe I should find a way to get more good wine?
All I have to show for this week is a large crockpot-full of not-great apple butter, and some sourdough starter that I might be slowly killing. The apple butter was a first-time experience (fresh off the success of canning pickled okra, and lacking in tomatoes, I needed to can something else) — I tried to combine two recipes, one from my friend Jane in North Carolina, and one from Kimball’s The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook. Problem was, in my combining and adjusting, I mis-read Kimball’s call for “apple cider” as “apple cider vinegar.” And while the amount I added shouldn’t be enough to completely ruin the batch, it does have a slightly off-flavor. Which leaves me wondering if I should even bother canning it.
And then, my sourdough starter: it’s like having a hamster. If we had a small caged pet, tucked away in the kids’ room (because it would definitely not be in any other room in our house, save the basement), I would likely forget all about it, and it would die. The same with my sourdough starter. I haven’t actually made bread in a couple months; so I kept in my refrigerator, bringing it out every couple of weeks to feed it and keep it happy. And now that it’s getting cooler, I plan to start making bread again; but I can’t do that until my starter gets really happy, which would happen if I could just. Remember. To feed it.
So, I hate to repeat myself, but that’s all I’ve got. Give me a string of gorgeous 75º days, some gold in the trees, and I’ll once again start waxing the wonders of autumnal food, to the point where you might wish again for a good case of seasonal-(transitional)-affective-disorder.