...Growing, Building, Cooking, Preserving, Crafting...

2006 began our urban homestead when I broke ground on a garden, which now includes perennial fruits, flowers, & many vegetable varieties. We dream of solar panels, keeping bees and hens. Until then we'll continue growing and preserving our own fruits and vegetables, building what we can for our home, cooking from scratch, and crafting most days.


Fruit Leather

First attempt at Fruit Leather (a little dry)
I played with my new dehydrator this week and made a couple batches of plum fruit leather from local fruit I'd canned over the summer.  Ideally, I would not can then dehydrate fruit because I'd be wasting energy in one of those processes, but for experimentation sake I used what I had.  It was simple.  I dumped the jar of fruit and it's juice into the food processor, whizzed it until it was smooth then spread it onto a lightly oiled fruit leather tray and turned on the machine.  Following the manual's instructions for time and temperature it took about 6 hours to fully dry.  I need some practice to get the puree spread to the same thickness across the tray.  The thinner parts dried more quickly and were ready to crack and break by the time the thicker parts were fully dry.  In general, it's not bad.  Vera likes it so now we can take our local fruit on the go...especially in mommy's gym bag where it could possibly be forgotten for a day or two.

Wanted to add another winter recipe this week as well.  I tried this one in a slow cooker last year and had great success, but I prefer making it on the stovetop.

Moroccan Lamb and Fruit Stew
Serves 6-8

The original recipe calls for boneless leg of lamb or beef bottom round, which is probably why the slow cooker is a good idea.  I used lamb stew meat, which cooked quickly and was very tender.

Warm and Hearty Winter Food
1/4 t. crushed dried red pepper
3/4 t. ground turmeric
3/4 t. ground ginger
3/4 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
2 lbs. lamb stew meat
2 T. coconut oil
2 large onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
16 oz. beef broth
1 c. pitted dates, snipped into 1/2-inch pieces
1 c. dried apricots, snipped into 1/2-inch pieces
Salt, to taste
Hot cooked couscous, brown rice, or [gluten-free] pasta
1/4 c. toasted slivered almonds

In a shallow mixing bowl, combine crushed red pepper, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.  Coat meat with seasoning mixture.  In a dutch oven or small stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Brown meat.  Add onions and garlic and cook until soft.  Add broth.  Cover and cook over low heat about 1 hour.  Add dates and apricots; stir to combine and cook about 8-10 min.  Serve with starch of your choice and top with almonds.

1 comment:

  1. Before stew recipe. Nice ingredient list. Love stew during all this cold and snow.