Sunday, September 21, 2008

Defender of Liberty

I think it only fair I warn you that for my new job I have sworn to defend the Constitution against all enemies. I’m serious, you mess with the Constitution, you mess with me. Be afraid, I am a defender of liberty.

As a sworn defender of liberty, I have developed an uncanny ability to sniff out threats to freedom. Take our apartment, for example.

This picture was taken before we moved in. And that green is MUCH greener in real life.

Before I took the oath I all I saw was a really bad paint job. Now when I look at our apartment I see it for what it really is: an insidious Communist plot to overthrow the government and take away our personal liberty. You heard me right, insidious communist plot. You see, when we first moved in I felt an intense revulsion to the pairing of sherbet orange with green mint chip – great ice creams, bad paint. But as the days went by the revulsion weakened to dislike and pretty soon dislike weakened to (almost) indifference. If something hadn’t happened to wake me up, I would have woken up one morning and thought, “The paint really grows on you, I quite like the way the green brings out the oranginess of the orange. Who knew a fluorescent entryway could be so life-affirming ? And you know what else? I think it’s time we overthrow our evil capitalist government, restrict our personal freedom, and redistribute the wealth to the proletariat. The Soviet Russians always seemed like such happy people.” That’s how it begins, but this is how it ends.

Once again landlord friendly beige saves the day. Go America.

Friday, September 5, 2008

In Memoriam

This week I am mourning my garden.

My beautiful, fruitful garden.

I feel the loss most especially at this time of year when I crave nothing but juicy peaches and zesty tomatoes. And fresh basil. Lots of it - for almost nothing.

And yesterday I bought a peach from the grocery store that was mealy and gross. It cost me $2.00 and I had to throw it away.

To console myself in my gardenless misery, I opened up my very last bottle of peach butter. Mmm, peach butter. It helped take the edge off the sting of having to BUY zucchini this time of the year.

If YOU find yourself the lucky recipient of two very large buckets of free peaches, I urge you to try this recipe.

Peach Butter To Soothe the Soul
(yields abt 4 pints)

4 to 4.5 lbs peaches (abt 18 medium)
4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
(or any combination of above spices)

Ready? Set? Okay, blanch peaches so you can easily peel, pit and chop them. Cook chopped peaches until soft - add a little water to avoid sticking to the pan. Press cooked peaches through a food mill or sieve. Measure 2 quarts peach pulp and return to the pot, adding the sugar and spices. Cook until thick and the peach stuff stays mounded on the spoon. You will need to stir frequently. Plan on cooking for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, sterilize canning jars, rings and lids. When butter is ready, pour hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove bubbles and wipe rim clean. Place the lids and rings on jars and process in a water bath for 10 minutes.