Discover more from Simmering: cooking & life musings from In Jennie's Kitchen
Field Notes 11.06.22
✨homemade ketchup + sneak peek of new recipes✨
Apparently we all fell back an hour last night, at least here in the U.S. For anyone thinking, “yeah, but next year it’s over and done with”–not so fast. Like me, you may have googled the status of Congress’ push to eliminate the twice a year time change only to find out is in limbo. The Sunshine Protection Act passed the Senate but is now held up in the House, and looks likely to go nowhere by the end of this year. If the House doesn’t move forward with this, the Senate will need to vote on it again next year.
It seems the only light at the end of this time change tunnel we can count on is when we switch the clocks an hour ahead again next spring. Meanwhile, I’m sitting here wrapping my head around the reality that sunset is at 4:44pm today, feeling particularly cheated that yesterday, our last day of elongated daylight, was bereft of sunshine.
Not one to be knocked down for long, I fought fire with fire, and set up candles all over the kitchen around five p.m. last night to quietly usher in nighttime while saying goodbye to the last day the sun would set later than 5pm for a few months. It was very serene and peaceful as I continued with cooking to comfort my feelings of homesickness. I made panelle, focaccia, and cantuccini (almond biscotti). I use Emiko Davies’ cantuccini recipe from Torta della Nonna, and it the best recipe, hands down.
I’ve also been attempting to make my own cheese curds for fresh mozzarella-making so I can avoid the two-hour roundtrip drive to buy them from the nearest store, or ordering them by mail. Both passes have been a fail, using two different methods, one being from Serious Eats, and both resulted in wasted milk, quite pricey when you’re buying local, non-homogenized, too. I’m not quite ready to give up but will definitely be pausing cheese curd-making attempts for a bit.
In other cooking news, a few weeks ago I had a happy cooking accident. I’d found some last of summer tomatoes at the farmstand and decided to make a batch of my award-winning tomato jam, with a minor tweak, leaving out the coriander and cumin because I wanted a more pure tomato flavor.
After the jam was cooked down, I went one step further and decided to pass it through the food mill to remove the tomato skins, something I’ve never done before. All of jamming experience should’ve taught me better, and veteran jam makers probably know what happened. Instead of making a smooth tomato jam, I made homemade ketchup. It was a win of the unexpected kind. Ketchup is something I’ve been wanting to make for years, and never have because I’m generally very happy to buy it. Admittedly, one taste of the homemade stuff may spoil you for store-bought.
A peek at what else I’ll be cooking this week:
I’ve got a few lingering broccoli stalks in the crisper drawer, so these Broccoli-Quinoa Patties are on the menu. I don’t have any leftover quinoa, so thinking I’ll sub in some leftover cooked brown rice.
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve made this pumpkin bread, so definitely making another batch (the recipe makes two loaves) this week. I came across someone’s IG feed last week professing the superior benefits of homemade pumpkin puree vs. canned, and call BS on that theory. For years, back when Mikey was alive, I made my own pumpkin puree, and while it’s not hard, I also don’t find it to be any different flavor-wise. In fact, you have to do extra work to remove the excess liquid. It’s definitely a great way to use up extra pumpkins you have around the house but also know that if you use canned pumpkin in your recipes, it’s totally fine.
Recipes coming soon:
Burnt Basque Cheesecake, an adaptation of Donna Hay’s recipe
Homemade Savoiardi Cookies
Tiramisu, a version without raw eggs!
Challah bread (this may be an exclusive to my first live cooking class)
Cranberry Walnut Bread, a fave from the Magnolia Bakery cookbook
Mushroom & Dried Cranberry Rice Pilaf
That’s it for me this week. I hope November is off to a peaceful start, and we all make sure to take extra care of ourselves with the time shift. The loss of daylight definitely throws me out of whack but it’s also kind of nice how nature reminds us to slow down this time of year, although that is often as odds with my day job these days.
Remember to be kind. –xo, j.