May 2006

Uncategorized29 May 2006 06:35 pm

Just found a sealed package of Mahagastotte Estate Ceylon Pekoe, the good stuff.

Uncategorized09 May 2006 09:39 pm

Why is it that New England’s birds in spring and summer are so much more melodic than San Francisco’s birds? It’s certainly not that SF is short on avian life, nor even noisy birds. And yet, the small birds of San Francisco seem to run to “cheep, cheep” rather than “we-Weoooooo Week! Yirrrrrrk Yirrrrrk we-Weooooo Week!”

Why is this? Is it a forest vs grass/wetland thing? A response to the more differentiated seasons? Prevailing winds luring songbirds from Mexico to prefer passing through New England on their way to resorts in Ontario and Newfoundland?

Recent MA bird sightings – a cardinal and a goldfinch sharing a tree.  Recent SF sightings – a hawk, three pelicans, the usual gulls and small shore birds and a batch of ravens, sharing a beach.

Uncategorized09 May 2006 09:35 pm

We’ve been whipping through the marmalade, so we’re already in our second round. This time, we have another batch of blood orange (this time at 117 degrees and 1/2C sugar to 1C fruit), Key limes and Meyer lemons. The banks of jars are very pretty.

This second batch was much more efficient. Turns out that the ancient Mexican lime squeezer that’s too small for Persian limes works perfectly with Key limes. In no time we’d squeezed out 175ml of juice and had a stack of flying-saucer-like compressed lime pucks to play with. I begin to see the point of the squeezers over the reamers.

Further, not a single curse was uttered in the canning of this marmalade. You already know this, but mise en place makes all the difference.

So for our own edification, the check list is:

Set the half sheet lined with the silpat (to cushion the jars, catch the drips, and act as an insulator) to the left of the stove.

Lay out

  • canning/jar tongs

  • kitchen tongs

  • (chopsticks if L’s the marmaladier)

  • large ladle

  • canning funnel

  • silicon spatula

on (just out of the dishwasher or weak bleach rinsed) half sheet pan.
Have assistant stand to the left and behind the marmaladier.
Agree on names for the implements ahead of time.

117 is a little too soupy, so we’ll be looking for a solid 118 in future.

Meyer lemon and Key lime are next in the queue.  Very pretty.