ramblings from the noisedoctor

April 8, 2007

pierogie day

Filed under: cooking, family — noisedoctor @ 7:54 pm

Yesterday was our family’s 2nd annual Pierogie Day. What’s a Pierogie? Are you nuts? I’m kidding. The wikipedia page describes them pretty well.

We make them with mashed potatoes and cheese (specifically American cheese). When we eat them, we usually pan fry them in butter with lots of onions.

The team consists of me, my wife, my parents, my sister and her husband and three boys (this year: 7, 5, and just about 2). It’s hard work, but they are so much better than anything you can buy anywhere. It’s also fun hanging out with the family. And, since it doesn’t mess up my kitchen–all the better. Okay, we do help clean up my sister’s kitchen.

This years batch was about 32 dozen. We worked from 9am to just around 4:30pm. Not too bad. One new technique this year was using my brand-new pasta press to roll out the dough instead of doing that by hand with a rolling pin. Last year we destroyed a rolling pin and three men’s shoulder and back muscles (okay maybe not destroyed, but nearly wore out). This year we got really nice consistency with the dough thickness by using the machine. It was much easier cranking the dough through that a few times than the old way. It might not have been any faster, but we’re sold on the new technique.

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December 14, 2006

herb gifts

Filed under: cooking, gardening — noisedoctor @ 2:58 pm

Here’s a look at how I give dried herbs to friends and family.

Herb Jars

I save spaghetti jars for the large containers (lavender, peppermint) and use baby food jars for small containers (oregano, basil, paprika, cilantro, cayenne pepper, and my own “bread dipping sauce mix”). I have to ask around to get the baby food jars (though hopefully we’ll have the chance to use them here in our household some day).

November 21, 2006

butternut squash sauce for pasta

Filed under: cooking — noisedoctor @ 11:15 am

I tried something for the first time and it turned out pretty well. Iresearched some similar recipes and came up with my own. It wasn’ t incredible or anything, but it was worth eating.

Anyone ever do anything similar? I’d love to get suggestions for improving this recipe. Obviously, I started with a rather small quantity of squash (didn’t want to waste much in case it was lousy) so many of the ingredients are in pretty small units.

  • 1 1/2 cup butternut squash puree
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/8 cup finely minced yellow onion
  • 3/8 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar

Sautee the garlic and onion in the olive oil in a small pan. Then combine all other ingredients in a sauce pan and cook slowly for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

November 2, 2006

what does 39 cups of butternut squash look like?

Filed under: cooking, gardening — noisedoctor @ 3:09 pm

And now you know. It looks about like this.

Butternut Squash

After cutting the squash, I steam them until soft. Then, I press them through the food mill (lower right). That took about 4 hours to do.

Just to put that into perspective, that’s enough squash to make 19 pumpkin pies. mmmmm pumpkin pie. I took 10 cups and made 5 pies for our harvest party. The rest are in the freezer for future pie-making.

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