Project 1: use the giant zucchini his mother gave us.
Okay, so this isn't getting me out of the innuendo hole I am digging myself, but really, all we did was shred it and make zucchini bread. Really! The zucchini yielded six cups of zucchini and so there is now 6 loaves of zucchini bread, one we are eating and five more wrapped tightly and in the deep freeze. Here are five of them:
|The counter full of zucchini bread.|
Our neighbor has a beautiful Italian Plum tree the sits on the border between our two properties. They don't like them or use them so last year they let us have half the tree. We were looking forward to them this year as well, only to go outside last week and find the tree already stripped. Someone else got to them first and I was devastated. Luckily we found a lovely vendor at the farmer's market who had cases of them for sale. We bought a case for very little money and then had a large case of plums to work with. This project had several parts.
Part one: baby food. I simmered a pan full of the fresh plums with a tiny bit of apply juice then pureed them through the food mill and put the puree in ice cube trays to freeze.
Part two: plum torte. This is my favorite way to use these. This torte is very like a coffee cake, and the plums sink to the bottom to form a jammy layer that is very delicious. (recipe at bottom of post)
|Not the prettiest cake but so delicious.|
Project 3: Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
Now I know this is usually a spring thing, but I found some beautiful strawberries on sale and we luckily have four very well established rhubarb plants growing in a corner of our yard. They were a very pleasant surprise the first spring we lived here. We had mowed the rhubarb down earlier in the summer when they had gotten too old and overgrown, but they came back and so I had a second crop of rhubarb to play with this year. I didn't get fancy, just used the basic recipe in the pectin box. It turned out delicious and I used half pint jars so it is perfect for gifting.
|ten jars of ruby red jam.|
11 Italian plums, halved and pitted
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, softened
1¼ cups sugar, divided
1 cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. strained fresh lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan.
- Using an electric mixer, cream together butter and 1 cup sugar. Add flour, baking soda, salt, lemon zest and eggs; blend well.
- Spread batter over bottom of pan and arrange plums, cut sides up, on top. Mix remaining sugar with cinnamon and sprinkle over plums. Sprinkle with lemon juice.
- Bake for 1 hour or until cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before running a knife around the cake and carefully removing the springform sides.
- Serve warm with whipped cream or at room temperature.