Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Simplicity + Boiled Cider Syrup
My husband has called me out. I may or may not be guilty. He alleges that I put too much time, thought and mess into food preparation. I don't always do that, but sometimes I do. Some of that comes from me enjoying cooking and creating new things and a lot of it comes from me loving to eat. He has been challenging me to make more easy food. I informed him that is not so simple, there are standards to be upheld. I can't just pull dinner out of cardboard boxes every night and expect that to be equal to the stuff I make from scratch. It can't.
I got frustrated and offered to let him plan dinner for the next week, but told him the requirements: no, to steak on the grill every night and yes, to vegetables, legumes, fruits and whole grains. He balked, and hasn't taken me up on the offer. In fact he in even confessed that he couldn't do it like I do. (Thanks.) He just wanted a few nights a week when dinner was easy enough we would have time to hit the park or go on a walk before it is completely dark out.. Point taken. I can do that. Or at least I will try.
Are you ever guilty of the same?
What are your easy meals (easy on time and dishes)?
Now switching gears. Cider. I adore fresh apple cider. Not the stuff on the shelf at the grocery store, but the just-pressed-yesterday liquid gold at the farm stands and markets. The hazard is, it doesn't last. One or two weeks and it will start to turn hard. Want fun trick of what to do with it? Boil it. Boil and concentrate it until you have a lovely syrup. If you have been balking at the price of real maple syrup- this is just the thing for you. One gallon of fresh cider runs about $3.75 to $5 here, (depending on where you buy it) to yield about 2-3 cups of syrup. The same amount of maple syrup (which is made the exact same way) is about 2-3 times more expensive. Plus, making this stuff is as easy as turning on a pot to boil for 2 hours and not totally forgetting about it.
It is the just the thing to top oatmeal pancakes on a Saturday morning. Or a little bit in a recipe for muffins or scones would really add another dimension. I can't wait to use mine.