Sean thinks he owns our kitchen and all the tools therein, but I, yes *I* have not only taken back the holy room of food preparation, I have taken over his web site as well! Mwahahahahahahaha!
Well, for today, anyway.
I have for you, gentle reader, a truly awesome Danish treat made vegan style. Read on, be amazed and drop us a line if you like/dislike/made improvements on the recipe. We vegan kitchen geeks gotta stick together!
We LOVE to can food at our house! It's a rare and wonderful treat to be able to pull items from our seasonal harvest off the shelf to find them tasting as fresh as the day they came off the vine. It fills us with pride and joy to give out Yule gifts of our berry and fruit jams or to serve guests sauce we put up over the summer using nothing but vegetables and spices grown in our own garden. Best of all, canning is easy to do and costs very little to get started!
It seems to me that every well-heeled garden eventually turns its caretakers into some semblance of Marge Piercy-ian Squash People, and the tomatoes, oh the tomatoes, how the the tomatoes do turn us ever into reverse beggars at the doors of friends and strangers, pleading for mercy that we might survive the night without drowning in our red, round, rubenesque rubies. Of course, we'd prepare and can them ourselves if only we had the time, right? Well worry no more, but give me a read and I'll let you in a quick little recipe to convert your burdonsome hoard into a delightful treasure with hardly any effort at all! Well... relatively little effort anyway. In my case, I also preserve the sauce for later use, which adds just a few more steps.
Be bold! Baklava may seem like a big bad scary dessert to tackle, but it's fairly simple (if time consuming). My first experience making it was for - get this - a group of very lovely women (my wife included) at a photo shoot for belly dancers. This dessert seemed the perfect compliment to such an occasion so I did what you're doing right now: I searched the web for a good road map to making my first batch. I printed off directions from several sources and went at it. It turned out that one of the dancers brought her Albanian mother to the shoot. After trying my baklava this sweet elderly woman sought me out and, in a thick accent, told me that "it tasted just like her mother made it." I melted. Literally. I mean, I'm sitting here typing this in my reconstituted form. Good thing too, 'cause now I'm able to share the story of my successes with you!
This seems to me to be an obvious point to make now, but there was a time when this hadn't occurred to me, so I figured I'd toss this to cyberspace in case it helps someone else out (and maybe make them look oh-so-kewl in the process).
Have you ever needed a piece of equipment and not had it on hand, but the improvised solution turned out to be superior to what you thought you needed?! This nifty little method is the result of one such occasion. I was making baklava and realized that the pastry brush I was using to apply butter to the pans and philo was shedding fibers. You can imagine my horror! I picked out the fibers as best I could and then cast around the kitchen (and then the house) for another solution. Nothing conventional presented itself, so... "necessity is the mother of invention," as they say, and I haven't purchased another pastry brush since.
In 1997, when Sean and I began dating, there was always a crock of beans on the counter. It was cheap, nutritious food, and he was in college. But when I lamented that truck stop foraging prospects for over-the-road drivers were dim and wondered if I would be stuck living on beef jerky and corn chips, he prepared a gift bag of tea, dried fruit and nuts. That gift bag lasted me many weeks and was refilled whenever it emptied.