Saturday, April 16, 2011

Cheating and Compost: The Perfect Saturday

 To start today's post, I'm going to teach you how to cheat.  It won't win you any money (at least, I don't think it will) but it will make your mouth happy.  The world's easiest Blueberry-Lemon Curd Tartlets:

1 jar of lemon curd  (I used Stonewall Kitchen's.)
1 jar of blueberry jam, preserves, or whatever the stuff is called when the blueberries retain much of their
     shape, or 1 pint fresh blueberries, if they're in season
1 pie crust (I use Martha Stewart's recipe, which makes two; freeze the other one if you're not using it right away...you'll be glad you did!)
4 removable bottom tartlet pans
1.  Divide the dough into four pieces, roll out to about 1/8 inch.  Fit into tartlet pans.  (Tuck excess dough into the rim of the tart pans; a nice, thick outer crust on these is great.  Or, really, do what you want...!)  Dock the whole bottom of the dough, and line the inside with foil or parchment and pie weights (to keep the sides from slumping).  Bake completely at 425, for 15-25 minutes (check at 15).  Cool completely.
2.  Spread the bottom of the tart with 1/4-1/2 cup of lemon curd.
3.  Top with a few tablespoons of the blueberries.  Refrigerate at least one hour.
4.  Try not to eat all four of them by yourself.


Next up, remember those gorgeous fresh eggs from the last post?  We had some of them in breakfast sandwiches this morning.  Again, not really a recipe, but so good I wanted to share.



 Serves two.

4 slices whole wheat bread, toasted
4 large basil leaves, torn
4 slices of cooked bacon, halved
1 cup mixed greens
butter, for two of the toast slices
salt and pepper, for the eggs
2 eggs, cooked to your liking  (I used small ones, because they were too cute to resist)

Obviously, this is your standard egg sandwich, but the thing I wanted to mention was the basil.  Mixing it with the bacon and the eggs was a good idea, though I wasn't sure it would be when I started out.  It's not a combination I've had before.  Count me a fan!  You'll notice I skipped the cheese here, which is close to blasphemy in this house.  The sandwich didn't need it, but if you'd like to omit the bacon and make this vegetarian, you could put some parmigiano or other salty, nutty cheese like gruyere on, and it would be brilliant.  It was the contrast of flavors that made this so enjoyable, and I think the cheeses would give you that.

After breakfast, I broke into one of our composters.  We've been "making compost" for three years now.  We have two of the compost tumblers that you see in the picture, and last fall we stopped adding new stuff to this one.  This is the first time that I've actually harvested the stuff in large quantities, and I have to admit, it was way more exciting than compost probably should be.  I wasn't 100% convinced it was going to work, especially since these suckers advertise that the compost will be ready in a few months and you'll note that I said we've been doing this for three years now.

I have to own that one of the reasons it probably took so long is that we kept adding new materials, but even if we hadn't it would have taken awhile to get to this stage.  But now that we have...I'm hooked.  It looks like the darkest chocolate cake crumbs, and feels all crumbly and fun when you run your fingers through it.  There's no odor at all, which is good, because when the stuff is first brewing, it's pretty stinky.
I'm using a "compost sifter" to sort the stuff that's ready from the larger chunks that go back in.  Seriously, this was a lot more fun than you'd think it might be.  Then again, my husband's endearment for me isn't "sweetie" or "honey," it's "garden geek."  That might explain the look of joy on my face as I sift dirt...

Hoping you're having a day of doing whatever makes you happy!

1 comment:

Larry said...

Actually, my endearing term for Chris is "Agridork", as in Agricultural Dork.