Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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my foodgawker gallery


Homemade condiments and spices
Apple Tomatillo Salsa PDF Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 23 September 2014 21:59

 

 

It's the best of both worlds right now. We still have summer produce, but we're also getting treats from fall. And that includes apples.

 

Really, really, really, beautiful apples.

 

Along with tomatillos.

 

When we got home from the farmers market the other day, Jedd put the tomatillos in one of his bowls and there they've sat next to the apples.

 

It's been like a little subliminal message.

 

“Launie, make salsa. Launie, make salsa. Launie, make salsa.”

 

I really didn't have much of a choice!

 

Honestly I wouldn't have thought of pairing the two, except for the fact that they've – literally – been staring me in the face for three days.

 

I'm happy for that little bit of happenstance, because the salsa is fantastic. It's sweet from the apples, citrusy from the tomatillos, and spicy from the jalapeno and chipotle.

 

Now that it's fall, grab some apples and try it for yourself.

 

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Frozen Grapes: They're Like Candy PDF Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 15 February 2013 22:50

 

Last week I was talking with my mother when she asked if I had ever eaten frozen grapes. I told her that I hadn't, and in fact I'd never even heard of them.

 

She made them sound appetizing as a sweet snack or as a “grape cube” in a drink. So, when I went to the grocery store yesterday I decided to pick up a batch that were on sale. When I reached for the bag, I had a conversation from a book pop into my head.

 

“We can take a shorter drive," Laura answered. "But we want to go to Lake Henry. This is about our last chance for wild grapes, now they are frosted,"Almanzo told her.

 

That's when I remembered that I had read about frozen grapes in These Happy Golden Years, my favorite Laura Ingalls Wilder book.

 

(Yes, I'm a grown woman who can quote Little House books. Don't judge me.)

 

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Why Spend Money on Sun Dried Tomatoes When You Can Oven Dry Them Instead? PDF Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 14:52

 

 

They're great on a pizza, a sandwich or just as a snack. But, sun dried tomatoes aren't cheap, and for $1.99 you can make them yourself. Not only will you have the satisfaction of saving a few dollars – but you get to have the simple childlike joy of performing a Mr. Wizard-like experiment in your own kitchen.

 

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From Gnarly Root to Powerful Condiment: The Perils and Beauties of Homemade Horseradish PDF Write e-mail
Written by Jedd Kettler   
Sunday, 18 November 2012 18:43

 

Gas masks, protective goggles and amazing food. Those ideas seem incongruous.

 

Or so I thought years ago, before I met Launie and before I heard the details of her family's tradition of making horseradish from scratch. The first time Launie told me stories about members of her family donning gas masks to protect themselves from the intense fumes of the horseradish-preparation process, I was convinced it was just my favorite raconteur indulging her imagination for comedic and dramatic effect. I mean, everyone knows horseradish packs a punch. Why tell tall tales?

 

I was just naive, though. When you cut below the outer skin of a horseradish root, enzymes begin to break down and that famous and much-loved aroma is released. That aroma, though, is much more intense during the preparation than it is when you open a jar of the finished product. It attacks both your eyes and your nose and it's not for the faint of heart. While Launie's description of members of her family wearing gas masks may have been a slight exaggeration, it's not much of one. They wore air-tight goggles. (See the description that Ginny, Launie's mother, gives below.) Launie can be forgiven a little literary license: Making homemade horseradish is serious business and so are the delectably intense results.

 

 

You might think you're a knowledgeable connoisseur of horseradish. You might use it in everything from a mustard dip to a Bloody Mary or a borscht to a cocktail sauce. You might think you understand the powerful, sinus-clearing properties of this distinctive ingredient. But if you've only used store-bought horseradish, you don't know the half of it.

 

Making horseradish is to cutting onions as skydiving from the edge of the atmosphere is to jumping off a ladder. While a gas mask might not be necessary, it doesn't seem unreasonable.

 

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Making Homemade Mustard is a Snap PDF Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 06 April 2012 18:41

The other day Jedd went to the grocery store to stock up for the week. While he was gone I realized that I had asked him to grab sandwich stuff, but I forgot that we were out of mustard. I had beautiful turkey, rye bread and swiss cheese coming home but no mustard.

 

And Jedd had forgotten his phone.

 

To quote the Princess Bride: “Inconceivable!”

 

But I did have mustard seeds and vinegar.

 

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