the pilot coffee lid

I-40 AZ, exit 9 is the cheapest gas on I-40 west of Flagstaff. Plus the Pilot Truck Stop is very entertaining (and with all the rest stops closed between Flagstaff and CA, ya gotta stop somewhere). They stock everything imaginable to plug into your DC outlets. Interesting customers that have crawled out of the desert. Truckers with long beards. And then there's the wall of coffee. You must see it to believe it. Sorry, I have no photo for you. What I do have is the cool coffee cup lid. Excellent design. And the coffee tastes great too (I tried Dark Roast).


the driving is done and now it's time to get to work

I apologize to anyone who was hoping to read about my trip here as it happened. I had a whole chain of uploading links that fell apart when Britekite went down (they decided to do a major upgade right in the middle of my trip) (I won't bother to add link because it is down again).
Selected photos are on my Flicker site in a set called "rt Oct 09". That was the easiest solution while "out there".
I am still working on my journal pages and will post those as they get done.
Stay tuned!


eastbound map

I was inspired by this map on flickr (click to see)
to do this

day one page

I've got the whole east bound portion of the trip in the book -- very easy to lay out eastbound travel -- route reads left to right. Not sure how to deal with the westbound leg... put maps upside down?

Here is the left side of the Day 1 spread all ready to go.


road trip journal prep

I started preparing a book to use on my October road trip

first I'm gluing AAA maps of the route into an 8 x 11" blank book
next, I'm painting the non-route portions of the map with gesso
there are portions of the trip I haven't yet figured out so it's a work in progress...

pepper jam -- XXXtra hot

The Hatch Chile Jam was not hot enough...

I took that recipe, and for the 1-1/2 cups of chopped pepper,
I used a mixture of serranos, jalapenos, yellow peppers and one habanero

it turned out so pretty:
It's super hot!


Raspberry Jam - Uncooked

When we were kids, our dad recruited us to go out in the woods behind our aunt's house to pick wild raspberries for jam. I now use frozen berries and make a low sugar freezer jam version. The perfect project for a hot summer afternoon.

Here are visuals of the ingredients and equipment:

I find raspberries too seedy and this Wear-Ever Berry Strainer is the perfect tool for mashing and filtering out some of the seeds. I bought mine at a 2nd hand place up in Portland OR.

3 12oz bags frozen berries
1-1/2 c cane sugar
1 pouch Ball Freezer Jam pectin*

mix sugar + pectin in a bowl -- eliminate any lumps
mash berries in a bigger bowl
add sugar mixture
stir constantly 3 minutes
pour into clean jars, cap
let sit for 30 min
freeze or refrigerate

* found with the other canning supplies at your grocer. They're always shifting around the location (sometimes near the sugar, sometimes near produce), so I always buy a bunch when I find it.
here's the jam atop some greek yogurt:


Another Batch of Chile Jam

I finally had some more NM chiles (from Deming this time, not Hatch) to experiment with and I tried the "Small Batch" recipe mentioned a couple of weeks ago. The chiles were rather mild + insipid, so I left all the seeds in. I'm hoping the jam will get hotter as it ages.
The recipe is called "Sparkling Sweet Pepper Jelly" and the results are very pretty -- it glows like a gem!

1-1/2 cups evenly diced peppers (= 3 NM chiles) can combine various types/colors*
3/4 c white wine vinegar (oops - just noticed the "wine" part -- I used plain white vinegar)
3 c granulated cane sugar
1 pouch liquid pectin

1. Prepare jars, lids, set up work area

2. Combine peppers, vinegar, and sugar in large stainless steel or enamel pot. Bring to full boil over high heat. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly (so won't boil over). Add pectin, return to boil, boil hard 1 minute. Remove from heat.

3. Ladle into sterilized jars and seal. NOTE: jells up FAST!

yield: approx 3 cups

(adapted from "Small Batch Preserving" ISBN 1554072565)

*think I'll try it with jalapenos + serranos next time!



hatch chiles: part2

Severo brought home 10 more pounds of chiles and I have been "processing" them. Yesterday I grilled and froze most. (Added bonus: I cleaned up the porch.) Today I'm going to try a new Chile Jam recipe from "Small Batch Preserving". Will report back with results.


Chile Jam

here are the ingredients
Pepper Jam

set jars in 350 oven to sterlize, 10min
boil lids in small saucepan

16 uncooked peppers*, 8" long
1/2 cup lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1 cup cider vinegar
6 cup sugar (use cane sugar)
6 oz (2 packets) liquid pectin

stem, seed + grind peppers (I use food processer)
mix with lemon, vinegar + sugar in LARGE stock pot
(needs room when it boils)

bring to rolling boil
boil 3-5 min
remove from heat, stir in pectin
cool slightly, put in jars
seal + invert

"makes 6 pints"
(I usually get 4)
may take 2 weeks to set

*peppers – can also use jalapenos – use 14 md jalapenos + 4 lg bell peppers

jars are inverted to create vacuum seal:
my friend Flora has a great post on myths of canning (boiling water baths, etc)




It's chile season and Severo obtained some Hatch, NM chiles @ work. Here is my technique for grilling and preserving them, learned from a neighbor in Pasadena (who had family in Hatch).

I use the gas grill (no chile roaster available). Grill until nicely charred - but not burnt:

then place serving size (I do 4) in a plastic bag (I use folding sandwich bags)
you don't need to peel off skin until ready to use!

then put bags into a gallon sized zip lock and store in the freezer...



cherries, originally uploaded by anne m bray.

a perk of having a boyfriend that works in the produce dept


zucchini pickles recipe

Zucchini Pickles -- takes at least 6 hours

2 lbs small (6") zucchini
2 small onions – peeled + sliced
1/4c salt

2c sugar
2c white vinegar
3tsp pickling spices -- McCormick’s is good mix
1tsp tumeric

Slice zucchini + onions into bowl, add salt
cover with water
Let stand for at least 3 hours
(place plate on top to keep submerged)

Combine other ing in large saucepan
Bring to boil
Add slices, let stand for at least 2 hours
(place plate on top to keep submerged)

Sterilize jars

Bring mixture to a boil for 5 minutes
Pack in sterilized jars
process 10 min boiling bath


banana bread recipe

Food Detour!
Here is a scan of my all-time favorite recipe for banana bread (or muffins)
It's from my paternal grandmother's 1943 edition of "The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book" otherwise known as "Fannie Farmer"
I inherited this cookbook when I went off to college in 1974 and have been using it ever since.
This particular edition has cool ads in the back, including one to "buy more and still more War Bonds and Stamps until Victory is ours."
(I'll scan and post later)

Meanwhile... back to the recipe...
You can see all my handwritten additions -- currently I use ground cinnamon, cloves, coriander + cardamom for the spices (no exact measure, but maybe 1/2 tsp for cinnamon and 1/8 tsp for others) and it's about 1tsp of vanilla

more later... Lada is on her way over to help me eat some!




Argh. Sorry these scans are so bad. When I get a chance, I'll rescan it larger. In 2009, I was concerned about being pirated.