Last night started out slow but ended up as a full house at 8:00. We had lots of our regular menu takers and many other just plain regulars, which made for a fun night.
We got things started on the menu with these meat empanadas, made by Abbey. They were actually quite tasty, even though they were made with ingredients I personally do not like, including lamb and olives. Somehow the combination of everything - including raisins - managed to quell the disturbing flavors that I usually detest. Today she made more to serve as a lunch special. I am picturing a blueberry hand-pie next...
Kevin's house-cured picnic ham, made from our first Black Bottom Farm hog, looked very good, with its refreshingly citrus mojo sauce. However, it was not a total success, being a little (!) on the salty side and not too terribly tender. Flavor was moderately good, once you got past the salt, but I think it will be better served as a filling for omelettes or quiche in the future, and hopefully he will have more success with the next one.
Dessert left everyone on a high note though - a coffee almond tortoni with chocolate sauce. Cool, creamy and lightly sweet, it helped people to forget about the disappointing ham entree. I hope.
Some one came around the back door yesterday, with a basket full of just-picked black raspberries. I have a black raspberry patch of my own, which has been yielding about two quarts daily for the past three or four days, but who can resist more raspberries? We bought three quarts, and this morning added some of ours to produce two batches of raspberry jam. I am an old fashioned jam maker, in that I use commercial pectin, rather than the slow cook method, but at least this time I used the "low sugar" Sure-Jell, which was a revelation. How can they do that? And why does the "regular" Sure-Jell use so much more sugar for the same results???
No matter, it turned out delicious, and possibly more "fruity" with less sugar. I'd do it again.
Those magnificent magnolia blossoms you see in the background were presented to us by Mr. Debman last night. Quite large blossoms, don't you think?
Next post will be titled "Not for the Squeamish", as I document the production of Kevin's first suckling pig. Definitely a nose to tail story.
Until then, peace out!