Sunday, July 7, 2013

Maple Butter, Mulberries, and More

I was oddly productive today.  It's great.

Today was the first day of the farmer's and crafter's market ten minutes away, so I excitedly showed up.  I've never been to this market before so I didn't really know what to expect.  Perhaps because it's relatively early there weren't that many stands... one had a flintknapper, which was cool, there were a few jewelry stands.  Only one stand sold vegetables, right next to a stand selling local beef (I didn't have nearly the money for that sort of thing, but I'll be all over that in a couple weeks).  I did wind up buying a quart of maple syrup from a guy selling syrup and honey.  I explained that I don't use white sugar in my house and he gave me a pamphlet explaining how to replace white sugar with maple syrup in practically everything.
Also, I got the most charming local eggs recently.  They weren't from this particular market, but they were hilariously mismatched, including three different colors and a huge variety of sizes:

I have a mulberry tree that's nestled right up against my house, and as it's fruiting right now I decided to collect and wash some berries.  Using a tarp and a broom I got enough to fill one of my bowls before washing them in a vinegar solution and sorting out all the crap.
I also set to being remarkably productive today, which I mentioned earlier.  I got off my ass and put seed in my bird feeders, leading to an immediate influx of birds.  They'd been coming to my birdbath reasonably often, but not nearly as much as when there are a bunch of full feeders for them.  I have been working more to get my bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen cleaned; these rooms go into serious disarray when I'm depressed or going through a food binge as I have been.  I've been in a good mood lately so that's slowly changing.

I also made maple butter.  Kind of.  It was my first attempt and I wasn't sure exactly how it was supposed to look, so it's like a mix between maple butter and maple candy.  Luckily I really enjoy maple candy.  My favorite part about maple candy?  Unlike white sugar candy I can stop after one piece.  Not because it's inherently better for you (sugar is generally sugar), but because it's so rich.

I packaged up some chicken and allium soup in my new bento box to go to work with me tomorrow.  In the compartments I put cherries, peaches, and maple butter/candy.  I also made a pork roast with salt, maple sugar, rosemary, and mulberries... yes, mulberries.  I've made pork dishes with blueberries before and they're fantastic, so I figured mulberries wouldn't be a stretch.  And yes, it turned out pretty good.