Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Frittering

Ever wanted something sweet for breakfast that wasn't necessarily bad for you, but not necessarily a smoothie? Me too. Enter the Apple Fritter. No sugar added, y'all. The apple doesn't need any help!

First, get yourself some apples. Try for local, organic, awesomeness, but if they're half rotten and full of worms like mine were (ugh), just go to the damn store and get some Honeycrisp.


 Ahhhh, Honeycrisp! Our forbidden love is so delicious! Or maybe that's just you. You are delicious. Mmmm.

Ahem. Now. Wash and slice them apples and take out the middle bits. I got these handy little things last year intending them to be for the purpose of cutting school lunches and snacks into interesting shapes. They happen to perfectly fit the inside portion of most apples. There's even a star-shaped one (that I couldn't find today, lol)!




My kids love to do this part. Today I let Ezekiel do it because Isaiah tends to snap the apple slices into little bits in his enthusiasm and I wanted some nice whole fritters to show you. Isaiah helped with the next part!







Grab a small mixing bowl and throw in some cornmeal and flour. I probably used around a cup of each (I'm sorry for not measuring. I am. I just can't bring myself to do it. I'm rebellious that way). Then you need a dash each of baking powder and salt (probably between 1/2-1 teaspoon here, but definitely not more than a teaspoon, especially on the salt).





Next pour in some leftover kombucha (you could also use beer/ale/whatever). I used maybe 1/4 cup, but this will depend on the strength of your kombucha. Next I put in probably 1/4 - 1/2 cup of milk. You can use all kombucha/beer, but my kombucha is crazy strong right now, more like vinegar...so I opted to mix it with something mild. You could also use just milk, and put in maybe a little bit of lemon juice, vinegar or yogurt or something else tangy to give it an extra kick.





Now. If you want to be really good and Weston-A.-Price-ish, like I...erm...try to be when I'm not in a hurry (ha!), you could prepare this batter the night before and let it sit to break down all those nasty phytates and whatnot in the flour. If you're in a hurry and didn't think about how you might want apple fritters for breakfast when it was the night before, and you suddenly really want apple fritters right now, just let it sit for five minutes or so to let the batter thicken.

While the batter is doin' it's thang, get out your lovely home-rendered tallow (or lard or other suitable-for-high-heat frying fat). Start it melting in a small pan. I used a small pan because I don't have a lot of tallow left right now, and the oil does have to be a certain depth for what we're going to do. It means I have to fry them one at a time, but tha's no biggie.


 
 


Thaaarrrr she goes! Ahhh, fat. It's a beautiful thing. I'd say you want the depth of the oil to be at least equal to the thickness of your apple slices. Mine were about a centimeter.

Leave the oil to get nice and hot and check on your batter. You want it to be fairly runny, but thick enough to stick to the apples. Not as runny as cake batter, but not as thick as muffin batter. You'll get the feel for it, don't worry!



Now you'll have to hurry and wash your grabby tongs that were still in the sink from the last time you made apple fritters (ssshhhh!). Get that first apple slice all covered in batter and drop it gently in (splashing hurts). Once it's brown (DON'T BURN IT DON'T BURN IT DON'T BURN IT!!!!!!), turn it over and enjoy the fantastic smell of melty apple filling your kitchen. Set it on a plate with paper towels to soak up any dripping. Start the next fritter before you bite into the first. There's plenty of time. Don't get ahead of yourself.




 Unless you have little kids grabbing frantically for the first one. Then you might have to come up with a new strategy to get that first, luscious, heavenly bite.

By the way, if you DO have a good strategy for keeping grubby, grabby gremlin hands off of the first fritter, let me know!

I never get the first fritter.

:P

Make sure you keep the oil nice and hot while you're frying. Nothing worse than a soggy fritter! Don't let it get TOO hot, either. Nothing worse than a burnt fritter.

Most of all, be enthusiastic, let the kids help, and have fun! Pretty much my advice on life right there. ;)

I was going to take a picture of the finished product for you, all stacked up in a neat little tower, but...

Well...

We ate them instead.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Whats and nots and suchlike

I realize I've been neglecting this. There have been all manner of things happening that I could have blogged about. I could have blogged about the party we had; how I took a theme from our homeschool unit and ran so wild and crazy with it that I made an octopus piƱata that was only part 6 of an 11 step treasure hunt and obstacle course meant for only the bravest and most daring of adventurers.

I could have blogged about taking my kids for a walk to the library, and the health food store, and picking all manner of weedy greens for the rabbits along the way. I could have taken pictures, and told you all about Plantago major and Taraxacum officinale. And also shared how incredibly weedy and unkempt our town is. Oh well, more goodies for us!

Obviously, I didn't blog anything. Or take pictures of anything. I was far too busy getting attacked with water balloons, or yelling "STOP AT THE STREET! WAIT FOR ME! BE CAREFUL! STOPATTHESTREET!" a hundred million times an hour.

I believe this is called "life", and sometimes it just feels best to live it.

The rabbits have been banished once again to the outdoors, just in time for the gorgeous September cool-down. I actually got in a teensy bit (cough) of trouble because one or more bunnies may or may not have ruined the closet door with their adorable ferocious nibbling. So now I have a new project on my list: refinish closet door to look charmingly...er...rustic. I think it can be done. Perhaps you will get to see the transformation!

The good news is, it looks like my wonderful, loving, kind, patient husband is going to take pity on me and my dearth of carpentry skills. The hutches will be built! The rabbits will be bred! Baby bunnies will abound, along with copious shrieks (mine) of appreciation!

Fur hats and mittens and slippers and delicious stews will also abound. Eventually. But we won't think about that while they're tiny and adorable and fluffy and sweet and cuddly. :P

For now, the change in the weather has refreshed my soul. I pursue the life in front of me with renewed determination. Now is the season of planning, of pondering, and of preparation. And knitting. And soup. And of course pie.

Pie. Mmm. Piiiiiiiiiiiiiiieee. Pie.

Goodbye!