Posts

Welcome to Moonlady’s kitchen

As my first post, I want to invite you to follow both my business page Moonlady's Kitchen and my food adventures here.  On the business page will tell you what is fresh or what specials I’m doing then.  (If I have a bounty I love to share- if it’s a product I’ll make a deal, and if it’s an adventure or an experiment I’m always looking for the adventurous to taste test for me). 
I do several categories of items for sale Candied fruits (fruit+sugar)Dried fruits with no additional ingredients unless notedJam and pickles (new-ish so still working the details out)Dried HerbsHand (or body) scrubs To see a List and prices, please check my product page:  https://www.themoonlady.com/p/moonladys-kitchen-product-page.html?m=1
I also want to walk you through my process.  The things that motivate me are reducing waste, eating food that is free of a lot of crazy additives, and finding new and interesting ways to change how I think about food. 
My candied orange peels are a good example- we usually …

Waste reduction: Pineapple

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I’m sure that everyone has a favorite pineapple recipe. Pineapple upside down cake, Humming Bird Bake, Carrot Cake (with or without is a huge debate, right?). Everyone knows what to do with the sweet yellow meat inside, but did you know that is just a fraction of what you can get out of your fresh pineapple?   Usually, if I’m cutting a pineapple up, it’s to dehydrate pineapple circles or chunks. My husband likes it that way, it’s a quick easy snack, and it stores well.  I break the top off, slice the bottom off, and remove the skins. Then I slice it thin enough to use a small circular cookie cutter to remove the core. The core is tasty but fibrous and unpleasant to chew. So it goes with the skins.  I try to make circles purely out of vanity but it dries just fine in chunks and since it inevitably breaks apart, I get about 50-50.  Those get a gentle dry for 24-48 hours at 125-130oF  
Next, the crowns. If you are good with plants, you can set the crown in water and let it form roots and e…

Fertile Ground: grapes and children

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To preface all this, my mom is a public school teacher so I have always had an appreciation for teachers, and for all the work that goes into it during the school day and all the other hours of the day. This blog post is because of her influence. 
My daughter just recently started back at in person school at a private school near our house. We decided early in the summer because virtual had gone so badly for her. (She is definitely not designed to sit in front of a screen and attend for an extended period of time. Still, I’m a mom and I worry like it’s my job. Actually, it is my job, so I’m doing just fine. So I was sort of looking for some comforting sign that we were doing the right thing, and maybe a reminder that putting my faith in this was going to be okay.  When we drove over to the school to do the socially distanced meet the teacher (strictly spaced out so only one family at a time and everyone masked) on the way there, I thought I noticed some grape vines. Of course my intere…

What on earth is with the jars?

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If you know me, you’ll know I am always on the hunt for glass jars and bottles. (You’ll also know it drives my husband bananas because there’s jars everywhere in my house). If you have gotten stuff from me, you’ll know it usually comes in a reused jar and that I will give you a dollar worth of store credit (see my product page https://www.themoonlady.com/p/moonladys-kitchen-product-page.html?m=1 ) It’s a bunch of extra clutter and a bunch of extra work and it makes my husband mad. So why?  Well... for starters, I do it for my dad. 

He’s a character for sure. He can be a grump but he’s got a heart of gold. (Sort of like my husband, actually. I guess he set a high standard.  As a young man he was a Boy Scout and an Eagle Scout and he really took it to heart to leave a place better than you found it. We (his daughters) spent our childhood stopping to pick up hats from the side of the road and carrying trash that wasn’t ours back to trash cans. And- this is a big one- recycling. At one of…

Can I eat that? Asparagus gone to fern

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I’ve been foraging and collecting local fruits and herbs and in the process, a friend asked me if her asparagus which had gone to fern and flower was edible. I researched it a bit and found out it isn’t poisonous. Not to shirk an adventure, I collected a generous helping of the gone-by plant and headed home. 
When trying to find out if something is edible, it is absolutely important to distinguish between an asparagus plant that is past season, and asparagus fern, which is a different plant. Asparagus fern is mildly toxic. Don’t eat it. If you are going to eat a plant, be sure you identify it first and don’t get it confused with something similar. 

The first thing I tried was the most simple- I threw it in a pan to sauté it.  When sautéing in a pan wasn’t effective, I added some dregs from my homemade loquat wine bottle, which had yeasty bits to add some vitamin B and flavor to a sauté. 
That was absolutely an abject failure. It did not soften at all and even after a long time on the hea…

Foraging: purselane

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I’m not sure if it’s the pandemic bringing out some sort of survival instinct or if it’s just a natural progression of a person with a black thumb who loves picking and eating stuff, but lately I have really taken to foraging. I’ve mostly been looking for dandelions but I stumbled across a huge patch of purselane and I remember finding out about it several years ago. 

Have you ever heard of purselane?  It is usually regarded as a weed but it’s actually an edible herb that is full of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and omega-3. You can find it everywhere, except where people are very very particularly manicuring their lawns. 
It likes all the in between places and it seems to be popping up along the pavement, next to the house, and especially sunny places. 

Since I’ve started increasing the foraging, I’ve been grabbing it by the handful from my yard and the wild places I’ve gone. I started using it in egg scrambles but it’s a bit stalky and the texture isn’t my favorite. (I’ve seen some re…