Applefest 2014, Part 1: Homemade apple juice!

I mentioned last year that we had a few apple trees on our property. Two large ones that produce very decent cooking/eating apples and two smaller crabapples. All of them were very prolific this year, owing to a gentle spring followed by generously long growing season. For the past two years, I’ve been using a blend of these apples to make a very nice juice. Which is great, since apple juice is something we like to have in the fridge all the time and that can get spendy with Finnish grocery prices. Our two larger trees in flower earlier this …

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Cheater’s Mango Lassi

Rauma does not have an Indian restaurant. Nor does it really  have any place where you can conveniently get the ingredients necessary to make most Indian dishes at home. So, like I do for most Asian ingredients, I stock in bulk whenever we make it over to an ethnic grocer in Turku or any other larger city. I’ll also tend to this if we visit a restaurant — a practice that once ended in a plastic takeaway bag filled with a mixture of three different types of curry when the containers upended halfway through my drive home. Still, I stubbornly …

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Mango Fruitbomb Smoothie

This smoothie was the result of wanting to make something without additional sweeteners that the hubby would also like, since he’s been kind of eyeing the pitcher when I make these now. And this one tastes like fruit punch! For the mango, I wash it thoroughly but leave the skin on. There’s lots of nutrients and fiber in the skin, which I’d prefer not to just throw away. Plus it looks like pretty multi-colored confetti in the finished smoothie 🙂 Just make sure you scrub the fruit down thoroughly with a safe fruit wash before using it, then slice around …

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Pear, Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie

I have been very pleased with this one lately. We used pear juice as filler or thinner for our smoothies at the shop all the time, because it has a mellow sweet taste that blends well with just about any other flavor. So I guess it’s no surprise that pear and banana (the two most common fruit bases) would get along harmoniously with each other to make a mild, creamy foundation that lets other ingredients stand out easily. Like, say, peanut butter, which I’ve been using more of lately as a protein source. Ripe pears, a banana, peanut butter, vanilla …

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Raspberry Banana Smoothie

But first, a brief moment whilst I pat myself on the back for completing the migration of seven-ish years of posts from VKFood to this blog. Save for a few misdirected links (which all point back here in the end, I believe), they all arrived intact. What a trip to see some of those really old posts and think back on what life was like back then! Right, the smoothies. Sorry for the less-than-composed photograph – it was snapped moments before I buried my face in the glass. “Must eat” has taken on a whole new meaning in third trimester …

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Ice cream + tea = awesome.

This is one of those things that some people might like to blame on pregnancy cravings, but I know myself well enough to doubt that is true. I’ve definitely been feeling more drawn to ice cream in third trimester than I ever have in recent memory (I’m looking at you, Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food), but it’s not like I was ever indifferent to the stuff. So several weeks ago, I was sitting in the kitchen contemplating ice cream and tea. Mostly that I wanted both, but was trying to decide which would come first. Then at some point, I asked …

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The one with the dumplings.

This gallery contains 23 photos.

Wow, look what I found lurking in my old to-post folder! The last batch of photos from my London work trip back in spring of 2011. Yeah, the one where it became my mission in life to order steamed dumplings from every place within delivery range that made them. Seriously, I’ve got the pictures to prove it. It was an obsession. Just thinking about the woeful lack of delivery dumplings here makes me sad. It’s almost criminal. Why do you hate me so, Finland?

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Homemade blackcurrant juice and a shiny new steam juicer.

So back in Cali, the main thing I knew about blackcurrants were that they were a strongly-scented European fruit that was used to make booze and Ribena. The main thing I knew about Ribena syrup was that it was really handy to use when mixing up blood substitute for film and TV productions. Never actually drank any of the stuff until a couple years ago, since it was usually relegated to some obscure specialty shelf. First winter we were here, then, T’s grandmother merrily handed me a bottle of homemade blackcurrant juice and I thanked her, despite looking somewhat puzzled. We …

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Calamondinade and my first citrus tree.

Citrus fruit has always been somewhat ubiquitous, having grown up in various warm weather areas where it was a predominant crop. I’ve been in the market for a small citrus plant for the past couple of months, wanting to bring a bit of that fragrance into my garden. At my parents’ old house, we had a huge lime bush and a grapefruit tree that gave us copious amounts of fruit. At my parents’ new house, they have a few potted kumquats, which are much more container-friendly and so much fun to nibble on. While I knew that I wouldn’t be able …

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Mint and Lemon Balm Iced Tea

Apologies for this past week’s disappearance — nothing much happened, the heat wave had just baked our brains to the point where I couldn’t be bothered to go in the kitchen for anything more than a cold glass of water. Stringing together intelligible syllables gets more difficult as these summer days progress. I have been out in the garden a lot, however, both to get some fresh air and to take advantage of weather that my plants love, even if I do not. This is the first of what I hope to be many posts that kind of cross over …

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