Friday, September 18, 2009

Charlie Can, Can

Do you ever wake up, go about your day and then WHAM, it's bedtime and you can't remember where the day went? You go to bed thinking that there just isn't enough time in the day. Well, my sister-in-law Charlie doesn't have this problem. You see, she accomplishes more in a 24 hours than anyone else I know. She cooks, bakes, knits, tends a garden, and much more . . . 
These are all from her garden that she personally tends to daily. She's also crazy about canning. Aren't these jars beautiful? Charlie is also a celebrity at her local Renton Farmer's Market where she is frequently seen buying large bouquets of flowers or collecting ingredients for a homemade stew or sauce. Why this woman doesn't open up her very own organic market I'll never know. Check out these Beet recipes straight from Charlie's kitchen:

Option 1:

Beets - I usually do about 4 large at a time, scrubbed.
Oive oil
Balsamic vinegar-splash over top
Salad greens
Gorgonzola or feta cheese 1/4 c. or to taste.
1/4 c. toasted pecans, walnuts, or pistachios toasted in pan with a a tsp olive oil and black pepper

Wrap individual beets in aluminum foil, drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over top and scrunch closed. Roast 1hr at 350 degrees or cook on bbq for 1.5hrs (really good this way) test for doneness by inserting fork, just like potatoes, done when soft.

Unwrap beets and remove skins under cool running water. Chop into cubes and add to bowl with nuts and cheese, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste, salt and pepper also to taste and serve. 

Option 2:

yield: Makes 6 servings
Serve over mixed greens

6 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
6 small unpeeled beets, scrubbed, tops trimmed
10 shallots, peeled
2/3 cup pecan halves
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 small heads Boston lettuce, torn
2/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese (about 3 ounces)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush large baking sheet with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Place beets on prepared baking sheet and roast beets 30 minutes. Add shallots to same sheet. Sprinkle beets and shallots with salt and pepper and roast 30 minutes. Push beets and shallots away from 1 corner of sheet and scatter pecans in corner. Roast beets, shallots and pecans until vegetables are tender and pecans are golden brown, about 6 minutes. Cool vegetables and pecans to room temperature, about 15 minutes.

Whisk remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar and garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer pecans and shallots to large bowl and add lettuce. Peel and slice beets; add to salad. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with Gorgonzola cheese and serve.

Here are more images of the many canned goods created in Charlie's kitchen.

After seeing all this, I can no longer complain about not having enough time. What I've learned from Charlie is that if you're passionate about something, you'll eventually find the time. Charlie, thank you for contributing your knits {here and here} and food to this blog. Keep it coming, we love it.
Have a happy weekend everyone.

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