Golden Hot Sauce

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Hot sauce and I have a running love affair. I am dreaming of all sorts of sauce this summer.

Literally.

No joke, this recipe hit me in my sleep. I was taking a nap and then bam, I have to go make hot sauce.

I used a bag of pre-shredded carrots, because I had them. I don’t normally buy my carrots pre-sliced or pre-shredded but Tops had them marked down to move them and they were cheaper that way.

Note:

You don’t have to throw the mash out. You can stir in a little extra vinegar until it’s as thin as you would like and serve it as a really chunky sauce.

Make sure you wear gloves for the entire process.

Golden Hot Sauce

3 cups apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon salt

10 oz shredded or chopped carrots

6 (or more) superhot peppers

optional:

1/2 tablespoon pickling spice

1/2 tablespoon ground tumeric

1/2 tablespoon ground mustard

Bring all to a boil, boil until everything is very soft.

Allow to cool to room temperature. Blend until smooth.

Using a fine mesh sieve or a strainer lined with paper, drain off the fluid. Discard or dehydrate solids; refrigerate the sauce.

Twenty Two

A repost. I’m hoping to get into the swing for Ghost Month but that may turn into August.

What is about July 4th that says ‘you should watch the Twilight Zone’? I don’t know but I’m rolling with it.

Whether or not this is an urban legend may depend on how you define that term. I like both as a ghost story and as an urban legend.

The story goes that a woman is in need of rest. In some variations she has a physical illness, in others, she has mental concerns that need to be addressed. In either case, she is told by her physican that she needs to be as quiet as possible for as long as possible.

The woman, through either friends or family, finds a place where she can stay and heal. The place is either a rather old hospital, a private residence or the like, but it always is a fairly large residence. She is given a fairly private room.

The first night she is there, she has a vision in which someone, generally dressed in fairly harsh or stark clothing (like a night nurse or an undertaker) walks past her room intoning, ‘there’s room for one more!’. In some versions she sees this vision at an elevator, or sees the person pushing or driving a cart. If the story is old enough, it’s a horse drawn carriage.

Regardless, the woman is startled but is told that she must have been dreaming. However, the ‘dream’ keeps continuing for several nights. The woman becomes understandably frightened, to the point where she demands to be transferred to another location.

She needs her doctor’s signature to do this, and as she’s leaving the hospital with the signature, someone holds the elevator for her, saying ‘oh, it’s okay, there’s room for one more.’

She almost takes the elevator, and then says ‘actually I would rather take the stairs’, remembering the strange dreams.

The elevator made it down halfway and then malfunctioned. The car fell, and everyone inside was killed.

—-

I first became familiar with this story through an episode of the Twilight Zone, but it’s existed in print since at least 1906. The story was first published under the name The Bus-Conductor. In that story, the main character is male, it’s a hearse he keeps seeing, and he avoids boarding a bus at the right moment to avoid death.

One More

Twenty-Two

Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Baseball Hall of Fame

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I know that posting a folklore entry on Saturday makes it sort of a cheat to call it the Sunday folklore post.

But it’s festival season, I’m trying to get Mid ready to go-and I have 30 pounds of cherries that I’m trying to get processed out (I have peach cherry butter on the stove right now).

I haven’t written anything for the Haunted Western New York series in a very long time. This is a story that I grew up with (though I admit I grew up in Central New York so I’m cheating a little). I worked within walking distance of the Baseball Hall of Fame and its haunting status was sort of a given. Rather, it came up every so often that it’s haunted (and it was mentioned on the tours during that time-mid to late 1990s anyway). It wasn’t a huge topic of conversation but we knew.

I don’t know anyone who has actually seen Shoeless Joe but the whole town is steeped in ghosts, at least in a manner of speaking. Cooperstown takes its baseball really seriously, but it’s also the seat of the New York State Historical Society. The Cardiff Giant is housed at the Farmer’s Museum. It’s a very historical area that is sort of self aware about it, we know it, but we don’t really talk about it either-that’s tourist stuff, or special occasion stuff, not stuff we ever really sat around talking about.

The way that we’re told the story as locals is that the building is haunted, period. The most common story is that Shoeless Joe Jackson is not terribly impressed that he hasn’t been elected into the Hall of Fame. And there’s the generic sort of haunting reports that every building with a reputation seems to cause. But things apparently have moved and it’s apparently not uncommon to hear the sounds of someone breaking the cases at night-of course the cases are never being broken.

It’s not hard to think that a building that’s full of the relics of sports legends would carry some sort of residual energy. It’s especially not hard to see in a town that sort of vibrates with it.

 

Find Me

This movie baffles me a little. I’m not sure what is throwing me off, but there’s something about it that just doesn’t sit right. I think it might be the color choices; the movie is very dark, like photos that came out underexposed.

The opening shot sets up the basic premise-there is something not right with this house. It also makes me wonder what ghosts have against shoes. Eventually, Emily and Tim, newlyweds-because they can’t not be newlyweds, they can’t possibly have been married for years-move into the same house. Emily becomes convinced that the house is haunted, especially after the house starts communicating via writing on mirrors, and Tim reluctantly has to agree after getting all sorts of up close and personal with the spirit.

I have to be honest. That in large part is why this movie falls flat for me. There’s a lot of puzzled reactions and what amounts to shoulder shrugs. If I had done what Tim did with a ghost, it wouldn’t just be a case of ‘please don’t ask me about it.’ I would be loosing it all over the place and taking multiple hot showers. Some of the weirder reactions actually work for me-because this is a movie running off of clichés, the lack of séance clichés was actually refreshing.

So I don’t know. If you really love ghosts and hauntings films, then you might enjoy it. And I’ve certainly seen worse movies. But I feel like this movie could have done a lot better than it did with a script that with some tweaking could have been original and fresh, since there were so many major tropes that the writers did seem to try to avoid.

June Preservation

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The preservation posts are going to be cherry heavy here soon. I was given close to 30 pounds of them. The blog may be slightly slower than normal until I can get them pitted and frozen, at least.

 

*Monthly totals are in total number of jars. Yearly totals are listed in quarts.

Carrot Cake Jam

Firestarter

–different fruits as well as peaches

—-pineapple has been requested

apple pear jam

-apple sauce

crispin w/ pumpkin spice and vanilla-2 pints

red delicious w/ sugar and pumpkin spice-2 1/2 pints

empire w/ sugar and pumpkin spice-2 pints

-cyser style apples

-banana fridge jam

-dilly beans

3 pints

-whole and crushed tomatoes

crushed heirlooms and romas, mixed, plain-1 1/2 pints

rotel style local beefsteaks-4 pints

-dill pickles

-spiked oranges

-plum sauce

-pickled hot peppers

-bbq sauce

-apple butter

-peach butter

-peach pie jam

-cherry jam

-mint syrup

-preserved mint

-salsa

pineapple freezer salsa– 2 pints

-cider molasses

-pickled beets

-…lemons?

lemon mint syrup-1 pint

-sweet pickles

-blackstrap strawberry jam

-relish

Onion/radish 1 pint

green bean 1 1/2 pint

-strawberry mint syrup and jam

-fruit syrups

-hot sauce

-whole peaches and nectarines

nectarines– 1 1/2 pint

peaches– 2 pints

Other projects

Freezer

Tomato butter- 2 pints

Tomatoes, for canning later-36 oz, 1 dry pint (cherry)

cherries-4 quart bags

Fridge

Hot sauce- 1 pint

bbq sauce- 1 pint

 

Year to Date:

Spring berry jam  1 1/2 pints

Dilly beans 1 1/2 quarts

Pickled peppers 1 quart

BBQ Sauce

bbq sauce

When you invite a canner to a wedding reception/pot luck you need to expect at least one or two jars to show up.

Five showed up. Applesauce, firestarter, dilly beans, relish, and pickled chilis.

Some came home empty. Some came home a quarter or less full. This time of year though I need fridge space and empty jars, so I decided I wanted to make bbq sauce-a project that I enjoy doing but never really hit where I want it to be. It’s going to be like the tomato butter, where I spend all summer aiming for it.

I started with a base of Neely’s BBQ Sauce recipe.

In a Pyrex measuring cup I scraped out the sweet leftovers-applesauce and firestarter. I added a half pint of crushed tomatoes, and added gourmet ketchup until I measured out a full 2 cups of sweet/tomato base.

I added about 3 oz of apple cider vinegar, a cup of water, and a healthy squeeze of honey.

I brought the mix to a boil, turned down the heat and let it reduce down to less than half volume. It took about two hours.

If the firestarter hadn’t been in the mix I would have added more heat-I did add some cayenne and some garlic powder. I eyeballed the mustard.

The sauce sat in my fridge for about a week, until I decided to braise some chicken in it. It was good, but it could have benefited from a deeper flavor profile.

I Don’t Actually Mean Beauty When I Say Beautiful.

*I just realized this one needs a language warning. And maybe a content warning. So there you have it. I swear.

I had a conversation this week that involved the show Beyond Belief, a deer that lives in some bushes, and an elf.

This is the nature of my life.

Apparently it was also International Faerie Day (and National Catfish Awareness Day) earlier this week. But of course when people say faerie now, they don’t actually mean faerie, they mean ‘fairy’ and bring on the Disney wings and glitter. Because that’s all that’s left anymore.

The elf conversation is related to a very long running and odd situation involving a lot of bizarre occurrences, most of which most people are completely willing to believe are nothing at all beyond overactive imaginations and maybe some air currents. What gave me some pause however is that enough of them do link back to things that relate to fae interactions, folklorically speaking, that a little voice in the back of my mind worried about what we just did and if I shouldn’t get some salt and milk.

I’ve mentioned the nature of fae in passing several times but there is one aspect that modern folklore has stripped out of the Mounds Folk. These are not ‘pretty’ creatures.

I’m flying by the seat of my pants on this one, as well as working with a lot of oral tradition that I’ve been taught directly, but the basic reality of it is this-the Victorians had a habit of making things ‘quaint’. Couple that with the rise of a middle class, the modern concept of childhood, and an increasing interest in scientific reasoning you have a social environment that began the evolution away from the slaugh and towards Tinkerbelle.

If you ask modern readers why the fae are the Beautiful Ones, you end up with an answer that makes sense for the current understanding-because they’re beautiful, obviously. They’re attractive and mischievous and sweet. They’re the hot men on romance covers, and they really just want to play.

Except that they’re gorgeous because they want to be and they need to be so you’ll approach them (I do have an entry on glamouring already, that explains the concept with a deeper understanding).

The other issue is that for a lot of these spirits, they came with a certain amount of danger so you approached in a way that would cause the least potential for offense. So they were beautiful because you didn’t want to say ‘you sort of scare the shit out of me, you know that right?’ I dealt with a situation where this modern sensibility (isn’t it adorable how they steal the silverware and do cute things!?) and a historically driven practice (I have to put out the first splash of milk or it’s going to get pissed) ran into each other and led to a lot of flailing, ‘please don’t invite anything to the party if you don’t deeply understand who you’re about first’.

So the thing is this: the folklore that is driving modern fae thought isn’t wrong, it’s just not that old and ignores a great deal of preexisting thought. If you lean to the woo-woo side and think that the fae are nothing but sweetness and light and a magpie tendency to stealing shiny things, then I really hope you don’t run into the dullahan, the slaugh, the cu dubh…you get the general idea. Because I’m not certain you’re going to have the party that you think you’ve been invited for.

Or you’re just going to slap the ‘demon’ label on it and not understand that there’s a whole wealth of stuff out there that doesn’t get talked about because it doesn’t make for cute animations.