It’s no secret that I like baking, cooking, and all sorts of other kitchen-y good things. However, it’s been a gloriously hot summer. HOT. which means cooking doesn’t sound nearly so attractive, since my apartment only has one window unit air conditioner, and it is at the opposite end of the apartment from the kitchen. But I’ve definitely tried my hand at some new things this summer. For example:
Making ketchup from scratch was probably one of the easiest and most satisfying from-scratch things I’ve done all year. It’s so easy, and much healthier than normal ketchup (since there’s high fructose corn syrup in most commercially prepared ketchups). And it tastes amazing!
(why yes, I did make ketchup from scratch and then use it with terrible, frozen food section McCains’s fries. I know that makes no sense. I put it on delicious home-made burgers a day later, I swear. )
Ribs. Specifically, this recipe
, which makes the most delicious ribs I have ever had. You MUST try this recipe, it’s to die for. G and I are very particular about buying only local, organic meat from stores/butchers that can vouch for the humane treatment of the animals; so we don’t eat meat often, but when we do- we pull out all the stops.
This has also been my summer of sangria. I pretty much have a pitcher of it on the go in my fridge all the time. I do both red and white sangria, and I find it so relaxing to sit outside on our patio drinking sangria and relaxing, I’ve yet to remember to take a picture. But trust me- sangria, taken like a daily post-work vitamin, is good for the soul.
Also, I tried my hand at making my own insect repellent spray using these guidelines, and I had a lot of success. I found that the natural one I mixed up needed to be reapplied frequently, but I figure that’s a small price to pay to avoid DEET and other harsh chemicals.Has anyone else tried making their own bug spray? I’d be interested so see what other essential oils people have tried.
We’ve also made friends with the friendly squirrel that lives under our patio:
(in the top left photo, he actually has a bit of ice cream on his nose!
That would be G’s idea, of course)
Isn’t he a cutie? Although I think we’ve become a bit too friendly with the squirrel- we’ve had to stop propping open the patio door for the cats, because twice the squirrel has decided to come into the kitchen, and once he actually chewed the lid off of some cocoa powder. Squirrels are much cuter when they are not terrorizing your kitchen!