I have finished my fruit preserves. I have 30 pints of peach preserves at a cost of about $1.50 per pint; I also saved peaches for four pies. I also have 27 pints of strawberry preserves at a cost of about $1.25 per pint. These are all low-sugar preserves. All this took me over two weeks of steady work, first prepping the fruit and storing it in the freezer, then steadily canning it batch by batch. Some of this will be given away as gifts, the rest will keep me going until next spring. I use preserves almost every day. I may have overdone it a little bit this year but I do make good use of them. When I give them away, I counsel my friends to not open the jar right away but to wait for a cold winter's day to brighten things up.
Trev, Jan, and Karem took me to a wonderful evening at West End Grill located, appropriately enough, in the West End. The restaurant still has its old tin ceiling festooned with stained glass chandeliers. I was too hungry to take a picture of our appetizers: crab cakes and bleu cheese tarts. The crab cakes had just a bit of heat to them, something you don't always find in a crab cake but which worked very well. The bleu cheese tarts lived up to their intriguing premise, rich and tangy. This is my caprese salad. The mozzarella, tomato, and basil were all outstanding. The balsamic vinegar had been very well aged, giving it a thick consistency. My main course was tuna, perfectly prepared to a medium well. The tuna left just enough room for a chocolate lava cake paired with decaf coffee. The cake was rich and moist. I kept scraping my plate to be sure I retrieved all of the chocolate.