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Peach-Saffron Preserves

Peach-Saffron Preserves

Peach-Saffron Preserves

 

3 lb. peaches pitted and quartered

3/4 cup sugar or more to taste

4 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp. saffron threads be sure to use good quality saffron

Pinch salt

1/8 tsp. cinnamon

 

Combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice, saffron threads and salt in a large sauce pot. Sliced peaches in a large stockpot. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for 30 minutes. Taste the mixture; add additional sugar to taste, if desired. Some peaches will be less sweet than others and require more sweetening, however don’t add too much sugar or you’ll overpower the subtle saffron flavor. Sliced peaches cooked down. Remove from heat and process the mixture through a food mill. Be sure to turn the handle in both directions so that you get the most of out your fruit. Processing cooked peaches through a food mill. Return the mixture to the sauce pot and add cinnamon. Bring to a boil and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Milled peaches cooking down into preserves. Allow preserves to cool and transfer to jars or a container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Adding jars of preserves to hot water bath. If you’d like to process your preserves in jars for a longer shelf life, follow the boiling water method instructions and process for 10 minutes

Lavender Jelly

Lavender Jelly

Lavender Jelly

Use this between layers of cake. Spread on toast, use it in frosting mix for cupcakes. Try a tsp. or two in your afternoon tea.

 

4 T. dried lavender flowers

4 T. powdered pectin

3 C. apple juice

2 T. fresh lemon juice

3 C. brown sugar

 

Tie up lavender flowers in double thickness of cheesecloth, securing with string. Combine pectin and apple juice in a saucepan and stir to dissolve the pectin. Bring to a boil stirring constantly. Add lemon juice and sugar, stir, then add the lavender cheesecloth bag. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove bag of lavender and discard. Strain hot jelly through cheesecloth into sterilized jars and seal (I use 2-piece jelly lids, kept hot in boiling water but some people prefer the old method of sealing with paraffin).

Lemon Verbena Jelly

Lemon Verbena Jelly

Lemon Verbena Jelly

 

3 C. apple juice

1 cup fresh lemon verbena leaves

2 T. fresh lemon juice or white wine vinegar

1 package powdered pectin

4 C. sugar

1/2 tsp. butter

1 fresh herb leaf for each jar

2 – 3 drops green food coloring (optional)

 

In saucepan, make herb infusion with juice and herb by bringing juice to a boil and adding the verbena leaves. Boil for about 10 seconds, then let cool completely. Strain and discard leaves. You’ll need 1 1/2 C. of herb infusion liquid.  Combine the herb infusion with lemon juice (or vinegar), food coloring and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil. Mix in sugar and bring to a full rolling boil again. Boil hard for one minute. Add butter, stir. If any foam remains, skim off and discard. Pour into hot sterilized jars with optional leaf in each jar. Wipe jar edges with damp cloth, then screw on hot jar lids, tightening moderately but don’t over-tighten. Turn jars upside down to seal, for about 30 seconds. Turn upright and let cool on dishtowel. Store in a dark, cool place.

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes

Pickled Green Tomatoes

 

A couple lb. of hard green tomatoes

½ cup pickling and canning salt

4 or 5 garlic cloves, crushed

Extra virgin olive oil

1 T. fennel seeds and/or chiles to taste

 

Core the tough stem-end of the tomatoes and cut them into easy-to-eat sized slices, about ½-inch thick. Mix tomato slices, garlic, any spices, and the salt in a bowl. Layer salted slices in a non-reactive container (a large ceramic crock, glass jar, or deep bowl). Place a round of parchment on top and press it down onto slices. Put a flat plate about the diameter of the container on top of the parchment. Weight the plate with something heavy (a gallon paint can, a pail of rocks, etc). Put the crock(s) in a cool place for two weeks (we use our unheated garage), covered with plastic trash bags. After the two-week ferment, the pickles will have flattened some. Rinse in a colander and remove the garlic. Pack the rinsed tomatoes in sterilized jars and cover with olive oil, use a clean chopstick to remove any air bubbles, and make sure everything is submerged in oil. They are ready to eat right away. Refrigerate for up to 3 months (we’ve had them last closer to a year).

Fireweed Pickles

Fireweed Pickles

Fireweed Pickles

 

1 lb. fresh fireweed shoots

FOR THE BRINE:

1 T. mustard seeds

1 tsp. peppercorns

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

2 T. sea salt (or canning and pickling salt)

 

In a saucepan, combine all brine ingredients and bring to a boil. Then remove from heat. Rinse the fireweed shoots well. Sterilize your jars, either one quart, two pint jars, or four half-pint jars. Pack your jars tightly with the fireweed shoots and cover with the brine to 1/2 inch from top of jar. As you add the brine, you might be able to fit in more fireweed. Cover and cool in the refrigerator. Serve pickles with cheese and crackers, or salmon and cream cheese, or add to a spring omelet. Store jars in the refrigerator, and use within one month for best quality.

Black Currant Sun Jelly

Black Currant Sun Jelly

Black Currant Sun Jelly

 

9 ounces black currants

9 ounces superfine sugar

 

Puree the currants in a food mill using the finest disc. If the puree has seeds, strain it through a fine mesh sieve to remove them. Stir in the sugar. Divide among 3 4-ounce jars, cover with parchment, and secure the parchment with butcher’s twine. Place the jars outside in the sun all day, or until jelled.  Makes about 1 ½ C.. Keeps for months tightly sealed in the refrigerator.

Pickled Spruce Tips

Pickled Spruce Tips

Pickled Spruce Tips

for each half-pint (250ml) jar:

 

6 whole black peppercorns

1 bay leaf

1 slice of fresh lemon

1 tsp. sea salt

1 heaping cup (250ml) of spruce tips

 

for the brine (enough for 1 jar):

 

¼ cup (60ml) white wine vinegar

¼ cup (60ml) filtered or distilled water

 

Into each very clean and well-rinsed half-pint (1 cup/250ml) jar, place 6 peppercorns, 1 bay leaf, 1 slice of lemon cut in half. and 1 tsp. salt. Hold the lemon slice and bay leaf against the side of the jar if you’d like them to show on the outside.  Clean the spruce tips of their brown husks (a bit of a sticky job) and pack them into the jars up to ½ inch (1 cm) from the tops of the jars. Pack them in quite firmly. Put the the vinegar and filtered water into a small saucepan and heat just until boiling. Pour the hot brine over the spruce tips and salt until it is also ½ inch (1cm) from the top of the jar. The spruce tips will turn from bright green to olive green as the brine hits them.  Put the new snap lids for the jars into a pot of simmering water for 5 minutes to soften them. Wipe the top rims of the jars with a clean cloth. Seal the jars with the snap lids and metal screw rings until finger tight.  Lay a clean dishcloth in the bottom of a saucepan that is taller than the jars (the dishcloth keeps the jars from bouncing around in the pot once the water is boiling.) Set the jars onto the dishcloth and fill the saucepan with hot tap water up to the bottom of the metal screw rings. Cover the saucepan with a lid and bring the water to a full boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down a bit to keep the water boiling without boiling over. Start timing for 10 minutes. Process the jars for 10 minutes, then remove them carefully, using a pot holder or jar clamp, to a clean dishtowel laid out on the counter. Leave the jars undisturbed until they are cool. The metal lids should have sealed and suctioned down. If the lids are still bowed slightly upward, then the jars haven’t sealed and should be stored in the fridge and consumed within six months (leave them to age for one month before using). The spruce tips will all have floated to the top of the jars once cool. Give each jar a shake and they will disperse evenly again.  If sealed, the pickled spruce tips will last for several years in a cool, dark place. Leave the jars for a week before using them, so the brine has had time to fully flavor the spruce tips.

Mint Jelly

Mint Jelly

Mint Jelly

 

Sage or Rosemary could be done the same way

 

2 pounds granny smith Apples, coarsely chopped

6 cup (1.5l) water

5 1/2 cup (1.2kg) white sugar, approximately

1 cup firmly packed fresh mint leaves

Food coloring, optional

 

Combine apple and water in large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, about 1 hour or until apple is pulpy. Strain mixture through a fine cloth into large bowl. Stand 3 hours or overnight until liquid stops dripping. Do not squeeze cloth; discard pulp. Measure apple liquid; allow 1 cup sugar for each cup of liquid. Return apple liquid and sugar to same pan. Stir over high heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly, uncovered, without stirring, about 30 minutes or until jelly jells when tested. Pour jelly into a large heatproof jug. Stir in a little of the food coloring. Stand until jelly is lukewarm, but not set. Meanwhile, drop mint into small saucepan of boiling water for 2 seconds; drain. Rinse under cold water; drain, pat dry with absorbent paper. Chop mint finely; stir into lukewarm jelly. Pour jelly into hot sterilized jars; seal immediately. Label and date jars when cold.

Pink Grapefruit & Elderflower Marmalade

Pink Grapefruit & Elderflower Marmalade

Pink Grapefruit & Elderflower Marmalade

 

2 pounds, 4 ounces pink grapefruits

1 pound, 2 ounces lemons

6½ cups granulated sugar

6 T. elderflower syrup

 

Cut the grapefruits and lemons and squeeze in half out the juice and seeds. Tie the seeds, and any extra membrane that has come away during squeezing, in a double thickness of cheesecloth. Either by hand or using the shredding attachment of a food processor, thinly slice the grapefruit and lemon peel, with its pith, into shreds. Put the grapefruit and lemon juice and peel, cheesecloth bag and 7½ cups water in a preserving pan and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently 1½ to 2 hours until the peel is soft and the liquid reduced by about half. Remove the cheesecloth bag from the pan and let cool 5 minutes before squeezing it well and allowing the juices to run back into the pan. Discard the bag. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly about 15 minutes, or until setting point is reached. Test for a set either with a candy thermometer (it should read 221°F) or put a tsp. of the marmalade onto a cold saucer and let cool a few minutes. If it wrinkles when you push it with your finger, then it is ready to use. Meanwhile, sterilize enough jars so that they are ready to use. Remove the pan from the heat and skim with a slotted spoon to remove any scum. Stir in the elderflower cordial. Let cool 15 minutes (this will help to prevent the peel from rising in the jars). Ladle the marmalade into the warmed, sterilized jars and cover immediately with sterilized lids. Label and store in a cool, dry, dark place. Refrigerate after opening.

Rhubarb Marmalade with Figs & Lemon

Rhubarb Marmalade with Figs & Lemon

Rhubarb Marmalade with Figs & Lemon

 

4 C. rhubarb, 1/4-inch dice

10 dried kalamata figs, thinly sliced

1 lemon, julienned

2 C. sugar

 

First, dice the rhubarb into roughly 1/4-inch pieces. Slice the figs. Cut the lemon into thin slices, then julienne each slice. In a large bowl, combine the rhubarb, figs and lemon with the sugar. Mix together and let sit overnight at room temperature. Pour the rhubarb mixture into a medium pot. Bring to a rapid boil, and cook until the temperature reaches 220 degrees F. Place in jars and enjoy!

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

Meyer Lemon Marmalade

 

6 Meyer lemons {1 1/2 pounds}

4 cups water

4 cups sugar

 

Cut the lemons crosswise and remove seeds. Place the seeds in a cheesecloth bag, or tea infuser and set aside. Quarter each lemon half and thinly slice the lemons into strips. Place the lemons, 4 cups of water and the bag/infuser of seeds in a nonreactive heavy pot and let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature 24 hours. Once the mixture has sat for 24 hours, bring a boiling-water canner, 3/4 full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling. When you are ready to make the marmalade, {after the lemon mixture has sat for 24 hours}, discard the lemon seeds and bring the lemon mixture to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, until your mixture is reduced to about 4 cups {about 45 minutes to an hour}. Stir in sugar and boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally and skimming off any foam, until a tsp. of mixture dropped on a cold plate gels, about 15 minutes. Carefully ladle hot marmalade immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids and screw bands on. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. {Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.} Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 5 min. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middles of lids with finger. If lids spring back, lids are not sealed and refrigeration is necessary}. Yields {5} 1/2 pints.

Shakshuka not just for Eggs

Shakshuka not just for Eggs

Shakshuka not just for Eggs

It’s every bit as delicious without the eggs, stashed in the freezer for a quick meal with nothing more than a piece of toast or a sprinkling of feta, or as a base for some leftover grilled chicken. If you’re a gardener with bumper crops of peppers and tomatoes, you’ll want to put up some extra quarts; it’s an easy recipe to double or even quadruple. If you use red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, the final dish will have a sweeter, less pungent flavor than if you use green, so use your favorite or what you have on hand. It’s also fine to use chicken stock rather than vegetable broth.

 

3 T. olive oil

1 medium white or yellow onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. pimenton de la Vera or smoked paprika

2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste

2 medium bell peppers, seeded and diced

1 (15-ounce) can whole or diced tomatoes, or 2 medium fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced

1 1/2 C. vegetable broth

1/2 to 1 tsp. salt

 

In a large saucepan set over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and stir, cooking until it is translucent and golden, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute, until golden. Stir in the pimenton, turmeric, thyme, cayenne, and bell peppers. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the peppers have softened. Add the tomatoes with their juice and the broth, stirring to blend. Simmer, uncovered, for 40 to 55 minutes, until the mixture has reduced to a thick sauce. Season to taste with salt. Shakshuka will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Peach Jam with Ginger & Turmeric

Peach Jam with Ginger & Turmeric

Peach Jam with Ginger & Turmeric

 

6 ripe ripe peaches

1/2 C. sugar

Juice of half a lemon

1 T.  ginger

1 pinch of salt

1T. turmeric powder

 

Cut the peaches into quarters and remove the skin and seeds. Cut the root in half and put in a saucepan with all ingredients except turmeric powder. Cook over medium heat until boiling and then lower the candle to almost a minimum and cook for 30 minutes. Stir at a time with a wooden spoon, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the casserole. If foaming, remove it carefully using a foamer. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and pass through the blender or food processor to leave it with a smooth texture. Add the turmeric powder and stir so that it is fully incorporated into the jam. You can try the sugar in case you want to pour more, but remember that only when it’s cold is the jam you know how sweet it has been. You can put a little in the fridge and see how it goes. Meanwhile, allow the jam to cool completely at room temperature before putting it in a glass lid jar and putting it in the refrigerator. If you need to put more sugar in it, add it with a little lemon juice and cook the jam for another 20 minutes. It’s a beautiful color. Keep in mind that it’s hard to stop eating this jam and be generous and share it with your friends when you make it. It’s a good gift.

Cheese in a Jar

Cheese in a Jar

Cheese in a Jar

Throughout the Mediterranean, cheesemakers have traditionally preserved their fresh cheeses in jars of olive oil, often with the addition of wild herb branches. It is a glorious snack to make at home. After only a few days in a flavorful marinade, it’s ready to eat with a good crusty loaf or with Real Garlic Toast. Make sure to get a little herby oil in each bite. Cheese in a jar is handy to take on a picnic too—and just as nice for an indoor picnic at the kitchen table.

 

1/2 pound fresh goat cheese log or mild feta

A few thyme branches

A few rosemary sprigs

A bay leaf

2 garlic cloves, halved

A few black peppercorns

About 1 C. olive oil

 

Slice the cheese into 2-inch chunks. Carefully layer the cheese in a clean jar or glass bowl, adding the thyme branches, rosemary sprigs, bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorns as you go. Pour over enough olive oil to cover. Seal tightly and refrigerate for at least several days before serving. This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 1 month.

Butternut Squash, Ginger & Citrus Jam

Butternut Squash, Ginger & Citrus Jam

Butternut Squash, Ginger & Citrus Jam

 

3 pounds, 5 ounces butternut squash, peeled and seeded

3½ ounces (about ¾ cup) ginger root, peeled and finely sliced into small pieces

grated zest and juice of 3 lemons

grated zest and juice of 4 oranges

grated zest and juice of 1 lime

1 tsp. ground ginger

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

4 cups granulated sugar

 

Grate the butternut squash, either by hand or in a food processor. Put all the ingredients, except the sugar, in a preserving pan. Add 4 ¼ cups water and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer about 20 minutes until the squash is soft. Stir from time to time to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and boil rapidly about 30 minutes until no excess liquid remains and the mixture is thick. Stir from time to

time. The jam is ready when a wooden spoon drawn across the bottom of the pan reveals the bottom

cleanly. (There is no need to test for a set.) Meanwhile, sterilize enough jars so that they are ready to use. Ladle the jam into the warmed, sterilized jars. Cover immediately with sterilized lids. Label and store

in a cool, dry, dark place. Refrigerate after opening. Makes 6 cups.

Pickled Pumpkin

Pickled Pumpkin

Pickled Pumpkin

 

1 lemon, zested

2 C. apple cider vinegar

2 C. sugar

1 cup water

1 inch peeled ginger, sliced thin

2 cinnamon sticks, broken

2 tsp. salt

5 C. peeled and cubed pumpkin

10 peppercorns

 

In a large pot, combine all ingredients except pumpkin and bring to a simmer to dissolve sugar. When sugar is dissolved add pumpkin and continue simmering until pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes. When pumpkin is done cooking, ladle it into clean jars. Pour in hot brine to cover and put on lids. Once cool, tighten lids and refrigerate for at least a week (and up to three weeks). Pumpkin flavor and texture will improve over time

Blubarb Jam

Blubarb Jam

Blubarb Jam

7 C. rhubarb, chopped

4 1/4 C. blueberries

4 1/4 C. sugar

1/3 C. lemon juice

 

The night before you want to make the jam or the morning of. Add the rhubarb, blueberries, sugar and lemon juice to a large pot, stir to combine. Let macerate for 30 min. to overnight. Sterilize jars and lids. Place a small plate in the freezer.  When ready to make the jam place the pot with the fruit in it on the stove. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and boil hard for 15-25 minutes or until you reached the setting point, stirring occasionally. At the setting point, the foam will have subsided and the bubbles will get larger looking like fish eyeballs.  Place a small amount of the jam (1 tsp.) on the freezer plate and place the plate back in the freezer for a few minutes to cool. If the jam seems very close then remove the pot from the heat while the plate is in the freezer. If the jam wrinkles when pushed with your finger the jam is done. If not return to a boil for 5 min. and repeat. Careful as the jam thickens it can start to burn so stir more frequently.  Ladle jam into hot jars to within 1/4″ of the top. Remove air bubbles and wipe the rim with a clean cloth. Place lids on and screw to tighten until finger-tip tight only. Place in a water bath canner and process for 10 min. or according to altitude.  When the jam has cooked for its allotted time removed the jars to a towel-lined counter to cool. You should hear the popping of the lids as they seal. That is a very satisfying sound. If any jars don’t seal refrigerate and eat right away.

 

Pectin Version

 

4 ½ C. rhubarb, chopped

2 1/2 C. fresh blueberries

3/4 C. water

1 T. lemon juice

4 1/2 C. of sugar

1 box of low-sugar or no-sugar pectin

8 jam jars for canning (8 oz size)

8 canning lids

 

Sterilize your canning jars, and canning lids. Drain on clean dishtowels and set aside. Fill canning pot with water and bring to a gentle boil— keep over heat throughout prep so it is ready when needed. Wash berries. Measure out blueberries in a bowl. Mush them so they get quite juicy but there are still chunks remaining (mushing releases the pectin needed to make jam). In a separate bowl, mix 1 box of pectin with U C. of the sugar. Measure out remaining sugar in another bowl. Boil rhubarb and water over high heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add the mushed blueberries, lemon juice, and pectin and mix together. Bring to a boil then add sugar. Stir and bring back to a vigorous boil again, while stirring continuously. Boil hard while continuing to stir for 1 minute (and 1 minute only—if you want jam that will set, this is serious, people). Remove from heat, stir and ladle hot jam into sterilized jars, securing lids tightly. Place jam jars in your canning pot with gently boiling water and boil for 5 minutes (again, keep your time on this—too long may make your jam runny). Remove jam and allow to cool. Check lid seals once cooled—any tops that pop back when pressed should be refrigerated. Makes 7-8 8oz (1 C.) jars of jam

Naturally Pink Cauliflower Pickles

Naturally Pink Cauliflower Pickles

Naturally Pink Cauliflower Pickles

1 medium-small cauliflower (1½–2 pounds)

1 small beet

2 sprigs fresh dill or 2 dill flower heads or 1 teaspoon dried dillweed, divided

2 small cloves garlic, peeled and lightly smashed

1 teaspoon mustard seeds, divided

½ teaspoon cumin seeds, divided

½ teaspoon red chile pepper flakes, divided (optional)

1 cup white distilled or white wine vinegar

¾ cup water

1 tablespoon honey

2 teaspoons kosher or other non-iodized salt

 

Wash the cauliflower and remove any outer leaves. Cut it in half, and slice off the florets with a short length of the base attached. Aim for approximately 1-inch pieces. Peel the beet. Cut it in half and then into ½-inch-thick slices. Distribute the dill, garlic cloves, and spices between two clean pint canning jars. Pack in the cauliflower above the seasonings, adding half of the beet slices to each jar. Leave 1 inch of head space. Combine the vinegar, water, honey, and salt in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the salt and honey. Skim off any foam that forms on the surface. Pour the hot brine over the other ingredients in the jars, fully covering them but still leaving ½ inch of head space. Screw on canning lids and process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (adjust the canning time if you live at a high altitude—see the sidebar in the Boiling Water Bath Canning chapter). Wait at least one week before serving. During that time, not only will the flavors mellow and “marry,” but the beet juices will color the cauliflower.

Stovetop Applesauce

Stovetop Applesauce

Stovetop Applesauce

3 pounds apples

2 tablespoons sugar or 1½ tablespoons honey (optional)

½ cup water or apple juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Wash the apples. If you have a food mill or a food processor, you’ll use it later to deal with the peels. Otherwise, peel the apples. Remove the cores (save them to make Apple Scrap Vinegar). Chop the apples into chunks about an inch thick. Put the apples into a large pot. If you are using the sugar, add it to the apples; if you are using the honey, dissolve it in the water. Add the lemon juice and the water to the pot. Cook the apples over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 20 to 25 minutes until they are mushy. If you left the peels on, run the applesauce through a food mill to remove them, or puree in a food processor (Since a food processor can’t separate the skins from the pulp in the same manner as a food mill, it’s preferable to peel and seed apples before cooking. After the apples are cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer apples to the bowl of the food processor. Pulse to create a smooth puree, adding a tablespoon or two of the cooking liquid, as needed. Flavor with cinnamon or sugar, if desired.). If you peeled the apples, you can either mash them with a potato masher or puree them in a blender or food processor. Homemade applesauce will keep, refrigerated, for 1 week, or in the freezer for 6 months. For longer storage at room temperature, fill clean, hot pint or half-pint jars with the applesauce, leaving ½ inch of head space. The applesauce should still be hot when you fill the jars. If you want to can applesauce that has already cooled or been in the refrigerator for a couple of days, first bring it to a boil over medium heat before filling the jars. Go around the insides of the filled jars with a table knife to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars clean. Screw on canning lids and process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.

 

Cranberry Applesauce

Cook 4 pounds apples with 1 ½ cups of frozen cranberries, ½ cup sugar, and ¼ cup brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice.

 

Chunky Apricot Applesauce

Soak 1 cup dried apricots in hot water for about 10 minutes, or until softened. Remove from water and dice. Add diced apricots and about ¼ cup

sugar to 4 pounds apples in the last few minutes of the cooking time, stirring until sugar dissolves.

 

Pear Applesauce

Cook 2 pounds apples and 2 pounds pears, both quartered. Since pears have more natural juice than apples, this sauce will be a little thinner than classic applesauce. To compensate, add just a tablespoon or two of liquid to the fruit before cooking instead of the ¼ cup listed in the recipe

 

Plum Applesauce

Cook 2 pounds apples with 2 pounds halved and pitted plums, and ¼ cup sugar.

Fermented Apple Salsa

Fermented Apple Salsa

Fermented Apple Salsa

Make this with the firmest apples you can find for a crisp fruit salsa that combines sweet, sour, and salty flavors.

 

1/2 cup (120 ml) filtered or non-chlorinated water

2 tablespoons honey

2 T. Whey (optional, but useful)

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 teaspoons kosher or medium grain sea salt

1/2 cup (115 g) raisins

1/4 cup (60 g) thinly sliced onion

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

3 cups (680 g) finely chopped apples

 

Whisk the water, honey, whey, apple cider vinegar, and salt until the honey and salt are completely dissolved. Lightly grind the coriander and caraway seeds with a mortar and pestle. Coarsely chop the raisins (you can skip this step if you like, but I think the texture of the salsa is better if you take the time). In a large bowl, mix together the apples, raisins, onion slices and all of the spices. Pack the combined ingredients into a clean glass quart jar. Pour the brine over the other ingredients. The brine should completely cover the solid ingredients: if it doesn’t, top off with a little filtered water. Put a lid on the jar, but loosely (you want the gases that develop during fermentation to be able to escape). Put a small plate under the jar to catch any overflow that may occur during fermentation. Leave the jar of apple salsa out at room temperature for 2 days. During that time, take the lid off at least once a day and look for signs of fermentation such as bubbles on the surface. You’ll see these especially if you press gently on the food. Your nose should also be able to detect a clean, sour smell developing. Once the apple salsa has been actively fermenting for at least 24 hours, transfer it to the refrigerator. You won’t need the plate under the jar any longer because the cold storage temperature will slow down fermentation so much that there shouldn’t be any overflow. Store the apple salsa on the top shelf of the main compartment, which has the coolest temperature within the refrigerator. This will help the apples keep their crunch longer. Wait at least a week longer before eating the salsa.

Peach and Rhubarb Jam

Peach and Rhubarb Jam

Peach and Rhubarb Jam

 

5 C. peeled, pitted, and chopped peaches (about 8 medium peaches)

4 C. trimmed and diced rhubarb, in 1/3-inch (9 mm) dice

5 C. granulated sugar, or a little less to taste

24 lemon seeds, tied in cheesecloth or placed in a tea strainer (from 3 lemons)

 

In a large bowl, combine the peaches, rhubarb, and sugar and stir well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours, stirring occasionally, to draw out the peach juice and dissolve the sugar. Transfer the mixture to a heavy 8-quart (8-l) pot over medium heat. Add the lemon seeds and bring to a boil, stirring often and skimming any surface foam. Adjust the heat to maintain a steady but gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the fruit from sticking to the bottom of the pot, until the mixture thickens to a jam consistency and registers 220°F (105°C) on an instant-read thermometer, 45 to 60 minutes. While the jam is cooking, fill a large pot or canner, fitted with a rack, with enough water to cover the jars. Over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and place the clean, empty canning jars in the water for 10 minutes to sterilize them. When the jam is ready, use canning tongs to carefully remove the jars and drain any water inside. Alternatively, you can heat your jars in the dishwasher, however, you will still need the hot water bath ready for canning the jam. Remove the cheesecloth or tea strainer with the lemon seeds from the jam. Spoon the hot jam into the jars, filling to within 1/2 inch (12 mm) of the top. Wipe the rim clean with a towel dipped in hot water. Top the jars with the lids and twist on the screw bands. Set the jars, not touching one another, in the boiling water on the rack in the pot or canner. Make sure the water covers the jars by at least 1 inch (25 mm). Boil for 20 minutes, then turn off the heat and use tongs to transfer the jars to a rack to cool completely. When the jars are completely cool, press on the center of each lid. If the lid remains concave, the seal is good. Store the jars in a cool pantry for up to 1 year. If a lid failed the seal test, that simply means you get immediate gratification and should store the jar in the refrigerator and consume the jam within 3 weeks.

Fermented Mushrooms

Fermented Mushrooms

Fermented Mushrooms

1 or 2 8oz packages of mushrooms (I used about 1 and a half packages of sliced mushrooms)

Fresh thyme (a couple sprigs, depending on your taste)

Fresh marjoram (a couple sprigs, depending on your taste)

Smashed garlic (2 or 3 heads, depending on your tastes)

1 T. sea salt

1/4 teaspoon whey, sauerkraut juice, or culture starter

Filtered water

 

Place all of the ingredients into a quart sized mason jar.  Smash the mushrooms and other goodies down into the jar to get as many in there as you can. Add filtered water to cover, leaving an inch of head space at the top. Weigh down your mushrooms because they like to float! Set on your counter for 3 to 5 days.

Move to your refrigerator. Tamara and Kelly recommend adding them to morning eggs and to salads. I think they would be great on an antipasti platter, or taken along on a picnic.

Canning Steak Sauce

Canning Steak Sauce

Canning Steak Sauce

1 C. ketchup (homemade)

1/2 C. onion, coarsely chopped

1 large clove garlic

1/4 C. water

1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C. lemon juice (bottled)

1/4 C. white vinegar

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. brown sugar

1 T. prepared mustard

 

Cooking: Combine all ingredients in saucepan and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until it reaches a good consistency, stirring occasionally. Strain to remove onion and garlic. Filling the jars:  On a dishtowel place your hot jars. Using your funnel in each jar ladle the mixture into the jars leaving 1/2” headspace.  Remove air bubbles and refill to the proper headspace if necessary. Taking a clean paper towel wet it with warm water and wipe the rims of the jars removing any food particles that would interfere with a good seal. Using your magic wand to extract the lids from the hot water and place them on the now cleaned rims. Add your rings to the tops of each of the jars and turn to seal just “finger tight”.   Processing: Make sure your rack is on the bottom of the canner and place the jars in the water bath making sure that the water covers each of the jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add hot water to the canner if it doesn’t measure up. Cover the pot and turn up the heat under the canner and wait for the water to start boiling. Once the water has come to a boil start your timer for 15 minutes. When complete turn off the heat and remove the cover and let the jars sit for another few minutes. Remove the jars and place them back on the dishtowel in a place that they will sit overnight to cool. Do not touch or move them till the next morning. Sealing: Some time in the next hour your jars will be making a “pinging” or “popping” noise. That is the glass cooling and the reaction of the lids being sucked into the jar for proper sealing. Some recipes may take overnight to seal. Check your lids and reprocess any jars that did not seal.

Rootbeer Jelly

Rootbeer Jelly

Rootbeer Jelly

4 1/4 C. rootbeer soda

4 1/2 C. sugar

1 pkg. or 6 T. powdered pectin

2 T. bottled lemon juice

1/4 tsp. butter

 

Combine the root beer soda and lemon juice in a large stock pot. Sprinkle the powdered pectin on top of the juice mixture and use a whisk to mix it together. Stirring constantly, heat until boiling. Boil for one minute. Add the butter and return to a boil. Add the sugar to the pot all at one time (measure it and have it ready ahead of time). Stir until sugar is dissolved. Return to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove any foam with a metal spoon. Ladle the jelly into hot sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space, and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes. Remove jars from canner and set the jars on the counter on a kitchen towel to cool.

Pickled Sweet Peppers

Pickled Sweet Peppers

Pickled Sweet Peppers

1 pound small sweet peppers, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

3 large shallots, sliced into rings

1 1⁄2 C. white wine vinegar

1⁄2 C. water

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1⁄4 C. plus 1 T. sugar

1 T. plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt

1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

 

Divide peppers and shallot evenly between jars. Set aside. In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, 1⁄2 C. water, garlic, sugar, salt, and red pepper to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; discard garlic. Divide vinegar mixture evenly between jars. Seal jars, and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 24 hours or up to 1 month.

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Rose Flower Water

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Rose Flower Water

Small Batch Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with Rose Flower Water

1 pound strawberries

1 pound rhubarb stalks

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons rose flower water

 

Wash the strawberries and rhubarb well. Hull the berries and dice them into small pieces. Chop the rhubarb into segments approximately 1/2 inch in size. Place the chopped fruit in a glass or ceramic bowl and cover with sugar. Stir to combine and cover. Let the fruit sit for at least an hour, until the juices are flowing. I often pop the bowl into the refrigerator at this point and cook the jam the following day. When you’re ready to cook the jam, prepare a small boiling water bath canner and three half pint jars and bring it to a boil. Place three new canning jar lids in a small pot and bring them to a bare simmer. Pour the fruit and all the liquid into your jam pot and place it over high heat. For these small batches, I like to use a 12-inch, stainless steel skillet, but any low, wide, non-reactive pan will do. Bring the fruit to a rapid boil and stir regularly. Over high heat, this jam should take 8 to 12 minutes to cook. It is done when it is quite thick. You can tell that it’s ready when you draw your spoon or spatula through the jam, and it doesn’t immediately rush in to fill that space. It will also make a vigorous sizzling noise when stirred when it is finished. When the jam appears to be finished, stir in the rose flower water. Stir until it is incorporated and cook for an additional 30 seconds. The flower water is added at this point so you don’t evaporate all the fragrance during cooking. Remove the jam from the heat and funnel it into the prepared jars. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes (start your timer when the water returns to a boil, not the moment the jars go into the water bath). When time is up, remove jars from canner and set them to cool on a folded kitchen towel. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the rings and test the seals by grasping the edges of the lid and lifting the jar an inch or so from the countertop. If the lid holds fast, the jars are sealed. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated and eaten promptly.

Simple Tomato-Basil Jam

Simple Tomato-Basil Jam

Simple Tomato-Basil Jam

5 pounds or approximately 12 cups of tomatoes

1 tablespoon sea salt

3 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup basil, chopped

 

Wash and slice cherry tomatoes, or chop large tomatoes. Toss and massage with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes to let juices from tomato flow out. Sterilize your jars and lids in hot water while you wait.

Discard the juice, and dump strained tomatoes into a large, wide, shallow pan. Add sugar and lemon juice. Simmer with lid off on medium-low heat. Check and stir occasionally. Once tomatoes start to thicken, watch and stir more often that it doesn’t burn. When it’s thick to your liking, anywhere to between a syrup or jam consistency (I like mine thicker), remove from heat and stir in the basil. Spoon into sterilized jars, wiping brims of any jam residue before applying lids and rings. Process in water bath for 10 minutes, then remove and let cool. You will hear the lids pop as they seal vacuum tight. Any jars that don’t seal properly can be stored in the fridge and used first. The rest will last a year or more stored in a dark cool place.

Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly

Dandelion Jelly

2 c. dandelion flowers (harvested from pesticide free location)

4 c. sugar

1 pkg. or 6 T. powdered pectin

2 T. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. butter

 

Rinse dandelions in a colander and remove stems by snipping them off with a pair of kitchen scissors. Place dandelions in a bowl and cover them with 4 C. of boiling water. You are essentially going to make “dandelion tea.”  After the water cools off, place the bowl of water and dandelions in the refrigerator until the next day. It was two days until I got back to mine, but it was just fine. The next day, run the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pieces of dandelion. You should end up with a clear liquid. If not, try pouring it through the strainer again. Measure the tea, adding a little water if necessary to get exactly 4 C. of liquid. Pour liquid into a large stock pot. Stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle the pectin on top of the juice and use a whisk to mix it together. Stirring constantly, heat until boiling. Boil for one minute. Add the pinch of butter and return to a boil. Add the sugar to the pot all at one time (measure it and have it ready ahead of time). Stir until sugar is dissolved. Return to a boil and boil for one minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Remove any foam with a metal spoon. Ladle the jelly into hot sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch head space, and process in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner and place on a towel on the kitchen counter to cool. Lids will make a pinging noise when they seal. If a jar does not seal, place it in the refrigerator and eat in the next couple of weeks. Cooled sealed jars can be stored in the pantry for several years.

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomato Jam

Green Tomato Jam

4 pounds green tomatoes (2 1/2 pounds net)

4 1/3 C. superfine sugar

Juice (and zest) of two small lemons

 

Rinse tomatoes in cold water. Dry them with towel. Cut in wedges and remove juice, seeds and the white center parts. Dice tomatoes. In a bowl, combine the tomato pieces, sugar and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and let macerate overnight. The next day, pour this mixture into a preserving pan (large bottomed large surface area copper pot/pan). Bring to a boil and on low heat cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour back into the bowl. cover with plastic wrap and again refrigerate overnight. The third day, bring the mixture to a boil, skim if necessary and continue cooking in low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check the set and cook a bit more if needed. Put the jam into jars immediately and seal (or for small batches, just refrigerate).

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

Canning Stewed Rhubarb

12 C. Sliced Rhubarb

1 ½ C. Sugar

 

In a large pot combine the rhubarb and sugar, mixing well. Cover and let stand until juice begins to release from the fruit. While the fruit stands, get the boiling water canner going and get jars, lids, and rings ready. Once some water has started to release from the rhubarb, bring it to a gentle boil, stirring to prevent scorching. Ladle the stewed rhubarb into hot jars leaving 1/2″ headspace. Clean rims; put on lids and rings. Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for elevation.

 

Notes: Scale the recipe up or down by figuring 1/2 C. sugar for every 4 C. of chopped rhubarb

 

These beautiful jars are a simple addition to many meals in winter:

 

  • Use as a pancake / waffle topping instead of syrups
  • Mix in with oatmeal and other hot cereals for a flavorful, fruity punch
  • Top ice cream, poundcake, or sweet shortcake biscuits for an easy dessert
  • Dumplings! Put a jar or two into a pot and heat, add dumpling batter and cook until the dumplings are cooked and fluffy.
  • Stir into homemade yogurt
  • Pour a jar or two into the bottom of a pie plate and top with oats and melted butter for a crisp-style dessert.
Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

1 3- to 4-lb chicken, cut into pieces

16 C. water

2 stalks celery

2 medium onions, quartered

1 T. salt

10 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

4 Ball®  (32 oz) quart or 8 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

 

Half recipe

1/2  3- to 4-lb chicken, cut into pieces

8 C. water

1 stalks celery

1 medium onions, quartered

1-1/2 T. salt

5 peppercorns

1 bay leaves

2 Ball®  (32 oz) quart or 4 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

 

*You must process at least 2 quart jars or 4 pint jars in the pressure canner at one time to ensure safe processing.*

 

Prepare pressure canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside Combine chicken and water in a large sauce-pot. Bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Remove chicken from stock, reserving chicken for another use. Strain stock through a sieve or several layers of cheesecloth. Allow stock to cool until fat solidifies. Skim off fat. Heat stock to a boil. Ladle hot chicken stock into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight. Process filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts, adjusting for altitude, according to your pressure canners directions. Turn off heat: cool canner to zero pressure. Let stand 5 more minutes before removing the lid. Cool jars in canner 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Red Plum Jam

Red Plum Jam

Red Plum Jam

5 C. red plums about 2 pounds

3 C. sugar

3/4 C. water

 

3 pint canning jars

3 lid and ring sets

Water bath canner

Canning tool set

 

Prepare jars according to the water bath canning directions. Chop plums into small-ish pieces. Leave them larger if you like your jam a little more chunky. Combine chopped plums, sugar, and water in a large pot. Bring to a boil slowly, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved. Turn up the heat and bring to jelly stage quickly. (220°) As jam thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from heat. If foam as formed on top, skim it off. Ladle hot jam into jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Finish jars and process jam according to water bath canning instructions for 15 minutes. Notes: Jams and Jellies must be made in small batches, or the finished product will not set up.

Easy French Apple Jam

Easy French Apple Jam

Easy French Apple Jam

about 6 apples (I mixed Granny Smith and Honeycrisp)

2 1/2 C. sugar

5 cardamom pods crushed (use a rolling pin or heavy spoon to gently crack open the pods)

juice of 2 lemons divided

2 T. pectin powder this is totally optional, the jam will set without it

 

Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the juice of 1 lemon. Peel, core, and quarter the apples and add them to the lemon water as you work. Remove the apples from the water (discard the water) and finely dice them. Add the apples to a heavy bottomed pot, along with the sugar, cardamom pods, (and any seeds that have escaped) the pectin (if using) and the juice of the other lemon. Stir well, and then bring to a boil. Boil, uncovered and stirring often, for about 30-40 minutes until thickened. About halfway through the cooking I used my stick blender to blend the jam just a bit, but I left lots of apple chunks intact. This is optional and depends on what texture you want your jam to have, and how large or small you chopped your apples in the first place. If you do this, be extra careful not to splatter yourself, the jam is very hot. Ladle the finished jam into clean (sterilized) jars, cover tightly, and let cool before refrigerating. See note below for preserving options.

 

Make it your own

 

  • To can this jam you can follow the instructions from the Ball® website: Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat and remove cover. Let jars cool 5 minutes. Remove jars from canner, do not retighten bands if loose. Cool 12 hours. Check seals. Label and store jars.
  • Add a few cranberries for a fresh flavor or mix the apples with pears.
  • Double or triple the cardamom for a delicious spread to serve with cheese and crackers.
Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

Rhubarb Vanilla Bean Jelly

2 and 1/2 pounds rhubarb washed, trimmed, and sliced

1/2 C. water

7 C. granulated sugar

2 T. lemon juice

seeds of 1 vanilla bean

2 pouches 3 ounces each of liquid pectin

 

Puree the rhubarb in your Vitamix blender or food processor, along with the water to get it started. You may need to do this in 2 batches. Put the rhubarb puree into a clean jelly or nut bag, and let it hang over a large bowl to allow the juice to drip out. Don’t press or squeeze the bag aggressively or the pulp may come through and this will make your jelly cloudy. I do squeeze it a little bit, though, to move it along. It can help to have a jelly strainer, which is made for this purpose. You want to end up with 3 1/2 C. liquid. Put the rhubarb juice in a large stainless steel pot or saucepan. Stir in the sugar, the lemon juice, and the vanilla bean seeds. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring almost constantly. Once the mixture has reached a full rolling boil, let it fully boil for 3 minutes. It may foam up so stay right by it. Stirring is ok. After 3 minutes, stir in the pectin, and bring it back to a full, rolling boil. Boil 1 minute. Again it may foam up so be careful. Take the jelly off the heat and skim off any foam that is on the surface. Fill your sterilized jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. If you care canning: Wipe down the rims of the jars to remove any spilled jelly, then attach the lids and screw them, but don’t over-tighten. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. If you aren’t canning: Let cool and then cap and refrigerate.

Peach Butter

Peach Butter

Peach Butter

4 lb. fresh peaches, (about 10 good sized peaches)

1/2 C. sugar

1/2 C. water, (if your peaches are juicy omit the water)

2 T. fresh lemon juice

 

Peel and rough chop the peaches. Add the peaches to a heavy pot along with the water and sugar. Heat on medium, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat slightly and cook for about 20 minutes until the peaches are completely tender. Stir occasionally. Add the lemon juice to the peaches, and then, working in batches, puree the fruit until it is completely smooth. Don’t rush this step, let the processor or blender run long enough to get all of the lumps. At this point I strain the puree through a mesh strainer just to make sure it is completely smooth. Push it firmly with the back of a spoon to get all the puree through. Discard any lumps. If your puree is smooth enough, you can skip this step (use the vitamix). Put the puree back into the (rinsed out) pan and bring back up to a boil. Lower the heat and cook gently until it is greatly reduced and thickened. This will take about 25-30 minutes or so, depending on the size of your pan. Stir very frequently during this step so the fruit doesn’t scorch. I like to use a splatter screen because it does splatter. TIP: The longer you cook the peach puree, the thicker the butter will be. You know it’s ready when it starts to darken slightly, and your stirring starts to leave trails in the mixture. Test it by dipping a spoon in, and then run your finger down the spoon, if the butter doesn’t fill in the strip, it’s ready. Ladle the hot peach butter into a clean jar or jars and let cool before capping and refrigerating. The peach butter will thicken as it cools. Consume within a couple of weeks. If you would like to can this recipe: Follow safe canning practices and ladle hot peach mixture into sterilized jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims. Close lids to fingertip-tight. Place jars in boiling-water canner and process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Canning Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Canning Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Canning Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

Makes 6-8 pints or 3 quarts of canned concentrate

 

6 C. strawberries, cleaned and hulled

4 C. freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 C. sugar

 

In a food processor, blender or bullet puree strawberry in batches.   Transfer strawberry puree to a stainless-steel saucepan over medium-high heat. DO NOT BOIL. Add lemon juice and sugar and stir to combine. Using a thermometer heat to 190 degrees Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally. Because this recipe has sugar it will get to temperature rather quickly so keep your eye on the thermometer. Remove from heat.  Ladle mixture into jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims, add hot lids, and tighten rings just finger tight. Process in water bath canner at a boil for 15 minutes. To reconstitute, mix one-part concentrate with one part water, tonic water or ginger ale. Adjust concentrate to suit your taste.  You can use bottled lemon juice for this recipe as well!  If you do not want to process this concentrate in canning jars, freeze the concentrate in 1 to 2 C. portions.

Vanilla Pear Sauce

Vanilla Pear Sauce

Vanilla Pear Sauce

15-20 pears, unpeeled, sliced and cored

1/2 to 1 C. white sugar

1 T. lemon juice

1 tsp. high quality cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick

2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

 

Place pears in large stock pot or french dutch oven over medium heat. Do not peal pears, the skin has a lot of flavor and nutrition you don’t want to miss out on. Don’t be afraid to fill the pan up to the top, they will cook down to about half their original size. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise with a sharp knife and put the whole thing in the pears and stir. Once the pears start to cook down, add the rest of the ingredients until everything comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and put the lid on the pan. Simmer for 30 to 60 minutes until pears are very soft. Remove vanilla beans and discard. Drain most of the liquid into a C. (so you have some to thin out the sauce or so you can drink it, it’s very tasty). While still warm, mash the pears for a chunky consistency or blend in the blender for a smooth consistency (I prefer smooth). Place in clean canning jars and process in a water bath canner. These make great gifts and add a special flare to any meal.

Zucchini “Pineapple”

Zucchini “Pineapple”

Zucchini “Pineapple”

You need to peel your zucchini.  I cut mine up in smaller sizes as it’s much easier to handle. Now, take out all the seeds.  A melon baller is easy to use for this.  Then cut up your zucchini into the size you want.  If you want to have “crushed pineapple” then just grate it up.   In a large pot add 46 oz. canned unsweetened pineapple juice, 1 1/2 C. bottled lemon juice and 3 C. of sugar.  Then add your zucchini. Bring it to a boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. Fill your hot, clean pint size jars with the zucchini and liquid.  Leave 1/2 inch headspace.  Adjust your lids and process in a water bath for 15 mins. Remove and wait for the ping sound.

 

The recipe actually calls for you to use 4 quarts of zucchini but I only used the one large one so I had extra liquid left over and I only got 4 pints of zucchini pineapple.  If you use the 4 quarts of zucchini you should get 8-9 pints. If you are like me and don’t use all the zucchini you will be left with at least 1/2 the liquid and you can make jelly from it by adding pectin to it.

Fermented Cherry Tomato Bombs

Fermented Cherry Tomato Bombs

Fermented Cherry Tomato Bombs

4 C. under ripe cherry tomatoes

1 sprig fresh parsley

2 stems fresh basil

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 teaspoon peppercorns

1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

4 C. unchlorinated water

3 T. kosher, pickling, or sea salt, do not use iodized table salt

 

Put the peppercorns, coriander seeds, and mustard seeds into the bottom of a quart-sized jar, then layer in the tomatoes, parsley, basil, and garlic. Mix together the water and salt to make a brine, and pour over the tomatoes, making sure to cover them completely. Use a weight to keep the tomatoes under the brine, and cover the jar with a towel. Put in a cool and dark corner to ferment for 6-8 days. Taste them along the way. When the tomatoes are finished fermenting they will burst with a champagne like effervescence in your mouth. Cover with a lid and store in the fridge. They are best after 1 to 2 weeks. Notes: These cherry bombs will continue to gain effervescence even under refrigeration. The pressure is not in the jar, but in the tomatoes themselves! Refrigerate for up to 6 months.

Pear Jam with Honey

Pear Jam with Honey

Pear Jam with Honey

1/2 C. water

1/2 tsp. calcium powder

 

4 C. pears, peeled, cored and mashed

3/4 C. honey

1/4 C. lemon or lime juice

3 tsp. pectin powder

4 tsp. calcium water

 

Mix water and calcium powder together. Store in a sealed jar in the refrigerator and shake before each use. Will keep for a few months sealed tightly.

 

Peel and core pears. Mash using a potato masher or large fork. Stir mashed fruit, lemon or lime juice and calcium water into a medium sized pot. In a separate bowl, mix together the pectin powder and honey. Bring fruit mixture to a boil and add the honey-pectin mixture. Stir for 1-2 minutes and then return to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat Sanitize jars, lids and rings. Fill jars to 1/4″ of top, clean rims and carefully attach lid and twist rings on. Put filled jars into a boiling pot of water and process for 10 minutes.

Add an extra minute for every 1000 ft above sea level. Remove from water and let cool. Lids should be “sucked” down.