Sunday, September 25, 2011

Preserving

What a busy week in the kitchen. While tiring, so satisfying. Fresh food from the garden and farmers markets all coming at the same time. It is apple time again with the trees in our yard and the neighbors dropping them like crazy. This year we are seeing less apples then last year, but our neighbor Donna had a huge crop. So, Donna and I spent one whole day just canning apple sauce. We did 21 quarts and I still have bags of apples sitting in the garage waiting for processing. Last year I did 40 quarts, so I still have a ways to go. I use a Victorio Strainer, which makes the job super easy. Quartered, steamed apples go in, and the peels and seeds come out one end and the applesauce the other. Doesn't get any easier than that. And if you want apple butter? Well, put the applesauce and some honey and spices in your crock pot for the night and you are done in the morning.

I am always inspired by new recipes, so I got quite a few canning books from the library that were new to me and found some good recipes. Here are a few of my favorites and what kept me busy over the week.

Put 'Em Up!
I made the Mincemeat (vegetarian), Corn Salsa, Spicy Peach Salsa, and Ginger Peach Jam. I just can't wait to try the mincemeat this winter in some puffed pastry for a quick and easy appetizer. It was a another great use of our apples. The corn salsa was so good that we ended up making three batches with varying degrees of hotness. The ginger peach jam has a delightful hot/spiciness that will be just right on a cold winter day. It is a good thing as I doubled the 6 half-pint recipe and ended up with 20 half-pints! I especially like that the author uses Pomona's Universal Pectin for low sugar jam recipes. I still have a box of beets in the garage and am thinking about using these two recipes from the book: Pickled Beets and Beet Relish.



Mincemeat, Corn Salsa, Spicy Peach Salsa, Ginger Peach Jam

I really liked using this book and plan on adding it to my bookshelf. It has all the recipes categorized by the fruit or vegetable. So, you have a bunch of corn sitting on your kitchen floor? Open up the book to the corn recipes. There are also drying and freezing ideas, along with canning.

Canning and Preserving with Ashley English
This book had a bit more chatting in it and less recipes. But, a few of them were pretty good. I made Whole Peaches, which I spiced with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and brandy, and the Peach and Lavender Butter. I'd love to try these: Cardamon Apple Cider Butter, Fig and Thyme Jam, and Meyer Lemon and Lemon Verbena Curd.

 

Spiced Peaches with Brandy, Peach and Lavender Butter

Creative Pickling
This is the book that I used to start my dill pickles at the end of August. This morning they tasted just right after fermenting for 3.5 weeks, so I canned the pickles today. I also made the Peaches Supreme from this book, which is whole peaches with a raspberry and white-wine vinegar brine.

 

Classic Dills, Peaches Supreme

The River Cottage Preserves Book
There are so many unusual recipes in this book, that as soon as I got into it, I had to order it. I plan on making these recipes in the next week: Gingered Rhubarb and Fig Chutney, Roasted Sweet Beet Relish, and Roasted Tomato Ketchup. I can't wait to try some of these: Honeyed Hazelnuts, Apple Lemon Curd, Figpote, Bachelor's Jam, Rosehip Syrup, Lemon Syrup, Hearty Ale Chutney... Oh, this is going to be one amazing book to work through!


Brandywine Heirloom Tomatoes

I still would like to get my hands on Canning for a New Generation. That one looks really great, but I couldn't find it in our library system. Now that all that preserving is done, you'd think my pantry is full, but after loading it up it still looks a bit empty! Oh, well, there are still more things to work on. Namely, all those tomatoes that had better ripen in our lovely 70-80 degree heat this weekend and coming week.

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