Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Take the Poll

Please take a moment to cast your vote in my poll.  My dog tried to vote, but her paw kept slipping on the keyboard. She is not amused.

New Basket

I tried the new basket I bought in a kit from Wal-Mart.  It was around $10 for the basket and 3 bottles.  I bought this because many times I can only in 1/2 pints or  smaller and those bottles seem to fall from my old metal basket.  This green plastic basket, is perfectly suited to canning the small jars or small amounts of a product.  I liked it because I was able to load the basket with the bottles and plop it directly into the BWB.  When they were done, I just lifted out the lightweight basket and took the bottles out on the counter.  Simple, quick and handy.  Who can't use a canning tool that actually simplifies the process?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Fruits of My Labors

Good Night.


Heavenly Father, thank you for the abundance of cucumbers. I don't want to seem ungrateful, but I just canned more pickles on Saturday Night. Could you please slow the growth down a bit until my fingers recover from picking these.

P.S. Why did you make cucumbers so prickly?  Are tomatoes their natural enemy, or is it just man?
Is it hot in here, or am I just having a hot flash?

Peaches, part 2

Okay, I used this recipe:

Nana's Southern Pickled Peaches
4 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup water
2 tablespoons whole cloves
4 pounds fresh clingstone peaches, blanched and peeled
5 (3 inch) cinnamon sticks
1.Combine the sugar, vinegar and water in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Press one or two cloves into each peach, and place into the boiling syrup. Boil for 20 minutes, or until peaches are tender.
2.Spoon peaches into sterile jars and top with liquid to 1/2 inch from the rim. Put one cinnamon stick into each jar. Wipe the rims with a clean dry cloth, and seal with lids and rings. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes to seal, or consult times recommended by your local extension.

Let me just say, peeling and blanching peaches SUCKS big time! I dropped the peaches into the BWB to blanch, about 3-4 minutes. I then dropped mine in a ice water bath with Fruit Fresh added. After peeling, I put them back in the ice bath to be covered again with the Fruit Fresh.I dropped them into the syrup and boiled. Oh and here's a hint. Drop the cinnamon on top or side of the jar, not the bottom. I didn't think the syrup would make that much, but it actually did, so don't double it. We sampled one of the peaches and it was very nice. In a couple of days with the cinnamon and clove flavors, it should be phenomenal.


Yesterday a neighbor dropped off a bag of peaches on our doorstep.  My DH is always bringing vegetables to the neighbors and families he visits.  The truth is he's a smoozer. He'll talk to anyone about anything and get little perks.  Me on the other hand, I'm an introvert at heart and would be happy reading a book somewhere deserted. Anyway, I decided I had to do something with them today, or they will be too soft to do anything with except eat fresh or make jam.  I think I am going to try Spiced Pickled Peaches.  I don't know if I will even like them or not.  I've never eaten them before.  I figure if they're good I give some away. Or if they're really bad I'll give them away, so Lori P., if your home teacher brings you the peaches, know they were either really good, or really yucky I'll let you decide which it be continued...

Week 17

A lot is going on this week.  We had a member of our church family pass away on Sunday.  In our church we have the viewing and funeral service at our building and then a luncheon for the family and close friends after the internment.  But in this case, the actual burial will be out of state.  That means that the luncheon will be immediately following the service.  Why am I going on about this?  Because I am in the Presidency of the women's organization, the Relief Society, and we are the ones that handle the luncheon.  They are expecting about 100 people.  So we whip into action and cook, set-up, provide linens, table decorations, serve and clean up all with 3 days notice.  The great thing about the Relief Society is, that we have lots of willing hearts and hands to assist us, so with some quick planning it is very doable, the family doesn't have to worry about it, they have a nice meal and can share time together without the worry. One of the standard dishes that everyone expects is a potato casserole that has come to be know simply as Funeral Potatoes.  It's a hearty, flavorful comfort food that everyone from 2 to 102 enjoys.  It is often the first item we run out of, so we always make sure there are extras.  Here is the basic recipe that can be changed by soup flavor or cheese used.

Funeral Potatoes
32 oz bag of frozen shredded hash browns
2 (10 3/4 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cups finely crushed corn flakes
2 Tbs butter or margarine melted

Grease 9x13 baking dish and preheat oven to 350
In large bowl combine soups, sour cream, cheese, onions, and the 1/2 cup of melted butter. Gently fold hash browns into mixture. Pour mixture into pan.
Combine crushed corn flakes and the 2 Tbs. of melted butter and sprinkle on top of potato mixture.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Cook's Notes: I sometimes use the frozen potatoes O'Brien which have the bell pepper and onion. If you use those, bake for about 50 minutes. This is also an easy dish to double. Adjust cooking times as needed. I also use an aged cheddar cheese for more flavor.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Banana Jam

The other day, my friend I was showing how to can, asked about canning bananas.  I said I didn't think you really would want to.  I did some research and found a great recipe for banana jam.  Why you ask? I say why not?  What else are you going to do with those sugar-laden black squishy things sitting on the counter, make bread? I think not!! Let's broaden our horizons and give this one a try.

Banana Jam Recipe

•1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about one medium lime)
•3 1/2 cups diced very ripe bananas
•1 1/2 cups sugar
•1/2 cup water
•1 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

Squeeze the lime juice into a bowl and chop the bananas into it in little chunks.
Measure the sugar and water into a pot, and stir to dissolve sugar as you bring syrup to a boil.
Once it’s just starting to boil, add banana mixture and boil over low heat for about 30 minutes or until thick. Keep stirring it all the time to stop it from sticking to the sides, and to mash up the banana as you go. Add the cinnamon to the mixture, adding more or less depending on how much cinnamon flavor you like. The mixture will slowly start to cook down and will eventually turn into a thick goopy paste, which will get even gooier after it cools down.
The jam is done when a spoon scraped across bottom of pan leaves a track that closes slowly.
Once you’re done, spoon the jam into hot sterilized jars and seal. At sea level, I'd give it 10 minutes in a BWB.
original banana jam recipe

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

I haven't had much time to dedicate to canning this week.  I did got to a new market that opened up close to us.  They were featuring strawberries, blueberries and raspberries for .77 a clam shell.  You were able to buy four of each at a time.  I bought the 12 berries, took them out to the car and returned to finish my shopping and buy another 12.  I washed and froze the berries individually on a cookie sheet and then popped them in Ziploc freezer bags.  That allows me to take out just what I need at one time.

We are also getting ready for a garage sale that we are having on Saturday.  It's really a chance to have my DH clean out some of the 'treasures' he likes to keep.  Me, I can toss pretty much anything, anytime.  Except maybe for journals and photos, the rest is just stuff.

We did try some of the dill pickles I made the other day.  The ones I made with Mrs. Wages dill pickle mix were actually rather good.  I put them in the fridge before opening and they were crisp with a good dill flavor.  I ended up canning more cukes with the leftover brine.

I am getting ready to go to Disneyland with a girlfriend.  Her pass is expiring and she wanted to go one more time before it's done. All work and no play...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Came Up For Air

...and to can more pickles. Produce will not wait for you when you want it to...

Week 16

We are having a garage sale this weekend.  Yesterday I went to the basement to grab items that I have needed to get rid of for a while.  In doing that task, I found a case of canned applesauce that gone bad.  Once again, the cans leaked and made a black mess. Today I'm going back into the abyss, to toss outdated foodstuffs and organize the shelves into some semblance of non-chaos.  Wish me luck.  If I don't post for the next day or two, call 911 for search and be continued...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Two Rice Family

I have to admit we are a two-rice family. My DH likes Minute Rice and I prefer long grained cooked rice. Interestingly enough here is a recipe that may satisfy both of us.

This recipe will give you (1) 1 cup serving of rice.

Dehydrated rice

Cook your favorite rice as usual.  Place in dehydrator and dehydrate until all moisture is gone.
To use it again, add 1/3 cup boiling water, cover and set aside for 5-7 minutes.

Recipe from The Dehydrator's Bible

You what this means, I have to go down to the basement and lug the dehydrator upstairs to use it. I think instead of a guest room, I should turn it into an extension for all my appliances.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pickling Spice Recipes

Do-it-yourself pickling spice recipes are on the top of the Recipes page.

A Word About Mustards

I think most people fall into 2 camps, those that like mustard or those that don't.  I fall in the latter category.  I prefer my hot dogs with nothing but ketchup, my burger with no onions and no mustard.  I happened across some interesting mustard recipes, that I might even try.  Check out my recipes page for some recipes that you can make and can.
Happy Father's Day to an 89-year-old, world war II veteran I call Dad.  Happy Father's Day to all father's past and present.
Here is a wheat recipe that sounds yummy, especially since cherries are in season and relatively inexpensive.

Bulgur and Cherry Pilaf

1 tablespoon butter or canola oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
1 1/4 cups medium or coarse bulgur
4 ounces cherries, washed, pitted and halved
2 ounces dried cherries or cranberries
2 1/4 cups water
Salt to taste
1/2 cup thickened yogurt or thick Greek-style yogurt, or 1/4 cup crumbled feta for serving (optional)

1. Melt the butter or heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy saucepan, and stir in the fennel seeds and the bulgur. Cook, stirring, until the bulgur smells toasty, three to four minutes. Add the fresh and dried cherries (or cranberries) , water and salt (I use about 1/2 teaspoon), and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, cover with a clean dish towel and place a lid over the towel. Allow the bulgur to sit for 15 minutes. The bulgur should be tender. Mound into a wide bowl or onto a platter, and serve with a dollop of thickened yogurt or sprinkled with crumbled feta cheese.

Yield: Serves four to six.

Advance preparation: This can be made several hours ahead, transferred to a baking dish and allowed to cool uncovered. To reheat, cover with foil and place in a 325-degree oven for 20 minutes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A special thanks to Lori F. for giving me two dozen + canning jars for free!


DH & I rode our recumbent bikes at the beach today with some friends of ours. It wasn't breezy and the temp was just right, about 68 degrees. We stopped, ate at IHOP, then rode back to the trucks. I know tough life, huh? 

Back home to the slave canning kitchen. I was excited to make pickles. I cheated and used up some Mrs. Wages Quick Process Dill Pickle Mix. It has been in the cabinet for some time and didn't want to waste it.  I gathered some cukes from the garden. I cut them in a variety of ways, chips, spears, chunks and some small ones I left whole.  The mix is very simple, you just add vinegar and water and bring to a boil.  At first I thought maybe there was something wrong with it, because it turned a very vibrant gold color.  Apparently that's normal.  In the picture it looks orange, but it was really a golden color. I placed the cut cucumbers in the jars and ladled the hot liquid into each jar.  The are processed in a bwb for 10 minutes and viola.  After 24 hours they are ready to be refrigerated and eaten.

Pineapple Results

Good news the pineapples were very sweet.  Bad news they needed to be a bit on the green side to get the firm texture my DH likes.  The canning for 10 minutes gave the fruit a very soft consistency.  I would say look for a greener pineapple with maybe some gold towards the bottom.  It should give the sweetness and the firmer piece of fruit.

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm a winner!!

Blogging has been very lucky for me.  I won something for making the journals and I was just informed that I won an e-book on healthy snacks from the Foodie Blogroll. Wow, that's fun.  I also make jewelry, so maybe I should have a giveaway of something I made.

Michelle's Miracle

Michelle's Miracle provides high quality tart cherry dietary supplements that aid in joint and sleep regulation. I am going to try this stuff.  I wonder if it's sold in 55 gallon barrels?

Pineapple Express

It's experiment time...I was inspired to can pineapple from working with my friend this morning.  I had bought two $1 pineapples and was going to chunk it up and can it, like I did before.  But, we also like to grill pineapple all year round.  I cut a fresh pineapple into thick spears and toss them on a very hot grill.  I cook them just long enough to get grill marks on them.  The sweetness comes out and they are so tasty.  Anywho, I thought why not can the spears for grilling.  At a buck a pineapple I can afford to experiment.  I canned 4 pints of spears with a very light syrup.  I also added the cores to the cooking syrup to add some more flavor. I'll let you know the results, later.

Learning to Can

Canning seems to be a lost art to most of us in the baby boomer generation.  Why can things yourself when it's so convenient to buy it already canned.  But when I learned to can with the help of DH, I discovered how canned food can actually still have flavor.  I can also control what goes into it whether it be a light syrup or water. I talked with my great friend Debra last night and she said she wanted to learn to can.  She came over this morning and we made canned pineapple ($1 pineapples) and peach-pineapple jam.  I also used the jam to experiment with the Pomona Pectin.  It was gelling nicely on the canning funnel when cooled, so I have high hopes. 
Thanks Deb, for letting me teach you.  It was fun and I got some jam too!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

All Finished

This is the pattern I used to make the apron.  The chair doesn't do it justice, trust me. It's also hard to tell in the photo, but all the fabrics have the same color palette.  I was looking for that 30's retro fabric and was going to make the apron in pink, then I saw the bottom fabric and had to have it.

Happy Cow

When you open your eyes and start looking, you find all kinds of things.  I was just over at my local Sprouts Market and I found Pomona Universal Pectin.  I bought 3 boxes, even though I've never used it.  I did buy some $.49 a lb. peaches and nectarines, so I think I'm going to give it a try.  They also had $1 pineapples.  I was so pleased with the last pineapple I canned, I'm doing more. Or, we're grilling steak tonight and grilled pineapple is soooo yummy. I've actually got so much great produce that maybe we'll have to go vegetarian.

Another Cucumber Recipe

Here's a recipe that I have made for years and everyone really loves it.

Marinated Cucumbers
3 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp mustard seed
1/2 cider vinegar

In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, peppers and onions.  In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, celery seed, mustard seed and vinegar; blend well.  Pour over cucumber mixture; toss to coat well.  Cover, refrigerate at least 24 hours, stirring occasionally.  If desired, drain before serving. Makes 3 cups.

Pomona Pectin

Anybody heard of Pomona Pectin?  It's produced in Denmark and is available at this site:  It is a natural citrus pectin that allows you to make jams, jellys, etc. with little to no sugar.  It includes a package of calcium that you mix with water to activate it.  It is rather pricey, but with a long shelf life and savings in sugar, it might equal out with regular pectin.  You can also double and triple your batches because it is not dependent on the sugar ratio to reach the jell stage.  Fruit juice or other natural or artificial sweetners can be used, including stevia and agave and the myriad of others available.  I don't see anyone who markets it locally.  Some Whole Foods may carry it, but that is spotty.  I'm going to order some and will let you know the results.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pickle Recipes

I posted some additional pickle recipes on the Recipes page.  I pulled them from a website and I have not tested them.  I have a couple of old pickle crocks.  Dare I make old-fashioned dills that your have to scoop the scum off each day?  I may be brave and do it.

Cukes & Pickles

Today was one of those days that I didn't feel like I got much accomplished.  It started with a 3-hour meeting this morning, the dog's looong walk (I promised her), cutting out a cute apron pattern, pay some bills, rip some books on CD to my MP3 player, take a lady to the doctor for a couple of hours, make dinner, start sewing, blog.  Wait a minute, maybe I did do quite a bit today!

Anyway, it's that time again.  Cucumbers in the garden will soon be out numbering the grains of sand at the beach.  DH planted about 50 plants, no joke.  That's a lot of cukes.  Here is another recipe out of Grandma's recipe box. 
Dill Pickles
Pack jars with cukes into each jar (quart). Put 1/8 tsp of powdered alum, 1 clove of garlic, 2 heads of dill and 1 small red pepper.

Combine 1 qt. vinegar, 1 cup salt, 3 qts. water.
Bring to a boil and pour over cukes. Seal and process for 5 minutes.

Everybody raved about these pickles.  I know she also put a grape leaf in the bottom of the jar first.  I don't really know why. I think it is supposed to help keep the pickles crisp.  Also, 5 minutes seems like a short processing time.  But again, not my recipe, and I don't think anyone was pickle poisoned. ;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Grandma's Recipes

Here is what you really were waiting for, selected recipes from the recipe box.  Here are two that were filed under Foreign Foods.

Spray for Bugs
1 bulb garlic
1 Tbl cayenne pepper
1 quart water
Stew ingredients together for 1 hour.  Put in blender, strain and spray.

Mustard Plaster
2 Tbl. mustard
4 Tbl flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Mix in a little warm water and spread between thin cloth.  Put next to neck & chest, cover with a dry towel.  Rub neck with vaseline first &; with rubbing alcohol after taking off.

Here is a recipe my DH remembers as being sooo good.

Linore's Chili Sauce
1 peck ripe tomatoes
1 lb. celery
2 red peppers
1 quart diced onions
3 green peppers
Scald and peel tomatoes, cook till done.  Chop all other vegetables and add to tomatoes.  When thick & done, add 1/2 tsp ground cloves, 1 Tbl. dry mustard, 2 lbs. brown sugar, 1/4 cup salt and 1 qt. vinegar.
Cook slowly, bottle and seal.  Makes 10-11 pints.

I think I'll bottle some of that, but I think I'll can half that amount.

I was reading on a canning site about someone making raspberry lemonade concentrate and canning it.  The brilliant thing about it was that the woman used her steam juicer to juice the raspberries and then added the juice to the concentrate.  Wow, I hadn't thought of doing that. For me that is so much better than drinking a lemonade with goopies in it.  I hate things like orange juice that is pulpy. Do you chew it or drink it?  I am making more lemonade concentrate with strawberries and other fruits.  Uh, how about cherry lemonade, or blueberry lemonade...

Week 15

I had a visit with my Rheumatologist today. He's putting me on an IV infusion schedule of every 4 weeks, instead of 6 weeks.  I get an IV treatment for my rheumatoid arthritis, which slows the progression and helps me tremendously. It's just that I am not only going to have to have blood tests every month, but now I'll be in the Chemo Clinic for 4 hours every month.  This rant is because I HATE NEEDLES.  I can't watch when they stick me.  I can't even stand to have someone touch the inside of my elbow.  I just have to remember, I am much, much, much better off with the meds!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Grandma's Recipes

As I've mentioned before, my DH and brothers divided their mom's things after 8 years. My hubby was excited as he brought out the recipes he had been looking for.  I'll post some of the better ones.  Let me know if you need a good mustard plaster recipe. BTW, what do you do with a mustard plaster?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dennis Prager Q & A At University of Denver

What to do With Pea Pods that Runneth Over...

Pea Pods Oriental

1 Tbsp salt
1 quart cold water
3/4 lb fresh broccoli
3 c immature pea pods or Chinese pea pods
4 to 5 celery stalks without leaves
1 c chopped red pepper
1 quart water
1/4 c pickling salt
2 - 8 oz cans whole water chestnuts, drained
5 c white vinegar
1/2 c sugar
1 Tbsp grated gingerroot
3 Tbsp mustard seeds

In a large bowl, stir 1 Tbsp salt into 1 quart cold water, set aside.

Wash broccoli. Immerse in salted water, 10 minutes. Rinse with fresh
water. Cut into flowerets with 1” stems attached. Peel remaining stems with vegetable peeler. Cut into 1/8” slices. Wash pea pods, break off stem ends. Wash celery, cut off base. Cut stalks into 1/4” slices, making 3 cups.

In a large bowl, combine broccoli flowerets and sliced stems, pea pods,
cliced celery and red pepper and set aside.

In a large saucepan, combine 1 quart water and pickling salt. Bring to a
boil. Pour brine over vegetables. Cover with a towel and let sit 10 to 12
hours. Drain and discard brine. Prepare jars, caps and bands. Stir water chestnuts into marinated vegetables.

In a large saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, gingerroot and mustard
seeds. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Pack vegetables into jars, leaving 1/2” headspace. Add boiling vinegar
mixture to cover. Check for air bubbles and adjust headspace if needed.

Process pint jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Adjust time
according to altitude.

Makes: 6 pints

Not Food Storage, But Should Be!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
2 1/2 C All purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Salt
1 C Butter Or Margarine, Room Temperature
¾ C Granulated Sugar
¾ C Packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
⅓ C Milk Or Soy Milk
1 C Mini Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
14 ounces, weight Dark Chocolate Candy Coating

Beat butter and sugars and in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add soymilk and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed (or by hand) until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips.

Cover and chill dough (in fridge) for 1 hour.

When dough is firm enough to handle (it may help to lightly flour your hands), form dough into 1″ balls and arrange on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Place sheets in the freezer and let chill for 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate candy coating in a double boiler or in the microwave according to package directions. Using forks or a dipping tool, dip cookie balls into the candy coating to cover. Tap fork on the side of the pan to remove any excess coating, and return to the waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Chill until set. Store, chilled, in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Sare's notes:
1. Make these for a party or something where lots of people can be impressed with your skills. It makes a TON!
2. Be sure to put some in your husband's lunch box the next day to share with co-workers so they can think his wife is an awesome homemaker (and so you won't eat the leftovers all day).
3. It is ok to use regular size chips if minis are not in your pantry.
4. If you don't have time to chill the dough for an hour, it is ok. Roll the dough balls anyway right then, put on a cookie sheet to freeze for 30 minutes, proceed with chocolate coating. That's how I did it and it worked out fine.

This is copied directly from this blog:

Friday, June 11, 2010

Substituting Honey for Sugar

Substituting Honey for Sugar in Home Canning, Cooking, Making Jams, Jellies and Baking
How to use honey in place of sugar in recipes:
There are no hard and fast rules to substituting honey and sugar in recipes, but this page should help you quickly Decide how much you will want to use in your particular recipe, instead of table or cane sugar. In general, substituting honey for sugar seems to be a matter of taste. Some people use it cup for cup, others prefer 1/2 cup - 2/3 cup of honey per cup of white sugar. Reduce the amount of other liquids by 1/4 cup for every cup of honey used. Lower the oven temp about 25 degrees F to prevent over-browning and add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for each cup of honey to your batter. (Honey is naturally acidic and the baking soda tempers it.)

If you are diabetic, keep in mind that honey does not reduce the calorie or carbohydrate content of the sugar syrup, and thus is not acceptable sugar replacements for people on diabetic diets.

Background: Differences and Considerations Between Honey and Cane Sugar
Honey adds moisture that table sugar does not have.
Honey is much more dense (weighs more per cup)
Honey adds its own flavor to the finished product
Honey adds acid to a recipe,
And honey can cause baked foods to brown more quickly.
Moisture: If you just swap honey for sugar the finished product would likely be rather soggy and sticky. But, if we examine the rest of the ingredients in a recipe, we can determine which items will absorb some of the water in the honey and increase those to compensate. Or we can take the opposite approach and reduce some liquid from the recipe.

Density: A cup of granulated sugar weighs 8 ounces (1/2 lb or 1.1 kg). A cup of honey weighs 12 ounces (3/4 lb or 340 grams). So if you were to substitute honey in a recipe that calls for brown sugar, you’d be adding twice the amount of food. A cup of brown sugar weighs only 6. But a cup of maple syrup weighs 11 ounces and it slightly less sweet than honey; so you should use about 10% less honey than maple syrup.

Flavor: Honey has its own unique flavor. General it is a light and pleasing flavor, but if it conflicts with the desired taste of your recipe, there's not much you can do about it. However, most people seem to like the flavor that honey adds!

Acidity: Since honey adds acid to a recipe, if the recipe is sensitive to that you would have to neutralize with the addition of a pinch of baking soda. Adding 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda per cup of honey is advised in baking, but since most canning recipes prefer acidity, no action is needed if you are using honey in place of sugar in canning.

Faster Browning: Lower the oven temp about 25 degrees F to prevent over-browning

General recommendations:
These are general recommendations and since the type, quality and properties of the other ingredients affects how the sweetener acts, you may have to do some trial and error to get the exact substitution for the results you want. But these rations should work and be tasty!

Baking (pies, cakes, cookies, etc.)
Use 3/4 cup of honey replaces one cup of sugar. Reduce other liquids by one-half cup for each cup of honey you add to the recipe. Lower the oven temp about 25 degrees F to prevent over-browning
Canning (jams, jellies, preserves, chutney's, fruit, etc.) and cooking
To use honey in place of sugar, use 7/8 cup for every cup of sugar, and don't change the other liquids. According to food labs, honey may be substituted effectively for up to half the sugar called for in a canning syrup recipe.

New Page

I added a page about canning information.  So far it contains a chart about making simple syrups or juices for adding to your canned fruit.

Cherries and a Blow-out

No, no one had a blow out from eating too many cherries. But I was so excited to use my cherry pitter and can some cherries, I forgot basic canning info.  When you can, the bottles should be hot along with the fruit, etc.  I raw packed the cherries and made a very light syrup to pack them in.  (7 cups water + 1 cup honey) I had boiled the syrup, but then turned it down to skim the foam off the top.  It really wasn't that hot.  The cherries were room temp and I had just taken the bottles from the dishwasher.  I filled and packed as usual, but when I put it in the bwb, the bottom of the bottle blew out and the cherries floated around.  My DH said to just process them as usual and pull the cherries out afterwards, along with the bottle bottom.  In this case, haste truly does make waste.

I didn't pick the cherries myself, I got them on sale at the grocery.  I did use the pitter and found that it is missing a small rubber thingy that removes the pit from the cherry.  About half of the pits were still attached, but it was still much faster than doing it all by hand.  I guess you have to expect that from something that was 30 years-old. 

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Ginger Syrup

What to do with the ginger that is leftover from the teaspoon of fresh ginger needed in a recipe.

Ginger Syrup
2 cups ginger slices, peeled (1/8 inch thick)
2 cups sugar
2 cups water

Mix ginger, sugar and water in a saucepan and bring to a slow simmer. Reduce mixture by 50 percent until a syrupy consistency is reached. Keep in
mind that the syrup will thicken as it cools. Strain warm syrup. Allow to cool.

While syrup is cooling, make ginger candy. Take ginger slices that have
been drained out of the syrup and completely coat in sugar. Spread on sheet
pan and slowly dry out in a 225-degree oven for 3 hours. Ginger slices
should be dried but still chewy.

*Best-Ever Ginger-Limeade*
1 part ginger syrup
7 parts soda water
1 lime cut in wedges
4 mint sprigs

In a tall glass of ice, add mint sprig and a ratio of 1 part ginger syrup to
7 parts soda water. Squeeze lime wedge and add to drink. Use more syrup
if desired. Stir and enjoy. Can also make drink with chilled soda water and
add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a tasty Ginger Ale Float.

from "Simply Ming"

I think I will make the syrup and can it like I did with the strawberry lemonade.

Cherry Pitter & Bean/Pea Sheller

Here you go Linda.  This is a pix of the free machines I got from my Utah trip.  The yellow bill is the orginal prices from 1980. The pitter was $15.95 and the sheller was $14.95.  Who knows what they would go for today.

   Guess this answers that question.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Okay, Teresa Smith is annoying and should be voted out at the next city election.

Week 14

I'm baaack! I basically skipped week 13.  It would have been bad luck anyway, right?  All my canning and food storage prep would have ended in disaster.

After 8 years, my DH and his brothers went through their moms things that had been stored at DH house in Utah.  'Bout time.  I was supportive and gave input when asked and tried to stay out of the way.  I visited the thrift store to look for canning bottles, until my DH told me there were probably 10 boxes of empty canning jars in their moms stuff.  Score!!!  Lots of the smaller bottles to bring home!  Yippee!   I also wound up with a cherry pitter and pea pod sheller.  I was excited about the pitter because in the next couple of weeks we are headed to pick cherries. 

Must can food, haaaving wwithhhdrawallls...
IMPORTANT!!! If you live in CA, GO VOTE!!!  If you don't vote, don't complain about the idiots in office, because you are the reason they are there!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I'm in Salt Lake City and haven't done any food storage prep. I'm having withdrawals.