Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fruits of Our Labors

After all we have been doing the past few day, La Kid and I needed a break.  We took in the Angels vs. Texas game @ the Big A.  Yeah! the Angels won.

This pix doesn't do the cupcakes justice.
 These next photos are what else we were up to in the past few days.  La Kid made 200 cupcakes for the wedding and a 6-inch cake to all go on a cupcake stand.

The bride gave La Kid three brightly colored napkins and said she wanted the cupcakes to match.  They were dead on.  Not what I would have chosen, but then theirs was a carnival themed reception...

I played sous chef to La Kid.  Mainly washed and did the grunt work while she mixed, baked and piped all the cupcakes.

I was also busy with more summer canning.  I did a load of Bread & Butter Pickles, more Dills and a Peach Rhubarb Jam that I threw together.  No real recipe, just cut up the rhubarb and tossed with sugar, then let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours.  The sugar draws out the water, so by that time I had about 2 cups of liquid and rhubarb.  I then added some fruit fresh to the mixture.  I skinned the peaches after a 2-minute bath in boiling water and quick dip in ice water.  I hand chunked the peaches into the rhubarb mixture and tossed to coat the peaches as they were added.  I had probably 7-8 cups of fruit and liquid.  I used about 1 1/2 cups of sugar for the rhubarb and found I didn't need any more than that.  The peaches were sweet, so I began to bring the mixture to a boil for a few minutes, mashing everything together.  Since I was not going to add more sugar, I used Pomona Pectin with the jam.  I didn't want it to boil down to nothing, so I opted to use the pectin.  I follow the Pomona Pectin directions for Peach Jam and added the pectin with about 1/4 cup more sugar.  The jam has a very fruity peach flavor, not sickeningly sweet, like many jams.  The rhubarb added just enough tang to know something was in it, but you probably wouldn't be able to identify what it was.  It was an experiment.  I like it!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Note to self...

When La Kid is making buttercream frosting, what until she actually puts in the confectioner's sugar before you taste was a mix of Crisco and unsalted butter...bluck..yuck...

Another Jam

Actually two jams, one was traffic, the other was Peach Lime Jam.  Last night we were headed to the Orange County Fair.  Every year I enter something, so I get the free ticket.  I'm usually very lucky and get a blue ribbon.  One year I was actually a Division Winner for a piece of jewelry I had made.  Anyway, it is kind of tradition to go on the first day of the Fair, to see if I won something.  I was out of town when it began, so we were going to meet friends for dinner at the Fair.  It was the traffic jam from fair-goers hell.  We didn't want to hike a couple of miles just to park, so we said forget it!  I'd never seen it so crowded.  I still haven't found out if I won anything.  For some reason, I don't think so.  But then the one year I knew I wasn't going to win, I got a blue ribbon.  Go figure.

I made Peach Lime Jam last night and here is the recipe.  It is my new favorite!

Peach Lime Jam
.1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups peaches, peeled
1 small lime
1/2 cup water

Zest the lime over a saucepan.
Add the peaches, water and the juice of the lime.
Mash and stir the ingredients. Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce heat to a bubbly simmer. Cook uncovered, stirring ccasionally. As the mixture begins to thicken, stir more often. It will reduce and begin to gel in about 15-20 minutes. When it gels, pack in bottles and BWB for 10 minutes. You know the drill.

Cook's Notes:I found the recipe and didn't think about it later, that it doesn't need pectin. I used about 1 1/3 cups of sugar, as the peaches were sweet.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Five Fruit Marmalade

I used this recipe to make my 4 Citrus Marmalade.

2 lemons
2 limes
2-3 medium oranges
1 grapefruit
2 tangerines, peeled
4 cups water
1/4 tsp baking soda
5 1/2 cups sugar

Zest rind of lemons, limes, 2 oranges and grapefuit with a microplane.  Place all in a stainless steel or enamel pan.  Remove white rind (pith) and add to mixture.  Add water; bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and gently boil for 25 minutes.

Remove pith from limes.  Finely chop all fruit pulp in a food processor.  It will measure about 4 cups. If it doesn't measure 4 cups, add the extra orange pulp.  Add fruit and baking soda to saucepan.  Bring back to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce heat and gently boil for 20 minutes. Stir the mixture frequently.  Using tongs, remove and toss the large pieces of rind.

Add sugar and return to boil, while stirring constantly.  Boil rapidly, uncovered until mixture forms a gel, about 30 minutes. Stir this mixture frequently.  Remove from heat.

Can in a BWB for 10 minutes.

Notes: I didn't have tangerines, so I added the other orange.  I also didn't have 2 lemons, I had one.  I substi
substituted more limes.  I almost think that gave it a bitter overtone.  I also am not sure why they used baking soda.  It looked like a science experiment when I added it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Yesterday's Products

Cute kid, huh?  My now married daughter holding up the Gingered Peach Marmalade and the 4 Citrus Marmalade.  I made them the old fashioned way, you know where they cook for what seems like forever, and you don't add pectin.  Hey, it works! What a concept.   Anyway, La Kid's in town to make wedding cupcakes for a cousin. Cuz' liked the ones La Kid made for her own wedding so much, that she asked  La Kid do the same thing for her wedding this weekend.  I guess that Le Cordon Bleu training has come in handy.  That and she just got a new job as a cake decorater for Whole Foods.  I'll post the recipes later, when I'm not so tired.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday Musings

Had a great day at church.  We had great speakers and lessons all on the same day!  I'm home and looking at what is sitting on the table. I've got navel oranges, limes, grapefruit and some apples.  I also bought some culinary lavender the other day.  I might just make a citrus lavender marmalade.  How does that sound?  I've never tasted lavender (that I know of), so this will be interesting.

Maybe I'll boil down the apples to make natural pectin.  That would be interesting...hummm...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Plum Paste

For some insane reason, I decided to make plum paste @ 9:30 pm.  By 12:30 a.m. I was finished. I can be soooo stubborn some times, it amazes even me.  I wanted to make this recipe when I first got the book,
Preserve-It by Lynda Brown.  It just sounded so good, I had to double the batch.  After much stirring and tasting this is the finished product.  On the back of the tag I wrote, Slice thinly and serve with cold meats and cheeses.  The paste is left to 'mature' in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks.
It goes through many flavor changes on the way to becoming a paste.  I added some lime juice and it added a nice undertone.  The final outcome is less sweet than I would have thought, with an intense plum flavor.  Well worth the effort. If you decide to make it, it helps to have a chinois set to strain it.  I don't know how, but I went down to the basement and found I have 2.  Kind of bizarre, but in a good way.

Plum Paste
from PreserveIt! by Lynda Brown

Makes 2 small Jars or 3 (5 ½ oz) ramekins

2 ¼ lbs plums, pitted and chopped
granulated sugar
1-2 T. butter (opt.)

Put the fruit in a large heavy bottomed saucepan with 1 ¼ cups of water; bring to a boil and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the fruit is reduced to a thick, syrupy pulp.  Crush the fruit occasionally with a potato masher or fork as it cooks.

Sieve the fruit in batches and collect the juice and puree in a clean bowl.  Measure the puree and add the sugar. (For every 2 cups of puree, allow 2 ¼ cups of sugar.  If the puree seems tart, use 3 cups of sugar.)

Put the puree back into the pan and add the butter if you wish (it softens and mellows the sharpness of the plums). Stir over low heat to dissolve the sugar and bring to a gentle boil.

Simmer very gently for 35-45 minutes or longer, stirring  often, until the pulp reduces to a black-purple glossy paste that ‘plops’ and sticks to a wooden spoon, or will leave a clear trail if the spoon is drawn across the bottom of the pan.

Lightly oil some warm sterilized containers, ramekins, or molds.  Spoon the paste and level the top.  Cover with discs of wax paper and seal with plastic wrap if leaving in their containers.  Otherwise leave to cool, turn out using a butter knife, and wrap in wax paper.  Label and store in a cool, dark place for at least 6-8 weeks before eating.

Stores for 2 years.

Just another plug for this book.  I love this book.  The recipes are simple and straightforward. It has beautiful pictures and does a great job explaining how different fruits and veggies can be used in a variety of ways.

Friday, July 23, 2010

If Heaven had a Flavor, I'm Sure it Would be THIS One.

Remember that Banana Jam recipe I posted a while back? Well, I've improved it-a lot.  I decided to make Chocolate Banana Jam.  I followed the recipe with the following exceptions;
*I cut the sugar to 3/4 of a cup. The bananas were black, so you know they were loaded with sugar.
*I used 1 tsp. Saigon Cinnamon. (A much more intense flavor than regular cinnamon).
*I micro planed a 1 oz. square of unsweetened baking chocolate and added it the last minute of cooking.
*I tossed in some coarse sea salt along with the chocolate to enhance it's flavor.
*I also added 1 tsp. of rum extract with the chocolate.
Stir well and process normally.  Yummm!

Canning Tuna?

Aha! I hooked you. (excuse the pun) I'm not talking about the fish, I'm talking about the prickly pear cactus fruit.  In Spanish, it's called tuna. Anyway, I was at the Latin market, and they were having a sale on the fruits.  It was something like 8 for a buck, so I bought 8 red and 8 green.    The photo shows what the fruit looks like.  I forgot to save one of the reds to show you intact, but it pretty much looks like the green, but with a reddish blush.  The real difference is the meat inside.  Yes, it really is a fluorescent pink color. I decided to make Prickly Pear Jelly, because DH said his mom used to and he really liked it.  I personally had never had it, but I thought why not try. Thankfully, the spines were already off the fruit.  I have heard you can burn them off with a lighter, but I would just as soon have someone else do it for me.

I found a recipe that I more or less followed.

Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly

2 1/2 cups prickly pear cactus juice
1/2 cup lemon juice
5 cups sugar
1 box of powdered pectin (18 teaspoons-note that not all pectin brands contain the same amount in a box, so measure it out to make sure)

Hard boil cactus fruit juice, pectin and lemon juice for 3 minutes. Add sugar and bring back to a hard boil for 2 minutes or until the jell point is reached.

Put in canning jars, seal and heat process for 10 minutes.

To get the cactus juice, I quartered the fruit and tossed them in a pot with just enough water to cover them.  I boiled them until the meat and seeds were sliding off the skins.

I probably boiled it for about 15 minutes.  The water turned an attractive pink color. At that point, I used a jelly bag set over a bowl to strain the meat from the juice.

All together it made about 8 cups of juice.  I added about 3/4 cup of lemon juice to the pear juice and put it back on the stove.  I mixed up the package of calcium water from the Pomona Pectin package and  added that to the pan.  I brought the entire mixture to a boil.  I used an entire package of pectin mixed into 4 cups of sugar and added that to the boiling mixture.  I stirred to dissolve the sugar and reduce the liquid.  It started to jell fairly quickly, so I  cooked it for maybe another 5-7 minutes.  I sampled the taste to see if it was sweet enough and it wasn't too sweet.  The flavor of the cactus came through nicely.  I bottled it and canned in a BWB for 10 minutes.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh No!!!

Do you know how yucky it is to have a quart jar of pickles break in the canner?  I was fishing out spears and slices left and right.  I had a couple more jars to finish up, so I put them in the pickle-juice infested canner.  I sealed one of the lids with a white ring.  It was a mild sulfur yellow color when I removed it.  I think I'll change the water for the plums. ;)

Week 20

I made it home yesterday, went for an RA treatment last night and watched The Bacholorette  from 2 weeks ago. I'm betting she chooses Roberto.  Or maybe that is just who I would pick. 

Today, I went and picked up some produce and am going to get back to that summer canning.  The cukes that were hidden weigh about 20 lbs. each and have turned yellow.  The worms in the compost bin will love them.  I will make some bread and butter pickles and  more dills as they keep coming on.

I got several pounds of Santa Rosa plums at the produce store.  That is probably my favorite food, hands down.  They have a very short riping span, so I usually pig out during those couple of weeks when they are available.  Our Santa Rosa plum tree died, so I have to pay the $ to get them.  I am going to can some in a very light syrup to have that flavor all year long. 

We'll see what else I come up with in my canning frenzy.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Happy Birthday

Just wanted to wish my DH a happy B-day.  Sorry I couldn't be with you.  Love you.

Make Your Own Graham Crackers

Here is a recipe from the Everyday Food Storage website. Crystal posts some great how to videos on using what we already have in our food storage.

Graham Crackers

1/3 cup shortening
3/4 cup plus 1 T. sugar (I use brown sugar)
3 T. honey, warmed
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup plus 2 T. water
I add in 1-2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine shortening, sugar, honey and vanilla.
Blend until smooth. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl, and then
add dry mixture to the wet ingredients and blend well with electric mixer.

Slowly add water to the mixture while beating. You may have to mix by hand
until the mixture forms a large ball of dough.

Divide the dough in thirds and roll one third out on waxed paper till at
least 1/16″ thick. It should be very thin. Use a knife to trim into a
rectangle slightly smaller than the sheet pan you will be using. Grease
the baking pan with a light coating of shortening. Turn the dough over
onto the baking sheet and remove the wax paper.

Use a knife to score the dough into smaller crackers. Use a toothpick (or
fork) to poke holes over the entire surface of the dough. Bake for 22 to
24 minutes, or until the dough begins to turn light brown around the
edges. Turn the baking sheet around halfway through baking time for even
browning. Cool the crackers before breaking them apart along the scored
lines. Repeat process for remaining dough. If desired, you can sprinkle a
cinnamon/sugar mixture over the dough before baking to make cinnamon

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another Chocolate Raspberry Recipe

Chocolate Raspberry Spread

5 cups prepared fruit (buy about 2 quarts fully ripe red raspberries)
1 box powdered fruit pectin
5 squares unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp butter (optional)
7 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl

Bring boiling water canner, half 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.

Crush raspberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. (Press half of the
pulp through a sieve to remove some of the seeds, if desired.) Measure
exactly 5 cups prepared fruit into 6 or 8 quart sauce pot.

Stir pectin into prepared fruit in sauce pot. Add chocolate; mix well.
Add butter to reduce foaming, if desired. Bring mixture to full rolling
boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat,
stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil
exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any
foam with metal spoon.

Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of
tops. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Adjust time according
to your altitude.

Makes: About 10 half pints

Monday, July 19, 2010

Jamming with Pomona Pectin

 I've talked about using Pomona's Pectin before and here is another great recipe to try it with.  For those that are unitiated, you can use less sugar with the jam.  It comes with a small package of calcium powder that you mix with water.  It helps the pectin to jell without the aid of all the sugar.  The instructions are straightforward and easy to understand.  A chart helps you determine the amount of pectin to use in ratio to the sugar, or lack thereof.

I'm flying home, instead of driving with DH.  I have a Remicade treatment and then have to give a lesson at church.  I'll fly back to attend a family reunion and then we get to make the looong drive home.  It's been so hot here, I'll be glad to get back to more tepid climes.

Lime Pineapple Jam


8 cups finely chopped fresh pineapple (or a couple of pulses in blender will do)
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lime juice (2 limes juiced and zested)
4 tsp calcium water
4 tsp Pomona Pectin powder


In a saucepan, combine pineapple, lime juice and zest and calcium water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, add sugar mixture.(sugar and pectin powder mixed) Bring to a boil stirring vigorously 1-2 minutes to dissolve sugar and pectin. Remove from heat.
Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4-in. head space. Adjust caps. Process for
10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. (or for your altitude)
Makes 7- ½ pints (with a little to spare for the fridge)

Links to other jammin' recipes:
Apricot Pineapple Jam
Raspberry Jalapeno Jam
Jalapeno Jelly
Strawberry Kiwi Jam
Pomegranate Jelly
Corn Cob Jelly

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Just Some Random Ideas

In all the forums and blogs about food storage, preserving and canning, I occasionally come across some odd information or ideas.  How about this one.  When you have a large amount of cucumbers to wash, why not throw them in the washing machine with a couple of dish towels and run it on a short cycle with no soap.  It will wash any residual dirt and bugs off and get the little spiny buggers off them at the same time.

When you need more room on your stove for canning, use a crock pot to heat up the canning lids.  I also run my other canning items in the dish washer, i.e. ladle, rings, jars, funnel in the dish washer and leave the jars on the plate warm cycle.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cinnamon Cucumber Pickles

Cinnamon Cucumber Pickles

2 gals Lrg cucumbers
2 c. pickling lime
3 c. dark vinegar
2 gals water
11 c.sugar
1 c. dark vinegar
3 c. water
2 tsps red food coloring
1 (10 oz) pkg red hot candies
1 tbsp alum
8 - 10 cinnamon sticks

Peel, seed and slice cucumbers. Combine lime and water and cucumbers and soak for 24 hours. Drain and wash in cold water. Soaking in cold water for 3 hours-drain. Combine 1 c. dark vinegar, alum and food coloring with cucumbers slices, add enough water to cover. Simmer for 2 hours, drain. Mix sugar and 2 gals. water in a pot. Heat until sugar is dissolved into a syrup. Combine the ingredients and bring to boil. Pour over the drained cucumbers and let stand 24 hours. Drain and heat the syrup 3 times letting it stand 24 hours each time. The last time spoon cucumber in sterilized hot jars and pour hot syrup in each jar, adjust lids and process 5 minutes in boiling water bath.

I pulled this recipe from another home canning website.  I forsee large cucumbers lurking in our garden upon our return home.

Good News

The sorting is over.  The division is done and now we can clean up the Utah house and get rid of whatever we want to! After sooo many years of having things hang around, it's nice to get them to where they belong and lighten the imaginary load.

Sounds Good to Me...

I found this on one of the canning forums that I visit.  Are your tomatoes coming on all at once?  Try this sauce recipe. 
Marinara Sauce

1 1/4 cups onions, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups celery, finely chopped
1 cup carrots, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 lb ripe plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tsp granulated sugar (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried basil, oregano or marjoram
1/4 tsp fennel seed (optional)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Cook onion, celery and carrots in olive oil over medium heat in a large
pot,covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir

Add garlic and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, sugar and pepper. Simmer
over low heat for 15 minutes.

Put the sauce through the medium disc of a food mill if you prefer a smooth sauce. Omit this step if you prefer a smoother sauce.

Add remaining seasonings (except salt) and simmer, stirring often, until
sauce reaches desired consistency (about 20 minutes). Add salt. Remove bay leaf.

Pack into clean, hot jars, leaving 1 inch headspace; seal. Process pints
for 20 minutes and quarts for 25 minutes at 10 lb pressure. Adjust pressure according to altitude and / or style of canner.

Friday, July 16, 2010

I also purchased the book on the left the other evening.  I haven't had too much time to peruse it yet, but here is a recipe for you.

1/2 cup cracked wheat
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
11/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
1/2 clove garlic
1 tomato, diced
1 1/4 cups finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 cup finely chopped cucumber, seeded
1/2 tsp. salt
Stir cracked wheat, lemon juice and olive oil in a large bowl. Layer green onions, garlic, tomato, celery, parsley and cucumber over cracked wheat mixture. Spinkle salt. Cover and chill 24 hours.  Toss well before serving.  Make 6 servings.
Tip: Follow the order for the layers.  The salt pulls water out of the vegetables, which in turn softens the cracked wheat as it chills overnight.

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

Here are a couple of recipes from the Deals to Meals Blog. I have a link to the website on the right.  I use there service every week to find the best bargins for my food dollars.

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup
2 T. flour
2 T. butter
2 T. powdered dry milk
1 c. water
1 t. instant chicken bouillon granules or chicken base
1/2 c. finely chopped cooked chicken (optional)

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add flour, stirring with wire whisk. Add water and dry milk and whisk until smooth and thickened. Stir in onion powder, bouillon and chicken. Serve or freeze for later use.

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 T. flour
2 T. butter
1 c. milk
1 t. instant beef bouillon granules or beef base
1/2 c. finely chopped mushrooms

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add flour, stirring with wire whisk. Add water and dry milk and whisk until smooth and thickened. Stir in bouillon and mushrooms. Serve or freeze for later use.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Excited About a New Book

Okay, can you be in love with a book? I bought this one last night and LOVE it.  It has easy to understand intructions and lots of fabulous photos, not to mention recipes.  It also contains practical advice about storing fresh garden produce and gives you real time numbers for storage length.  The recipes are also geared towards smaller quantities of production. Some of the chapters included are;
Natural Preservatives
Natural Storage
Savory Preserves 
Preserving in Oil
Simple Salting, Curing and Charcuterie     
& Brewing Beer and Wine Making
I don't drink so I might not find the last chapter that useful.  ;)
I found the fruit paste recipes intriguing and they looked marvelous wrapped in wax paper and tied with a simple string.  Interestingly, the pastes are placed in a cool dark place to mature for 4-6 weeks and can be served with a cheese platter. I feel some Christmas gifts coming on.  With so much wonderful produce from home gardens and fruit trees ripening, this is a great addition to my library.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Week 19

I'm buying canning jars when I can.  We've been doing lots of cleaning, tossing and posting items for sale.  This probably not be another great posting week.  Sorry.

Sunday, July 11, 2010


No I'm not talking about soccer. DH and daughter went to one of his favorite spots yesterday, the Thrift Store. He found me some 1/2 pint and 1/4 pint canning jars for .15 and .19 cents each.  Being the dear hubby he his, he bought all they had.

Since this is Sunday, I'm posting as absolutely sinful recipe I had yesterday.  We went to a BBQ and this was one of the desserts I HAD to partake of.  (Yes, my thighs will soon be paying for it, again.)  I don't know if it actually has a name, so I'm calling it:

Chocolate Poke Cake 
1 pkg. devil's food cake mix
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 jar of caramel ice cream topping
small container of cool-whip
Heath Bar ( broken into small pieces)
Bake a 9 x 13 cake as per package directions.  Let cool for a few minutes.  Mix the milk and topping together.  Use a straw and poke several holes all through the cake.  Spread the milk/caramel mixture over the top of the cake.  When completely cooled, frost with cool-whip and sprinkle candy bars on top.  Always make this on a Saturday, because you have to repent on Sunday.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tomato Marmalade Recipe

Greetings from Utah.  I haven't had much time for blogging, so here is a recipe you might be interested in.
Tomato Marmalade
from the Big Book of Preserving the Harvest
Yield: four 1/2 pints

1 medium orange, peeled (reserve zest and cut into strips)
1 lemon peeled (reserve zest and cut into strips)
5 pounds tomatos peeled and cored and chopped (about 8 cups)
3 cups sugar
1/4 c. cider vinegar
1 1/2 tsps ground allspice
1 1/2 tsps ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves

1. carefully remove and discard white membrane from the citrus and chop the fruit.

2. combine citrus and tomatoes in a heavy 8 qt non re-active (stainless steel) pan.

3.Add sugar,vinegar and spices to the sauce pan and bring to boil over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered for and hour or more untill the mixture is reduced to 4 cups. STIR FREQUENTLY and be careful not to burn.

4. Ladle into sterile jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Cap and seal.

5. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. (adjust time for your altitude).

hints: boil a big pan of water and put small batches of the tomatoes into the boiling water until skins crack (30-60 seconds) and then immerse them in ice water and peel. It is easier to peel them this way The ice water stops the cooking process. When you are boiling the mixture, you will see a diference in the consistency when it is ready for the jars.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It's cooled off in Mesquite,NV. It's 106.
Egads-it' 111 degrees in Vegas!

On The Road Again...

Yep, DH and I are hitting the open road back to Utah.  Didn't we just get back from there?  Good news is that DH is finally realizing that all those 'projects' at the house in UT aren't going to get done.  He has decided to sell a bunch of on the farm.  As an incentive, if we make enough money, we are going to Machu Picchu with friends.  Progress is being made.  We had a garage sale here and made about $1600.  We have enough air miles for 1st class or business round trip flights, so I think we are close to putting the deposit down!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I hate having my blood drawn!!!

Coupons, Tips and Frida

Happy Birthday, Frida Kahlo.  That woman was a fabulous artist and knew how to rock her clothes.  Who else could have gotten away with those eyebrows and that outfit?  Love her art, but hate her choice of men and politics.  She was one interesting woman I'd like to chat with.

On you can find coupons for $2 off the Ball Discovery Canning Kit and also a coupon for Buy 2 packages, get one free, on Ball or Kerr lids or lids with bands. Also, for those of you who like Rhodes Rolls, there is a $1 off coupon.

I came across some information I wanted to share with you.  If you use powdered milk in a recipe that calls for scalded milk, you don't have to scald it.  Just add the correct amount of milk to the recipe. How easy is that?  Also, when making bread, you don't need a dough enhancer if you use potato water and add as much vinegar as you do yeast.  For example, one teaspoon of yeast, one teaspoon of vinegar.   

Also, please vote in the poll at the top of the right hand column. I like to be in touch with the 13 people who occasionally read this blog.  ;)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Week 18

I did another batch of pickles today.  It's going to have to last since, we're headed back to Utah.  We have someone watching the house and they said they will water the garden and pick the cucumbers. My DH says as long as the cukes are picked and watered they should produce for most of the summer. 

I am going to try to can with a minimum of equipment, while at our house in Utah.  I am used to everything being in season all ready in California.  DH says it things really aren't going to be ready to can till August.
I hope to be up later in the week with something new for you.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July

My friends Debbie & Debra
I'm proud to be an American and am not ashamed to say it!

Friday, July 2, 2010

More Cukes

Pickles, Pickles and More Pickles
A quick turn in the cucumbers netted a round of canning which included 2 pints and 5 pints of dills. Some time, I might actually have time to do something besides cucumbers.  Not tomorrow, we're helping at an early morning breakfast my brother & sister-in-law do each year.  Followed by bike riding at the beach with friends, then on to another friends house for a BBQ.  Later we go to the 3rd of July Celebration our city does every year.  It's food, fun and fireworks. 

Original Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream Recipe

The Original Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream Recipe

2 bottles of good cream.
6 yolks of eggs.
1/2 lb. sugar

mix the yolks & sugar put the cream on a fire in a casserole, first putting in a stick of Vanilla. when near boiling take it off & pour it gently into the mixture of eggs & sugar. stir it well. put it on the fire again stirring it thoroughly with a spoon to prevent it's sticking to the casserole.

when near boiling take it off and strain it thro' a towel. put it in the
Sabottiere then set it in ice an hour before it is to be served. put into the ice a handful of salt. put ice all around the Sabottiere i.e. a layer of ice a layer of salt for three layers. put salt on the coverlid of the Sabotiere & cover the whole with ice. leave it still half a quarter of an hour. then turn the Sabottiere in the ice 10 minutes open it to loosen with a spatula the ice from the inner sides of the Sabotiere. shut it & replace it in the ice. open it from time to time to detach the ice from the sides. when well taken (prise) stir it well with the Spatula. put it in moulds, justling it well down on the knee. then put the mould into the same bucket of ice. leave it there to the moment of serving it.
to withdraw it, immerse the mould in warm water, turning it well till it will come out & turn it into a plate.

How The Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream Recipe Was Made

These early ice creams were laboriously frozen in a covered freezing pot
called a sarbotiere. These pots were often made of pewter, and they were
immersed in a finely crafted wooden bucket filled with chipped ice and either saltpetre or coarse rock salt.

The ice cream mixture had to be beaten by hand and poured into the sarbotiere, which then had to be agitated to freeze the cream. The method used was to hold the sarbotiere by its handle and rapidly swish it up and down in the bucket of ice water while simultaneously rotating it right and left in a strenuous wrist action that often had to be maintained for up to an hour. Not an easy process.

Occasionally, the semi-frozen ice cream mixture was scraped from the sides of the sarbotiere with a "houlette" or what the English called a spaddle, a small spade-like spatula with a long handle, and again beaten. It was a long and difficult process, but the results tasted delicious.

Because of the excessive time and labor involved in making ice cream and the requirement for a year-round source of ice, for many years ice cream remained a treat reserved for well-off families that had servants.

Thanks to today's ice cream machines, you can experiment with making ice cream using the Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream recipe, and you'll find it's an easier task than Jefferson experienced.

This was taken verbatim from the preserving food group @ yahoo groups.
If you'd like an easier method check out the recipes page above.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Can Still Buy Pineapples for $.99 Each

Lime-Pineapple Marmalade

1 grapefruit
2 limes
1 large pineapple
Approximately 5 cups water
Approximately 5 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly-grated orange rind

Wash and remove the seeds of the limes and the grapefruit and dice or put them through a meat grinder. Pare, core and chop the pineapple. Measure all the fruit including the juice, and add 1 1/2 cups of water for each cup of fruit; let this stand overnight.

The next morning, simmer the fruit and water, uncovered, over low heat until the fruit is tender, about 1 hour.

Measure the mixture again and add the orange rind and 1 cup of sugar for each cup of pulp. Cook over medium heat until sugar has dissolved, stirring constantly. Then cook over high heat until your jelly thermometer reads 220 to 222 degrees F, or the syrup sheets (2 drops falling from the side of a spoon and forming 1 large drop). Ladle into hot, sterilized jars and seal immediately.

To seal: Fill to within 1/2-inch head room, being sure to first wipe the rim and threads of the jars with a hot damp cloth to remove all particles of food, seeds or spices. Process in a BWB for 10 minutes. Makes about 7 half-pints.

Cheese Anyone?

Canned Cheese
I never really thought about canning cheese before, but why not?  If the electricity goes out, there goes all that frozen cheese you were counting on.

Place a pan with water on the stove. Wide mouth pint jars work best. Place the jars in the pan, surrounded by water. Cube cheese and place in jars. As the cheese melts, add more until you have only 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims, add lids and rings, and process 35 minutes in a BWB.

Mozzarella turns a bit yellow and does not make good string cheese - but is great on pizza, lasagna, etc. If you do cheddar, use mild unless you like it really strong - the older it gets the sharper it gets.

Chocolate Raspberry Sundae Sauce

Chocolate Raspberry Sundae Topper
Makes 6 half pints

1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1.75-oz pkg Ball® Original Fruit Pectin
4-1/2 cups crushed red raspberries
6-3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. lemon juice
6 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

1.) PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars and lids in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Set bands aside.

2.) COMBINE cocoa powder and pectin in a medium glass bowl, stirring until evenly blended. Set aside.

3.) COMBINE crushed raspberries and lemon juice in a large stainless steel saucepan. Whisk in pectin mixture until dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam.

4.) LADLE hot sundae topper into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.

5.) PROCESS jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.