Sunday, September 28, 2008

pear raspberry freezer jam.

I love making small batch freezer jams. I never like too much of just one flavor - I'm weird that way. I also like to experiment with different recipes. So while I do try to get large quantities of fruit in season and preserve it, I try to diversify. That means that I often make freezer jams rather than canning since I just do a little at a time.

My husband brought home a big bag of raspberries from work this week - his co-worker had "too many" in her lawn and was kind enough to share. I had some first season pears too, and pulled out this recipe to make a few jars. Raspberries and pears are great together - the pears balance the tartness of the raspberries while keeping the intense berry taste. This recipe is quick and easy!

pear raspberry freezer jam::

3 lb ripe pears
3 c fresh red raspberries
1 pk (1.75 oz) fruit pectin (powdered)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp ginger liquid (optional, I use liquid from this)
1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
5 cups turbinado sugar

Peel, core, and coarsely grind pears; then measure 2 cups fruit. Crush red raspberries; measure 2 cups of berries. In a large pot, combine ground pears, berries, pectin, ginger juice, lemon juice and nutmeg. Bring to a full rolling boil. Stir in the sugar. Boil hard, uncovered, for 1 minute; stir constantly with long-handled spoon. Remove from heat and skim off the foam with a metal spoon. Ladle jam at once into hot, clean half-pint jars, or freezer jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Let come to room temp before putting into fridge or freezer.

Friday, September 26, 2008

CSA Box This Week

My camera (or my 3 year old) magically ate the CSA photos this week and they *poof* are gone. So no pic! Ahhh well.

Here is what is in our CSA box this week: lettuce, brussel sprouts, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, radishes, napa cabbage, carrots.

In our box this week last year.

omnivore's 100.

The Omnivore’s Hundred

I saw this on a few blogs I read and thought it was an interesting cultural review of food. I'm not saying I agree with it as the end all list, but it is interesting to do!

"Below is a list of 100 things that every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you don’t recognize everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results."

1. Venison

2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare

5. Crocodile

6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp

9. Borscht

10. Baba ghanoush

11. Calamari

12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi (think so...have had potato/cauliflower/curry)
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes

19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras

24. Rice and beans

25. Brawn, or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper

27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar (I have had cognac at a cigar bar...but no cigar)
37. Clotted cream tea (think so...)
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo

40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat (I have had goat, but curried??)
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal (too hot for me!)
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (my favorite kind)

46. Fugu (no pufferfish)
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi

53. Abalone

54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal (like 25 years ago)

56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini

58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine (in Canada!)
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis

69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho

72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe (uh, no comment)
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail

79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict

83. Pocky (I think so...)
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef

86. Hare

87. Goulash

88. Flowers

89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano

96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster Thermidor (unsure)
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

100. Snake

I think I covered most of these at a sushi restaurant. Ha! There are several things on this list which I have tried, but it was just a taste - they were disgusting. But that counts for the list, I guess. I've had things like alligator and snake when I lived in a tiny town in north central Florida for a few years. Many items on the list are not too adventurous, but I think you would have to be in an urban area to find them.

There is not much I wouldn't 'try' on this list, I don't think. Well, maybe roadkill. I have seen Anthony Bourdain's show before though, and there are things he has eaten that I would not try. Ever. It is interesting how many things I have tried on the list even though I was a veg/vegan for many years in my 20s/30s.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


As the leaves start to turn, we start to move from raspberry picking to apples. Applesauce, apple butter, dried apple rings, apple pie filling...all good. Today the boys and I made a big batch of applesauce. Well, they did most of it - I just did the stove top work!

I like this recipe because it uses maple syrup rather than sugar for its sweetness. It gives the applesauce a nice rich flavor!


10 pounds apples (we used Cortland)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Core & cut apples into quarters and add to pot. We peel 80-90% of ours, leaving only a few for color. Pour orange juice over the top, add about 1 1/2 cups of water to pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer, covered, for several hours until the apples are soft and mushy. During the simmering, push down the apples with a potato masher or stir well with spoon. Make sure nothing is burning on bottom...Allow to cool. Stir in syrup & spices. If you like chunky applesauce, leave as is. For smoother applesauce, pass in batches through food mill. Store in fridge or freeze!

ingredient tip::
Maple syrup is an excellent source of manganese and a good source of zinc, magnesium, and phosphorous. Zinc and manganese are important allies in the immune system. Many types of immune cells appear to depend upon zinc for optimal function. Maple products also contain trace amounts of malic and citric acids, and some amino acids!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

CSA Box This Week

One of my favorite things about Thursday is stopping at farm stands on the way to and from the CSA pickup. Each week we expectantly look on whatever table is set out front to see what is ripe and then stop to pick out some extras to supplement our weekly box or get goodies in season to preserve. Today we visited 3 farms.

We first stopped for our CSA box. Just down the road we stopped to buy some apples and pears. Our last stop was for mushrooms, onions and carrots! I like visiting each week to discover what is fresh and ready - I like not knowing in advance exactly what we will have, and then seeing what we can make with our haul!

In our CSA Box this week: lettuce, tomatoes, romano beans, napa cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, radishes, beets, carrots.

In our box this week last year.

Friday, September 12, 2008

CSA Box This Week

In our box this week: garlic, beets, radishes, basil, tomato, onion, cauliflower, lettuce.

In our box this week last year.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

creamy corn soup.

This is the sweet corn time of year here - where every farm stand and roadside truck is selling mountains of corn. We have been picking up a few dozen ears of corn each time we pass our favorite spots, and have blanched and frozen a bit, but we usually just tear through it before we preserve much. Today we had another dozen ears awaiting us, so we made soup. This soup combines everything that is in season and available right now - and was SO good. Rich and creamy, but not heavy. So good!

::creamy corn soup::

4 cups fresh corn (we cut corn off of 8 raw ears)
4-5 medium potatoes chopped (a not too starchy type, such as yukon gold)
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups stock
1 sheet kombu
2 tsp sea salt
3 tsp cumin
ground pepper
1 1/2 cups milk
minced cilantro
1 Tbsp coconut oil

In a large pot, put the coconut oil, garlic and onion, and cook on med-high for a few minutes until they start to go a bit transparent. Add the fresh corn, stir and let sauté for a minute with the garlic and onions. Add the kombu, stock, salt, cumin, potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and add milk - stir in a bit of the cilantro and add pepper to taste (more salt if needed, depending on your stock...). Serve warm with a little sprinkle of the cilantro over the top.

ingredients tip::
Corn is a good source of many nutrients including thiamin (vitamin B1), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), folate, dietary fiber, vitamin C, phosphorus and manganese. Corn is also heart healthy - corn's contribution to heart health lies not just in its fiber, but in the significant amounts of folate that corn supplies.

cherry muffins.

Each weekend we preserve from our garden, bake, and try to make at least one meal that will also work for a few lunches throughout the week. My husband likes taking things to work to snack on and for lunch, and it is easiest for him if everything is ready and available. This weekend we continued our tomato preservation madness (they never stop coming!), but also made a few things for the week.

I have been looking for a good recipe for cherry muffins, and baked a batch of these today (click for recipe). We used the cherries we froze a few weeks back for this recipe, and since they are tart, I whizzed them a bit in the food processor first so that the chunks were smaller and spread evenly throughout. I also put a crumb topping on half of them -- using oats, butter, and brown sugar. They are moist, tender, not too sweet, and as I used organic whole wheat flour and coconut oil, extra good!

Friday, September 5, 2008

salsa fresca.

I love tomato season. There is something about the work. The constant barrage of ripening, one day at a time. We have had some tomatoes. Made into sauces, stewed, sliced, whole, cooked, raw, in eggs at breakfast, as a sandwich at lunch, and a salad at dinner.

Today was salsa day. We have been making tomato basil salsa for the past week in addition to the non-stop pots making sauce on the stove top. But today? Cilantro. Jalapeno. Tomatoes. Onions. Garlic. Limes. Salt. Good spicy fragrant salsa. Yum. I don't like the pureed don't know what is in it mosh of a salsa. I like the chunky brightly colored salsa fresca. It is great with chips, spooned over many dishes, or just by the spoonful.

::salsa fresca::

1 jalapeno, finely minced
1 red onion, finely chopped
3 small garlic cloves, finely minced
8 or so med/lg tomatoes, roughly chopped
bunch of cilantro, chopped (to taste)
juice of 1 lime
sea salt to taste
1/4 tsp agave (to cut acid)

Chop and mix, let sit...the longer the tastier it is. Store in fridge for up to a week or so. It won't last that long.

CSA Box This Week

In our box this week: 2 types of lettuce, peppers, fennel, eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes.

What was in our box this week last year.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

preserving the harvest--the list.

I have been trying to keep a rough count of everything I am making and freezing to preserve the harvest as we go. I am trying to go slow so I don't get overwhelmed and do it all right, and each year I add more, learn more, and preserve more. Because I don't have time with two small boys, I tend to do everything in small batches rather than whole day extravaganzas. When I do get more quantity of something such as a fruit or tomatoes, I spread it out over a few days so I stay happy. For those of you who are canning warriors, this might not seem like much, but for us, this seems great considering how small our yard it, and we hope to expand a LOT each year as we gain experience!

Here is a rough estimate - I'm sure I am forgetting something, but in general, a good idea of what we have so far, and what is remaining!

*list updated 10/7

-3 quarts lacto fermented cucumbers
-9 quarts traditional dill pickles
-2 pints lacto fermented garlic (more to come)
-2 quarts strawberry dessert topping
-3 quarts + 5 pints cherry pie filling
-1 quart drunken cherry sauce
-6 pints sauerkraut ... lacto fermented
-3 pints pesto
-5 quarts tomato basil salsa
-1 quart cherry syrup
-3 quarts raspberry pear jam
-8 quarts applesauce (more coming)
-1 quart apple butter
-4 quarts chicken stock
-2 gallons roasted root veggies

-10 bags frozen strawberries
-4 quarts + 10 pints freezer strawberry jam
-5 1-gallon bags frozen cherries
-6 1-gallon bags beans (mixed)
-2 1-gallon bags corn
-4 1-gallon bags asparagus
-29 1-gallon bags stewed tomatoes/sauces
-3 quarts caponata

basement/cold storage::
-potatoes (more to come)
-early apples

-cherry tomatoes
-lemon verbena
-pinapple sage, regular sage

to come::
-apples (u-pick)
-fall raspberries (garden plus u-pick)
-squash/pumpkins in garden, u-pick
-brussel sprouts
-more cucumbers
-fall greens
-more beans

What are you preserving this summer?