Monthly Archives: November 2012

Epic preserving weekend!

Well, I got gifted produce, as usual. A bag of apples, 2 bags of persimmons, 3 bags of mixed peppers, and 2 bags of herbs. 2 jugs of vinegar too! So, I had to preserve something.

First, I hung some tarragon, dill, and bay leaves to dry.


Then, I made some mixed herb red wine vinegar, dill white vinegar, and salted mixed herbs.


Pickled some persimmons in a sweet saffron brine that will make a delicious shrub. And harvested and pickled some dill gherkins. These are refrigerator pickles, and I canned 4 small jars of the persimmons.


Then, I made some roasted red pepper spread and canned it.


And, because I’m weird and can’t throw stuff away, I took all the pepper and herb trimmings and an onion and made some stock.


Whew. We also made a batch of beer, a Belgian strong ale. And, this week I only have to make persimmon chutney and marmalade. At least Christmas gifts will be easy. Here’s the recipes.

Persimmon pickles

The salted herbs are apparently. French Canadian tradition and couldn’t be easier. Chop herbs finely, add to a large bowl a bit at a time and sprinkle with salt. Probably a teaspoon per 2 cups herbs. Mix up and add to a jar and keep in the fridge.

The herb vinegar is just as easy. Pack a jar full of fresh herbs and cover with vinegar. Leave at room temperature and let sit for 4-6 weeks. Decant into smaller containers and discard herbs.

The red pepper spread is from the Ball book, but I added some smoked paprika.

And the gherkins I just added a teaspoon of salt to about 2 cups white vinegar and a few black peppercorns. A sprig of fresh dill and a clove of garlic per jar make things tasty. Cover the cukes with the brine and pop in the fridge once they are cool to the touch.


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Clean out the freezer jam

So, at Lukes insistence, I put some of our donated fruit in the freezer a few months back. For some reason, he doesn’t want all the fruit in the house to end up made into jam. Weird. After a valiant attempt at using all the frozen fruit in smoothies, we still had 2 bags of strawberries, a bag of watermelon, and the last of some frozen cherries I bought earlier in the year.
So, I decided to attempt making jam from frozen fruit. It turned out well! I ended up with strawberry watermelon and strawberry cherry. Luke swears the former smells just like jolly ranchers.


I took all the fruit out of the freezer the night before I made the jam. Then, I was a little scared of freezer burn, so I rinsed the fruit too, and let drain for a few.

Then I cooked up two batches like normal, and I couldn’t even tell the fruit had been frozen in the final product. Yum. And bonus, the freezer is all cleaned out. I used a touch more sugar here because of the frozen fruit. Here’s the recipes.

Each batch, about 3 pounds of fruit, rinsed and drained.

4 cups sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

And, I’ve been adding a pinch of nice sea salt to most of my jam lately. It’s optional.

Cook for 30 minutes or so until set, and process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Made about 5 jars per batch.

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