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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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
http://hitchhikingtoheaven.com/2012/01/pickled-fuyu-persimmons.html

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.

http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe.aspx?r=60

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.

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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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