Archive for August, 2013

August 29, 2013

tomato jam + hot salsa {tomato squared}


I am canning tomatoes like a mad woman still, and I discovered a great preserving symbiosis [CHUNKY tomatoes salsa + tomato jam]

I have made a number of different canned salsa recipes and often the results taste great, but are a little watery. This round I decided to cook down the tomatoes first with no additional seasoning, I then strained them and saved the juice for another project. Fresh in my mind was Isis’s grandmothers tomato jam which she had just been raving about,  and I knew that juice was destine for a sweet spread. I had heard of tomato jam in past, but was never driven to explore that idea much until now… let me tell you the results are fabulous! Tomatoes are fruit after all and they make a unique sweet and bright jam.

Irene I know your out there, and I would love love love your mothers tomato jam recipe for future use! I will share both recipes I used today and I strongly suggest you use this technique to make both… and if you are crazy like me, you might as well process a batch of dill pickles, and pickled hot peppers while you are at it. Geez look at what my morning yielded today…

a morning of canning

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August 29, 2013

canning 101- sept 15


Covet my canning? It might be time to learn how to ‘put up for yourself!

I am teaching a canning and preserving intensive workshop on September 15 at the Vallican Whole in the Slocan Valley of BC.

The cost is $45 for a day of chutney making, jam processing and pickle perfection. We’ll cover safe canning techniques, tips on perfecting your preserves, the basics, as well as discuss other great preservation techniques; fabulous freezing, solar and electric drying & fermenting! This will be hands on and you’ll leave with jars of everything you make in class. To register email vpg (at) rbrand (dot ca) and for more information visit tricycle acres

August 26, 2013

pork ‘n beans ‘n pork


Geez what a week! We roasted a whole hog on Wednesday to celebrate my mother in laws 60th birthday, and since then I have been up to my eye balls in pork puttin’ up! You think I should have learned my lesson from my recent “Bacon” experience, yet I signed up for another round of whole hog… albeit and thankfully awful-less.

It all started with a 77lb stuffed whole hog and a crazy roaster rental…  I made a killer BBQ sauce for the hog with about 8lbs of freshly picked heirloom tomatoes slowly roasted along with a mound of garlic, peppers and onions. After all of those veg roasted down in a flaming hot oven for hours I skimmed the liquids off and started reducing them along with molasses and cane sugar with some smokey seasonings.

After we feasted and fed the party goes and gorged on pulled pork for a day, I had to start canning all that meat. I had been researching prior to the pig roast how to pressure can homemade pork and beans and I was thrilled to be able to tackle that. Along with that I also pressured canned whole quarts jars of pork in some savory pork stock. After two days of this processing (along with salsa and more druken apricot jam) We finally gave in and vacuum sealed bags of yet more meat.

Making your own pork and beans was totally appealing to me… My sweetie loves buying cans of beans, and although I grew up loving the stuff the contents scare me off these days, and I am much happier sending my family camping with home made goodness.

So if your up for this pressure canning challenge, hold on to your hats, this recipe is for the best damn “canned” pork and beans you ever did have:

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August 22, 2013

red pepper white bean dip

white bean dip

yum this dip is so nice and easy it’s perfect for dunking or as a dollop on a noddle / rice salad bowl!

In a food processor combine until silky smooth:

2 cups cooked white beans

3 heaping Tbps Italian red pepper spread

3 cloves of garlic

1 small yellow onion

3 tbsp tahini

splash of lemon juice + red wine vinegar

Glug of olive oil

Sea salt

A pinch each of paprika and cayenne

Garnish with a dollop of red pepper spread and a drizzle of nice olive oil. Enjoy.

August 18, 2013

pasta on the rocks : camp cusine

camp cooking

Nothing tastes like camp food! I am not talking about hot dogs and smores (ack) I am talking about thoughtful meals made in nature with limited everything. You really do have to plan well and season at home if you want the best of your camp culinary experiences.

If you have time make a meal plan up for your stay do so and prep as much as you can and season everything while your at your pantry (to save space on having to bring the whole pantry to you). Some of the things I like to do are:

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August 17, 2013

kale bacon meatballs in roasted tomato + beans


flushing garden abundance all around!

I had to dig deep and bust out some mega batches of food tonight. We had guest from the Rockies visiting (former valley folks) who were dying for a taste of home grown real food with a serious paleo spin. I spent a couple hours slowly roasting green house tomatoes (which are exploding right now!) with hot peppers, onions and garlic along with parsley and basil, all from the garden.  After harvesting a huge basket of kale and chard I realized I had to cook these iron rich greens at least two different ways so I decided to make kale pork meat balls made with our own smokey bacon. The meatballs were served in a hearty rich roasted tomato base with white beans and yet more kale and chard. Satisfaction Guaranteed.


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August 16, 2013

lactose fermented dill pickles

lactose fermented dill pickles

I just came home after a few days canoeing the lake to yet another bushel of pickling cucs needing my attention! With some conventional dills under my belt as well as a batch of fridge pickles already this season, I opted to try my hand at a big ‘ol batch of fermented pickles… which are about the easiest thing ever! I added a few grape leaves from the vines to help keep them crunchy, and after finding the perfect big jar / weighted lid situation I was off to the races.

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August 13, 2013

in a pickle

fridge pickles

Oh boy… life has bowled me over the last couple weeks, not only am I swamped with harvesting and processing veggies, visiting family and friends but I have been swamped trying to organize my community through a really challenging time. We recently had a fuel spill in our precious and pristine river, meanwhile a wild fire has been burning for 2 weeks on the ridge behind out little homestead.

So today after two rounds of dill pickle processing I opted for an easy out of my abundant cucumber situation… I made fridge pickles! Mainly because they are fast and easy… Here is the scoop:

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