Posts tagged ‘canning’

December 22, 2012

marvelous ginger marmalade


Not sure I have ever sought out marmalade for my toast, but on occasion I have indeed indulged in its citrus sweetness. For some reason I decided on a whim in the local natural food store to load my cart with 8 lbs of organic Mexican oranges and a big bag of candy ginger, In that moment I dreamed of lovely jars of marmalade, which seemed to be festive, although oranges are certainly not  local or seasonal, nor have they ever been part of my holiday traditions, yet here I set out to get jamming on the snowy solstice.  This recipe yielded a really unique and kicking gingery citrus spread that had not to many chunky bits and just the perfect balance of sweet and heat. We will be enjoying this recipe for years to come I am certain it will make many a repeat performance in my kitchen. I am dreaming of ginger cookie sandwiches with marmalade cream filling…

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September 22, 2012

storing the harvest in jars: 2012

So here it is all of my 2012 harvest canning thus far… most of which is all savory stuff aside from some elderberry cough syrup and apple butter and sauce, the jams are still to come but the fruit is all prepped and cozied into the freezer waiting for some cool fall days. WOW.

I just had to haul it all outside to really appreciate the beauty of all of this food in jars, and to take a second to take in my efforts neatly stored in glass; right from seed sowing way back in February through to this day of hauling 10 cases of jars outside for a single picture, it all makes for a HUGE amount of captured energies and satisfaction. Our cedar slab picnic table (that seats 20) is the only thing I could imagine fitting these 120 some jars.

All of this canning was done in the last 2 months (except the garlic pickled scapes those 4 jars were done mid summer).

So when I say I have been busy canning, I mean I have really been busy canning! Just wanted to take a moment this stunning equinox day to share my putting up for the cold seasons to come.

September 19, 2012

chili salsa

A couple weeks back in my flush of tomatoes I canned a mountain of salsa for the first time ever. I did it in the pressure canner and the results were pretty tasty!

I am just getting cozy with my pressure canner, and have had nothing but success so far. So if you find your self flush in peppers and tomatoes, and want to give pressure canning a shot then give this a go!

In a largo pot boil down and combine the following:

18 lbs of cubed tomatoes

3 lbs of peppers (I used a mix of hot and wax peppers)

3 cups of chopped onions

1/2 cup of garlic

1 tbsp salt

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp cilantro

* you can use a submersion blender to get the consistency you desire, or you can be meticulous and finely chop all the ingreients to your liking. Cook down for about 25 minutes, before portioning into sterilized jars.

Using your pressure canner process PINT jars at 11 lbs of pressure for 20 minutes (25 minutes for quarts)

If you are new to pressure canning be sure to read your manual thoroughly, and read some canning literature like this great site.

September 17, 2012

chutney canning

I have a “Kootenay Mom” my mother in law appointed our regional mother when we moved to a new province, and far away from our folks. My Kootenay mom is a super woman, her garden is magnificent and her husband and her grow all of their own food for half the year right here in the Kootenays and then pack up their VW bus with all of their homegrown food canned and preserved foods, and head south to live in Mexico for half of the year, where they promptly get canning tropical fruit salsas and chutneys to bring back north with them in the spring. Truly an inspiring year of eating and growing. She has shared so many delicious relishes and chutney with us over the years, and just the other day I called her for her fabulous plum chutney recipe, which I am inclined to share with you all, because it’s great, I am drowning in plums so likely this will not be the last canned plum recipe you see here.

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September 9, 2012

spicy starburst squash relish *aka zesty zucchini

By best backroad girlfriend passed this recipe on to me after sharing a stelar jar of this zesty zucchini relish with us, This year I have been coming up with a million and one uses for my starburst (patty pan) squash abundance, and this was the perfect addition to the growing “what to do with squash” list.

Hopefully your not all growing boarded with canning recipes… I have so much to preserving get through still but  I will be sure to keep the non canned recipe coming too, as we move fully fall forward into my favorite eating season!

We have been harvesting everything, gleaning trees, and collecting seeds, foraging for mushrooms and watching the fall crops come to ripen up, what a terribly exciting and busy time of year!

For this Easy Relish You’ll need:

12 cups shredded starburst squash (or zucchini)

4 cups chopped onion

3 large sweet / hot peppers*

1/3 cup course sea salt

1 ½ cups can sugar

2 tbsp fresh ground nutmeg

4 tbsp turmeric

2 ½ cups apple cider vinegar

1 large hot pepper with seeds

* The original recipe calls for 4 tbsp horseradish, but I’m not a fan so I omitted it and subbed in an extra hot pepper for the sweet pepper.

Shred zucchini and chop the peppers, sprinkle with the sea salt and allow to sit over night in a colander or cheesecloth, give the lot a squeeze in the morning before cooking down.

Finely chop all ingredients and bring to a boil in a large heavy bottom cauldron for 35-45 minutes. Use a submersion blender to reach desired constancy.

Portion into sterilized jars and hot water bath or steam process for 20 minutes. Ta-da zesty relish for all your BBQ needs, and yet another great place to hide excess zucchini!

August 31, 2012

canned spicy tomato sauce

Another round of tomato canning (I have 50 lbs under my belt this week already) and todays mission was tomato sauce, thick chunky sauce with a spicy kick. This batch yielded  10 quarts. It was pretty non-fussy and the sauce came together quickly. I decide to leave both the skin and the seeds in and just zipped it all up with my old faithful submersion blender. Lots of recipes call for removing the skin and roasting the peppers and removing their skin too… and frankly I just couldn’t be bothered with the mountains of other produce to put up. I like a homestyle sauce and thats precisely what this is.

You’ll need:

18 pounds tomatoes chopped

3 pounds chile peppers

3 cups onions, chopped

1/2 cup chopped garlic

1 handful of fresh chopped oregano

1 handful of fresh chopped parsley

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

Stew everything down in a big ‘ol pot for about and hour, stirring often. Then blend up to desired consistency, before simmering for another hour.

Portion into sterilized hot jars and pressure can at 11 lbs for 25 minutes (for quart jars). I love my pressure canner, have I mentioned that? Oh here is a tip you may not know… I noticed my pressure canner was leaving a water line on the bottom of my jars, and if you add 1 tbsp vinegar to the water… presto, the jars are sparkling clean!

This sauce is fresh and spicy, and I know I will enjoy all the tastes of sun warmed tomatoes in the drizzling cold winter months ahead.

October 9, 2011

giving thanks for abundance

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Along with the abundant joy and abundant fulfillment that comes with living and building our little farmstead on this stunning mountain side, in this magical valley… comes the abundance of harvest time. What a wonderful thing it is to be exhausted with putting up food. Good food, grown with love in my very own dutifully built soil… or from the overflow of abundance our friends are also sharing in. We are thankful to be in this place, in this pinnacle time, drowning in food that needs putting up.

In the last 3 days alone I have:

Shucked a mountain of dry beans, harvested nearly 1lb of dill seeds, harvested and passively dried dozens of kung pow hot peppers, in fear of the tomato blight I harvested everyone of my pounds and pounds of green tomatoes many of which are destine for a spicy green tomato salsa type relish to be canned today, we picked 3 enormous baskets of apples and pears which are drying into sweet snacking chips in a borrowed electric cadillac dryer, tonight I do both pear and apple butter batches too, I pulled blanched and froze a good little supply of purple carrots, I stowed away the last of the ancient Peruvian fingerling potato’s, I have bagged up the last of the passively dried bee balm leaves for earl grey tea, and the ancho chillies a precious few are also passively drying. I have fruit leather to make still at my daughters request (this will be shocking news to those of you who know her), and I want to dry a bunch more kale and some onion flakes from some of my wee little onions while I have the big food dryer here.

Whew!  To think this season alone (with the help of many many people I adore) I have :

canned and added to the pantry:

grape jelly, hibiscus jelly, strawberry jam, kung pow crab apple pepper jelly, smoked salmon, HP sauce, pickled carrots, dilly beans, dill pickles, & drunken apricot jam.

dried and stowed:

bushels of peppermint (or mosquito mint as I like to call it), bee balm, mullen, comfry, oregano, coriander, dill, basil, kale, peppers, peas and beans beans and more beans.

harvested and frozen:

fried chanterelle and shaggy main mushrooms, blanched carrots, beans beans and more beans, salmon steaks, dill, some roosters, strawberries, saskatoon berries, and huckleberries.

That my friends is a good amount of foraged and grown food all ready for the cold winter ahead.

no recipe today… just gratitude for the bounty of mother earth and the lessons we are learning in utilizing healing foods and giving back.




August 5, 2011

“HP sauce” the essential uk condiment and other garden gossip

I must be suffering from a little bit of bloggers guilt, busy busy, but no time to write about my adventures in food. So here is a quick summary of the past couple weeks in my kitchen and a recipe for divine fruity and bold HP sauce made with plums.

I have been harvesting and foraging like a mad woman. drying, preserving, freezing, and even tincturing. I have also been eyeing up my new flour mill and am eager to get grinding and baking, but the days are so hot, and the simplicity of passive drying is lovely… and much cooler than cracking up the oven.

Both my mother and my mother in law visited over the past two weeks, and I undertook some canning with both of them. Helen and I made strawberry jam from berries her and her son (my sweet guy) picked while I was marketing, then the other day my mom and I made plum HP sauce with the two huge bags of frozen  plums I put up from my monstrous plum harvest last year. As my freezer is bursting with this seasons berries, it was time to put those plums to use and make some space for the huckleberries we  just picked.

Meanwhile I have been picking “mosquitto mint” by the bushel-full, making tea (both hot and cold) and drying rack after rack of pristine mint leaves, to get my tea and mint sauce needs met for another year. Along with the mint I have dried ample oregano, as well as chamomile, and lots of red clover flower. I have purchased a wonderful huge 8 tier hanging drying rack, which works like a dream and I am trying my best to keep it full.

My new expanded chicken run now hosts a large saskatoon berry tree and the harvest this season is juicy, for both us and the chickens! The fruit is huge and sweet, with very little seeds… I have frozen a great amount of these tasty little gems (with the help of the moms) and plan to use up all of last years grapes and make a saskatoon grape jelly this weekend, with my daughter.

Oh and I harvested my first ever yield of garlic! I have a grand assortment of varieties of garlic drying and just this morning my daughter and I braided up 40 heads in to two large braids, it was our first time braiding garlic, and it wasn’t as easy as it sounds, as we grew hardneck garlic.. but we managed to make it look pretty and I am eager to hang it over my stove. I want to grow 10x this amount of garlic next year, as it is such a rewarding plant to grow; it’s beautiful and the mid summer scape bounus is a great kitchen treat.

Ok enough about my garden, lets get to the recipe; this is how my mom and I made HP sauce… which we both adore, as do most Brits who loveling refer to the stuff as “brown sauce”. It is a staple in the UK kitchen and cafe alike. I have always wanted to make my own, especially after realizing that these days HP is made mainly of corn and gmo corn by products with the just the right amount of seasoning.

My version is cross between HP fruity and HP bold, it has a good kick and a fruity underbelly, complete with hints of tamirind and ginger, garlic and vinegar. For those of you who can’t begin to understand what makes HP so specail, think of it as a fruit chutney that reeks of comfort food companionship for most everything; from eggs, sausage, potatoes, cheese and toast to roast beef, french fries, pierogis and pot pie. mmm…


In a large pot cook down:

20 cups of plum (half apple and half plum might be nice too)

1 cup water

2 onions diced

6 cloves of garlic crushed

2″ of fresh ginger root

simmer all of this down for about 20 minutes

now is time to spice it up! Add:

2 tbsp tamarind paste

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp all spice (or equal parts cinnamon, ginger and cloves)

2 tbsp nutmeg

2 tbsp cayane

1/4 cup course salt

1/4 cup worchestershire sauce

2 tbsp molasses

2 cups malt vinegar

4 cups apple cider vinegar

3 cups of organic cane sugar

After bubbling away for about 15 more minutes, hit the pot with a immersion blender and get the lot smooth and saucy.

Preserve in sterile jars, and process for 10 minutes in a hot water bath, or using a steam canner.

The recipe yields 6 Litres of yummy HP sauce.

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