Posts tagged ‘preserving food’

November 24, 2011

apple butter hell and a silver lining

At the start of fall I made my first ever batch of apple butter.. and I vowed never to do it again. Why? because I was using a total piece of garbage food mill that had my kitchen a disaster and my stress level through the roof! I had to get out every pulsing, processing piece of equipment I owned to try and get that inferior mill to do anything! I spent hours and hours up to my eyeballs in apple muck all to get 3 lousy pints of fruit butter…. um no thank you. The time input to quality output ratio was all off.. and I am not a fan of make work projects.

Weeks past and then the box of quince showed up, and I was destine to make quince paste so I struggled through another 10 rounds with that borrowed food mill, while drooling over new models on the internet. Wonder just how much better a new one would be. Then found myself  meandering through a thrift shop (one of my must do’s when ever I head into town) when I stumbled upon a beautiful piece of vintage packaging, my heart fluttered, oh how I love an old kitchen tool in it’s original box! “PERFECT FOR CANNING AND FREEZING” it stated plainly in red ink on a punchy yellow background. It was a Victorio Strainer..  from the era when things were made to last and work. This large well built clamp down countertop food mill, was OMG the answer… all the pieces were in tact and accounted for according to the easy to ready instruction manual complete with exploded parts diagram. EEEEE! 🙂

Hello Quince Paste. Hello Apple Butter. Hello Pear Butter.

Moments after returning home from that town trip I had water boiling and the last of my quince bubbling away until tender, time to get cranking! and after only 5 minutes (assemble included) I had run 10 lbs of quince.. no sweat, no mess. All of the sudden I was aching to start processing the bucket of apples and pears sitting out in the snow I was trying to forget about!

So today I did just that I boiled up all the rest of my apples and pears (separately), ran them through my new most favourite piece of vintage kitchen equipment. I baked them off with a few cups of organic cane sugar each along with some lemon juice. The apples got a cinnamon treatment and the pears got fresh ginger. They are happily baking down in my oven right now! and tonight they will be processed into oh so worthwhile butter!

Finally I get it…. making fruit butter  or fruit sauce is no big deal when you have the right machine to process it! Yeah for the right machine!

Oh and when my girlfriend came to collect her food mill.. I happily sent her my Victorio No. 200 to borrow and compare! (I couldn’t in my right mind send her home knowing she had fruit to process with that inferior object!)  ‘Ha ha she called me glowing about just how amazing my new strainer was now they are on the look out for a similar find!

butter baby.. I’m back!

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August 10, 2010

Kimchi, Kraut, elder-bubble and gingerbread

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Well I just finished kimchi part 2 and it was sooooo very easy! I did 5 jars of squash kimchi, 1 large jar of sauerkraut  all the while I drank gin with elderflower syrup and soda water. The drink is divine; slightly sour crisp with a floral finish, I used my best organic green juniper berry gin and I can’t imagine a more refreshing summer night drink. Next year I will collect way more elderflowers and make more than 3L of syrup, which is what I yielded after two batches. 2L I have ready to drink and I froze 1L down to use for making plum jelly, just as soon as my plumbs are ripe.

I also broke down and made zucchini bread today; I know I know everyone hates the stuff, but inspired by “A home made Life by Molly Wizenberg” and her ginger chocolate banana bread so I tricked my daughter into making chocolate ginger bread with just a little bit of zucchini 🙂 instead of bananas. I used the Joy of Cooking’s zucchini bread recipe with lots of tweaks (as I usually do) I added cocoa powder, diced candy ginger, and lots of Callebaut chocolate chunks, and it passed the Mia test!

More on fermenting in my last post…