Archive for the ‘canning’ Category

I was so excited to can caramelized onions and gingered carrots (made separately, canned at the same time) tomorrow that I neglected to read all the way to the bottom of the recipe instructions before going to the farmers market this evening. Boo.

The good news is that I read the recipe BEFORE Ben started slicing onions because we learned that we’d need a pressure canner! Oops. We don’t have one of those, or even the space to store one if we did. Well, if we did I might de-throne the meat slow cooker, which we really only use for Thanksgiving, and hide it somewhere outside of the kitchen. I’m 99% certain that I’d use a pressure canner at least 3x more than our jumbo slow cooker (good for when we need it, awful space-sucker when we don’t).

Also, today was the last Wednesday night Farmers Market for the year. Sad. I stocked up on lots of stuff for the winter: organic parsley (to mince and freeze), organic butternut squash for Friday night, local organic Gala apples, a big bag of local popping corn, and fresh whole wheat tortillas (also to freeze).

Anyone out there in the blog-o-sphere have any ideas on preserving 2-5 lbs of carrots WITHOUT a pressure canner?

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cool local product


Mm Local is a local company that is apparent starting a pre-canned food product buying club! Amazing! I haven’t figured out yet if it’s a good deal, but if you’re not into canning and preserving your own food this is an awesome way to get someone to do it for you and not pay too much more than the ingredients and cost of canning equipment and this stuff is virtually guaranteed  to be safely canned too! Tomatoes are supposed to be hard to can at high altitude (i.e. where I live) without a pressure cooker/canner.

Instead of canning tomatoes, I’ve been roasting them in the oven and then freezing them. Mm, roasted tomatoes!

Here’s my recipe:

  • halve small tomatoes across their equator, as if the stem and the belly button were the poles
  • toss in a large bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  • place on a foil line cookie sheet, cut sides up
  • roast at 225 F for 2-3 hours
  • let cool to room temp, and pack into glass canning jars (a good time to re-use lids!) or tupperware
  • FREEZE and eat/defrost as needed

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social v. alone time

Thursday though Saturday morning my parents were in town visiting. We went to eat at some local favorites, hiked, met up with family friends, took a mini road trip along the Peak to Peak up to Estes Park through Lyons and down through Nederland (where my parents bought a lovely stained glass piece from the Mother Earth Gallery in Nederland), and tried out a newer restaurant (4580). It was a good visit, but I didn’t get much alone time.

Then on Saturday, we realized that our refrigerator is broken (repair man is coming later this afternoon) and invited people over to hang out at the pool and eat ALL THE VEGGIES AND ALL THE CHEESE pizzas while drinking all the booze in the fridge. Sunday was then a mini canning workshop with 2 Hazon buddies that lasted 2x as long as expected.

I am burnt out on socializing and am really glad to have the day off. I could have taken a receptionist temp job for the day, but forgot that it could be possible for Ben to be home and let the repair guy in and declined the job. Doh. They called me at 7:40 AM, I was quite groggy but could have been on the 8:15 AM express bus to Denver. Oh well.

hiking, Sept. 2007

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Canning is kinda like sewing, there’s a lot of boring stuff at the beginning like chopping and peeling or cutting the pattern and then the fabric. After all the prep work, it all comes together rather quickly. Amazing.

A few weeks ago I was inspired by our CSA cherries and sour cherries at the farmers market to preserve two 8 oz jars of cherries, or just over 1.5 lbs of fruit. Yum! I tried to make my own pectin from apples, but it didn’t work. The cherries in their own liquid (with lime) are still good over yogurt though.









Then this past week I saw that organic plums were going to be on sale for $0.90/lb and I bought TEN pounds of plums. Once cleaned and processed I had just over 8 lbs since there were quite a few mushy spots to be cut out and all the pits removed. I shoved as many of the brightest red plums as I could into a 16 oz canning jar and covered it in rum, stuck a cinnamon stick in, and shoved in the back of the fridge. That will be a birthing gift for a German friend who is due to have a baby January 1. Apparently plum rum is a traditional German christmas drink.

The remaining 7+ lbs of plums got covered in 3 cups of raw sugar and one packet of Simply Orange powdered orange and left to sit for a few hours in a cold dutch oven. Then I added 1.5 cups of filtered water and set it over medium high heat until it came to a simmer. I added 1 cinnamon stick and 1/3 vanilla bean (de-seeded). I kept 3/4 c sugar and 1/4 c low-sugar pectin reserved until all the skins had floated to the top of the simmering fruit and I was able to pull them out with a pair of tongs. Once the jam was free of skins, I ran the immersion blender through it to make my jam lumpy instead of chunky. Once it was time to add the pectin, I brought the jam up to a boil, added it, and started dumping the water out of my jars (they’d been in the canning bath getting sanitized. I got to play with my new birthday toys (canning racks, canning funnel and jar grabbing tongs) and canned and processed my jam. All total I made a dozen 4 oz jars, 1 pint jar, and five 1/2 pint jars plus enough leftover jam to fill another 4 oz, but we used that to make hoisin-line sauce for dinner the next night because I’d just put it in a covered bowl in the fridge.

Today, I was inspired by watermelon. Actually, I was inspired by the lack of space we had in the fridge for the giant watermelon we still had left from my birthday party last week. So, I made Admiral Akbar Watermelon Jelly. Yum! It’s cooling on the counter right now.

Recipe after the break.


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