Lemon, Limes and What Not

Well it is truly the Lemon season out here in California right now.

I had a bumper crop of what I thought were Meyer Lemons. Come to find out with the drought and my frugal watering my poor little Meyer's are more like Lime's.

The more I sliced them the greener they got. But as most of us will do, we want to use all fruit and veggies even if it means we create a new Jam. The little Fake Lime's are so tart you can barely lick without your whole face going into a contortion.

So as I juiced them I tried to think of different thing I could use them for. They are tart beyond tart!

Look how green the juice is. 

On a brighter note we are cranking out some killer Marmalade with these Lemon I got from a friend in another county.

 She has a gorgeous Lemon tree on her front lawn that is stuffed full of beautiful lemo

I was lucky enough to get a bag full. I took a class up in Oakland at the June Taylor's Still Room. The class was informative and full of idea's. 

 Well enjoy your week and I will tell you how this Marmalade turn's out.

This is a picture of my first marmalade on some of my homemade toast!


Blueberry Mango Jam

Blueberry and Mango Jam this is a good combo. Blueberry Jam has to be one of my favorite Jam and the list of add on's are endless. Mango is one thing that is ready available here in California half the year. Well let us get started with this delicious Jam.

This will make app 8 to 10 half pints.


6 cups of blueberry
3 cups chopped mango
5 cups of granulated sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon of cinnamon (optional)
1 box powder pectin

Get your Stainless Steel pot ready and put your Blueberries and chopped Mango together in the pot. Bring them to a nice simmer. You will see the blueberries breaking down and the juice accumulate.

Take your potato masher or any tool you use to break down the fruit and start to break them down.
You want to make the consistency of your jam to your liking. I like my fruit only broken down enough to make sure I get a nice bites of fruit in every batch. That is why we call it "jam"

Aright now that you have it to the right consistency add your lemon juice and let this simmer for 5 minutes.

Now add you pectin mixture to the batch and turn up the heat. Bring your ingredients up to a rolling boil that can not be stirred down.  Keep stirring you do not want burnt jam. Once the boil is up add your sugar and bring it back to a rolling boil you can not stir down. Get your jam to the gel point and turn the heat off. Let your jam sit for 5 minutes while to get your clean warm jars ready.

 Fill your jar until they are 1/4 inch of head space and wipe the rim clean. Top with your seal and twist lid and process for 10 minutes into water bath.

When done lift out of the water bath and let cool overnight or at least eight hours. Label and store no twist tie left on.


Prevent Hard Water Stains when Pressure Canning

 Hard Water Stains on my jar's when Pressure Canning

To prevent hard water stains on your jars as well as keeping your Pressure Canner clean you should add 2 tablespoons of white distilled vinegar to the water prior to canning.

The jars to the left had no vinegar in the water thus the white cloudy ring. This in no way will harm your jars or food.


Any 5% vinegar will work. Put in in prior to warming your water or adding your jar's.  The jars with the potato's were Pressure Canned with the vinegar added to the canner.

 Wa La Simple and Easy Tip enough said !

National Center for Home Preservation is the place to go for information and safety information

Pressure Canning Meat

Yesterday's post brought a slew of questions on Pressure Canning Beef. In Darlene's post she made a point of having you cook your beef drain and re-dry. And another follower Dawn go me to think that this is a needed post.

Good Question is :

Why dry or rinse your beef?

Here is some information on Selecting, Preparing and Pressure Canning your beef recipes.
This post will pretty much handle most of your ground beef questions.  You have to make sure your meat is fresh and chilled. Ground meat may be sauteed without shaping. Cook your beef until it is lightly brown and no red meat or juice is running in your pan. Remove excess fat. You can rinse your beef under hot water this will get rid of most of the fat. Fill jars with meat. Add boiling meat broth, tomato juice, or water, leaving 1-inch head space. Add 2 teaspoons of salt per quart to the jars, if desired.

Adding  sage to beef will give it a bitter flavor. Here is a chart for times and pressure.

Table 1. Recommended process time for Ground or Chopped Meat in a dial-gauge pressure canner.
  Canner Pressure (PSI) at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size Process Time 0 - 2,000 ft 2,001 - 4,000 ft 4,001 - 6,000 ft 6,001 - 8,000 ft
Hot Pints 75 min 11 lb 12 lb 13 lb 14 lb
Quarts 90 11 12 13 14

Here is the link to more information and the link I use for all my questions and Safety Answers
National Center for  Home Food Preservation.

Beef "It's whats for Dinner"


Hamburger Hash from Darlene

By Darlene Roberts White on Wednesday, October 1, 2014 at 7:18am

Pressure Can- 75 minutes at the pressure for your area
Makes 14 pints


8 med potatoes -peeled cubed and placed in water to cover with a splash of lemon juice
8 lbs. ground beef -browned, drained, rinsed with hot water and dried in the pan you browned it in.
4-6 med sweet onions chopped.
7-14 teaspoons of beef bouillon to your taste (I use Better than Bouillon)
7 cups boiling water.

Peel and cube potatoes and place in lemon water to soak while you prepare the other ingredients.
Ready your jars and caps.
Brown hamburger ,drain, rinse, and dried.
Chop onions.
Drain and rinse potatoes.
Mix meat, onions and potato cubes together.
Add bouillon to your boiling water, remove from heat.
Pack mixture into jars pressing to pack tight. Leave 1/2 inch head space.
Top mixture with hot bouillon to just cover.
Be sure to leave 1/2 head space as potatoes will expand as they cook.
Wipe rims with vinegar to clean any grease residue from meat mixture.

Cap and Pressure Can for 75 Minutes. (my pressure in Maryland is 10 psi)


Strawberry with Fig Jam

Fig and Strawberry Jam. Lucky me, my Daddy has a Fig tree's and this year I took complete advantage of them. Yeah Yeah I did not think these little fruit's were any good.


When I think of Fig's I think of Prunes and Senior and frankly having to go to the bathroom.

Seriously how wrong could one girl be. This Jam is so good!
I am looking forward to Fig season this year


3 cups fresh chopped figs
3 cups fresh chopped strawberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 cups of sugar
1 package of pectin

Notice that I am using less sugar in this recipe. The sweet of the figs and strawberries make it so you are able to use less sugar. Sweet!

Clean your fruit! Be gentle you do not want to bruise the fruit. You do NOT have to peel the figs. Some may be icky looking peel those ones.

Clean your strawberries and hull them that means take the tip top off.

Every strawberry season out here I make sure I buy the fresh strawberries every week and freeze as many as possible. I do this so I have them all year long to can. Here in Southern California the supply is endless. I like the strawberries more than the weather !

Take your chopped figs, strawberries and lemon put them into your stainless steel pot on a medium flame. Bring them to a boil that can not be stirred down. Be sure to stir we do not want burn or scorch.

Once you have your rolling boil add your pectin. I always take about a half cup of the sugar and mix it with the pectin prior to adding. This seems to blend easier into the brew.

Bring the batch back to a rolling boil and add your sugar.

Keep stirring and wait for the boil to return. It looks beautiful doesn't it ! I am really careful when I make my jam's. I like to make sure that I have chunks of fruit in the jam.

Once the jam has come back to a boil you can check your gel point. Turn off the burner , skim the foam and get ready to jar!

It is time to jar your jam. I always turn the burner off and let my jam sit for 5 minutes. This is a great trick when you have jam that you want your fruit to set not float in the jam jar. Works great with Marmalade's.

 Have your lids ready. Fill your jar's to 1/4 inch from the top and wipe clean. Set the lid and screw on the ring taunt.

Put them into your water bath for 10 minutes. Once done turn off your stove and remove your jars. Place on a counter and let them cool over night. Once cooled remove the twist and store.


Here is a link to the California Fresh Fig Website with many recipes for you to try. I have linked you right to the canning recipes.

Disclaimer: This is not an all inclusive recipe for making jam. You should have a basic knowledge and understanding of the canning process before proceeding. Please consult your local Center for Home Preservation for additional information and available classes.