11.08.2021

Small Batch Pickled Radish's


Well now that we do not have our company open anymore I have had time to do small batch preserving. This is also a wonderful way to preserve your garden veggies and fruits when you have a small garden or not so much of a crop. I grew some wonderful radishes this summer and was able to pickle some. 




The recipe is so easy and I am going to give you the recipe I broke down for 2 one pint jars.  

Ingredients

  • 2 pound of sliced or chopped radish's
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar 
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped for brine
Optional ingredient's are crushed red peppers a teaspoon, bay leaf, dill, pepper seeds

I have a very extensive garden and a variety of stuff I have grown or dehydrated or crushed myself. Example I have a bay leaf tree, I crush and grind a lot of my own spices, I dehydrated my peppers and extract seeds for Chili Powder and many whole seeds for various cooking needs. I also make my own pickling spices.



You can cut the radishes in to any shape you want. I Cut mine into quarters. I like the crunch of the large pieces and use it like you would a pickle. You can see the size in the first picture on this post. 





Once you have your radishes' cut put them aside. Chop your garlic into small pieces as small as you want. If you choose to add this ingredient.






Now let us get the liquid made that the radishes get to bathe in. In a boiling pot pour your water, vinegar, sugar, salt and garlic. The little pot you see was what I started with it was just bit enough to hold the liquid







I will add any additional ingredients to each jar. Example is one bay leaf, some dill and a few peppercorns.  And yes a chili pepper from the garden already dried. 





You want to have your jars in your waterbath getting warm. Once your brine has completely dissolved the sugar and salt let it sit while you prepare your jars. Take the jars out of the waterbath and fill them with the radishes pack them tight and leave a half inch head space. Pour the brine over them leaving at least a 1/4 inch headspace.

Waterbath the radishes for 14 minutes turn off the heat let the sit for 5 mintues. Remove the jars set the on a towel to cool. Once completely cool remove the twist top wash and label.

8.25.2021

Freezing Fresh Ginger


Ginger ... Fresh Ginger is a staple in my pantry. I use it for everything from Hot Tea to Preserved Jams and lets not stop there for cooking it can bring out the best in many dishes. Granted Ginger is a spice that is an acquired taste. A bit bold but great for you and your health. Ginger can be used in so many ways. Fresh, dried, powdered or as an oil or juice. 



The health benefits are endless it is used to aid digestion, reduce nausea and it can help fight the Flu and the common cold and that is only a few purposes. The great flavor and fragrance comes from the gingerol. The gingerol is the main bioactive compound in ginger. Well more on that later. Let's freeze some ginger! 



The first thing you need to do is get some fresh ginger roots. I buy about 2 pounds. I will freeze some, dry some to make a powder and candy some. Let us get started. Buying your ginger in Spring is when you will know it is at its freshest.


To freeze so many of my herbs and stuff I have bought ice cube trays that have little cubes. This ice cube tray makes it so I can freeze 1 teaspoon per cube. That will make it easier when cooking and dropping it in any recipe.



The first thing you will need to do is to peel your ginger. Some times I have used a small paring knife and just thinly sliced the skin off. Another very popular way is to take a spoon and run it down the sides of the ginger this method will peel very well. I also snap the little nobs off the sides and freeze them whole for other uses. I even grate the ginger to dry and make powder. 



Once your ginger is peeled and ready chop it into small little pieces. Once diced have your ice cube tray and a teaspoon available. Also a cup of water. The reason for this is you want to put in one teaspoon of chopped ginger then fill that with water. 





The water will keep it fresh when freezing and the amount of liquid is not enough to make any difference in your jam or cooking. Here is a picture of the ice cube tray filled with the ginger.




Now add the water to the tray.




Once the ginger has frozen you can easily store them in a zip lock bag or canning jar. 

I love having what I need available when ever I need it. 

8.24.2021

Blueberry Ginger Jam


Blueberry Ginger Jam that sounds delicious. I do not ever seem to have a lack of blueberries. The season bring me such a nice amount. This jam is a twin of the Blackberry Ginger Jam we make and this blueberry is our #1 seller. Remember to always freeze fruit when it is in season this way when it is cold and the berry vines are sleeping you have what you need to make jam all year around.


Let us get started with this Blueberry Ginger Jam. My sister Casey came up wit this recipe she was a Ginger Lover.


Ingredients

6 cups of whole blueberries
1/2 cup finely chopped ginger
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 to 5 cups of granulated sugar

* Makes approximately 7 half pint jars

Put your blueberries and half of the sugar and the lemon juice into your pot and start this on a low simmer. This will release some of the juices from your fresh blueberries. While they simmer use a potato smasher to crush the blueberries.

Before you start get your ginger cut and ready. 


The easiest way to peel ginger is to use a spoon. Take the spoon holding the bowl of the spoon toward the ginger and scrape in a downward motion. This makes it quite easy to peel.  Ginger is full of fiber so the smaller you can chop the better.





Now chop your ginger into small pieces. They should be small yet able to be seen. The ginger is so delicious in this jam. This picture is only to show you the size. I chop lots of ginger then freeze it for my jams and cooking. But that is another post.




Now that your ginger is chopped add it to the pot stir and then add the the remaining blueberries, sugar and lemon zest. As most of you know we do not use pectin.


 

I let all my jams gel naturally. Just take it slow and get the mixture up to 223 degrees and that will do it. For now keep this mixture at a simmer and make sure everything is getting along in your pot. The picture will show a larger amount of blueberries then you have prepared but I make double batches. 



If you want to thin out your jam now is the time. I use an immersion blender. Do not go crazy and make it to thin. Although some people do like it that way. 

I like chunky jam that has texture and great taste. 





Now it is time to get your batch up to a good rolling boil this will bring your jam to the right temperature to gel. And to know it use a candy thermometer. You must stay with your jam and stir so it does not stick to the bottom of you pot and burn.




Once your jam is up to temperature turn off the heat and let your jam rest for 5 minutes. This will tell you if the gel is right. Once it has set in the pot for the 5 minutes you will notice when you run your spoon across the top there is a thin layer. It is like when your hot chocolate gets a film on it. That will let you know it is ready to go into the jars. 



Now take your warm jars and fill them until they are about 1/2 inch from the top of the jar. Once filled wipe the top rims of the jars to eliminate any excess jam that may have dripped. The jars need to be clean when you put on the twist and top. Alrighty now that the jars are filled and clean you can top and twist taunt the lids.


Place your jars into a rapidly boiling water bath and let them sit for 12 minutes. Once done turn off the heat let them sit for an additional 5 minutes. Remove your jars place them on a towel on the counter and let them cool for at least 8 hours. Once cooled remove the twist and clean the rim. Label and store for up to one year in a cool dry pantry or cupboard. Never store your preserved food with the twist on. 



1.13.2021

Canning your Jam Using Frozen Fruit


 A little Canarella History. I have been using frozen fruit since I started canning. My Grandmama Lois taught me to waste nothing and when time was an issue freeze it. She came from a long line of Food Preservers. Every Winter I run out of one jam or another. I get several request for more of the yummy Jams as people have taken to eating them with a spoon right out of the jar. My My ! 


But there are a few easy steps and no tremendous amount of time you to can save that ripe ready Summer fruit for a Winter Recipe. Many a time I buy in bulk because the more you buy the cheaper the price and after many years in business my vendors still give me great deals. Like the strawberries pictured above I got the two large pallets for $22.00 dollars. Lucky me!


Let us start with tools. My favorite tool  I use and have forever  is my Seal Saver. This is the third one I have had in my kitchen since the early 1990's. Did you know Vacuum Food Sealers were invented in the early 40's and in 1950 a man named Karl Busch brought it to the next level for commercial use but eventually it came to our now modern kitchen models. Food Savers are the most popular model but there are so many out there. 

Do your homework and get this tool.

Now back to the original subject the other tool you need is freezer space. I have a upright large freezer. With my canning and Pa's fishing we need it. There are only a few key steps to freezing your fresh fruit and berries. 

Do wash berries they have a lot of dirt and bugs that lodge in the nooks and crannies them. The exception on cleaning prior to freezing berries is blueberries because the skin will toughen up when frozen so be aware of what you will use them for. I make jam so it does not matter to me so I will wash them. Once you wash any berry let it sit in the colander and drain for a good hour.

Second clean fruit by taking the stems off and just lightly rub off any dirty areas. Fresh ripe fruit is delicate so no muscle needed just be gentle.  


I slice and chop my stone fruit to make it easier to use once I defrost the bag. I do not peel any of my stone fruit as the peel dissipate when cooked for jam. All my jams are chunky and have bite size pieces of fruit in them. The fruit is really left whole unless it is a stone fruit. To me jam should have fruit in it that you can feel the texture and taste it full bodied. Plus fruit that has been frozen breaks down really quickly once heated.


Look at this picture of fresh blackberries that I froze. Once properly frozen and then defrosted they still look fresh and read for some jammin'. There are many ways to freeze. I know the most popular way on the world wide webbie is to lay all your fruit out on a tray freeze them and then pack and freeze them. After many years freezing fruit right after cleaning them I think as long as you are eliminating all the air and head space you really do no have to.


Another thing you need to be aware of is fruit that changes colors. Let us take Apricots and Peaches for an example. An easy way to prevent this is to make a bowl with 25% lemon juice with 75% water. While you are pitting and chopping them drop them in the lemon mixture then into a colander to drain. What you are doing is coating them this will not affect the flavor of the jam after all you add lemon to most jams. At least we do. 

You can also add sugar to coat your fruit prior to freezing but make sure you take note of how much sugar you used. Write it on the container you freeze in. So many options and ways to do this. Here is a great website for informations I use. The National Center for Food Preservation.

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 Agricultural Extension Service for additional information and available classes.

12.28.2020

Cranberry Nectarine Preserves


Cranberry Nectarine this jam came out of a desperation to empty my freezer of my left over 2020 fruits. I buy in bulk during the season and what I cannot use right away I freeze. I find that to get the fruit peak is so important to the taste. Many fruits bought out of seasons need extra sweetener to pump up the flavor. 

Two things are that right now cranberries are so ready available and so very tart-ta-licious. Mix that with Summer Nectarine and you have a winner taking cranberry to the next level. I did not take many pictures this go round but the recipe is what you came here for. 


Ingredients- Makes 8 to 12 pint jars

  • 16 cups chopped nectarines
  • 2 bags of cranberries
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh  lemon juice

I start by putting my cranberries in a large bowl or just into the pot you will cook the jam in. I add the brown sugar and lemon and give the cranberries a smush. Then I will add this to the pot along with the nectarines. I chop my fruit large and small I find nothing better than being able to feel the fruit in every bite. 

Make sure you are using a stainless steel pot. 


Once you have combined all the ingredients let the jam simmer for at least on hour stirring to keep it from sticking on the bottom of your pot. Once your jam has come to a nice gel you can get your jars ready. 

For this jam I used pint jars rare for me but I was giving them as Christmas Gifts. Have your jars warm when it is time to fill. Fill your jars until you get half inch from the top of the jar. Wipe the rim clean and add the lid and twist. Water bath on a high boil for 10 minutes. 



Wait 5 minutes once the jam is done to remove from the water bath. Once they have cooled take off the twist from of the jar leaving the lid and clean, label and store in a cool dark place.

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 Agricultural Extension Service for additional information and available classes.