Thursday, April 15, 2010

And you may call me a slacker...

Ok, so I joined the can jam and have only managed to make one batch of food. Well, I had planned on doing my carrots and that same week my entire family managed to get sick. Needless to say, I didn't get any carrots into pretty jars.

There's my excuse. Now that it's out of the way, it's time to get back up on the horse and try again. I haven't even checked to see what this month is or even if I missed it again. Here's hoping not.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

And February's food item is...

with much nervous pleasure, I tell you it's Carrots!!

Ummm, a vegetable? Really? It's only the 2nd month of this challenge and I will now say that's it's officially a challenge in my book.

Doris and Jilly of Doris and Jilly Cook, say that water canning a vegetable comes with certain rules. RULES? Oh boy, now I'm in for it. I can see this one being a go to store, buy some carrots, cut them up, and can them. Right? The problem is, I don't know. Something about acid. Low-acid, high-acid, adding acid, reducing acid...enough to make my head spin in circles.

This can challenge is definitely going to make me learn something new. Oh wait, didn't I just mention learning something? Little did I know it was gonna be so soon.

Of I go to consult my beloved Ball book to read about acid canning. Any good suggestions for me? Send some prayers my way please. Or wish me luck, whichever works for you!

Carrots, here I come, ready or not.

Note to self...must take pictures for next month's round-up!

Wowee, what a deal! Just take a look at all the awesome bloggers we have that posted all those yummy looking marmalades!

Who knew that I need to be a professional blogger, photographer, and canner? It looks like I'm gonna be working on a few new skills these next 11 months.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My Challenge for the Month--Citrus

My decision, lemons. Since I knew that I could pick up some Meyer lemons from my local Fred Meyer, I decided that I would use those for my canning challenge. Now I've heard some good things from food bloggers regarding these lemons, so thought I would take this opportunity to try them.
My recipe choice came from, Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. My bible for canning right now as I'm still considered a newbie at all this!
I chose the Lemon Prune Honey Butter. I had all the ingredients on hand and it sounded like a recipe that would be good in the cold morning on some warm croissants, homemade english muffins, or homemade bread.
It's also a straightforward recipe, which I like. And it turns out, it is really good on some homemade bread, so good in fact, that I made a second batch cause the recipe only makes three 8-ounce jars.

Lemon Prune Honey Butter

Makes about three 8-ounce (250ml) jars

3 cups pitted prunes
1 1/4 cups water, divided
grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
2/3 cup liquid honey
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp brandy (optional and did not use)

1. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine prunes, 1 cup of the water, lemon zest and juice. Stir well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, until prunes are soft, about 15 minutes.
2. Working in batches, transfer prune mixture to a food mill or a food processor fitted with a metal blade and puree just until a uniform texture is achieved. Do not liquefy.
3. Meanwhile, prepare canner, jars and lids.
4. In a clean large stainless steel saucepan, combine prune puree, remaining 1/4 cup water, honey, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg. Stir well. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in brandy, if using, and remove from heat.
5. Ladle hot butter into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot butter. wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
6. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool and store.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

We can jam!! My first New Year's Resolution!

Alright, after taking many months of not posting anything on here, it's time to get started again!! Only this time, I am participating in a "canvolution" that is spreading around the world.

Tigress' Can Jam has set up a challenge for participants to choose one local fruit or vegetable to hot water bath can. Each month a blogger will be posting a food item that is local to them and hopefully local to everyone else. January's fruit is CITRUS!! Now while I love my citrus, as do my kids, it's not a local item here in the cold, rainy Pacific Northwest. So, some researching I will do.
I will be posting my food item by the 22nd of each month, so be sure to check back to see what my pantry will be holding next!!

I am excited to be a participating blogger and can't wait to get started! Here's to a New Year full of good and healthy foods!!