Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Chokecherry Juice

4 L prepared chokecherry juice (16 c)
60 mL lemon juice (4 tbsp)
250-500 mL sugar (1-2 c)
Note: If the chokecherry juice is to be used for jelly-making, omit the lemon juice and sugar.
Make juice: Select ripe, firm, perfect chokecherries. Wash thoroughly, remove any stems, etc. In a large pot, crush berries (but not seeds) and simmer until soft to release juice. Strain juice through cheesecloth or a jelly bag for several hours. For a clear juice, do not squeeze bag. Discard skin and seeds.
Fill boling water bath canner with hot water. Place preserving jars in canner over high heat to sterilize. Place metal snap lids in boiling water and boil 5 min to soften sealing compound. Keep hot until ready to use.
Measure juice: To each 4 L (16 cups) prepared juice, add 60 mL (4 tbsp) lemon juice, and sugar to taste. Bring to a simmer (93 C or 200 F). Pack hot juice into hot sterilized canning jars, leaving 1 cm (1/2 inch) headspace. Remove bubbles. Adjust headspace if necessary. Clean jar rim. Seal with two piece metal snap lids. Screw metal band just until fingertip tight. Place jar in canner. Repeat with remaining jars. Adjust boiling water level to 2.5 cm (1 inch) above jar tops. Process pint or quarts jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Begin processing time when water returns to a boil in canner. Remove jars from canner. Let cool overnight on racks or folded towels out of drafts to cool. Check for seals. Snap lids will curve downward slightly in center. Remove metal screw band. Wipe jar, label and date. Store in a cool dark location. Refrigerate unsealed jars and use promptly. Use juice within one year of canning.  recipe  from Saskatchewan fruit growers association. Now I can put the juice up and make jelly later when we need it. I have foraged many chokecherries this year. I pick while the kids play in the pines making forts and a encampment .I just enjoy that kind of thing. It just amazes my kids that I can make food from the woods. Survival skills are important.You never know if you could get stranded in the woods on  a hike or something.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tomato & Thyme Jam Recipe

  • 1 lb Tomatoes, roughly cut (some varieties may need to be peeled)
  • 1/2 c Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1 T fresh Thyme, finely minced
  • 4 whole Cloves
  • 1" stick Cinnamon
  • 2 t Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T   fresh Lemon juice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan, then simmer over med-low heat.  Stir occasionally and gently.  Simmer about an hour or until the mixture thickens to a jam-like consistency (who'd have thought.)
  2. Put tomato jam into sterilized jars.  For longer storage, can in a water bath (cover with water about 1" above jars & simmer for about 15 min.) or just store in the fridge to keep for a couple weeks. recipe from WhiteOnRiceCouple.com.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I have a confession to make...I am addicted to my local farmer's market. This recipe makes it easy to can a small batch of whatever sweet summer goodness I can find at the market. I love the bright red cherries and peaches on my shelves right now.  The kids learn life skills and measuring is math. They use the safety knives I bought from pampered chef and the pumpkin carving ones we picked up on sale after halloween last year that are identical to the pampered chef ones. I find they eat better when they help prepare the fruits.

Canning in Small batches Fruit

 This is close to the recipe I used for the canned cherries. I couldn't resist posting it.The easiest way to can fruit. I use my spaghetti pot for my boiling water bath.
Fresh fruit of your choice, peeled, pitted or cored   
3/4 cup sugar
boiling water
Pack jar half full of fruit. Pour sugar over top. Pack with more fruit leaving 1 inch headroom. Fill with boiling water to within 1/2 inch of top. Place sterilized metal lid on top and screw metal band on securely. Turn jar over a few times to start sugar dissolving. Process in boiling water bath 20 minutes. Five quart jars fit in my pot at one time.
To make pints....use 6 tbsp. of sugar. (this is the part I didn't want to loose)

Sunday, August 19, 2012

I found this recipe on line here it makes delish jelly!
"A large amount of berries is required to make jam and jelly because the seed inside is large and the skin tough.  The process is more work than other berries because after picking, you must wash clean, and boil them hard to get juice. 
The recipe we used for our jelly is as follows:

 CHOKECHERRY JELLY (makes 12 ½ pint jars)
4 cups juice
1 box Sure Jell pectin
5 ½ cups sugar

Wash berries; put in water to cover by placing hand on top of berries.  Bring to boil; simmer until there is good color.  Berries will begin to burst.  This takes 20 minutes of boiling.  Strain through cheese cloth.  Mix Sure Jell with juice in large saucepan.  Bring to hard boil; stirring occasionally.  Add sugar and bring to boil again for one minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Skim off foam.  Use scalded jelly jars.

Chokecherry jelly has a wonderful taste and is well worth the work.

NOTE: for many Native American tribes in the Northern Plains, chokecherries were the most important fruit in their diets.  The bark of chokecherry root was used to ward off colds, fever and stomach maladies.  Chokecherries are very high in antioxidant pigment compounds, such as anthocyanins."

My mother and my Aunt H. talked so much about elderberry jam during the depresion that i made 45 pints for my Aunt one year. Here I found a recipe for Syrup I think i will try it when they are in season again.
Elderberry Syrup

-1 cup of fresh or 1/2 cup of dried elderberries
-3 cups of water
-1 cup of honey
-2 tablespoons grated ginger (optional as a warming agent but not necessary for effectiveness)

Directions: Place berries, ginger (if using), and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer over low heat for 45 minutes. Smash the berries. Then strain the mixture through a cheesecloth. Add honey. Bottle syrup and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Use: Child: Administer 1 teaspoon per day for prevention or 1 teaspoon per waking hour at the onset of cold/flu-like symptoms. Adult: Administer on same schedule, however increase dosage to 1 tablespoon.

Note: Not suitable for children under one year of age.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

From www.learntopreserve.com

"Classic Cherry Compote

    If you have a perfect batch of sweet cherries, I can't think of a better way to preserve them than to pack them whole (stemless with pits intact) in a simple syrup of sugar & water. Leaving the pits in the cherries will impart a pleasantly bitter note that is so subtle it might even be undetectable to some people. 
   The relatively long processing time -- compared to pickles and jam -- will draw ruby-red juice out of the cherries, creating an elegant light syrup with pure fruit flavor; perfect for sipping on its own or for fancifying plain seltzer water and/or cocktails. Serve the cherries on ice cream, yogurt or just eat them straight from the jar.
    You could use any type of sweet cherries for this, but I usually use Bings. If you use Rainiers, you won't have the ruby-red syrup, but they'll surely look spectacular in the jars with their bright yellow skins, and are bound to taste as good as they look, if not better.
     This recipe was inspired by Linda Ziedrich, who has a recipe for Moldovan Cherry Compot [sic] in her terrific book "The Joy of Jams, Jellies and other Sweet Preserves".
Makes 1 quart (or 2 pints)
  • 1 pound Cherries, washed, stems removed, pits intact
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
Pack cherries firmly into clean jars, considering placement for maximum utilization of space. In other words: put as many cherries into the jar as possible, without smashing.
Make a syrup by boiling the water, then adding the sugar, stirring to dissolve. As soon as the sugar has dissolved completely, carefully ladle the hot syrup over the cherries, filling the jars to within 1/2 inch of the rim.
Using a chopstick, plastic knife, or "bubble remover", pop any air bubbles which can be seen trapped in the syrup. Be careful not to poke holes in the cherry skins.
Wipe rims clean, place warm seals on top the jars and screw bands onto jars "finger-tight".
Process in a boiling water bath for 45 minutes for quarts, 35 minutes for pints.
If jars lid seals it will easily keep for one year in a cool, dark place. If jar doesn't seal, place it in your refrigerator and eat within 3 months. Either way, use within 2 weeks of opening. "

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Pinto Beans

Ingredients (per quart size jar):
1 cup dry pinto beans
1/2 clove fresh garlic
1/8 of a small onion (chunk)
3/4 tsp. salt
Fill with water, leaving 1 inch head space at top.
Boil flat lids in water for three minutes.
Meanwhile, wipe down rims of jars with damp cloth.
Place flat lids on jars. Screw on bands.
Cook for 50 minutes at 15 pounds of pressure and enjoy!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Extra-Crisp Bread and Butter Pickle Slices
from "Fancy Pantry" by Helen Witty

12 firm, fresh pickling cucumbers (6-inches long)
1 gallon cool water
1 cup pickling lime
64 ounces apple cider vinegar
5 cups sugar
1 tablespoon fine non-iodized salt
1 tablespoon mustard seed
1-1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 quart of sliced onions, cut 1/4-inch thick

Wash cucumbers. Cut off and discard both ends, then cut cucumbers into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Measure cool water into a ceramic, stainless steel or other non-reactive container (do not use an aluminum container) and stir in the pickling lime very thoroughly. It will not dissolve completely. Add sliced cucumbers, stir, cover, and set aside overnight or for up to 24 hours. Stir them once or twice.

Drain the cucumbers into a colander. Return them to the rinsed out container and rinse them in three more batches of cool water, stirring them well as you do so. Drain them again and add cool water to cover them by an inch or two. Set them aside for three hours.

Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and other seasonings in a non-reactive saucepan. Heat the mixture to boiling, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then boil it, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain the cucumbers well and return them to the first container along with the sliced onions. When the syrup has boiled 5 minutes, pour it over the slices. Stir the slices gently, then push them under the surface, cover the bowl with a towel, and set it aside overnight.

Transfer the cucumbers and syrup to a large preserving pan and cook the whole business, covered, over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally (be careful not to break the brittle slices), until the cucumbers are translucent, 20 to 30 minutes.

Using a funnel, spoon, long fork or tongs, arrange the pickle slices in 8 hot, clean pint canning jars, leaving about 1/2-inch of headspace. Divide the spices from the syrup among the jars, then add boiling-hot syrup to reach 1/4-inch from rims. Remove any bubbles and add more syrup, if necessary. Seal the jars with two-piece canning lids and process for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. Cool, label and store the jars. Be sure to let the pickles mellow for 4-6 weeks, then chill before opening.