Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Putting Up

I haven't posted anything in awhile. That makes me sad. I have, however, been very busy stocking the shelves and want to share.

Canning, preserving, putting up, putting by. Whatever you choose to call it, I love it. It meshes perfectly with my compulsive tendencies. You didn't realize I tend to be compulsive?

It started, as it does every season with the Smitten Kitchen pickled sugar snaps. A quick pickle that doesn't stick around long here. While I didn't process them, I think they looked super cute in the fridge in this glass jar.

Every spring there are lots of garlic scapes at the market. The stem and flower of hard neck garlic, they're so tasty. Last year I made pesto with them. A bright spring green with a mellow garlic flavor. Lovely. This year I pickled them.

I also made sweet pickled wax beans. There was recipe in the Everyday Food that caught my eye. I only made two pints worth and have yet to taste them since they need to cure. How can any pickled be bad?

Nice cutting board you say? Jake made it for me.

Pickles. Pretty much the only wildly successful aspect of my garden. Needless to say, I've made lots and lots of pickles this year.The old stand-bys and.... first batch of bread and butter pickles. Extra onions. Lucky for me, I am the only one that eats these.

Mixed berry jam. It's delicious and will be an extra special treat in January.

There is also jalapeno jelly, the apricot selection, hot and mild salsa. Grape juice from my vines is waiting to be turned into jelly, garden beets to pickle and a bunches of peaches to that will become...something. Autumn raspberries are ready to be picked, too.

And then there are tomatoes. A local farm had a sale on tomatoes. Can you imagine my good fortune? I made lots of things with these wonderful heirloom varieties. I need to share the tomato-basil sauce that started with an impulse buy of 40# of romas. That's a story for another time.

I turned those gorgeous tomatoes into Spicy Tomato Jam. If your tomatoes are fabulous or your market is overflowing, you really must try it on a panini or as an accompaniment to a cheese plate. I promise you'll love it.

Spicy Tomato Jam
based upon the recipe from Farm To Fork by Emeril Lagasse.

4 cups seeded and chopped ripe tomatoes (about 2 1/2-3#)
I did not peel them. Heirloom skins are so thin they aren't noticeable & added nice texture
2 lemons skins peeled away entirely, seeds removed and flesh finely chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 generous T. fresh ginger
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. salt

Combine all the ingredients in a preserving pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a brisk simmer and continue to cook, periodically skimming any foam that develops on the surface. Stir frequently until a think jam-like consistency is achieved. This may take 35-45 minutes. Be sure to stir constantly in last ten minutes to ensure jam doesn't burn on the bottom of the pan.

Transfer the hot jam to hot sterilized jars leaving 1/2" head space, release any air bubbles by running a skewer around the sides of the jar, wipe the rims clean and attach the lids and rings.
Process in a hot water bath for 230 minutes.

Remove from hot water bath and allow to rest on the counter, undisturbed until completely cool.

A full tank of gas, new book of stamps and food in jars. What more can you want?

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