With all the flavor of fresh, ripe pineapple and a chewy, candy-like texture, Dried Pineapple Snacks are perfect for combating a case of midday munchies. Even better, this snack has Continue reading
In my Midwest US community, pineapple is selling for $1.29 this week at Aldi. I have a sister-in-law who lives in Hawaii (I’m not irrationally jealous, really. Mostly.). Do you know what she told me pineapple is selling for in Hawaii – you know, where pineapple is grown?
I can’t make this stuff up.
Today we’re taking advantage of this insanely low price by preserving pineapple in canning jars. It’s super easy, and tastes just like fresh Continue reading
Enjoying first strawberries of summer almost makes the long winter worthwhile. Almost. The thing about strawberries is, they’re delicious for about one day after they are picked. If you have a large quantity of strawberries to preserve, you need to work fast! This Simple Strawberry Jam recipe is super fast! Ready… Set… GO!
Ingredients (Makes 4 cups)
5 cups of strawberries, washed and cut in half (green hulls removed)
5 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 pouch (3 ounces) liquid pectin
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest -OR- seeds scraped from the inside of 1/2 of a vanilla bean pod (optional but delicious!)
Step 1) Place halved strawberries in a large pot. Mash the strawberries a few times with a potato masher. Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon juice.
Step 2) Bring strawberry mixture to a full, vigorous boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. You want this mixture to really boil… it should boil enough that bubbles continue to cover the surface of the mixture even when you are stirring!
Step 3) When your strawberry mixture has reached a FULL boil (this will take at least ten minutes, maybe longer), stir in the pouch of pectin. Allow the mixture to return to a FULL boil, and boil with stirring for two minutes.
Step 4) Remove the pot from the heat. Add grated lemon zest or vanilla seeds. Stir gently. Allow jam to cool before ladling into storage containers. This jam will keep nicely in the refrigerator for two weeks, or can be frozen for up to six months.
Whether you favor hot dogs, bratwurst, or a classic American cheeseburger on the backyard grill, this Hot Pepper Relish is the perfect accompaniment. It has just enough ZING! to catch your attention, and is chock full of garden fresh flavor. To save time, you could prepare half the recipe below and simply store it in the refrigerator instead of canning. I’ve included canning directions as well, because Hot Pepper Relish makes a lovely and simple gift!
Ingredients (Makes 8 half-pint jars)
4 large green bell peppers, seeded and diced (about 4 cups)
5 large hot Hungarian peppers, seeded and diced (about 2 cups) Continue reading
My Grandpa Fred grew up enjoying this corn relish on the family dinner table. He remembers it fondly. I found his mother’s corn relish recipe in a treasure box of family recipes and, since my Grandpa is just about the coolest guy around, I’m happy to make a batch just for him whenever fresh sweet corn is available. I love you, Grandpa!
*Note: I’ve scaled this recipe down to a manageable size, as Great Grandma made a LOT of corn relish at once! Original quantities (which I occasionally prepare) are 3 times the quantities listed below.
Ingredients (Makes 8 pints)
8 ears of fresh sweet corn
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup vinegar
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
1/3 teaspoon mustard seed
1/3 teaspoon celery seed
Step 1) Working carefully, use a sharp knife to slice the kernels from each ear of corn.
Step 2) Dice the onions and bell peppers.
Step 3) Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Done!
Step 4) Corn Relish may be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks, or may be canned in sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. If canning, process jars in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Canned Corn Relish will remain fresh for up to one year.
If you’ve never made pickles, what are you waiting for? If you can slice cucumbers into bite size pieces and boil water, you have all of the skills you need to make scrumptious homemade pickles! You don’t even need to fuss with canning jars – just place your pickles in any resealable container in the refrigerator, and wait a week. Voila! Delicious.
This recipe uses garlic and rosemary instead of dill, for a flavor that’s refreshingly different from store-bought pickles. Let me know what you think!
Ingredients (Makes 2 quarts)
8 cups of bite size cucumber chunks Continue reading
The zucchini plants in my garden have gone completely bonkers. The first few zucchini were fun… we enjoyed Cheesy Zucchini Roses for dinner, and filled the freezer with Chocolate Zucchini Bread… but the zucchini just keep growing! Here’s another delicious way to make good use of this abundant garden vegetable. Zucchini “Apples” can be frozen or canned, and make a delicious “Apple” crisp (see below). And yes, they taste just like apples.
Ingredients (Makes 6 quarts)
6 large zucchini
2 cups lemon juice
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
Step 1) Peel zucchini and remove 1/2 inch from each end. Slice peeled zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out all of the seeds. The pulpy middle, which contains seeds, is a brighter white color than the outer flesh – scrape out all of the pulp with a spoon and add this to your compost pile. Slice the zucchini flesh into bite size pieces, approximately 1 inch long and 1/3 inch thick. You should have about 24 cups of zucchini pieces.
Step 2) Combine zucchini pieces and all remaining ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and allow zucchini to simmer until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Proceed with any of the following options:
Option 1) To freeze your zucchini apples, allow the zucchini to cool slightly. Then, ladle the zucchini apples into quart size freezer bags. Squeeze out the air, seal tightly, and freeze. You’ll end up with 6 to 8 freezer bags of zucchini apples.
Option 2) To can your zucchini apples, ladle them hot into sterilized canning jars. Leave 1/2 inch of head space. Seal with lids and bands, and process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
Option 3) To make zucchini apple crisp, place 8 cups of zucchini apples from Step 2 in a medium size pot. In a small bowl or cup, whisk together 1/2 cup of water and 1 tablespoon of corn starch. Drizzle this mixture over the zucchini apples, and bring the pot to a boil. Boil for 1 minute or until liquid is thickened. Transfer mixture to a greased 2 quart baking dish.
In a medium size bowl, combine 1 cup oats, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons butter. Use two forks or a pastry cutter to combine ingredients until the mixture resembles large crumbs. Spread this mixture over the zucchini apples and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Delicious!