Archive for the ‘Canning/Preserving’ Category

Let’s just say that during the Christmas season someone (not mentioning any names) brings you a bottle of wine that you consider to be unpalatable. Or maybe there happens to be 3 1/2 cups of your favorite wine that is leftover (a Christmas miracle!) and you don’t know what to do with it. Don’t wine about it, get some Christmas Spirit, load up the wine, go visit someone like the Crazy Canner and make some wine jelly. This jelly is a lovely accompaniment to crackers and cream cheese, and somebody’s sister really seemed to like it on toast after a certain husband gave it to her for breakfast one morning thinking it was a fruit jelly. Yep, it’s a really good adult grape jelly, makes a great hostess gift and it’s also going to make a killer sauce for the meatball appetizers that I plan on taking to the Ugly Sweater Party that I’m invited to. So stay tuned, on my next Guerilla Garden Cooking Adventure I will include a picture and a posting of the recipe for the soon-to-be-famous, “Wine Jelly infused Meatball Appetizers.
But in the mean time the best advice I can give you over the holidays is to keep calm and get your wine jelly on!

Wine Jelly Recipe

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Ingredients:

3 1/2 cups wine (use any kind of wine, red or white)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (2 ounce) package dry pectin
4 1/2 cups white sugar

Directions:

1. Combine wine, lemon juice, and pectin in a large sauce pot.
2. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently.
3. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved.
4. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
5. Remove from heat. Skim foam off top, if necessary.
6. Ladle hot jelly into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Tighten 2 piece lids. Process for 10 minutes in boiling water bath. If one of the jars doesn’t seal, keep it in the fridge and use it first.

Note: If you have never canned before don’t freak out if you don’t know how to do this step
There is a really good tutorial on Hot Water Bath Canning  by Mavis Butterfield over at One Hundred Dollars a Month.

 

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This apple butter does take most of the day to make, however you can speed it up by starting to cook the apples before you go to bed. The crock-pot does all the work leaving you free to get in a full day of laundry or start on a much needed house cleaning after a busy gardening season. It’s also a good thing to make while having a Netflix marathon so that you can convince your husband that you have had a productive day…..if you know what I mean.
Some people (not mentioning any names) have even been known to eat it right out of the jar with a spoon and then claim is that it is really just a very fancy, delicious gourmet apple sauce that makes for a healthy breakfast. With all that sugar I have my doubts but I can confirm that Werther’s Carmel Apple Butter is good on toast or muffins, that it makes an excellent desert crepe or spice cake filling and that it is exceptionally tasty when used as a topping on vanilla ice cream. I have also found some other recipes Using Apple Butter (after it has been processed) that I want to try but that will have to wait until I have more time. Until then here’s the Werther’s Carmel Apple Butter Crockpot Recipe to start your own Guerilla Garden Cooking Adventure!

Werther’s Carmel Apple Butter Crock-pot Recipe

Werther’s Carmel Apple Butter

Ingredients:
3 pounds of tart apples (like Granny Smith)
1/2 cup water or 1/2 cup apple juice
2 cups white sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
21 Werther’s caramels

Directions:
1. Peel, core and chop apples
2. Place apples and Apple juice or water in crock-pot.
3. Cook apples on low for at least 5 hours. Apples should crumble and smoosh just by stirring.
4. Remove apples with a slotted spoon-puree using a food mill, food processor, blender or whatever you have on hand. (discard fluid in pot).
5. Place apple puree back into crock pot.
6. Add the sugar slowly and stir it in.
7. Return to medium high heat-you want mixture to bubble.
8. Reduce heat to low and simmer at least another 2 hours stirring frequently. Cook until apple butter is thick and creamy.
9. Add the ginger, cloves and cinnamon, stirring well.
10. Add the caramels.
11. Turn the heat up to medium low, stirring constantly until caramels are melted.
12. Using a frozen plate place a spoonful of butter in center. If no rim of liquid forms, your apple butter is done.
13. Ladle carmel apple butter into clean hot jars leaving 1/2 inch head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids.
14. Process jars in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes. If one of the jars doesn’t seal, keep it in the fridge and use it first.

Note: If you have never canned before don’t freak out if you don’t know how to do this step
There is a really good tutorial on Hot Water Bath Canning  by Mavis Butterfield over at One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Apple Pie Jam Recipe

Posted: November 26, 2014 in Canning/Preserving, Recipes

10 years ago I bought a “columnar” or “colonnade” apple tree. The tag said that it would grow 10-12 feet tall so I bought it and put it in a pot. Then the fruit tree outgrew the pot so I planted it in the ground on the strata complex outside my balcony.

Columnar_Colannade_Apple_Tree
With yearly pruning by one of my accomplices it has been forced to contain itself to about a 20 ft tall narrow fruit tree. This fruit tree has never been sprayed (because I bought the stuff but have never got around to applying it), also no type of chemical fertilizer has ever been used (just the occasional bag of manure dumped around the tree’s base) and every year it still reliably produces 2-3 VERY LARGE totes of  bright lime green”Granny Smith” like apples. It now seems to be a Guerilla Garden Adventure tradition to get together with the Crazy Canner for an annual Apple Pie Jam making session. Some jars end up as Christmas gifts, some are for personal use and in my case some maybe used to “sweeten up” any potential strata complaints from fellow townhouse dwellers that may occur. Here’s the recipe if you want to make your own sweet deal:

Apple Pie Jam


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Ingredients:

6 – 7 medium peeled and diced Granny Smith apples (about 2 pounds)
1  –  cup water
1/2  –  teaspoon of butter
5  –  cups white sugar
1  1/2 –  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1  1/4 – teaspoon apple pie spice
1 – pouch of Certo liquid pectin (must be Liquid Certo)

Directions:

Step 1
Combine apples and water. Cover and cook slowly until tender. Measure out 4 1/2 cups of the apples and return to the pot. (Save remaining mixture for another use or if you are feeling especially wasteful just discard it)

Step 2
Add sugar and butter to the pan, bring to a full rolling boil stirring constantly. Quickly stir in liquid pectin and bring back to a full rolling boil. Boil 1 minute stirring constantly.

Step 3
Remove from heat and skim off any foam that may have formed. Stir in spices. Ladle jam into hot sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe rims and adjust lids. Process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes. If one of the jars doesn’t seal, keep it in the fridge and use it first.

Note: If you have never canned before don’t freak out if you don’t know how to do this step
There is a really good tutorial on Hot Water Bath Canning  by Mavis Butterfield over at One Hundred Dollars a Month.

 

It was the summer of 2014, cucumber plants were 10 for $5 and I live in a townhouse…….what was I thinking!
Well, half of them were planted in one of the community garden plots at the Sunshine Garden but the other 5 plants were planted in my personal garden plots. So many cucumbers, so little time! Through out the season I graced various strata units porches with cucumbers and liberally shared/pawned off some cucumbers to co-workers and friends as well. I never did seem to have enough of the same type of cucumbers or the right sized jars and lids to make pickles, or if I did have enough I didn’t have the time to deal with them. Besides pickles are kind of normal and I was looking for something a little more Pinteresting! So I found a cucumber jelly recipe on Pinterest, changed the way the cucumbers were processed and I now have bragging rights to having actually made something out that I pinned on Pinterest!

Cucumber Jelly

Cucumber Jelly

Yield 7 – 8 oz jam jars

  • 3 – 4 big cucumbers
  • 7  cups of sugar
  • 1  cup of white vinegar
  • 2  pouches of Certo Liquid Pectin  (No substitutions – it must be liquid Certo!)
  • 2 – 3 drops of green food coloring (optional)


Step 1

Shred cucumber with the peel on.
Strain through cheese cloth or sieve.  Be sure not to push too much, or the juice will be cloudy.
Note: If you need to justify your juicer purchase after an ill-advised attempt at juicing then run the cucumbers through the juicer after work and let the juice sit in fridge until the next day. This is what I did. The cucumber sludge sinks to the bottom and the clear cucumber juice on the top can easily be poured through a cheese cloth or sieve.
Either way, you will need 2.5 cups of strained cucumber juice from one of the above methods.

Step 2
Mix cucumber juice, sugar and vinegar in a big pot. Stir, and bring to a boil  for 2 minutes.  Then remove from heat and stir in the 2 pouches of Liquid Certo.  Continue to boil for another half-minute, and remove from heat again.  Stir and skim off any foam for 4 or 5 minutes.  The jelly will be a pale green.  Add food coloring if desired.

Step 3
Pour into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 head space. Adjust caps and process for 10 minutes in a simmering hot water bath.
Note: If you have never canned before don’t freak out if you don’t know how to do this step
There is a really good tutorial on Hot Water Bath Canning  by Mavis Butterfield over at One Hundred Dollars a Month.

If one of the jars doesn’t seal, keep it in the fridge and use it first.
Serve with crackers, cream cheese and smoked salmon.

 

 

The weather here in the Pacific North West has been exceptional this year and NOBODY wants to mention the C word while the geraniums are still blooming but it is November and Christmas is only 7 weeks away. Many gardeners (myself included) are going to be left with no room in the freezer for a turkey because of the bumper crops that were produced this year. To solve this issue I went on a bit of a canning adventure. Sometimes it was a solo Guerilla Garden Canning Adventure but on some occasions my long time accomplice the Crazy Canner was involved. What more can I say other than she is well known for getting people out of a jam (even if it includes putting up bail money) and she is always up for an adventure. Plus she has access to a really good getaway car if needed.
The end result was a whole lot of homemade jams and jellies were processed and no bail money or getaway cars were needed. It was a win/win situation!
Over the next few weeks I will be posting recipes for some of the jam and jellies that I made on my Guerilla Garden Canning Adventure so stay tuned.

 

Guerilla_Garden_Canning_Cupboard

 

Cucumber Jelly

Cucumber plants were on sale last June at Little Mountain Greenhouses …..10 plants for $5…..so of course I bought 10 plants. Keep in mind that I am a townhouse dweller. I then justified it to myself because I would plant some in the shared community garden plots, but 5 cucumber plants still ended up in my personal garden plot. Now I do like cucumbers, but there is only so many ways to preserve them. You can pickle them but you can’t dry or freeze them and there is only so many pounds of cucumber salad that you can eat. I must admit that I have also been known to get rid of excess veggies on fellow townhouse dwellers front porches when they weren’t looking. Then I found an obscure recipe for cucumber jelly. The recipe says that you serve it on crackers with cream cheese and smoked salmon and I thought to myself that sound’s delicious! So I pulled out my canning jars and got to work and as soon as I get some smoked salmon and cream cheese I’ll let you know how it tastes!