Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Other People's Gardens

Another post not about my garden. Hey, what else is there to do when the rain just doesn't stop and you have little to harvest? Make stuff with food from other people's gardens!
(Speaking of other people's food, my1st CSA pick-up was today: 1 head lettuce, 1/4 lb salad greens, sm bunches of kale and swiss chard, 1/2 doz. eggs, 1 kohlrabi, quart of strawberries, and cheese.)

All this dreary weather is making me think of the fall and winter months, which makes me dream of baking pies. Today I made the Blueberry Pie Filling (recipe in previous post). The recipe made 5 pints so I will do another batch soon in order to have batches frozen in 2 pint quantities, enough for 5 pies in all.

My blogger friends Erin over at Garden Now-Think Later! and EG at Engineered Gardener have been busy making blackberry jam and it has been looking yummy! So, I dug out some set aside recipes I have been wanting to try and washed up the Ball jars and got my canning on. These are the recipes I used for Sweet Onion Preserves and Jalapeno Strawberry Jam, thanks for the inspiration!!: I substituted a mix of white wine, white balsamic, and red balsamic vinegars in place of the tarragon vinegar, and used rosemary and sage in place of the fresh tarragon. This is all that was left of one of the jars come evening after making the jam. We all had some poured over cream cheese with crackers, and then my 2 yr old decided she was just going to go for straight for it and began eating spoon fulls right out of the jar. This recipe isn't too spicy, if you are looking for some real heat you need to kick the type of peppers up a notch. Used more hot red cherries than jalapenos but the cherries had less fire than I was expecting. Can anyone give me lessons on the world of hot peppers?
I saw these containers and thought they would be perfect for freezing individual pints of berries in.


Erin said...

Yum! I think I am going to try another recipe for blackberry jam..I love the tartness of blackberries, and when I was done the sweetness of the jam nearly knocked me over! I will have to do some searching, though, since simply decreasing the sugar without recalculating pectin will result in some wierdly jelled jam. Maybe I will just use pureed fruit?!! I don't know why I care, my kids love it and I don't even eat jam! I do love just the straight berries! I did freeze 2 gallon size bags of berries for making iced tea and lemonade later in the season. I also found out something interesting after picking up some blueberries at the farmer's market - I actually don't like southern blueberries! Much too sweet for my taste, but they were awesome in the muffins!!! I remember the wild blueberries in northern MN not being so sweet. I was the kid who used to suck on lemons and limes, though, so my tastes run sour anyways. I finished my chores the past 2 days since it is supposed to be in the upper 90's the next few days - hoping to run out when the sun breaks through and get some pics of the garden today. I do have jalapenos that are almost ready to harvest, so I will FINALLY be preserving some of my own produce, lol!

Kelly said...

I can't wait to see your garden and containers! Some of the jellies are too sweet. I have some canning books coming my way, one of which is the Ball Blue Book with over 400 recipes, so I will peruse them for less sweet concoctions for you or any other preserving recipes you think you might want. I would love to find blackberries like that (PYO), maybe I will search harder this year. The lemonade and iced tea sound good.

Erin said...

I remember getting that Ball Book free with my canning equipment last year. Another good one that I have is "Preserving Summer's Bounty"...has alot of freezing and drying info along with the canning. At tomato time it gets hectic and I make my husband take the kids somewhere because I am making such a mess in the kitchen canning and I don't want them underfoot, lol!

Kelly said...

I can't remember the name of the second one I ordered, I wonder if that could be it? I do know its recipes were on a smaller scale so you could make up much smaller batches of things here and there. I don't know that I will have enough tomatoes to sauce, this cold is really slowing things down.