Archive for Canning

What I’ve Been Up To in the Kitchen

Once we returned from Europe, the CSA had just started and things have been full speed ahead in the kitchen. We have received tons of veggies (and lots and lots of greens!) and have gotten some great deals on fruit. A couple of weeks ago, we picked some blueberries and were able to purchase a total of 30 pounds of peaches in the past couple of weeks, and I think we will probably get more next week. We also got quite a few blackberries from the CSA. So yeah…we’ve been kind of busy in the kitchen! Here are just a few things we’ve done:

 

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Light Blackberry and Chocolate Chip Muffins – We made 8 muffins and froze two containers of it for later!

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Bowtie Pasta with Zucchini and Shrimp in Light Tomato Sauce

 

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Peach BBQ Sauce – We canned about 10 half-pint jars full of this!

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Homemade Pizza Sauce – We froze enough for 2 pizzas and used the leftovers for Portabella Parmesan this week.

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Basil Peach Chicken

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Quesadillas with Yellow Squash

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Green Beans! – We canned about 5 pints that came from our garden and the farmer’s market.

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Peach Salsa – This stuff is amazing. We now have numerous pints of this:)

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Blackberry Bars

Some of the things I forgot to take a picture of are:

  • Peach Pancakes – We had some for breakfast and then froze 3 more batches of it in the freezer.
  • Light Blueberry Muffins – We made some and froze 2 more batches for later.
  • Blueberry Brownies – I know this sounds weird but it was actually pretty good!

 

Let me know if you need any of these recipes; I’d be happy to share them!

 

Adventures in Crop Sharing: Pickles

This year, our family joined up with another family to buy a partial share of a crop share (a CSA) in our area. This is our first experience with a crop share, and so far, we are really enjoying the weekly supply of vegetables (and some fruits) and trying out new vegetables and recipes. In this series, I will share some of our experiences.

Pickles

My husband is a big pickle fan. I am not normally, but I have to say that I actually like the pickles he made using the cucumbers we got from our CSA. We got quite a few cucumbers this year and there were only so many salads I could eat with them, so we decided to try to make pickles. My husband found an easy online recipe that used the microwave. I know it sounds crazy, but it was actually pretty good. He made his first few cans that we kept in the refrigerator, but the next time around, he canned them so that they could be stored on the shelf for longer. He made both dill and bread and butter pickles and added some peppers to them to make them a little spicy. Even just one cucumber made more than we thought so we ended up with quite a few cans of these.

Pickle Ingredients

Pickle Ingredients

Canned Pickles

Do you like your pickles spicy? What’s your favorite pickle recipe?

Apples, Apples, and More Apples

We have a really out-of-control apple tree in our backyard, and in years past, the birds have gotten to the apples before we did. This year, we decided to try to get them before they did. One afternoon, we spent some time picking them from the tree and ended up with a ton. We filled up a 5 gallon bucket and another one of my daughter’s big toy buckets, and those were just the ones we could reach.

Apples in a Bucket

We decided to try to can the ones in the 5 gallon bucket. First we had to wash them all.

Apples in the Sink

Then we had to peel and cut each and every one of them. Needless to say, we didn’t do the entire 5 gallon bucket. After a couple of hours, we were done and decided just to can what we could. We boiled them for a few minutes and then put them in the cans. We added cinnamon to a few of the cans. We ended up with about 14 pints of apples.

Canned Apples

Movin’ to the Country…Gonna Eat a Lot of Peaches!

A couple of weeks ago, I was reminded about that song by The Presidents of the United States when I was able to get a great deal on 10 pounds of local peaches. Since we couldn’t possibly eat that many at one time, we opted to can them for use later. Besides peeling and cutting 10 pounds of peaches, the canning part wasn’t bad at all!

First, we had to wash them all and then blanch them in boiling water so that the peels came off more easily. Once we sliced them, we added a product called Fresh Fruit. This helps the peaches to stay the same color while they are in the cans. We chose not to add any additional sugar, so this was necessary. Next, we boiled them on the stove for about 5 minutes.

Peaches on the Stove Once they were ready, we packed them into the sterilized cans and put them in the pressure cooker.

Draining peache

 

Peaches in the Pressure Cooker

We got about 122 ounces of canned peaches!

Canned peaches

We are excited to enjoy them this winter when all the fresh fruit is no longer in season. We plan to eat them as is or put them in pies or cobblers.