Jul
15
2015
0

Crabapple Jelly

We have a row of miniature apples (about the size of cherries) that grow on our block, and I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them for years. A week ago or so Zack turned me on to the “Saving the Season” canning book/memoir by Kevin West (here’s his blog), and I’ve got a pretty serious canning crush on this guy. So I followed his instructions to make crabapple jelly without store-bought pectin, instead making a pectin stock from the fruit, and it was pretty fun. I’ve had all kinds of jam trouble lately but this jelly set up really nicely (maybe too nicely, it’s pretty darn firm in the fridge.) I love adding herbs to jelly, and he recommended thyme, though in hindsight I wish I would have went with rosemary.

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Aug
04
2013
1

Bean Season

The garden is in pretty rough shape this year, having been ignored for 3 weeks while we travelled and not getting enough water in general. But the beans are soldiering on, so much so that we got to can some pickled beans.

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Lazy on the vine — these ones will be ready in a couple days.

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Ready to process.

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Spicy beans with red chili flakes added.

Sep
16
2012
0

Picked and Pickled Beans

We’ve had good luck in the last couple years putting some beans in a little late in the season (maybe June-ish) and having them do really well. So usually when the peas are starting to peter out, I start thinking beans. This year was no different, and though they were growing really well I wasn’t paying close attention to them.

  

 

I stuck my head in the bean-pole the other day and realized we had a ton of beans just on the verge of getting too big and turning mealy, so I started picking, and pretty soon I had to go get a bigger box to fill. I ended up with a really good harvest of beans, maybe 8 or 10 pounds, so pickled beans were called for. My grandma Jackie made them and I still remember loving them, still a little crispy, straight from the jar.

Alicia got to work today and canned up 20 pints (one cracked during processing so we ended up with 19). Pretty impressive for a totally home-spun canning operation, since we didn’t make it to Yakima this year. Now to figure out what to do with all these plums…

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Nov
23
2011
0

Two-fer

We’re having a pre-Thanksgiving potluck with the neighbors tonight and I decided to make a pie with the sour cherries we got this summer at Paul’s parents’ place in Wenatchee. If I had room to grow a cherry tree it would be this kind; super tart and really only good for baking or jam.

When I thawed them out a ton of juice drained off, and I realized that I could do a batch of jelly alongside the pie. We had everything we needed in the basement (including the obscene amount of sugar that goes into jelly), and besides the processing time, it only took about a half hour to make 8 cute little pints.

Plus this was my first lattice-topped pie. Alicia accused me of showing off and I won’t deny it.

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Nov
15
2011
0

The last of the canning (hopefully…)

Alicia has been making applesauce like crazy with the bags of apples that we brought home from Wenatchee back in October, and we have probably 20 or 25 quarts so far. I kept saying that I was going to make some apple pie filling since we just used up our last batch, but it’s been busy. Finally last night the Venn diagram of motivation and time overlapped, and I canned 10 quarts of pie filling. It looks like a good batch this time around; I followed this recipe (mostly, and despite the Comic Sans). Blanching the apples after they were peeled and sliced seems like it helped keep the whole production from oxidizing too much, though I had to run the sauce through the blender to de-lump it before pouring it in the cans.

A week or two ago, I also made some apple jelly with rosemary, which is an amazing combination of flavors. Rosemary usually overpowers things, but with the apple, the flavors are perfect together. We received a jar of this jelly from someone a few years ago and loved it, but I can’t figure out who it was. If you’re out there, reveal yourself! At any rate, it is tasty, tasty jelly, and it’s all Hannah wants on her toast for the time being. Just take any apple jelly recipe, and add a sprig of fresh rosemary after filling the jars, right before you put the lid on; the rosemary flavor infuses the whole jar.

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