Tag Archives: harvest

Re-Learning How to Can

Grammy & Greenhouse Tomatoes

My paternal grandmother canned, and my husband and I visited a few summers after we were married and canned with her.  That was over 20 years ago, and we haven’t done any canning since.  Until two days ago.

May 13 was our twenty-sixth wedding anniversary in addition to being Mother’s Day.  Our long standing tradition is to celebrate holidays that involve going out to dinner either well before or well after the actual day to avoid crowds.  Since we knew every restaurant on the planet would be mobbed all weekend, we found other things to do.

The highlight of our weekend was canning together.  The Chief of Implementation and I collaborated on a batch of Onion Maple Conserve.  We’re fond of sweet & savory together and this new recipe turned out extremely well.  We’ve already opened the second jar so another batch or two may happen.  We cooked 2-1/2 pounds of onions down to six 4 oz jars of maple and onion goodness.

Onion Maple Conserve, 13 May 2012

The recipe is from a Better Homes and Gardens special interest publication and I’m hoping that’s a safe source for recipes.

I also made two herb vinegars–rice vinegar with chive flowers and apple cider vinegar with tarragon.  They’re stored at the front of the peanut butter and snack cabinet for 4-6 weeks of aging in a warm dark spot where I’ll remember to turn them every day or so.  After that, I’ll filter them thoroughly and bottle them attractively.  I’ll watch the chive flower rice vinegar very carefully because it’s 4.3% acidity instead of the needed 5% for safe food.  I figured that out AFTER I’d put every available chive flower from the garden into it.  (Oops!)

Herbal Vinegars, 13 May 2012

We’re off to a small but happy start preserving our harvests.  Hope everyone is starting to enjoy garden bounty.

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Salad Greens for Breakfast?

Last September, I ran across a Kindle book on green smoothies.  We’ve enjoyed smoothies for years and have been gradually transitioning to healthier ingredient choices.  Originally, our smoothie recipes involved fruit and sweetened yogurt or fruit, sugar and milk.  We’ve slowly moved toward less sugar and less dairy in smoothies. I find that my sinuses are happier when I limit my dairy intake.

The 7-Day Green Smoothie Kickstart Guide was just the latest step.  I’m finding that I actually enjoy choosing a couple of fruits and a green each morning.  Today I blended a banana with water, added half a package of organic frozen strawberries, blended again, topped it off with all the good looking spinach leaves left from the overwintered container. Once blended all together it’s a funny green color, but quite yummy.

Overwintered Spinach, 22 March 2012 (BEFORE it bolted!)

Everyone in the family has been surprised at how good these smoothies taste despite the green colors.  I’m the most consistent consumer of green smoothies, but my husband and daughters often enjoy them too.  Even my mother-in-law has been known to sip one.

Following the recommendations in the book, I try to vary ingredients from day to day.  I’m quite pleased that my grocery store carries organic frozen strawberries, mango cubes and raspberries.  I’ve used lots of fresh oranges and bananas along with pears and other fruits. Frozen greens I use include kale, collards, spinach.  Fresh greens include whatever is available in the garden or store.  Here’s the spring planted salad table with seedling peas, lettuce and volunteer violas.

Spring Planted Salad Greens, 10 May 2012

I have to confess that my other favorite smoothie is butter pecan ice cream and Kahlua…

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