Homemade Sauerkraut

This past summer we grew three large cabbages.  I planted four but at the end of the season we had a rainy spell and one ended up rotting from the inside out.  Each cabbage ended up weighing in at about 10 pounds once it was trimmed down to the edible portion.

Since the variety I planted was a white kraut cabbage, I figured I should try making some.  Besides, one can only eat so much cole slaw.

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I found this amazing tutorial on how to make sauerkraut in small batches: http://www.killerpickles.com/klassic-kraut/

I wanted to do it in small batches because if something went awry I didn’t lose the whole batch and all my time and effort.Read More »

Jalapeno Hot Sauce

Ready to add some zing to your pantry?

A few years ago I had a less-than-sucessful attempt at homemade barbecue sauce.  We didn’t have a food mill back then.  That, coupled with the fact that I may have added ingredients at the wrong time, left me with a sauce that had a weird mouth feel and not much flavor besides tomato.  Ever since we got our food mill I’ve been itching to give a homemade, tomato-based condiment another try.

I have a lot of jalapenos in the garden, and I already have an abundance of pickled jalapenos from 2013 in the pantry.  So, I needed to do something different with them.  I decided to take a few jalapenos and my meager crop of tomatoes and try my hand at a homemade hot sauce.Read More »

Relish the Thought (Canning Dill Relish)

No matter how thorough you are, there always seem to be a couple pickling cucumbers that hide from you and by the time you find them they’re about the size of a pint jar… or bigger.  You don’t need to let those cucumbers go to waste, they’re perfect for making relish.  If you don’t have pickling cucumbers you can go ahead and make this with slicing cucumbers.  I did.

Homemade pickle relish is delicious, and it’s not difficult to make your own.  A food processor makes short work of prepping all the ingredients.  A couple-hour soak in salted water is followed by a short boil, then simply pack in into jars and process it in a water bath canner.Read More »

Making Tomato Paste

Well it has certainly been a busy week!  I can’t believe it’s been almost a week since I last posted.  Last Friday we took a trip to the zoo!  It was our toddler’s first time and she had lots of fun.  She really liked the seals and the monkeys, and loved her first ride on a carousel.  Little Dude had fun too – he especially liked the butterfly house with all the bright flowers and the butterflies swooping around him.

Back home we canned a few more beans (just 5 pints) and lots of corn (21 quarts and 5 pints).  I made zucchini bread (my vengeful zucchini took less than a month from germination to harvest).

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The variety is “Tondo di Piacenza.”  It’s round!  I’ll get you a photo of the plant next time… next time will be soon, there’s another little zucchini on already.

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Canning Corn

If you’ve been following me all summer you know we planted quite a bit of corn.  Roughly a quarter of an acre.  We started eating it about two weeks ago, but the time has come to start preserving it for future use… because there’s a lot of corn.

We planted three different varieties with three different maturities, so luckily all of our corn isn’t coming due at once.  We’re right in the midst of our earliest variety, and we just picked the first few ears from the second variety for dinner Saturday night.  All of what we canned this time was harvested from the earliest variety.

First you need to pick (or buy) a bunch of corn.

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7 Tips for a Successful Canning Day (that you might not think of)

Over the years we’ve done a lot of canning, and we’ve gotten more efficient at it.  We know who is better at doing what (my husband peels the tomatoes, I’m faster at halving and seeding).  Just like anything, you find little tricks along the way that they just don’t cover in cookbooks and users manuals.  Here are 7 tips for a successful canning day that you might not think of.Read More »

Kale Powder

Due to my abundant crop of kale, I’ve begun making kale-infused smoothies for breakfast.  I always wanted to get into smoothies, but the idea of hauling out the blender and all the cleanup that entailed wasn’t appealing to me.  Suddenly, this past weekend I remembered the Magic Bullet set we got for our wedding and pulled that out.  I’m pretty much obsessed with that thing now.  I’ve literally been blending my iced coffee just because I can.

Yesterday morning as I was blending my smoothie, I was thinking about what I could do to preserve my kale to continue adding it to my smoothies long after the growing season is over.  I would never buy kale.  Maybe our small-town grocery store is a bad example, but I checked the price last time I was at the store… ouch!  I thought for a minute about freezing my kale into kale cubes, but between beef and milk (for the baby) we don’t have much freezer space.  As it turns out, the obvious solution was on the shelf right next to me – my dehydrator!Read More »