Saturday, September 15, 2012

Canning 2012

 This year our garden was very unproductive, partly from lack of water, but mainly from neglect. Shame on us.  We were out of town way too much for a garden to thrive.  Anyway we still have been blessed by good sales, local produce and friends who have fruit in their back yards.  This is a photo of me canning green gage plums.  They were given to us by a friend and neighbor and were delicious.  They look a little like olives in the jar after processing but I'm sure they will be delicious this winter. 
I was able to buy some great chilis from our local nursery/farmer's market.  Every fall they have chilis and they will even roast them for you.  I didn't have them roasted because I wasn't ready to put them up yet so I roasted them myself.  I bought Ancho chilis and the man selling them seemed worried that they would be too hot for us to eat.  I didn't tell him that my crew likes it hotter the better.  I got a half bushel box of these for $20.00.  This produced 21 1/2 pint jars.  This is cheaper than buying them in the store, even on sale.

Peaches. Sprouts had peaches on sale for .69 cents/pound.  They are Washington peaches and weren't the best I had seen but were very tasty and I canned them with a light syrup.  I also have another box that I got from our food co-op Bountiful Baskets and am going to can those too.  They are Utah peaches and are not quite ripe yet.  I'll do those on Tuesday.  I have a box of pears that I bought from the grocery store for  .79 cents/pound and need to do those today.

This is a box of nectarines that my friend Jeannie gave me.  My boys went and picked them.  They are white fleshed and delicious.  I had a couple sliced up on my oatmeal this morning.  Delicious!
 Other things I have canned this season are tomatoes, bought from Sprouts also, for .69 cents/pound.  I put up 50 pounds of those boys. 
I am planning to can a 40 lb bag of dry beans and also some chicken.  It is nice to have cannned beans onhand and makes preparing a dinner a lot quicker.
  I have not bought from Bountiful Baskets before and today was our first time.  We got 2 baskets that had fruit and vegetables and also an Italian package, 5 loaves of 9 grain bread, the peaches and two flats of strawberries that are now in the freezer.  I am going to freeze some strawberries and can the sweet potatoes.  I had better get busy.
We are truly blessed to have all this bounty!

Homemade Mozarella Cheese

A couple of years ago I was reading this book, and she told

about making homemade cheese and going to a cheese making class in New England.  I couldn't stand it so I got up and went and googled said cheesemaking company and found this place:
30 Minute Mozzarella & Ricotta Kit Mozzarella, Ricotta, Mozzarella Cheese, Cheese Making, Fresh Mozzarella, homemade mozzarella cheese, how to make mozzarella cheese, homemade cheese, cheesemaking at home, how to make mozzarella, homemade mozzarella
They are a real cheese making supply and instruction place.  I found myself ordering a kit  for a homemade mozzarella that only takes 30 minutes to make.  It is like magic.  You heat the milk and add a few things and then heat it again in the microwave and then you have shiny, stretchy and delicious cheese.  We had purchased some heirloom tomatoes from Sprouts
and I had some basil in my pots and so we made a capresi salad.  Stuart had not seen me making cheese since he came  home from his mission so he was impressed.  The salad above is the result of this effort.  I have also used it on pizza, and just eating out of hand.  It is delicious.  You should try it sometime.