Sunday, September 7, 2014

Bean Soup with & without Ham :)

My daughter is a vegetarian so I make this soup with & without ham.  I tweeked the original recipe from the Ball Blue Book. I doubled the amount of spices from the original recipe.  Doubling gave it the flavors I was looking for.  I was unable to find summer savory so I used thyme instead.  I added carrots too. I also added more salt to the batch that didn't have ham in it.  I may add potatoes next time.

Makes about 6-7 quarts

Ham & Bean Soup
1/2 c dried black beans
1/2 c dried kidney beans
1/2 c dried navy beans
1/2 c dried pinto beans
1/2 c dried Great Northern Beans
1/2 c dried blackeye peas
1/2 c dried split peas
1/2 c dried chick peas
1/2 c dried lentils
8 carrots cut into bite size pieces
4 bay leaves
2 T tarragon
2 T thyme
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Approximately 2 1/2 pounds ham steak cut into bite size pieces. I added the bone while boiling too.
**If not adding ham I add 4 vegtable bullion cubes

Put dries beans in large dutch oven or stock pot, add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to boil, boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat & let beans soak for 1 hour. Drain beans in colander, return to pot add water to cover by 2 to 3 inches.  Add ham & spices. Bring to a boil, cover and boil 30 minutes.  Remove bay leaf & ham bone.

Ladle hot soup into hot jars leaving 1 inch head space. Remove air bubbles wipe off rim & apply 2 piece lids. Process 1 hour 30 minutes at 10 pounds pressure

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Honey Lavender Lemon Jelly

I bought some dried lavender from the farmers market because I wanted to make tea with it.  I kept forgetting to make it. 

One day while making coffee I seen the dried lavender in the cabinet,  next to honey.  I thought, I should make honey lavender jelly.

  After searching the internet for a recipe I finally found one I liked. Of course I made a few adjustments.   I used a very dark amber honey, next time I will either use a light amber honey or add more lemon zest.  Don't get me wrong, this jelly is the bomb as is. I just feel the dark amber honey is over powering the lemon.  Which makes me laugh because I almost omitted the lemon zest.

Honey Lemon Lavender Jelly

2 cups honey
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
2 cups water
1/4 cup dried lavender
3 oz. liquid pectin

Bring the water and lavender to a boil, cover with a lid. Lower heat, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and steep for 1 hour to overnight.

Strain and measure 1/2 cup of the lavender brew, and place in a tall pot. Add honey, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest to your preserving pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir in pectin, and continue to stir frequently until it reaches a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard for one minute

Remove from heat and stir. Pour the jelly into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.Wipe the rims, and seal the jar. Process in a hot water bath for ten minutes. Makes 2 pints.

Monday, September 1, 2014

More Jalapeños

The veggies are starting to wind down, I feel like they just got started. It's been a crazy summer. Snow in May & 80° the next day, rain, rain & more rain. We didn't really hat too many hot days, not that I'm complaining.

I had more tomatoes that we could eat (in a few days) and what seems to be the last of the jalapeños & sweet heat peppers. I decided I would make salsa. I did have to buy onions, mine didn't do so well.  I forgot to plant cilantro so I had to buy that too.

1 cup chopped peppers
1 cup chopped & deseeded tomatoes
1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup cilantro chopped
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of cumin

I simmered all ingredients for 10 minutes, spoined into prepared canning jars and processed in the water bath for 15 minutes.

I think I will add a bit of minced garlic to the next batch. I still have some tomatoes but the peppers are just about done.  I think just 1 or 2 more are growing.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Say what? Corn Cob Jelly?!?!

I think I have finally figured out the trick to making jelly after some flops.  You need to use a deep pot, a thermometer and gloves and/or long sleeves are helpful too.  The temperature needs to brought up to 220°  I'm not exactly sure if it got up to that, I didn't have gloves or long sleeves, I was using to pot lid as a shield from the bubbling,  splattering jelly. Any way it jelled just great.

Corn Cob Jelly, no it doesn't taste like corn. It kinda has a honey taste.

This was my first time growing corn. It did ok, the ears were small, too small to eat on the cob. 
So I blanched the corn for about 4-5 minutes, removed the corn from the cobs and froze it.

12 ears of corn
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 box of pectin
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
5 half pint jelly jars

Put the cobs back in the water and simmer them for at least 1/2 hour. The longer you simmer the more flavor you'll get from the cobs. You will need 3 1/2 cups of liquid. Add more water & simmer again if you don't have enough.

You can strain the liquid or leave the bits of corn in.
Bring corn liquid and lemon juice to a boil, add sugar return to boil for 5 minutes, add pectin & boil hard for 1 minute.

Variations I made to the recipe.
I did add 2 more tablespoons of pectin
I used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon juice, I was in a pinch, the kids used the lemon juice to make lemonade :)
I pureed the little bits of corn and added it to the corn liquid

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Peach Butter

I've never had Peach Butter before, I've had Apple Butter and I love it so I thought I try makig Peach Butter.

4 1/2 pounds of peaches
4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

I blanched the peaches for 40 to 60 seconds.
Gave them an ice water bath for 1 minute, then peeled the skins
I then quarters the peaches, put them in a pot with about 1/2 cup water and simmered them until soft. Into the food processor next,  processed until mushy but not liquid.
Back into the pot with the sugar & cinnamon,  boil HARD until desired consistency.

Filled my prepared jars leaving 1/2 inch head space and processed for 10 minutes in the water bath canner.

It is Delicious.  I may use less cinnamon next time or none at all.

Right after taking taking this pic I dropped my phone into the pot! Completely submerged!  Guess what? It still works!

Jalapeños part 2

My love for jalapeños continues.  The actual recipe is called Jalapeño Jelly but I call it jam, there are pieces jalapeños in it because I do not strain it. 

I will be making a pepper jam next.  I have sweet heat, jalapeños & green peppers that are ripe.  Mom has some banana peppers that I'll put in too.  

Stay tuned for my next jelly, you won't believe what the main ingredient is!

Jalapeño Jam

Here's the Ball Canning recipe I used.

I highly recommend you wear gloves when handling the peppers.

12 oz jalapeño peppers (about 12 med)
2 cups cider vinegar, divided
6 cups sugar
2 3-oz pouches of Ball® RealFruit™ Liquid Pectin 

Green food coloring, optional

5 (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

DIRECTIONS:PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready to use. Do not boil. Set bands & lids aside.
PURÉE peppers in food processor or blender with 1 cup cider vinegar until smooth. Do not strain purée.
COMBINE purée with remaining 1 cup cider vinegar and sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
ADD Ball® RealFruit® Liquid Pectin, immediately squeezing entire contents from pouches. Continue to boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add food coloring, if using, and skim foam if necessary.
LADLE hot jalapeno jelly into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Jalapeño Smoothie anyone???
Cowboy Candy on left, Jalapeño Jam on right


I love hot peppers, they really don't love me though.  I will usually keep eatin' em even though my nose is running, my eyes are running & my mouth is on fire.

I made two different Jalapeño "snacks"  first was Cowboy Candy 

3 pounds fresh jalapenos

2 cups apple cider vinegar

6 cups granulated sugar

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon celery seed

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1. I highly recommended you wear gloves!   Remove stems from all of the jalapenos and slice 1/8 inch thich or so. I used my mandoline slicer.  Love that thing.  Set aside.

2. In a large pot, bring the cider vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Add the pepper slices and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Use a slotted spoon, transfer the peppers into clean sterile canning jars leaving ¼ inch at the top of the jar.

5. Turn up the heat and bring the syrup to a full rolling boil. Boil for 6 minutes. Pour the syrup over the jalapeno peppers in the jars but still leaving ¼ inch from the top. Make sure there are no air pockets by sliding a plastic utensil down the inside of the jars. Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, dampened with vinegar cloth and place lids & rings on the jars.

6. You are now ready to process in a water bath for 10 minutes for pints.  Or you can just refrigerate them. 

7. The hardest step of all....let them sit for 2 weeks to let the flavors blend.

3 pounds of Jalapeños
Apple Cider vinegar, crushed red pepper, minced garlic, turmeric, celery seed and sugar, lots of sugar
Simmering. Diffinalty cleared out the sinuses

Jalapeño Jam coming soon.....
Cowboy Candy on left, Jalapeño Jam on right