A lot of holiday seasons go by where I am totally and utterly irresponsible with my spending habits. I think, "It's Christmas! I can spend as much money as I need to on presents. It's called the Season of Giving for a reason!" This mindset always comes back to bite me in January, because while it is fun to go shopping for gifts, it's not fiscally smart to blow your whole bank account. This year, I've decided to be more thoughtful in my gifting, while also trying to save money. Homemade gifts, if done well, are the best to receive. And what's more homey than a canned recipe? While I'm trying to decide what to can and give, I've found a lot of great recipes along the way, and I'm sharing them with you today! Keep reading for my favorite canned gifts to make and give in bulk.
I don't know about you, but one of the things I hate about winter (and there are many) is the lack of fresh vegetables from the garden or local farm stand. There's nothing like a fresh tomato picked that very day. But today we have some tips for preserving that delicious bounty of produce that we will soon lack. These ideas will help you to eat healthier throughout the long run, and they'll also help you to waste less food in the short term. Read on for tons of great ideas!
I love growing and cooking my own vegetables, though sadly due to space restrictions in our yard, the only fruit I'm able to grow is a lowly Eureka lemon tree.
Not that lemons are something to be sniffed at; in summer we drink amazing lemon minted water out on the porch, make our own cordials and desserts, and as we move into fallI collect the bounty and preserve them for one of our favorite dishes, chicken tagine.
Preserved lemons are commonly used in North African dishes, and their salty taste and texture lends complexity to the simplest dishes like sauteed vegetables.
While preserving them takes little more than a mason jar and salt, my recipe below takes it up a notch and boosts the flavor.
A little sweet, a little tangy, a lot bacon-y. With the bacon trend showing no signs of going away – or even slowing down – it was only a matter of time before the treat made its way even deeper into the foodie realm. This time in a gourmet "jam" that you can make in your own kitchen. If you're thinking this is just going to be a greasy, fatty mess... STOP , because we promise you will be oh so pleasantly surprised.
The other day I ate an entire package of raspberries in one sitting (which I suppose is better than a whole can of Pringles, right?). If you have a little more patience and, you know, actually plan to can, freeze, or gift your garden's fruit, may I suggest printing out these very cute, very FREE downloadable labels and gift tags?
With basic canned cherries accomplished, I thought it might be fun to try a twist on preserving the rest of the cherries. I'd seen 'bourbon cherries' in gourmet shops...fresh whole cherries swimming in bourbon, adding that smoky oakiness to the cherries, and the cherries giving their sweetness to the bourbon. Here's...
So....with more than five pounds of cherries left from syrup making, I realized I was gonna have to get these dudes processable so that, come winter time, I'd be to able use them in a variety of ways. Creating pie filling for freezing was an option, as well as just throwing the cherries whole into the freezer, but I wanted to be able to keep them versatile for whatever...
My favorite foodie blog Chow provides a how-to to the mysterious, meticulous, and precarious process of canning produce. The article outlines the two safe, USDA-approved approaches, and even includes a video by canning authority June Taylor.