Monthly Archives: June 2012

Seasons first canning…

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The first flavors of the summer: Radishes and Rhubarb.

Early Grey Vanilla Rhubarb Jam (adapted from Food In Jars recipe) makes 6-8 jars

  • 16 c chopped rhubarb (about 6 pounds)
  • 2 c brown sugar
  • 1 c honey
  • 2 c double-strength brewed Earl Grey tea
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 packets Pamona’s Universal Pectin (this kind of pectin does not require as much sugar, or any at all)

Directions: Prepare jars and lids in boiling water to sanitize. Meanwhile, bring sugars and tea to a boil in a large pot. Add rhubarb, vanilla, and juice of lemon. Simmer until rhubarb is broken down completely and add pectin as packet directs. Add hot jam to jars, leaving 1/2-1 inch of head space and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

This jam is tasty and tart, but does not have a very strong earl grey flavor. I would suggest adding more tea to the mix, or maybe even the tea leaves themselves. Another note about this recipe is that I used brown sugar, which significantly altered the color. I like the taste of brown sugar and honey  much more, but be prepared to have a much darker product.

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Pickled French Radishes (makes one jar, but is easily adjusted for more)

  • 1 bunch of radishes (i like to leave just a little bit of the green on the top, just to be pretty)
  • 1 c distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • Peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Horseradish root (cut into long strips)

Directions: Sanitize and prepare jars. Heat all ingredients until boiling. Stuff the jars as full as possible with radishes. Add the hot liquid. Wipe rim and seal lid. Place in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

I added the horseradish root because I read that it helps keep crunchiness in pickles. I also love the kick of horseradish and thought it could compliment the bite of the radishes.

Happy canning!

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Back to the Basics

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These past few weeks have been hectic, yet rewarding, with each day being better than the last. I have finally found stability in the last couple of days, and am more eager than ever to continue my search for basic wholesome living. I have managed to get a few canning projects done, but I fear I have missed some fruits and vegetables that I intended to put up or freeze. The rhubarb is pretty much gone, and though I managed to get a few jars of jam, I had many more ideas for the tart stalk. Also, I haven’t seen many radishes, though I think they will be in and out for awhile. My saddest fault was losing track of the asparagus. I tried to eat as much as a I could, but with prices at $9 a pound, I couldn’t afford to can any. Oh well, I guess a Bloody Mary is still a Bloody Mary without a pickled asparagus spear (but just barely).

Fast approaching are those summer coveted fruits: cherries, blueberries, and  raspberries. I caught my first glimpse of the sweet beauties yesterday at the Saturday Farmers’ Market and now I am itching to get out pickin’.  I, with the help of some friends, picked about 30lbs of strawberries recently. But unfortunately my timing was a thing to be scoffed at because family was to show up in the next couple days and then graduation and then more family and so on. So they are resting in the freezer until I have my chance to make jam out of them. This year I am think Strawberry Honey Jam and Strawberry Basil Jelly. I’ll report on that soon.

Stew, the rabbit, is getting pretty big. Shane and I are figuring about one more month before we breed and feed. (That sentence was loaded with horrible jokes, I apologize). But in all seriousness, we will hopefully be breeding him sometime within the next month, and because the male and female bunnies do not get along well (unless they are doing the deed) then we must immediately separate them, meaning we will basically eat Stew soon after.

These past couple months have given me a lot more respect for rabbits; they are cute to the ends of the earth, and will stop at nothing to try to escape. I recently tried to build Stew a run, just for a bit more space and leg room. It was just one problem after the next. I put up a little “picket” fence, and the first thing he tries to do is burrow under it. So while I am searching for rocks to put around the edges, the little shit tries to jump over. I stop my search for rocks and begin to put chicken wire over the top of the run. After the jumping problem was averted, I again go back to searching for rocks. When I turn and look back, half of his body is through the picket fence. So, needless to say, Stew is not allowed in his run. I can tell he has been mad at me ever since, he is constantly kicking water from his bowl up at me, spitting out strawberries I try to give him, and just overall snubbing me. Those tricky rabbits….

My attempt at a garden is going pretty well so far. There is very limited sunshine (especially as of late with all the constant rain) but the potatoes are ferociously taking over the garden, the few tomato plants we have are doing well, and everything is crawling along slowly. I am happy just as long as nothing dies.

Next projects coming up are canning of strawberries, cherries, and dilly beans. Also, I am planning on doing some more sewing of grocery bags and mainly just food related things. My canning recipes will be up within the next couple of days. Happy summer!

Media’s Helping and Hindering Hand in the Organic and Local Food Movement

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Check out my thesis. Let me know your thoughts/critiques/etc please!

j413 final paper

I will have more fun stuff up soon. So much fun to come!

<a rel=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/”><img alt=”Creative Commons License” style=”border-width:0″ src=”http://i.creativecommons.org/l/by-nd/3.0/88×31.png&#8221; /></a><br /><span xmlns:dct=”http://purl.org/dc/terms/&#8221; href=”http://purl.org/dc/dcmitype/Text&#8221; property=”dct:title” rel=”dct:type”>Organic Media: Media's Helping and Hindering Hand in the Organic Food Movement</span> by <a xmlns:cc=”http://creativecommons.org/ns#&#8221; href=”diyjournal.wordpress.com” property=”cc:attributionName” rel=”cc:attributionURL”>Megan French</a> is licensed under a <a rel=”license” href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/”>Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License</a>.