Tag Archives: canning

Apple Butter

I made an apple pie for Thanksgiving and had some leftover apples, so I made apple butter. It’s so yummy on toast or pancakes. I based my recipe on this one from the National Center for Home Food Preservation. The main differences are the size of the batch, the way the puree is made, and also I didn’t can my apple butter. You definitely could though. Since I made such a small batch, it wasn’t worth it to me. If you do want to can your apple butter, just follow the instructions on the webpage I linked to above. I didn’t have apple cider or apple cider vinegar, but I imagine using them could only make your apple butter more full of apple flavor!

Apple butter should be thick like this when it's finished cooking.

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Canning Applesauce

Is it still apple season in America? It is here. Well, apple season isn’t as exciting here as it is in Michigan. Usually we only have one variety of apples and they’re expensive compared to the other fruit, but in apple season we have two kinds! All of you who can get honeycrisp apples should – you’re so lucky!

But you don’t really need special apples for apple sauce, just lots of them. I found the recipe at the National Center for Home Food Preservation. I pretty much just followed the recipe, added some cinnamon, and pureed it at the end with a wand blender. It ended up tasting just like the Mott’s Cinnamon Applesauce that my mom always had when I was little 🙂

Old Newspaper Clipping – Pickled Okra Recipe

When we were visiting my parents, we went to lunch one day with them and some of their friends. One of the friends remembered that we grow okra in our garden, so she saved this clipping for us. I think she said she found it one of her mom’s cookbooks from the 50’s. I said something like, “Thank you! I’ll write it down as soon as I can so you can have the clipping back,” and she said, “No! You can keep it! I have no interest in eating okra.”

Well, sad for her that she doesn’t like okra, but I’m glad to have this little momento. I haven’t tried this recipe, but I do have another recipe for pickled okra that’s pretty good.

If you try this recipe, please let me know how it goes!

Mulberry Syrup

Silk is made by silkworms (caterpillars actually) and silkworms will only eat mulberry leaves. This means that the silk farm nearby has to grow mulberry plants and they sell mulberries – a happy bi-product of silk! I had lots of mulberries in my freezer from last mulberry season (February and March), but I need to defrost my freezer, so I decided to do something with those mulberries. This syrup doesn’t need refrigeration if it’s canned properly.

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Canned Tomatoes

Canning tomatoes reminds me of a small dark room in my grandparents’ basement. It had 2 walls lined with shelves that were full of canned things. I think I remember pickled okra, sweet pickles, dill pickles, tomatoes, and peppers (there was probably more too). My Grandma also had a deep freezer in that room. She grew lots of tomatoes and probably had to can them to deal with the quantity. We’ve tried twice to grow tomatoes here, but it hasn’t worked, so I canned some tomatoes from the market. In the dry season, it’s too dry and cold for tomatoes and in the rainy season, it’s too wet and buggy! This time I only canned 2 kilos, but next time I would can more to be more efficient with the water and energy used in processing the jars.

Once again, I went to the National Center for Home Food Preservation website for directions on canning. I used this recipe: Whole or Halved Tomatoes. I don’t know why the recipe specifies that the lemon juice should be bottled. Maybe it has something to do with regulating acidity. I don’t have bottled lemon juice, only juice from lemons, so I used vinegar instead to be on the safe side.

Plum Jam From Our Own Trees!

Last week our plum trees were full of ripe plums. I went out to pick them and brought in a bowl containing two and a half kilos of plums! About 30 minutes later, there was a soft knock at the door. It was some little neighbor boys asking if they could pick some plums too. So cute! They’ve been coming back almost everyday to pick more plums, but I’m pretty sure they’ve picked all of them by this point. Continue reading

I’m back!

“I keep checking your blog, but every time, you’re still searching for your grandma’s rolls. You haven’t posted since November! Did you run out of new ideas?” exclaimed many of my friends and relatives.

I know, I know, I haven’t posted in half a year. There’s a good reason though. I ran out of space on my computer and simply could not fit one more picture on there. It got to the point where my computer was barely working because it was so full. And what good is a blog post without a picture?

James and Sarah around Christmas time

But now the problem is solved because we got a tiny little backup storage device to hold all of my pictures and now I can blog again! I have no more excuses and will be blogging more often. Tomorrow there will be a post about amaranth leaves.

By the way, if you have the problem of constantly checking on your friends’ blogs only to find they still haven’t updated, Google Reader is a solution to that problem. If you have a Gmail account already, it’s really easy. You sign into Gmail and click on “Reader” at the top. Then you enter all of the blogs you want to follow and Google Reader tells you when anyone has a new post. I know this is old news for some of you, but it might be helpful for others.

A lot has happened since November – I got canning jars for Christmas, taught twin boys how to read, and went to New York City for a good friend’s wedding. I’m also thinking of starting a cake baking service since most Lao people don’t have ovens, but do like cake. I think you’ll be hearing more about canning and cakes in the future.