Friday, September 20, 2013

Halton Food Swap

On Tuesday, September 10, we drove to the Burlington Library-Central Branch for the Halton Food Swap.

What is a Food Swap? you ask.  It's kind of like a Christmas Cookie Exchange, but with all kinds of food, -- everything you bring MUST be either foraged, grown, or made by YOU!!  

We arrived around 7 pm & there was already quite a few people there, the event was free but you had to register online at Eventbrite as there was a 25 limit for swappers.  I think by the end of the night there were about 22 swappers with all different kinds of food to swap.  

We set up our items to swap on the table, filled out the forms of what the item was, how to use it & what the ingredients are.  

This is the pile of dishcloths DD made for the swap.
DD's Dishcloths to swap
We were then free to walk around the tables and see what everyone else had to swap.  You then put your name down beside what you want & what you would like to swap it for. 

DD's Swap Form filled out
After mingling & seeing what you would like, the serious swapping begins. 

We came home with, herbs, carrot soap, 5 packages of gluten free cookies, Apple Jam, Rainbow Swiss Chard, Yellow tomato sauce, frozen tomato soup that I just added light cream to & boy it was delicious.  It did not last long.  Also had a little bite to it!  Michelle also put some pears in the trunk of my car & I made Pear Juice with them a couple of day later.  All in all a very successful night! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Grandmother's Golden Relish

The 'Grandmother's Golden Relish' in the book Bernardin Complete Book of Home Preserving has piqued my interest.  I was at Golda's Kitchen a few weeks ago & came across some Clearjel so picked it up.  This recipe calls for Clearjel & I have had a hard time finding it.  Cornstarch is NOT stable for home preserving, you have to use Clearjel. 

The field cucumbers & the red & green pepper were chopped, mixed together, covered and set aside for 12 hours or overnight.  I elected to leave them overnight and start the canning process in the morning.

Spices getting to a boil
Cucumber mixture added to the spice mixture.  Looking Yummy!!
Finished 'Grandmother's Golden Relish'
'Grandmother's Golden Relish'
Bruce tried the Golden Relish at dinner time & finished it off.  I think this one is a definite winner!!  Must make more next year.  I am sure this will not last long.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Canning Palooza - Part 3 or What I Did On The Long Labour Day Weekend!

This canning marathon started on August 31, 2013.  I was up at 6:00 am & on my way to the St. Catharines Market for pickling cucumbers, peppers & field cucumbers.  I had all the rest of the ingredients & canning supplies in boxes at home ready to be put into the car.  We left the house at around 9:45 am & headed down the QEW to Burlington.  This was our destination for the Canning Palooza marathon.

Car loaded and ready to go!
We arrived at our friend Michelle's apartment after phoning for directions--never completely trust Google Maps.  Unloaded the car, read the instructions for the recipes we were going to make--Tomato Ketchup, Traditional Bread & Butter Pickles, Cucumber Relish & Crabapple Jelly, we never did get to the Crabapple Jelly & started to peel, & chop the cucumbers, peppers & field cucumbers. 

First we made Cucumber Relish, then onto the Traditional Bread & Butter Pickles--lots of references to Larry being jarred up!! then Tomato Ketchup.  The Ketchup was to take the longest time, it did not want to reduce.  The recipe said it was to take about 45 minutes, well it definitely took longer than 45 minutes, more like 5 hours.  Finally it did reduce to the consistency of commercial ketchup and was canned.  We got home at 10:00 pm & fell into bed.  Definitely a successful day!

Didn't get any pics of this canning.  Girls were too busy peeling & chopping!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What Is At The Top Of Your Canning List for Equipment?

What is the one piece of equipment for canning you absolutely cannot do without?  

Mine is not exactly equipment. I can have ALL the nifty gadgets but this is the one thing I absolutely cannot do without!!
My Skechers:  A Very Good Pair of Runners
These skechers are the best, most comfortable runners I have ever had!!  They make my life a lot easier when it comes to canning!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Canning Palooza - Part 2

I ordered a bushel of 'Marianna' tomatoes from Domio Farm on Seventh Avenue in St. Catharines.   They called me to tell me that the tomatoes were ready.  I picked them up, now I had to can them.  Bruce & Zebrina went to work & Calluna and I set out to can the bushel of tomatoes.  It took us 3 hours to crush the tomatoes--Note to self, look into getting an electric tomato machine. 

Still have 3/4 of a bushel to go!
Crushing the tomatoes
Sneaking a break!
By the time I was finished I had extremely sore feet--Note to self, wear your good runners! I had canned 27 - 500 ml jars of tomato sauce & 1 1L size.  I wanted to see if the 1 L size would fit in my canner & how it went.  It was great.  Need to do more 1L jars. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Canning Palooza - Part 1

Canning Palooza started with a gift of a 3L basket of blackberries that were quickly turned into Blackberry Jelly.  It was very yummy!!

Blackberry Jelly

After the blackberries, I bought a master case of Red Haven Peaches and processed them into jars for the winter.  Bruce & the girls love peaches for lunch. 

Peaches waiting in the 'Fresh Fruit' solution to be peeled.
My Canning Buddy Peeling the Peaches
Peaches waiting to be jarred and canned.
Peaches in Jars
Canner on the Stove
Red Haven Peaches
Red Haven Peaches & Peach Juice
The peach juice was from the peach peelings.  I boiled them in the light syrup I had left from canning & then strained the liquid through a jelly bag & got peach liquid.  It will make a nice addition to smoothies in the winter.

Next was a bushel of 'Marianna' Tomatoes for Basic Tomato sauce.  There was a message the bushel I ordered was ready to be picked up.