I love Corn Relish. It is a salad I make a few times over the course of a summer and I thought it would be great to be able to open a jar of fresh picked corn during the drab seasons. Last night as I was reading through Corn Relish recipes I had a change of heart. The long cooking time, followed by the long processing time, equals mushy. I do not want mushy corn.
Instead, I put up some more pickles.
These are the spicy variety. I used red pepper flakes and fresh dill. I am not sure how many jars of pickles I put up last year, but it was not enough. We ran out a few months ago. I may do one more batch. Youngest Son loves pickles.
With that I am out of 1/2 pint jars, have 1 pint jar, and half a dozen quarts. I do not think I will purchase more 1/2 pints. We are jammed up and I do not envision any more jam sessions this year. I should pick up a few cases of pint sized jars. There are still LOTS of vegetables I want to work with. Peaches are the only thing I can think of that will require quart jars, so I will probably wait to see of those will be needed. After this summer and fall I can't imagine that I will need to buy jars ever again. fingers crossed
The blueberries are pretty tasty this year. I used the Blueberry Jam recipe from the Ball book. It predicted 8, 1/2 pints of jam. My yield was 10, 1/2 pints and most of a pint jar. The 10, 1/2 pint jars were all I had in the house.
This morning was for Drunken Cherries. I had a question about what makes a Drunken Cherry. Booze. In this case brandy. You could also use Kirsch, but I happened to have some brandy left over from a batch of sangria. Drunken Cherries, or any kind of fruit, is a fairly new term. Many recipe books will call the fruit "spirited".
I used a recipe from the current Edible Seattle. I was expecting 5 pints and I was surprised when my yield was 8.
If you are planning to make something similar, I have two things to pass along.
~ Pit and can the cherries in two separate sessions, the pitting is going to take longer than you think.
~Standing over a pot of hot alcohol first thing in the morning takes a strong stomach, next time I will wait until after lunch.
Tomorrow is for Blueberry Jam! The last time I tried to make Blueberry Jam I ended up with Blueberry Syrup. I'm smarter now and have high hopes.
Today turned out to be a bad day for canning. The kitchen remodel has begun in earnest. By the time I returned home from the store with 5 pounds of cucumbers, there was a thick layer of sawdust over every inch of the kitchen. I will need to confine my canning to the wee hours of the morning before the rest of the house is up and about. I'm OK with that.
Here is the schedule for next week:
Monday - cucumber pickles
Tuesday - drunken cherries
Wednesday - blueberry jam
Thursday - corn relish
Friday will be the make up day, just in case. I am pretty sure Friday will also be, buy more jars day.
This evening, for the first time in at least a week, I sat down to knit. Seems I have forgotten how. I was not able to make it all the way around a simple sock without have to fix a mistake. When I say simple, I mean simple. *k5,p1* It is time to admit the brain is fried. I have some work to do tomorrow, no more than 2 hours, then a little downtime/recharge is in order.
Should I make Drunken Cherries or Cucumber Pickles?
While I have great plans for jars and jars of cucurbits this year (go ahead and look up cucurbits, I will wait), not much is in season here yet. I did manage to find some local zucchini. HHMM, zucchini pickles? Sure, why not. First thing do do was to bring home 5 medium sized zucchini. Second order of business was to procure the perfect zucchini pickle making tool.
I imagine this will be used again at Jardiniere time.
I leafed through a number of canning books and settled on Bread and Butter Zucchini Pickles. I have no idea what makes a pickle a Bread and Butter pickle, or if I even like Bread and Butter pickles, but this whole challenge is about learning something new. So pressed on.
5 zuccs made 2 pints of pickles.
In three weeks I will know if I like them enough to make more.
BREAD AND BITTER ZUCCHINI
4 pounds zucchini, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup pickling salt
2/14 cups vinegar
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds (I goofed and added 1 tablespoon, only time will tell if it is a problem)
Put the zucchini in a bowl and toss with salt. Cover with 2 trays of ice cubes. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours. Drain well.
Bring to a boil the vinegar, sugar and spices. Add the zuccs, slowly bring back to a boil and simmer 5 - 7 minutes. Once they turn from bright to dull green, they are heated through.
Ladle zuccs into pint jars, add liquid to 1/2 headspace. Boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
The UPS man must have been up very early this morning. When I opened the front door to retrieve the morning papers, I found this on my doorstep.
I want to knit pretty much everything in here. Right now. There is a great variety of projects. Mittens, socks, scarves, shawls, vests...knit in a variety of ways, colorwork, cables, and lace. The first thing I want to make is the Elemental Pullover (rav link). This book is a keeper and you will find me snuggled up with it and yarn in the near future.