Tag Archives: summer
Everyone needs a friend like Aaron. Aaron is my friend from college that everyone liked and everyone knew. For some reason, he stayed friends with me and pretty much fulfills my happy place when it comes to food. He works in production agriculture so he hooks this girl up with wonderful things like walnuts, oils, and apricots! I try and keep him elbow deep in jam and jelly – everyone seems happy so far.
Aaron got me something like 40 pounds of apricots this year. I love apricots, they are sweet little golden nuggets of warm delicious goodness. They made a fabulous jam. And jam I did! I made plain apricot, ginger, vanilla, but the best was apricot jalapeno! Something about sweet and spicy brings me joy.
- 3 cups finely chopped apricots (about 25 medium)
- ½ cup minced jalapeno
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 3-oz pouch liquid pectin
- 1/2 tsp butter (optional, it keeps the foam down)
- 5-3/4 cups sugar
Mix apricots, jalapeno, lemon juice and sugar in large saucepan. Add butter. Bring to a rolling boil, one that cannot be stirred down. Add pectin and boil hard for one minute. Remove from heat and skim any foam. Place in jars, adjust lids and bands. Process in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes.
Serve this jam on cream cheese with wheat thins, or as a marinade on chicken or pork. It’s so good!
Adapted from here.
In honor of “sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor’s porch” night, I thought this would be a good time to share with you my latest new favorite thing: zucchini pickles. I know, I know, at this point in the summer you are tired of squash. I was too, until I tried these!
Neighbor Pete told me his Mom used to make pickles out of zucchini and they were delicious. I was hesitant to say the least. But since he gave me several pounds of zucchini and a couple of onions from his garden, I decided to at least try!
Guess what? They were amazing. I couldn’t even tell they were zucchini pickles, they tasted and had the texture of normal cucumber pickles! If you have a bunch of extra zucchini (who doesn’t, amirite?) I highly recommend you give these a go!
- 1 gallon sliced zucchini
- 2 big onions, sliced
- 1/3 cup pickling salt
- 1 quart vinegar
- 3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
Soak the zucchini, onions, and salt in an ice water bath for two and half hours. Rinse in cold water.
Bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil. I let it boil about 5 minutes. Put about half of the rinsed zucchini and onions in the pickling mixture to scald. Then place in sterilized, hot jars. Do the same with the rest of the zucchini and onions, making sure to pack them tightly and to remove air bubbles.
Adjust your lids and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Let them “pickle” for about two weeks to really get the full effect. Also if you are a fan of spice, add some peppers in there! I’ve been adding jalapenos into some jars and it makes the pickles even better!
As you recall I made a tomato jam earlier in the summer. It was glorious, I mean, honestly, on a sandwich, it almost made me cry. I also made a port-balsamic jelly which was pretty good. Naturally this got me to thinking about more balsamic recipes and more tomato recipes.
Then my Mom found and made this recipe. It tasted amazing. But I thought it could be more vinegar-y and more basil-y. So I played around and came up with this version. It’s a whisper more savory than the other recipe I posted before. I like this one better, simply because of the vinegar taste. I love vinegar.
Balsamic Tomato Basil Jam
- 3 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes (I leave the skins and seeds in, I worked hard to grow my tomatoes and I like the texture)
- 1/2 cups good balsamic vinegar (I recommend Lucero brand)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 3 teaspoons finely minced garlic (I used fresh, but the stuff in the jar works great too)
- 1/4 cup finely minced onion (we’ve made it with and without, both are good)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons Ball classic pectin
- 3 cups sugar
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
Put the first 9 ingredients in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, and stir well.
Place over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. Mix in the sugar. When the full rolling boil takes place again, start timing and cook jam for 6 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in basil and fill jars. Process jars in boiling water bath for 15 minutes.
This is fabulous on sandwiches, over cream cheese, on toast, straight from the jar. I’m probably going to make a few more batches to give as gifts, it’s that good.
My little garden is kicking some serious garden butt. Now that the deer leave it alone, my green thumb finally has a chance to be green, and it feels good man. Even though I cannot stand fresh tomatoes (go here to read why), I still feel a sense of duty to plant them. I mean, come on, what kind of summer garden doesn’t have a couple tomato plants? Plus they remind me of my Papa.
Anyway, I have so many tomatoes I had to find something to do with them other than make salsa and feed them to Silly pig. Since I am in the middle of my canning obsession, it’s only natural I canned them. I found a recipe that I would actually eat – and out to the garden I went (I love having a garden)!
from Better Homes and Gardens
2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled (I didn’t peel mine because, well, why? I wanted the texture.)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 package powdered fruit pectin or 6 tablespoons powdered fruit pectin
Seed, core and finely chop the tomatoes. They should equal 3 1/2 cups. Place in heavy bottomed pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Measure 3 1/3 cups tomatoes, return to the pot. Stir in lemon juice and basil.
In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the pectin; stir into the tomato mixture. Bring to a full roiling boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the remaining 2 3/4 cups sugar. Return to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim any foam off.
Ladle hot jam into hot sterilized half-pint canning jars. Leave 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust lids.
Process jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes.
A few more resources for you:
Tomato Jam (it has apple!) – http://userealbutter.com/2012/09/09/jennies-tomato-jam-recipe/
More information about breeding tomatoes – http://monsantoblog.com/2012/08/10/an-afternoon-with-meg-doug-the-tomato-dude/
An old family recipe – http://www.gratefulprayerthankfulheart.com/2013/04/grandmom-gaskills-tomato-jam.html
More about Monsanto – http://www.lenejohansen.com/?p=863
Food in Jars! – http://foodinjars.com/2010/09/tomato-jam/