Tag Archives: vanilla

Recipe: Meyer Vanilla Lemonade

One of the many benefits of living in California is the citrus!!!! Because of this I have a collections of dwarf citrus trees in my front yard. I have several Meyer lemon trees because they are my favorite. Meyer lemons are a cross between a lemon and mandarin or orange. They are sweeter than your average lemon and have a thinner skin. One of my favorite things to do with these lemons is make lemonade.

Lemonade in my AgHag chalice.

Lemonade in my AgHag chalice.

Meyer-Vanilla Lemonade

6 to 7 Meyer lemons (about one cup of juice, although I prefer one cup running over)
3/4 cup vanilla sugar*
5 cups water, divided
Ice

This smells like sunshine.

This smells like sunshine.

Bring one cup of water and sugar to a boil to make a simple syrup. Remove from heat and cool. Squeeze lemons, making sure to remove the seeds.
Add cooled simple syrup, lemon juice, and water into a pitcher and mix well. Serve over ice and with a lemon slice.

*Vanilla sugar is just sugar that I keep in a jar with a few gutted vanilla beans. It’s lovely for pastries, drinks and baked goods. It has a slight vanilla flavor that really compliments most things. You could add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the lemonade if you are using plain sugar. But I highly recommend getting a jar of vanilla sugar going for your pantry.

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Vanilla Cantaloupe Jam

My parameters for canning this year have been 1) I have to grow it 2) someone I knew grew it 3) I picked it. I’ve been highly successful with these parameters (plus it helps I live in California, the best place to grow awesome stuff all the time). The only snafu I have encountered is beating my piglet, Silly, to the garden spoils. She is sneaky. Oh so very sneaky.

I accidently on purpose planted a jungle of vines. There's gourd, cucumbers, watermelons, and cantaloupe all in there.

I accidently on purpose planted a jungle of vines. There’s gourd, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, and cantaloupe all in there.

I’ll put her in her outside pen to root and play in her pool. She waits until she thinks I think she is all settled in, then she will bust out and hit the melon patch like it is her job. I’ve lost several cantaloupe, a few spaghetti squashes and more watermelon than I will admit.

I saved them!!!! Success!!!!

I saved them!!!! Success!!!!

Anyway, I was lucky enough to save a few cantaloupe before she could get them. They were slightly green, so I thought the perfect use would be jam. I found a recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Canning 2013 magazine. And jam I made…

Vanilla Cantaloupe Jam

  • 2 1/2 cups chopped and peeled cantaloupe
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, the guts scraped out
  • the zest of a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 pouch liquid fruit pectin
Melon peel, I might have let Silly have one.

Melon peel, I might have let Silly have one.

Place the melon, sugar, and vanilla guts in saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the mixture reaches 220 degrees.  Add the lemon zest, juice and pectin. Let vigorously boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

This smelled so good. I love vanilla and cantaloupe, it's a great blend.

This smelled so good. I love vanilla and cantaloupe, it’s a great blend.

Place jam in jars and process in a hot-water bath for 10 minutes.

It was a small batch and I'm kinda not sure I'm going to share this one.

It was a small batch and I’m kinda not sure I’m going to share this one as gifts, I think it is private reserve.

Also try these recipes!

Cantaloupe jam (Ohio style)

Cantaloupe jam and jalapenos

Cantaloupe jam (Texas style)

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, animals, food, Know a California Farmer, photos, Pigs, Ranch life, Recipe, Uncategorized

Candied Ginger, Vanilla-Blueberry Jam

I reached the zenith of my canning with this recipe. Local blueberries were on sale at our market and I couldn’t help myself, I had to buy some! Blueberries are my favorite. I could eat them everyday and still love them. Silly pig agrees with me, she loves them too. It was only natural I made jam with them.

Glorious blueberries. For cheap.

Glorious blueberries. For cheap.

I searched the internets for a suitable blueberry jam recipe. But I wanted something special. Something unusual. And I couldn’t find what I was looking for. So I had to mash-up a couple of recipes to create something that sounded  amazing to me. Enter candied ginger, vanilla-blueberry jam. I found a great recipe for blueberry jam over at Food in Jars (I love them, so much). But I wanted something more. I had some candied ginger in my pantry and some old vanilla beans I needed to use up, so I decided to combine them all, and I’m glad I did.

Candied ginger and vanilla beans. Heaven.

Candied ginger and vanilla beans. Heaven.

About 6 cups of smashed blueberries (this is around 8-9 cups of whole berries, it kinda depends on the size of your berries)
6 cups sugar
1 cup candied ginger, chopped fine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 vanilla beans, the guts scraped out
two packets liquid pectin

Smash your blueberries.

Smashed berries with sugar. Brought to a boil.

Smashed berries with sugar. Brought to a boil.

Add to a large pot. Add sugar.  Bring to a boil and add cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla guts, lemon juice and ginger and let jam continue to cook (simmer) for about fifteen minutes. Add pectin and bring to a rolling boil for a full five minutes.

Full, roiling boil.

Full, roiling boil.

Remove from from heat and fill sterilized jars. Leave 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust lids. Wipe rims and apply lids that have been cleaned and placed in a warm water bath. Screw on the bands and lower into the water.

My jam, ready for it's water-bath.

My jam, ready for it’s water-bath.

Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Enjoy this yummyness on pankcakes, biscuits, toast  or, my favorite standby, over cream cheese with crackers!

The finished product. It's good. I'm not going to lie to you. It has a very complex flavor that I really enjoyed.

The finished product. It’s good. I’m not going to lie to you. It has a very complex flavor that I really enjoyed.

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Filed under Ag, agriculture, arts & crafts, food, Know a California Farmer, photos, Ranch life, Recipe, Uncategorized