Tag Archives: chutney

Putting by has commenced

Putting by” is an old-fashioned term for preserving food for eating long after the harvest or butchering.  This is a challenge each summer and fall to try to store enough from the garden, the orchard, and the coops, to help us stay local and to reduce our winter food budget/footprint.

One of the easiest items that go on the pantry shelves are pickled jalapenos.  Jim and eldest son both love them and eat them with most dinners.  Some years the last jar gets opened just as the first peppers are harvested from the garden.  This year, too many peppers went into salsa and the freezer, as some of my plants last year produced the jumbo variety.  We had to buy 2 cans of commercially canned ones.  The first 3 jars have been pickled and are curing.

Today, a few bell peppers, a handful of Dragon Thai peppers, and the first Habenero were harvested.  The Thai and Habeneros will be made into hot sauces as more are harvested.  As they come in to the house, they are washed, stemmed, and put in a jar of good vinegar or frozen.  When there are enough in the jar, they will be ground, garlic, salt, a grated carrot added, cooked until smooth, jarred in half pint jars and canned.

Daughter and SIL purchased a fruit share from a Farm to Table group and this time of year, the share has been heavy in berries which they enjoy, peaches that they don’t care for fresh, and spring green cooking apples.  Today to make sure the peaches didn’t all spoil, I bought two mangos, a box of golden raisens, and good sized chunk of fresh ginger, and made 7 pints of Mango/Peach Chutney.  It smelled heavenly cooking and after canning it, one did not seal so I got to taste it before storing it in the refrigerator.  It tastes just like real Indian Chutney.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Tomorrow, the second batch of green apples will be made into applesauce along with some of the apples that were frozen last year.  There are already 5 pints of applesauce made from the first batch of the apples that they brought home.  There will be fewer apples from our orchard this year.  We had a late frost that killed all of the flowers on the three trees that produce our eating apples.  We will get some fruit from the smaller cooking apple trees and a small harvest of Asian pears.

This is a start to our old tradition of putting by.

Tomorrow, the fiber challenge ends.  Today, I went out with a bang, finishing the second bobbin of the red Pohlworth, plyed it into 205 yards of sport weight yarn.  Tonight it is resting and will be washed tomorrow.  I still have some of the lime green alpaca and merino blend to finish and one fiber that was in my plan did not get done, but it will eventually.  I need to get busy knitting or sell some of the yarn I am making, it is accumulating quickly.

Labor Day of Love

I may be retired, but not idle. If anything, I am busier than when I worked outside our home, coming home to prepare dinner and keep household chores under control

.This weekend, I chose to dedicate to putting by, as the old timers say. No sitting around for me. The harvested basket of mostly pears and some apples from our young orchard, along with about ten pounds of purchased apples were preserved so as not to lose them to spoilage.

IMG_0242[1]

This basket plus the purchased apples, produced with lots of labor and love, and the help of several  recipes:

8 pints of Pear sauce with vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger; 4 pints of applesauce ( must get more apples); 5 1/2 pints of Ginger Pear Conserve with walnuts; 5 pints of Apple Pear and Cranberry Chutney; 4 1/2  pints of a nice spicy Pear Apple Chutney.

While the Chutney was cooking today, I harvested a bucket of tomatoes, tomatillos, and various hot and mild peppers. One pint of jalapeños was pickled, tomatillos were frozen until I’m ready to use them in a sauce or salsa, tomatoes were frozen to make them easier to peel later this week when another batch of pasta sauce or chili tomatoes is canned. There is still a pile of mammoth jalapeños that need to be sliced and frozen and the Bell peppers that aren’t going into tonight’s Greek stew need to be sliced into strips or diced and frozen for winter use.

The peppers are thriving with the seasonable days and cooler nights. The pumpkins are threatening to engulf the entire garden. Something has been munching on the sweet potato vines, perhaps it is time to dig them and let them begin to cure. The heirloom paste tomatoes are beginning to redden and there are many left to pick, though I am sure there will be far fewer canned tomatoes and salsas than last year. The tiny Tabsco peppers are ripening and there are many of them, so some hot sauce will be made later in the season.

IMG_20150907_165753

It feels good seeing the shelves begin to fill, the freezer with beans, squash, and beets. The basement refrigerator with pickled cucumbers and peppers and soon to have kraut and kimchi. Knowing that there are 26 chickens being raised humanely to help put pasture raised meat on the table. And greens growing in the garden.

Daughter and her family are due back soon from their weekend away, so the rest of dinner prep and some kitchen clean up is in order. Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day as much as I did mine.

Progress but a long way to go!

Today I tackled the basket of apples and Asian pears picked from our fledgling orchard yesterday. Last year I discovered this book.

IMG_20150906_163814

And another by her, preserving by the pint. Sometimes I follow the recipe, sometimes it is a springboard to create my own. Last fall I used one of her recipes to create my own Apple Cranberry Chutney. As the orchard harvest was mostly pears, it was modified to be 1/3 apples and 2/3 pears. Five pints of Chutney prepped and canned and it didn’t put a dent in the basket of pears. One of her recipes is for Ginger Pear Conserve, so I chopped double the called for quantity of pears, two oranges instead of one and doubled the rest of the ingredients to make 5 1/2 pints of the Conserve. It smelled so heavenly cooking with all of the ginger.

IMG_20150906_163828

I’ve used only about half of the basket of pears

IMG_20150906_163837

After dinner, a few more were processed using the peeler corer and chopping them small.  With a splash of lemon juice, some vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger, it cooked down.

IMG_20150906_185632

Five pints of pear sauce canned.  One quart of chunks partially cooked and refrigerated as the base ring on my blender cracked and came off in my hand with half a blender full of hot cooked pear.  Tomorrow, I will try to buy a cheap hand mill and make a second batch of the pear sauce using the remaining partially cooked pears and peel and core the rest that won’t be stored for eating with sharp cheese.  While they canned, I ordered the replacement ring for my blender.  I love it as it has a glass jar and a strong motor.

All in all, it was a productive afternoon.

 

Olio – October 24, 2014

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

Our internet issues seem to be finally resolved, many months and many mistakes later, we are back with our original cell provider and our original internet/phone provider.  The lines have been repaired, the speed boosted as much as it can be boosted given our physical distance from the nearest booster from our small community cooperative telephone/internet provider.  They also provide cable TV service, but their HD is not HD, so we opt to receive cable elsewhere.  Life was so much simpler with an antenna, a house phone line, no internet and no cell phones; cheaper too.

The sweater was ripped out and restarted using a yoke pattern instead of a raglan pattern, the sleeves have been put on waste yarn and the body is being worked slowly.  This pattern is from one of Ann Budd’s formula books, so it should fit.

wpid-img_20141021_105632.jpg

The twisty rib pattern at the top is interesting.  Hopefully it will block into a nice yoke for the sweater that is otherwise very plain.

As the sweater has already gotten too bulky to want to tote around with me when I am the car passenger, I finally started the mitts that are made of Unplanned Peacock Superwash Merino in a colorway named for me as it was dyed especially for me to match a skein I purchased from her several years ago and from which I designed and made Ruby Hat (http://goo.gl/yAfQV) and later Ruby Scarf (http://goo.gl/uzjTFo), both free patterns on Ravelry.  Ruby Hat is my favorite hat and has its own story, but that is for another day.  The mitts are also being made from one of Ann Budd’s formula books to wear with the hat and scarf or just around the house at night when my hands get cold.  They are the perfect portable pocket project for the car.

wpid-img_20141024_144749.jpg

I am frequently amused at questions I get from folks that I know have grown up their entire lives in this rural county.  Today, the phone/internet installer saw my chickens wandering about the yard and ask me very innocently if my hens were laying now that the weather is cooling down.  My response was yes, except for the one who was molting.  I could tell from his expression that he didn’t have a clue what I was talking about and he said his egg production from 10 hens was down to only a couple each day.  I asked him how old his hens were and most of them are only about a year and a half old, so experiencing their first molt this season, thus his lack of eggs.  He also wasn’t feeding them any calcium, not even giving them back their own shells.  He left educated by the city girl with a ziplock sack of crushed oyster shell to free feed his hens and a promise that once their feathers were back in that he would start seeing eggs again.  He also was surprised that Son#1 and I could kill and process our culls and meat birds.  He said though he could shoot and dress a deer, he wasn’t sure he could do a chicken.  Our flock is enjoying their daily freedom to dig in the gardens, to look for bugs and tender blades of grass.  When we need them safely away from the dogs or driveway, I just go out like the Pied Piper with my little cup of scratch that I shake and they come running and follow me back to the safety of the electric fence.

The pumpkin vines are dying back more each day and revealing more of the winter squash.  I thought that only the Burgess Buttercup survived and that I didn’t get any Seminole pumpkins, but realize that it is a half and half mix, except the pumpkins for the most part haven’t turned tan.  The ones that I picked and put on the picnic table are beginning to turn.  The wormy ones get split with a hatchet and thrown into the chicken run for them to enjoy.  A side benefit is that the seeds are a natural anti parasitic for the chickens.  The peppers and tomatillos survived the cold nights predicted in the last post.  I am letting the remaining fruits mature until we are threatened again and I will do another harvest.  The last batch was made into another 4 pints of Tomatillo/Habanero sauce, the hottest batch yet.  Maybe I should change it’s name from XXX to Insanity.  I sure can’t eat it, but Son#1 will love it.  The Farmers’ Market last week had many vendors of apples.  I came home with another peck of mixed crisp red apples and realizing that they would not stay crisp until we finished them all, I used about a third to make another batch of Apple Cranberry Chutney (http://wp.me/p3JVVn-Ja), using 1 cup of honey instead of brown sugar this time.  The shelves are full of goodies even after having taken two crates of canned goodness to Northern Virginia on the last two trips to return son and grandson.

Lovin’ life on our mountain farm and continuing to gather knowledge to fight the pipeline.

 

Rainy Autumn Afternoons

are perfect for processing a half bushel of apples.  The apples peeled and cored, some chopped fine for applesauce, another 7 1/2 pints canned, others chopped for Apple Cranberry Chutney, 4 pints, 4 pounds pared and sliced and frozen for pies or cobblers during the holiday or when guests arrive.  Again I am thankful that I discovered the Peeler/corer tool, but it still took quite a while to prep all the apples and prepare the recipes for canning.

IMG_0263[1]
Apple Cranberry Chutney

After trying Marisa McClellan’s Green Tomato Chutney in her book food in jars it seemed that apples would be perfect for a chutney.  After looking at various recipes, I created my own that turned a beautiful red color from the blush pink of the Rome Apples and the red skins of the cranberries.

Apple Cranberry Chutney

  • 2 qts.  mixed apples, pared, cored, chopped
  • 1 c yellow onion chopped
  • 1 c Cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 c Yellow seedless raisens
  • 1 Tbs. ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp pickling salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 5-6 whole cloves
  • 1 Pt. Raw Cider Vinegar
  • 1 1/2 c Brown Sugar

Place the cloves in a muslin bag or tea ball.  Add all ingredients to a large non reactive pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook until reduced by half and thickened 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring frequently.  Remove the spice bag and the star anise.

Ladle into clean hot pint jars, wipe rims, add hot lids and bands.  Water bath process for 15 minutes or pressure can at 11 PSI for 10 minutes.  Allow to cool, wipe and label jars.  Enjoy with roast meat or served over Neufchatel or goat cheese on crackers or baguette slices.

 Tomorrow, I harvest radishes, turnips, tomatillos, and peppers then cover as much of the remaining garden as I can with sheets and hope that we don’t really get a frost this early in October.  Many of the radishes and turnips will become Kimchee, the Tomatillos and peppers will become salsa and hot sauce.  This may be the end of the season for us or we may get lucky and have a few more weeks.

Tomorrow will also be a day to make a batch of Sauerkraut.  I see Roast Pork or chops with sauerkraut and chutney in our future.

Where have you been my whole life?

The canning was finished yesterday by early afternoon and Mountaingdad was off riding his BBH (big bad Harley) as it was a beautiful day and beautiful riding days will soon end for the season.   I drove down to the local grocery, a real small town affair with produce displayed outside and much of it local and picked up half a peck each of Golden Delicious and Rome apples and spent hours peeling, coring and chopping them for a batch of applesauce.  Thinking that it would be enough for the season, I jarred it up for canning and realized I only had 7 pints, not enough.  My hands were so sore I wasn’t looking forward to another round of peeling.  Though I am not a big fan of gadgets, trip was made to Walmart for a flat of jars and an apple peeler/corer, but it was a double fail.  This morning, a quick internet search showed that Bed, Bath and Beyond in a nearby town carried the peeler and I knew that Kroger Grocery had the jars, so we made a pre football run to make the purchases.

IMG_0207[1]IMG_0210[1]IMG_0211[1]

Quick work of another peck of apples, peeled, cored, sliced and chopped in about 30 minutes.  Part of that was learning how the device worked.  The apples have cooked down and another 6 pints prepared for the winter.

The Green Tomato Chutney smelled so good yesterday, and made such a small amount that I decided to spend some time gathering and picking just about every green tomato left in the garden, many requiring significant paring of bad spots and making a double recipe of the Chutney.  It is simmering on the stove.

IMG_0208[1]

I wish you could smell my kitchen right now.  I’m hoping for at least 4 or 5 pints from it after it has cooked down.

Last night after the canning was complete, I did finish one of my sweaters.  This is homespun yarn made by a friend and gifted to me by another friend.  It should be a great fall sweater.

IMG_0216[1]

Perhaps I should wear it with a contrasting shirt.  Now I am back to working on the other sweater and the dresses for one of our grandgirls.

Lovin’ life on our mountain farm.

Tis The End

Saturday mornings are usually spent going to the local diner for breakfast then on to the Farmers’ Market. Not today.  Today the morning was spent processing the last two baskets of tomatoes, both green and red, many with spots that had to be cut away. I started with the green, as my end product was to be Green Tomato Chutney from http://foodinjars.com/2010/11/green-tomato-chutney/. The cooking part of this one takes an hour and a half or more. It was prepped and set to simmer on a back burner. Next up were the remaining red tomatoes that were pared of cores and bad spots, diced and tossed into another large pot with some salt. On the last functional and largest burner was the pressure canner with the requisite 3 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of white vinegar as we have hard water and I didn’t want white rings on the jars. Loaded inside were my last 7 pint jars full of hot water to heat until filling time. The red tomatoes filled those jars with some to spare, so a quick jaunt out to the garden to harvest a pound or so of Tomatillos and some hot peppers and with an onion, some garlic, a toss of herbs, a bit of chopping, the tomatoes became salsa. It was left to cook down some while the diced tomatoes canned and cooled enough to remove from the canner.
While I was standing at the kitchen window, enjoying the outside while doing dishes, I spotted a coyote in the hayfield.

IMG_0205[1]

 

They have been very vocal the past few nights and while I got the binoculars to check him out and my phone to take the distant photo, I spotted two more.  All three were taking their time sauntering across the newly mowed hayfield, into the woods and up toward the house.  They passed close enough to the house that the dogs indoors became very agitated.

The only jars left on hand were a new flat of half pints that I bought with the idea of making the chutney, so nine of them were washed, filled with hot water and scalded in the canner.  The end result was 5 half pints of salsa, 5 half pints of chutney.  One of the chutney’s didn’t even go in the canner, it will travel with me this week to the spinning retreat with a block of Neufchatel cheese and a box of crackers to share at the happy hour.  A half pint of salsa and a bag of chips will also go.

IMG_20140920_124610[1]

It has been a good season for tomatoes, unlike last year when we didn’t get enough to get up through the winter.  It was not a good year for beans thanks to the bunnies.  The shelves are stocked with tomato products.  The freezer with chicken and peas.  This week I will purchase one more flat of jars and a basket of local apples and can one batch of applesauce, then the canner will be packed away for another year.

My session ended with a sandwich and a fried green tomato that I set aside just for my lunch.