Archive for the ‘Canning, Pickles & Relishes’ Category
Howdy everyone, this is Elena, and I’m going to share with you a very simple way to make pureed pumpkin. The best cooking pumpkin is a Sugar Pie pumpkin which is different from the type you carve into a Jack-o’-latern at Halloween. Smaller and sweeter, these pumpkins are also easier to manage. Pumpkin is a great source of vitamin A and fiber and it’s great to put into soups, pies and pancakes for a special seasonal treat.
Don’t be intimidated; the process is relatively simple and when you’re done you can brag to all your friends that you pureed it all by your self – I did!
1 Sugar Pie Pumpkin
Little bit of vegetable oil or cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the pumpkin in half, lengthwise and scrape out all the seeds (and save them for roasted pumpkin seeds). Cover a 13 x 9 baking dish with foil and give a quick spritz of non stick spray and place the pumpkin halves face down on the foil.
Roast, uncovered in the oven for 45-55 minutes. When the pumpkin is pierced easily with a fork, it’s done. Let the pumpkin cool for a bit and then carefully peel off the skin. This is pretty easy to do with a paring knife and your hands. Chop the pumpkin into chunks and put into your food processor. Puree the pumpkin for about 30 seconds, or until it becomes smooth. Transfer it to a clean jar and keep in the refrigerator. It will stay good until it starts to smell funny or gets fuzzy, about 1-2 weeks.
Makes about 4-6 cups of puree, depending on the size of your pumpkin.
Local ingredients used
Sugar Pie Pumpkin from the Dallas Farmer’s Market, this farmer is great and he has a ton of them.
Summer Peaches. They are so freaking great it is like taking a big juicy bite of sweet sunshine. The local Texas peach harvest this year was especially great. The folks down at the Weatherford Peach Festival said it was the best year for peaches in a good while, since we had almost zero spring frost. So I have been getting peaches left and right, the Comeback Creek CSA has been giving me 1 bag a week, thanks to my friend C. Stew for asking me to pick it up while he was traveling around the globe. Also my good buddy Sean has brought over a few big bags from his folks peach tree. This recipe is my favorite way to save a bunch of peaches from spoiling in the fridge. I realize that some folks might not ever have this issue but this is a fun way to cook any amount of peaches. You get 2 very versatile delicious peach products that you can use in a ton of ways. Peach syrup, and canned vanilla peaches.
2-15 ripe peaches, washed pitted and sliced in wedges fairly thick (if it smells like a peach then it is ripe)
2 Tablespoons Sugar for every peach
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Water, Enough to cover the peaches by 1 inch.
1. Add everything to a pot that fits the mount of peaches you are cooking. Stir gently a few times.
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low simmering boil. Stir gently a few times.
3. Use a slotted spoon and remove cooked peaches to a clean jar when peach have soften slightly, but not mushy, about 5-10 minutes.
4. Return pan with juice to the burner and increase heat to medium high and reduce liquid to a very thin syrup texture. Depending on how much you have this could take 10-30 minutes. Just check on it every now and then to make sure it does not boil over or reduce to much.
5. Remove from heat and let cool down some. Then pour syrup into peach jar and lightly put the lid on with out tightening. Let it cool down some more.
6. Put lid on tight and place in your fridge.
Will stay good for a while, when it gets fuzzy toss it.
Uses for peaches: Waffles, Pancakes, Toast, Ice Cream Topper, Yogurt Topper, Fried Pies, Pound Cake.
Uses for awesome looking pink vanilla peach syrup: Combine 1/2 cup with a big pitcher of water and it is a great summer peach cooler. You could also use it with bar drinks like bourbon or vodka.
Fresh local food used: Sean’s folks peaches.
Note: You might wonder why I don’t remove the peach skins, that is because I like the texture and it is easier to make this way. If you want to remove the skins, whenever you core the peaches don’t slice the halves into wedges. Put the halves into the pot with the sugar water and vanilla. When they are cooking, the skin will loosen and you can easily remove them.
If you fix some of these tasty vanilla Peaches, please share your story.
My folks have this super awesome garden in front of their house. My Mom is completely swamped with cucumbers. She planted 4 vines and they have cranked out about 80 pounds this year.
As a result of this super huge harvest I have had the chance to make pickles just about any way i can think of. I like to experiment with different flavor combos and sweet sour salty ratios. But I have found that if you use equal amounts of Vinegar, Water, and Sugar you have a mild sweet pickle base that you can really have some fun with. This just takes me about 10 minutes to make. Send me a message if you want some of my Mom’s cucumbers she has a freaking ton of them.
Pickle Brine Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup vinegar (I use 1/2 organic cider vinegar, 1/2 white vinegar)
1 cup water
3 garlic cloves, peeled, germ removed then diced (this is the germ, if you don’t remove it they will turn blue)
pinch of salt
Pickle Jar Ingredients:
1 big clean jar, w/ a clean lid (Sometimes I buy pickles at the store just for a cool jar that I can reuse)
1 big cucumber, wash and slice, in rounds or spears (discard the ends, you can remove the seeds if you want)
1/4 – 1/2 onion, peeled and sliced
1-3 Hot Peppers, washed and stem end removed (optional)
1-2 Sprigs Fresh Dill, washed (optional, but this makes it super fresh)
- Clean all the vegetables.
- In this order put onions, peppers, herbs and cucumbers in the jar.
- Boil sugar, vinegar, water, garlic and pinch of salt for 2 minutes.
- Put the jar in the base of your sink and pour liquid into the jar. Don’t put the lid on until it has had a chance to cool slightly.
- Then put in the refrigerator and they will be ready to eat in 2 days and they get better and better in the fridge.
Notes & Substitutions:
- Any light flavored vinegar will work like rice, white wine, champagne, apple, and white.
- You can use baby carrots, or cauliflower instead of cucumber.
- 1 spoon of Red pepper flake works great instead of hot peppers
- Any herbs would be fun to try
- Some people like to put a dash of turmeric for color, I don’t use it.
- I have messed around with mustard seeds, coriander, pickling spice, all spice. I am not a big fan. On reason is I don’t keep many of those spices on hand, and I just like the pure fresh none spiced taste more.
- If you see any fuzz, or super funky flavor then toss them. This has never happened to me.