Monday, October 28, 2013

Preserving : A Follow-up

Apple Rosemary Herb Jelly
Well, I've begun a new and addictive hobby: preserving, or canning. As I mentioned in my last post, I have wanted to try canning for a number of years but kept making silly excuses. I've finally bit the bullet and begun my adventure.

This week, I've made cranberry citrus marmalade and apple rosemary herb jelly, which were polar opposites in production. The cranberry citrus marmalade, a beautiful ruby-hued concoction, took me most of an afternoon since it involved many steps - and it was also the first recipe that I tried. Sterilizing the jars in world's largest pot, heating the lids for exactly five minutes in hot water, zesting oodles of oranges and lemons, creating a citrus syrup, busting out the food processor to mince the frozen local cranberries, oranges, and lemons, the list goes on and on. I'm glad that I had the entire day to take my time! I usually fly by the seat of my pants when following, or not following, a recipe, but since the process involved sealing and sterilization, I meticulously followed each and every step of the recipe. The apple rosemary herb jelly was a much smoother process, perhaps due to the fact that after already making one type of preserve, I was an old pro! Hehe. I used rosemary that I grew in my little herb garden this summer, and have just enough left to create one more batch.

Leave it to Martha Stewart to create a lovely kraft sticker that's perfect for labelling. Her new organizational product line at Staples is an isle full of spending temptation, but once I spotted the kraft stickers, I knew I was a goner. Paired with my trusty Sharpie pen, I hand-wrote labels for each glass jar. Nothing like a handmade touch to re-establish the fact that I, indeed, did create the concoctions myself. My designer self loves a touch of personality :)

Next on my list of preserves? A firey-hot date chutney. I'm not a fan of the name that the author gave the chutney, so I'll have to put on my thinking cap and come up with something a little bit more "me". I also purchased a large produce bag filled with fragrant ginger, and plan to try pickling it. I don't ever eat the pickled ginger on my sushi plate (ick!) after attempting several times to stomach it, but I can see adding pickled ginger to stirfries, meatballs, and other flavourful meals. It will look pretty in the glass canning jars, too.

Wanna give canning a go? Come on over! I'd love for you to join me in my new adventure :)

Happy Monday!

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