Monday, July 4, 2011

Gardening & Preserving Week 3

the big tomato there was the first little baby we had a week and a half ago
We will have tomatoes in 2 weeks.

That's what the Boy said anyway.

look at these beauties, we'll have plenty of sweet millions very soon
He also said once they start coming we'll likely be set for the rest of the summer.

How awesome is that?

don't the early girls look great?
I think it's pretty fabulous.  I am imagining all kinds of tomato salads, tomato jam to go on grilled cheeses, maybe even homemade ketchup, even just eating sun-ripened tomatoes like apples.  Ooo or my favorite a meal with nice crusty bread, fresh tomatoes, burrata maybe some cured meat.  The perfect no-cook meal. Yum!

who has amazing banana peppers recipes?  please share!
The beans and peppers are doing fabulously too, We'll likely have yellow banana peppers in less than two weeks.  Or at least one. I have to be honest I don't often buy banana peppers.  Does anyone have any great recipes using them?  With my jalapeno's and Italian roasters I already have some plans, but those banana peppers I'm just not too sure what to do with them.

look at all the strawberry deliciousness I canned last week!
Last Sunday, as in before the long weekend, the boy and I went to Whittamore's Farm and picked over 21lbs of strawberries.  Sore backs and all we were really happy with our haul.  Needless to say, I spent the better part of last week prepping and preserving those berries.  From two kinds of jam to Strawberry Lemon Preserves to Strawberry Gelato and Strawberry Rhubarb pie, on the grill I was a busy bee. I even designed some fun labels for my jars that I'm excited to tweak and play with for everything I can moving forward.

It just makes sense that I share one of my strawberry recipes with you today.  Since they are in season in most places and I am a little bit in love with the jams I made.  I played around with a Strawberry Balsamic jam a couple years ago and wanted to revisit it with this crop of berries.  I used a method from Canning for a New Generation and am so happy with the resulting jam.  It was delicious in yogurt and I can't wait to pair it with cheese.

print recipe

Strawberry Balsamic Basil Jam
  • 9 cups strawberries - washed and quartered
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 lemons - zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves - chiffonade and loosely packed
1. Place a hot water canner on the stove and start to bring the water to a boil. Place the berries, sugar and balsamic into a heavy bottomed 8 quart pot. Cook over medium heat until the liquid begins to simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.2. Place a colander with small holes or a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl. Gently pour the hot berry mixture into the colander, letting the syrup drain into the bowl. Let sit for a minute or two and gently stir to get as much syrup out without smashing the berries. 3. Return the syrup to the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1 1/2 cups, about 20-25 minutes. 4. Carefully add back in the berries along with the basil, and lemon juice and zest. Stir gently to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes. 5. Prepare jars according to safe canning practice, the Ball Blue Book is a great resource. Fill the jars to 1/4" from the top. Wipe with a damp paper towel and top with snap lids and rings, turning until finger tight. Place in the hot water canner and process for 5 minutes. Remove to a folded towel and let sit for 12 hours. If any of the lids don't pop place in the fridge and use with in a month.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 half pint jars

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