Monthly Archives: January 2012

Split Pea Soup

I enjoy soup no matter what the current season happens to be; however, there’s something extra special about a hearty bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day!  Even though I have a pressure canner, I typically freeze my soups and stews since they tend to be recipes I’ve created and are not suitable for canning.  With my freezers still full from last year’s homegrown organic vegetables, I’ve decided it’s time I began canning soup and reserving my precious freezer space for other goodies!

Last December, I began flipping through the pages of my canning books deciding on what soups I would put up.  The first one I am going to share with you is split pea.  The original recipe called for ham, which I immediately omitted; it also listed allspice, which complements the flavor of ham.  I omitted that one too.

Dried herbs are considered a “freebie” when canning; they are interchangeable and you can add as much or as little as you would like.  Remember that this rule only applies to dried herbs and spices.  Some recipes can be safely doubled without challenging the integrity of the finished product, this is one of them.

Split Pea Soup

2 lbs dried split peas, yellow or green (2 cups dried split peas weighs 1 lb, so I used 4 cups for this recipe)

4 quarts of water

2 cups chopped onion

3 cups sliced carrots

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp granulated garlic

2 tsp celery seed

2 tbsp salt

2 tbsp pepper

Combine (rinsed) dried peas and water; bring to a boil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot.  Skim off any foam that develops.  Reduce heat; simmer covered for about one hour or until peas are soft.  If a smooth soup is desired, press mixture through a food mill.  I skipped the food mill since processing will generally result in a semi-smooth consistency.  Return mixture to the sauce pot.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer gently, about 30 minutes.   If mixture is too thick add boiling water.

Ladle hot soup into hot, sterilized jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a weighted gauge steam-pressure canner: pints for 75 minutes and quarts for 90 minutes, at 10 pounds of pressure.  For a dial gauge steam-pressure canner: process pints for 60 minutes and quarts for 75 minutes, at 11 pounds of pressure at sea level.  If you have a mixture of jar sizes, process at quart time.  Turn off the heat.  Once the pressure has dropped to zero, open the lid, remove the jars and allow to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.

Because I doubled the recipe it yielded 4 quarts (or 10 pints).  Should you want to make a single batch (just half all the listed ingredients), it will result in 5 pints or 2 quarts.

This recipe can be frozen; however, to ensure shelf-stability it  MUST be processed in a steam-pressure canner.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Ball Blue Book Guide to Home Canning, Freezing & Dehydration.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Pressure Canning, Vegan, Vegetarian

It’s citrus season!! What are you putting up?

During the frigid season of winter I look forward to two things: seed catalogs and citrus fruit!  Clementines may just be nature’s perfect fruit.  Underneath their thin-skinned peel lies a juicy-sweet, seedless burst of delicious sunshine!  Of all the citrus, clementines are my favorite!

Having never made marmalade, I felt the time had come to embark on that adventure.  Since citrus peels are naturally high in pectin, I decided to rely on this fruit’s own ability to achieve a semi-firm set and added just a touch of clear jel.  The consistency that resulted was perfect!

Clementine Marmalade – yields 4 half-pints

1.75 pounds of clementines

3-1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice

3 Tbsp Clear Jel – cook type

Day 1  Wash clementines and place in the fridge to chill; this helps to firm them up.  Cut fruit into halves then slice very thin.  Cut each slice in half to create small thin triangles.  Combine clementines, 3 cups of sugar, and lemon juice in a thick-bottomed pot and bring to a simmer.  Remove fruit mixture from heat and transfer to a bowl; cover, cool, and place in the fridge overnight.

Day 2  Place fruit mixture back into a heavy-bottomed pot and bring to a light simmer.  Mix clear jel with 1/4 cup sugar, then add to the hot fruit mixture stirring well to incorporate.  Bring to a boil while gently stirring.  Once mixture begins to thicken (5 minutes) ladle into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes and allow to cool on a wire rack, undisturbed, for 12-24 hours.  Wipe jars and store in a cool, dark place for a year.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from What Julie Ate

9 Comments

Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Marmalade

East African Kunde

I’m not someone who makes New Year’s resolutions.  The way I see it is if you’re serious about making personal change then do it; don’t wait for a new year!  I do however enjoy entertaining the idea of New Year’s good luck foods.  Where I grew up, pork and sauerkraut are synonymous with good luck, but since I don’t eat meat, that dish is obviously out of the question.  So instead, I follow the southern United States’ approach and cook up some black-eyed peas!

In the past I’ve made my famous black-eyed pea salsa; this year, I thought I would put an East African spin on my dish-o-luck!  I’m so glad I did because it turned out amazing and is now a favorite recipe!

East African Kunde

1 cup uncooked red rice

2 cups tomato water (if you don’t can tomatoes regular water will do just fine)

2 cups cooked black-eyed peas

2 cups corn

1 large onion, chopped

1 quart jar canned tomatoes

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp yellow curry power

1 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil

Place rice, a pinch of salt, and tomato water in a medium sauce pan; bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer ’til rice is al dente.  Cooking times vary for different types of rice, I think mine took about 30 minutes.

In a large wok, sauté onion in a bit of olive oil over medium heat.  Once the onion become soft (2-3 minutes), add the spices and stir well.  Add the tomatoes, corn, and black-eyed peas stirring to incorporate all ingredients.  Pour in the coconut milk and allow to simmer for 30 – 45  minutes, until liquid has reduced.

Pour kunde over rice and enjoy!

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.  Recipe adapted from Irreverent Vegan.

Leave a comment

Filed under Vegan, Vegetarian

English Muffin Bread

I have an arsenal of bread recipes at my disposal, some are my own, others come from friends, books, and the interwebs.  The bread I am sharing with you today is from the 1977 edition of Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book.

I’ve made this bread several times and not once has it disappointed.  It’s a no frills, rustic loaf that is well suited for jam and toast or grilled sandwiches; my most recent favorite is tofurkey, leeks, and Daiya cheddar cheese.  When steam-baked it develops a wonderful crusty exterior and dense chewy interior.

English Muffin Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 Tbsp active dry yeast

1 Tbsp raw sugar

1-1/4 cups warm water

3/4 Tsp salt

In a large bowl combine flour and yeast, set aside.  In a medium sauce pan heat water, sugar, and salt until warm (115-120°) stirring to dissolve sugar.  Add wet ingredients to dry mixture, stir until a soft dough forms.  Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once.  Cover and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Gently press dough down; cover and allow to rise for an additional 10 minutes.

Grease a 1-quart casserole dish and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Place dough in casserole and sprinkle top with cornmeal.  Cover, let rise ’til doubled in size  (40 minutes) and bake at 400°F for 40-45 minutes.  If the top begins to brown too quickly tent with aluminum foil.  Place loaf on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before slicing.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.  Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Homemade Bread Cook Book

Leave a comment

Filed under Baking, Vegan, Vegetarian

Concord Grape Jelly

Two years ago I packed up my belongings and moved out.  I said farewell to a mushroom-growing dirt basement floor, 250 year-old drafty peg windows, and a glorious concord grapevine.  I never realized just how much I would miss those grapes!

While strolling though my favorite farmers’ market last September, I came across a stand that had fresh, locally grown concord grapes.  Knowing just how amazing homemade grape jelly is (it is the only jelly I will eat) I had to buy them!  Besides, if my brother found out I passed up an opportunity to make his all-time favorite jelly, I’d probably never see my niece again!!

Concord Grape Jelly – yields 7 half-pints

5-1/2 cups grape juice.  A good rule-of-thumb is one pound of grapes will yield one cup of juice.

3-1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 cups water

3 Tbsp low-sugar flex batch pectin

Place washed, de-stemmed grapes into a stainless-steel pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Here is a little insider tip: freeze the grapes before making your jelly.  Why you ask?  When you freeze fruit it breaks their cell structure, which aids in releasing juice.  This is also a good way to store in-season fruit for jam/jelly making later in the season, which is what I did.  Once the grapes have begun to boil reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  While the grapes are cooking I gently mash them with a potato masher.

When your grapes have finished simmering, carefully pour them into a jelly bag and allow the juice to drip into a large bowl.  It may take several hours for all 5-1/2 cups to be extracted.  Should you find yourself becoming impatient, you can speed the process along by gently squeezing the bag; however, this will most likely result in a cloudy jelly.  Place the juice on the stove over med-high heat.  Mix 1/4 cup of the sugar with the pectin and add it to the juice; bring the jelly mixture to a hard boil.  Add the remaining sugar, stir, and boil hard for one minute.  Ladle jelly into hot, sterilized half-pint jars, wipe rims and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight.  Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes.  Allow jars to cool, undisturbed, on a wire rack for 12-24 hours.

Images and content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge.

2 Comments

Filed under Boiling-Water Bath Canning, Jam & Jelly, Vegan, Vegetarian

2012 Produce Calendar

Now that the holidays are behind us once again, the time has come for transitioning back into the comfortable hustle of everyday life… and regular postings!  Last night I wrapped up my 2011 canning activities with grape jelly and clementine marmalade.  I’m so excited to begin tallying my jar count; I have a strong feeling I put up more jars in 2011 than ever before!

I wanted to share with you a free printable calendar packed full of produce love by Cottage Industrialist.  I fell in love the minute I laid eyes on it!

So, welcome 2012, it’s nice to meet you!   I’m really looking forward to all that you have in store for me this year.  Especially the new and exciting opportunities that will present themselves as the year unfolds!

Content copyright © 2009-2012 Danielle R Limoge. Image copyright © (2011) Cottage Industrialist

Leave a comment

Filed under Chatter