Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Best of Bridge Home Preserving

Best of Bridge Home Preserving
120 Recipes for Jams, Jellies, 
Marmalades, Pickles and More
Spiral-bound, 306 pages

For me as a self-taught cook - there are a few banner moments that I have had in my life. 

One is growing ingredients. From simple chives to tomatoes to anything that starts in my yard or in a pot on my deck and ends up on my plate. 

The second is preserving food. Taking what is available that season and preserving it for another. Not even just that, but making a flavour explosion with the techniques of pickling, jamming, making chutneys and homemade sauces.

These are the next steps in the home cook's journey and they are wonderful. Such a great feeling of accomplishment, so wonderful to be able to offer a jar of special goodness that you have made as a gift. 

You don't have to cringe at a label when you make your own preserves. You know exactly what went into your food and you are proud. Heck, I get a little choked up when I see the jars lined up like little jewels in my pantry. 

Best of Bridge Home Preserving has a great variety of recipes as well as a full chapter on how to preserve easily and safely.


 The outstanding variety of recipes includes jams and spreads, conserves, fruit butters, marmalades, chutneys, pickles, relishes, ketchups, sauces and salsas. Depending on the time available or the home cook's comfort, the recipes range from a simple no-cook Strawberry Jam to Seville Orange Marmalade, Sweet and Tangy Gherkins, Rhubarb Relish to Grilled Corn and Tomato Salsa.



Here are just a few of the delicious recipes included:

Jams and Jellies

    Peach, Plum, Raspberry, Blueberry, Red Currant and Orange

Conserves and Fruit Butter

    Coronation Grape and Orange, Cranberry and Pear Conserve, Pear Butter

Marmalades

    Blood Orange, Lemon, Zucchini Orange, Orange and Pink Grapefruit, Lime

Chutneys

    Red Onion and Raisin, Classic Peach, Pineapple, Mint, Sweet and Spicy Tomato

Pickles

    Classic Icicle Pickles, Classic Spiced Pickled Apples, Easy Sweet Pickles

Relishes and Ketchups

    Spicy Tomato Ketchup, Sweet Green Dill Cucumber, 3-Onion

Sauces and Salsas

    Fiery Pepper Salsa, Classic Tomato Sauce, Chili Sauce, Classic BBQ Sauce.

These recipes cover the gamut in flavors from simple to spectacular -- something for every region and climate nationwide.

Pineapple Mint Chutney, page 178
Pineapple and mint are two flavors that just seem natural together.

6 cups    chopped fresh pineapple    1.5 L
11⁄2 cups    finely chopped sweet onion    375 mL
1 cup    finely chopped red bell pepper    250 mL
2    cloves garlic, minced    2
13⁄4 cups    granulated sugar    425 mL
11⁄2 tsp    pickling or canning salt    7 mL
1⁄4 tsp    hot pepper flakes    1 mL
1 cup    white vinegar    250 mL
1⁄2 cup    rice vinegar    125 mL
2 tbsp    chopped fresh mint    30 mL

In a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot, combine pineapple, onion, red pepper, garlic, sugar, salt, hot pepper flakes, white vinegar and rice vinegar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Reduce heat and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for about 25 minutes or until pineapple is translucent and mixture is just thick enough to mound on a spoon. Stir in mint.
  
Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) of rim. Remove any air pockets and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot chutney; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (see page 27). Turn off canner and remove lid. Let jars stand in water for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until cooled. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

Makes about six 8-ounce (250 mL) jars.

Tip: There are many varieties of sweet onions available, such as Vidalia, Oso Sweet, Maui, Walla Walla or Spanish.

Tip: The rice vinegar adds a pleasant sweet tang, but you can use all white vinegar if you prefer.

Variation: Replace up to half of the granulated sugar with brown sugar to vary the taste.


Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.


Bread and Butter Pickles, page 218
Homemade are the best!! Try these on sliders (page 268).

10 cups    thinly sliced pickling cucumbers    2.5 L
2    green bell peppers, diced    2
2    cloves garlic, minced    2
3    large onions, thinly sliced    3
1⁄3 cup    pickling or canning salt    75 mL
12 cups    ice cubes    3 L
3 cups    white vinegar    750 mL
4 cups    granulated sugar    1 L
11⁄2 tsp    ground turmeric    7 mL
11⁄2 tsp    celery seeds    7 mL
11⁄2 tsp    mustard seeds    7 mL

In a large pot or bowl, combine cucumbers, peppers, garlic and onions. Mix in salt and ice cubes. Cover and let stand in a cool place for at least 4 hours or for up to 12 hours. Drain and discard any leftover ice. Set vegetables aside. In a large pot, combine vinegar, sugar, turmeric, celery seeds and mustard seeds. Bring to a boil over medium heat; boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Mix in vegetables and return to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Remove from heat.
  
Using a slotted spoon, pack vegetables into sterilized jars to within 1 inch (2.5 cm) of rim. Pour in hot pickling liquid to within 1⁄2 inch (1 cm) of rim. Remove any air pockets and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding liquid; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (see page 27). Turn off canner and remove lid. Let jars stand in water for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until cooled. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

Makes ten 8-ounce (250 mL) jars or five pint (500 mL) jars.


Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.


Sour Cherry Jam, page 44
Sour cherries make a delicious, slightly tart jam.

4 cups    finely chopped pitted sour (tart)     1 L
    cherries
1 tbsp    lemon juice    15 mL
1    package (1.75 oz/49 or 57 g)     1
    powdered pectin
41⁄2 cups    granulated sugar                                       1.125 L

In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed pot, combine cherries and lemon juice. Stir in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add sugar in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Return to a full boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Boil hard for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam. Stir for 5 to 8 minutes to prevent floating fruit.
  
Ladle into sterilized jars to within 1⁄4 inch (0.5 cm) of rim; wipe rims. Apply prepared lids and rings; tighten rings just until fingertip-tight. Process jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes (see page 27). Transfer jars to a towel-lined surface and let rest at room temperature until set. Check seals; refrigerate any unsealed jars for up to 3 weeks.

Makes about five 8-ounce (250 mL) jars.

Tip: You can use a food processor to chop cherries; just make sure all of the pits are removed, then pulse a few times, scrape down the sides and pulse again. Do not purée.

Note: Most sour (tart) cherries grown in North America are the Montmorency variety, named after a valley in France where they originated. They are grown in Michigan and Wisconsin, and in the Niagara region of Ontario, canada.

Recipe suggestion: Use to fill small baked tart shells and add a dollop of whipped cream. Or spread on crêpes and roll up.


Courtesy of Best of Bridge Home Preserving:120 Recipes for Canning Fruits & Vegetables by Best of Bridge Publishing Ltd. 2014 © www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission.