July 24, 2012

Amish Tomato Ketchup

I finally did it!  Ketchup is something I've never done before, but over the winter, each time I had to buy ketchup, I cringed and vowed to make it for ourselves this year.

Our tomatoes are slowly rolling in, but I didn't have near enough to make ketchup with, so I headed to Amish country for the homegrown tomatoes I needed.  

There are so many recipes out there and I couldn't decide which one to try.  This recipe is an old Amish recipe from my Farmhouse cookbook.  It states that it is a sweet ketchup, sweeter than store bought.

July 19, 2012

Canning Corn on the Cob

In all fairness, I have to say that canning corn hasn't been the easiest thing I've canned, but it will be MORE than worth it when the wind is howling and the snow is falling this winter.

I hope I don't scare you off by saying that because it really isn't a big deal to do.

Tip #1 - First of all, make sure you know where the corn has come from.  If you buy it from a roadside or farmers market stand beware.  Be sure and know what type of corn it is.  Corn is one of the biggest crops that has been genetically modified and you don't want to feed it to your family.  

July 12, 2012

Canning Peaches

It's finally peach season again!  Beautiful, glorious peaches!

Last year, we had a huge shortage of peaches and we got very few put away in the freezer.  This year, the Lord has blessed us beyond words with the amount of peaches there are available.  

I'm not an expert on peaches, I didn't know one variety from the other until this season.  Now I am very familiar with Redhavens and I can tell you that these are the best that I have ever worked with.  They are extremely easy to peel and pit.

In the previous years, the easiest thing I found to preserve peaches was to peel and slice them and then plop them into freezer bags.  Easy, right?  Yes it is, however, since we are raising our own beef, or freezer space is extremely valuable and I've had a hankering (yes that's a word here in the Ozarks) to be able to open a jar of sweet peaches for dinner this winter.

So here's what I did.  It's ALMOST as easy as the freezer method.

Peel, pit and slice your peaches into your clean quart jars.  Fill your jars with peach slices about 2/3 of the way full.  Add 1/3 cup of sugar to each jar.  You may want it less sweet, but I went with 1/3 cup of sugar this year.  Finishing filling your jars just to the shoulders with sliced peaches.  Every once in a while, tap your jars on the counter gently to adjust the peaches on down.  Then fill your jars with water about up to the neck of the jar.  Wipe the rims and put on your lids.  Process them in a hot water bath for about 20 minutes and your done!  Disclaimer:  The Ball Canning book states to cook them for 30 minutes.  They tend to turn to mush if you do.  Here is another article on canning PEACHES where I got this method from.

Here is my result, the picture isn't that great, but it'll give you the idea....

After you finish enjoying a jar of these peaches, be sure to save the juice/syrup for delicious smoothies!

If you find yourself with a large surplus of peaches that are beginning to get soft and you can't get to them right away, a dear friend of mine told me her method of saving them.  Bag up the peaches and put them in the freezer.  Later when you have time, let them thaw just a bit and rub off the peels.  Then pit the peaches and put them in your blender.  Puree them and pour them into ice cube trays to use for smoothies later!  YUM!

For those of you who have been asking me where I've been, I apologize for being so scarce these days. Our area has had a terrible heat wave and drought.  Between keeping everything watered and general work here on the homestead, I've barely had time to get on this electric box.  Thankfully we've had a bit of rain this week.  Prayers for rain in our area would be much appreciated!

Next in line for the season will be different recipes for canning and preserving tomatoes.  They are just beginning to roll in, and I'll be sure to share those recipes with you too.

Until then, may you and your family be blessed and Happy Canning!

Also be sure to see how to can PEACH BUTTER and SPICED PEACH BUTTER!


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