Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Can I Get A Can-Can?

I've been up to my "elbows" with canning this week. Peaches, apples, cherries and figs! I love the whole process but it can be exhausting without an extra pair of hands. 

It's a good idea to make sure you really have use for all the extra food that will be placed in the pantry. For me, having specific dishes in mind that will use up the canned fruits and syrups gives me the motivation needed to complete this tiring task!

The volume of fruit needing to be canned demanded that I create conserves, syrups and preserves. Quality syrups and preserves can cost a small fortune and I welcomed the opportunity to
save a bunch with a few days effort!
Fig Preserves and Apple Conserve with Lavender
We have tried to develop menus with seasonal-dishes constructed of fruits that are abundant during each of the seasons. But the stomach wants what the stomach wants and some of our popular items require us to have blueberries, peaches, and figs out of season!

My own Indian Blood peaches are ripening on the tree and I've already made my first batch of Pretty In Pink Peach Syrup! I have an ungoing love affair with these pretty little peaches and simply boil them in their skins for an amazing syrup perfect for drinks! I'm working on a Pretty In Pink Peach Cocktail!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Deep Freeze Zone

I've been on a quest to use up items stored in the "deep freeze" zone! Surprisingly, the meals created from these mystery ingredients have yielded some pretty awesome and quick dinners.

I had a thought today that I might have need for a "freezer journal". As I add foods to my freezers I would place a dated entry in my freezer journal. Just a thought. My current method of writing on the zipper bag works fine if I bother to write on the bag. I've also had success placing a note in the freezer bag filled with individually packaged tablespoons of items such as tomato paste.

A recent dig revealed a lost bag of lightly-smoked picnic ham from the Porchetta episode of Home At Last! It was well-wrapped in foil and placed in a freezer bag.  Thawed and sampled I was pleased with its condition after three months of excile in "the zone".

Paired with a small amount of homemade bbq sauce (also from the depths of my fridge) and a quick slaw of cabbage, fresh spinach, a miso dressing combined with a little mayo and a couple tablespoons of ranch dressing we were enjoying a Pork BBQ sandwich that rivaled most of the joints in our area!
Lightly-smoked Shoulder Roast

Cabbage Spinach Slaw with Miso-Sesame Dressing

BBQ Pork with Asian Slaw