I came up with this low sugar apple currant spread to use up this year's bumper crop of currants. Since currants are quite tart, currant jelly uses a lot of sugar. Currant seeds are sizable, so I knew a regular jam wouldn't be popular with my family. (Plus, currant jam is still loaded with sugar.) Instead, I cooked up my currants and ran them through the chinois (food mill). This gave a mix of juice and a little bit of puree. I cooked the currant juice/puree up with some applesauce (and cinnamon), but it was still very runny and tart. (Both currants and apples have natural pectin, but not quite enough in this case.) I added sugar for sweetening, and some Pomona's low sugar pectin for thickening. Voila! [Read more…]
Some people avoid home canning because they're afraid of botulism poisoning, but following the right guidelines will help you prevent foodborne illness. Botulism spores are everywhere – from the deep ocean to mountain tops. You're likely breathing them right now. It's only under specific conditions that they become dangerous. In this post we'll cover botulism causes, symptoms and treatment. You'll learn how to prevent botulism in home canned food so you can can safely. [Read more…]
I discovered these almond pears with almond liquor many years ago in the Ball Blue Book. I used to make them up as a special treat for my husband's great uncle, Bill. Bill wasn't a big fan of fruits and vegetables, but the splash of Amaretto in these pears won him over. I always made sure to keep a couple jars of pears stashed in his kitchen cupboard. [Read more…]
Misinformation never dies on the internet – it just gets turned into another Facebook meme that gets shared over a million times. Today's case in point – margarine myths. I am not a fan of margarine. I think it's a sad excuse for butter, and always has been. That said, the whackadoo information and fearmongering being shared on the internet is just plain silly. If you're going to avoid bad food, do it for legitimate reasons. There are plenty of them.
In this post I'll present some margarine myths and the real problems with margarine.
While gathering this year's currant harvest, I had a vision. What if I combined Queen Anne's lace jelly with currants for a unique seasonal treat? I could picture the clear jelly with bright red berries suspended in it for a pop of color and flavor. All I needed to do was figure out a way to make it happen. Luckily, I had one of my dearest friends visiting and a cool summer day. We started canning and cooking and made a day of it. The results of the experiment were delicious. [Read more…]
Today's featured Weekly Weeder plant is common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia.
Common ragweed is also known as ragweed, hayfever weed, bitterweed, bloodweed, crownweed, mayweed and bane of allergy sufferers everywhere. Some other common ragweed species include bur ragweed, giant ragweed and western ragweed. Western ragweed is a perennial.
The seeds of this amazing plant can lie dormant in the soil for 40 years, waiting to be unearthed to spread truckloads of tiny pollen grains EVERYWHERE. Plus – bonus – changing weather patterns have extended the ragweed season through much of the United States. (BTW, just for the record, the climate has been changing as long as the planet's been around. The weather has raised and toppled empires – but that's another post.)
I read “Back in Control – A Surgeon's Roadmap Out of Chronic Pain” because chronic pain is a challenge for many of my readers. I've also personally dealt with a skin condition that made even simple things like breathing and smiling painful. Chronic pain affects your entire life. I didn't understand until I lived through it. Now I want to help others find relief, too.
As we age, most of us don't bounce back as easily from injuries. That said, what cripples one person can barely slow down another. What's the difference? [Read more…]
Most summer gardens are in full swing by early July; the plants are growing like crazy and the harvest is finally coming in. The days are wonderful….and hot. While summer vegetable crops do love heat, there is only so much they can take. Understanding how heat affects you and your crops will make gardening in the heat more productive. [Read more…]
This chocolate pudding cake is one of my favorite recipes from my mom. Also known as hot fudge pudding cake or chocolate sundae cake, it combines yummy chocolate cake and pudding in one easy recipe. It's great paired up with ice cream or some nice cold milk. [Read more…]
Rainwater is best for watering your garden, but too much rain is hard on your soil and your plants. I was watching the morning news the other day, and the weatherman said we had rain 15 days out of the last 16. It rained again that day.
My garden is soggy, but most of it is still in pretty good shape. In this article, we'll talk about wet garden solutions, including steps you can take to prevent damage, and what to do after heavy rains hit. Wet weather might slow plants down, but it doesn't have to end your gardening season. [Read more…]